I work at a hotel at the front desk. I have done so for several years. We receive reservations through many different third party websites. All of these take a high percentage of the profits, so I personally refuse to use them. Most hotels make sure that however a room is booked the guest pays the same. So there is not actually a savings. It is simply a way to take a cut from the hotel. Normally these third party sites work well for us, but have a nasty reputation of never giving refunds or the like.
Right now I have a guest waiting in the lobby because hotels.com system is down. The guest has been waiting for nine hours for them to “put the information through manually” She has called 9 times and they keep saying it will be dealt with by a certain time. I have been watching every communication method since I arrived. They have offered refunds that will be processed in 24hrs, despite the fact that she has told them that she does not have money in her account to pay for the room at the moment.
Now their system shows that we have no rooms available. This is because we allocate a certain number of rooms to the different third parties to sell so that we do not get overbooked. However I have spoken to them and told them that we do have rooms. Since they did have rooms available when she booked, one of those rooms is already hers. All we need from them is a way to receive our payment. They refuse to give it, and without a guarantee I am unable to give her a room. They claim that they have e-mailed it, but I have not received it.
This poor woman did everything right, and still, because of hotels.com she is looking at the possibility of not having a room tonight.