Add me to the TOBB *banned* list!

By MTmommy,

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:) Yeah! I made it! Actually I have been banned twice! Am I eligible for some type of plaque or something of the sort? I got banned the first time for defending myself in a post and the second time for defending someone else in a post. Before I got banned I had the privelege of having posts deleted because they were "off topic" and once when asking for bidding help I was scolded because I didnt reply RIGHT away and the icing on the cake was my trip was canceled before I could bid... I was told I "wasted" their time. I defended myself and so did a lot of other TOBB members - can you guess what happened next - my post was removed!!!! :) WOOHOO!

Your site is AWESOME! But could I make one suggestion (maybe it has been suggested - I just found your site and am still reading through it)? I frequent the hotel section - could they be arranged by cities or attraction areas?

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Welcome to BetterBidding.... thanks for the compliments and the suggestion.

We're sorry to hear of your banishment, but of course are happy if this is what ultimately got you to find us :) Their loss is our gain.

Here is another thread on this subject, Separating Winning Bids by City. A more detailed explanation of my thinking (which mostly reflects my poor geography skills) and the logistics involved can be found here: Split Priceline Hotels California and Florida

I continue to think that the Search feature solves this problem but realize that it requires users to make a few extra mouse clicks; but the bigger issue is remains the resources to load all the forums. "Forums" are not just defined by the categories on the first page, but also by the sub-categories within each of those pages (so each forum has about 3 sub-forums: 1) Priceline/Hotwire Hotel Lists and Tips, 2) Hotwire Hotels Won and Help, and 3) Priceline Hotels Won and Help). The amount of data in each forum isn't much of an issue, but the forum and sub-forum loads are a resource issue for the server as well as for users on dial-up. Still more than half of internet users are on dial-up so we try and balance functionality and ease-of-use for everyone.

It's a balancing act between the two, but i'm still open to suggestions and i'm sure if we all put our minds together we can come up with a solution that will satisfy everyone.

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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Most post titles are in the format:

Title: Star Rating Zone (sub-zone) Hotel Name

Sub-Title: Price ... Dates

At first we didn't have an 'accpeted' format, but ever since we realized that the above worked best, i started editing all the new posts to follow the same format. Some users forget to include the dates or sub-zones so we try to ask for clarification or additional info when needed, but mostly we're just thankful that they've taken the time to post, help others, and share their information.

We also have examples of the Ideal Priceline Post and Ideal Hotwire Post, but not everybody sees them or follows the format.

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I was banned awhile ago too. I also wrote the owner of the list and asked her why and called her on a few things and she never responded. I cleared my cookies so I can still read information over there, but I dont post anymore. Unlike Thereuare, that owner is way too demanding and uptight if you dont respond within a few mintues.

I believe I have a wealth of information to share, but I refuse to share it there now( I made a new account). Its really her loss. I wouldnt contribute a dime to them.

Happy Travelling, Randi
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm actually wondering whether I'll be banned, as I openly corrected TOBB's in a post today. She wrote that no Hilton brand offers free breakfast "other than to those guests who have paid for or have been upgraded to an executive level room which costs more than a standard room" which is, of course, absurd. (Hampton Inn offers free breakfast to everyone, as does Embassy Suites.)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was amused by this thread and just had to throw in my two cents. I wasn't banned from TOBB (to my knowledge), but voluntarily chose to cease posting my winning bids there due to what I considered an unwarranted removal of one of my posts. As per the administrator's request, I e-mailed her to find out what I had done wrong, and it turned out that she had a problem with my disclosure that both my girlfriend and I had bid for a hotel for a trip we were taking together. "Using multiple identities to circumvent the 72 hour re-bid rule are not allowed on [TOBB] as they violate the intended use of Priceline.com," she wrote. I wrote her back and said something to the effect of, yes, multiple identities are being used to bid, because my girlfriend and I are TWO SEPARATE PEOPLE, with separate street addresses, e-mail addresses, credit card numbers, computers, and Priceline accounts. I politely asked her to point out to me the clause in Priceline's "Terms and Conditions" that prohibited us from doing what we had done, but she simply re-stated her initial assertion in a very snippy and sarcastic way, saying it would lead to "abuse of Priceline's system." After I replied asking for further clarification, she told me that what I posted on TOBB was controlled by their "Posting Guidelines." I agreed, but pointed out to her that I had read through those too and still couldn't find any clause that addressed my supposed infraction!

With thereuare at the helm, the atmosphere on Betterbidding.com is wonderful and friendly. I'll do my best to support this site in any way I can.

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She is a bit Gestapo like over there but seems to be effecient IF you play exactly by her rules. I just had a post removed because I replied that I was refusing to research 3 different travel sites for the hotel rate of all the possible hotels for that date and place. Instead I stated the dates and the Zones and the star ratings and my high bids that were declined before I ran out or free bids.

That was good information which gave a reader a place to start, where I had left off. and at the $40 and up range, I was above 35% of whatever the published rates would be.

So she zapped the whole thread. Isn't it funny how she chastized you for cooperating with your girl friend's account? After all, the whole point of this board and TOBB is to hold as many winning cards as you can in the Priceline poker game. What about the free re-bid strategy? Surely Priceline doesn't advertise that as a way of beating their game?

Maybe TOBB should delete all posts about free re-bidding?

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  • 1 month later...

A lady I work with told me that she posted a winning bid on the OTHER site and was asked to go to her "inbox" for a message from the one and only. The message was asking why my friend didn't use "the link" they provide to bid and why she didnt feel the website earned her support.

Can you believe that?! That WACKO has now resorted to the lowly task of checking each and every bid to see if the members are using the link to support her or not and then getting on their case when they don't. I was so :) when I heard that! Diane, my friend, doesn't feel like using the link ever - why should she support someone like that? Why would anybody after finding out that they are being watched on a board?

If I were her I'd be thankful for the support I did have. What happened to "it's better to give than to receive?"

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  • 2 months later...

I came over to BetterBidding because I was afraid of TOBB and the admin. Sometimes I cringe when I read posts there: it's almost like watching a scary movie - you want to scream "Read the FAQ!!!!" or "Run!!!" at your monitor when you see a newbie post.

There is so much good information over there, but my God, they suck the fun out of it!!

My first post here was in the wrong place/topic area and I couldn't move it, so I put in a little revision note at the top and "magically" it got moved. No one yelled, I wasn't berated, etc.

Last week, a long-time TOBB user and Florida resident, desperate and stressed due to the hurricane, was practically begging for assistance in finding a place to stay for the night and the admin told him to send in the bidding request form or something like that. I mean come on, even if you truly needed all that information to help the guy, a little pat on the back or word of encouragment would have done him some good. I'm sure if someone had posted the Red Cross 800 number, it would have been removed as off topic. I know it sounds harsh, but obviously this guy (sorry for the slang, it was a he I believe) turned to a community he felt he was a part of and in my mind I saw him slammed by a cinder block.

I don't see that attitude here. I think I'll stay :)


I love this board! :)

I'm not afraid to ask for help! :)

I'm going to London :o


Looking to see how far I can make 4.95 days of vacation go...

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I am a Newbie and I think I know of which site you speak. I agree with Wishful who said what even I figured out from my few visits. Thereuare has posted on the cruise board I mostly frequent. He seems very nice and helpful. I will be posting soon for help after my first lame attempt at PL. Glad to be here and not there!

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bargainshopper, I have no new clue how TOBB found out my friend didnt use "the link" nor does my friend. Frankly, it's crazy! Maybe they provide a message to her saying "[email protected] has used supported your site using a link you provided, blah, blah, blah." I dont know. Even if she were to find out someone didnt use a link, so what - dont go and get on the person's case about it. Oh well.

I have yet to bid on priceline lately - havent had a chance to post a winning bid yet. We live in florida and so much has gone on lately we havent had the time to go away for relaxing weekend. :)

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I also was once scolded for not using "the link" although it was done in a polite way. My problem with TOBB is I believe they discourage use of Hotwire when in many cases it is the better option. When I choose to use Hotwire it is because I want to be sure the property has a pool or another feature. I also used it in Hawaii when I wanted to be sure I had an oceanfront hotel. Yes, I might have paid more than priceline, but being sure of oceanfront was well worth it to me. Of course I still paid way less than regular rates.

I have also recently noticed that Hotwire now allows you to include children. This is a big plus for me as I often bring them along. (Not that I have ever had problems but have read the PL rules)

This is a great web-site. Keep up the good work. I will do whatever I can to help including using your link for my next bid. M.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Isn't it funny how she chastized you for cooperating with your girl friend's account? After all, the whole point of this board and TOBB is to hold as many winning cards as you can in the Priceline poker game. What about the free re-bid strategy? Surely Priceline doesn't advertise that as a way of beating their game?

Maybe TOBB should delete all posts about free re-bidding?

Interestingly enough, I read a recent thread over there in which she stated, "...I'm sure Priceline would prefer that their customers don't know about free re-bidding...." So she has no problem openly advertising and promoting a "work around" that she herself thinks Priceline would prefer their customers didn't know about, yet she inexexplicably feels the need to enforce a self-created ban on any mention of two people teaming up and both bidding for a hotel when they are planning a stay together. It's a blatant double standard. Obviously the people at Priceline aren't so naive that they haven't considered the possibility of two people both bidding for a hotel for a stay they are planning together, and yet they don't forbid such activity in their "Terms and Conditions." So why would she feel a need to prohibit the mention of such behavior? Who knows. She seems to have a demigod complex and feel that her judgement is so obviously and inherently correct that others don't even have a right to ask for an explanation. Take this line from a post in the "Posting Guidelines" section: "Questioning an Administrator or Moderator action on the board when the action is outlined in our Posting Guidelines may result in termination of your posting privileges." She's like the "Soup ****" of the internet.

My other problem with TOBB is that the administrator is clearly more interested in having people bid through their link than she is in helping people become well-informed bidders, which is the stated purpose of the site. My evidence of this is the fact that nowhere in the canonical "Hotel F.A.Q." is there any information about how to formulate a bidding strategy. There is a section of the F.A.Q. entitled "How much should I bid for a hotel", but the section does virtually nothing to answer that question. It tells readers to check conventional rates before bidding, but it doesn't tell them anything at all about how to interpret the conventional rates when it comes time to formulate a bidding strategy. It also outlines the minimum bid amounts for each quality level, which while interesting, is only one small bit of knowledge required to formulate a bidding strategy. Buried in the "Bidding Tips" forum is a thread in which she explains "...if it appears to be a low occupancy time of year in my bidding area, I start at about 35% of the lowest available rate...when bidding on a high level occupancy area for my dates, my strategy is quite different. While my travelers don't have a set in stone per night rate they are allowed to spend, they are to be reasonable in what they pay based on the city...I recommend to these people (for leisure travel) that they not go any higher than 80% of the lowest available rate of a hotel that is acceptable to them to book directly, even if it is a lower quality level than what they are bidding." (that post is over four years old, by the way, and in the interest of length I've just quoted some key portions) Why would she not include such information, as well as other information about how to formulate a bidding strategy, in the F.A.Q.? In my opinion, it's obvious. Such information would truly lead to well-informed, more self-sufficient bidders...more well-informed, self-sufficient bidders would in turn lead to less requests for bidding assistance...and less requests for bidding assistance would lead to less opportunities to directly send the affiliate link to people she knows will be bidding soon. I also like how she disingenuously mentions that she would simply "appreciate" if people bid through the link, when in reality those who don't bid through the link can sure as hell bet they'll receive a message containing a guilt trip for not using it.

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She's like the "Soup ****" of the internet.

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

But look, the "Soup ****" sells a lot of soup (in fact, I recently read he's going national).

No doubt some people believe the "order" she brings to her board compensates for the sometimes gruff responses and often easy-to-disagree-about posting restrictions. And it's hard to fault her for trying to drum up some business for her affiliate link: these websites don't pay for themselves, and no doubt she feels her advice is worthy of some monetary remuneration.

That said, for those of us who believe there is a better way to run a bidding website, and who don't appreciate being browbeaten by the moderator, there is an alternative.

And you've found it.

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Yeah, I did it too!!! Just been banned from TOBB!! God only knows why..... strange! Well, lucky me I've found this board before ;-))

--- Strange! Just after having posting my successful bid for the Holiday Inn Bangkok (upgrade from 3star level to 4star level!) she banned me... and removed the entry!!! That's interesting!!

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I've not been banned. YET! :)

I've now been chastised twice 1) once for not using the link and 2) for posting that my husband and I participate in "team" bidding on PL.

I had a problem with my account and simply started a new one. I got chastised for that too. I'm through with that!

Now, re: bidding through their link - they know exactly if you did or didn't and which city and the whole shebang. I submitted two bids - one for City A and one for City B. For City A I remembered to use their affiliate. For City B I forgot. TOBB thanked me for doing it for City A, but said they did not get credit for City B.

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