Technology

Online booking site cancels thousands of trips without refunding travellers

Online booking site HotelQuickly (HQ) has abruptly cancelled thousands of reservations without providing refunds except in the form of credit vouchers.

The website, which was a booking option of TripAdvisor and Trivago, informed thousands of customers via email that their trips had been cancelled and posted a statement to their Facebook page claiming there was an issue with their “main hotel supplier”.

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The booking site apologised for the inconvenience to customers but said they were only able to provide refunds in the form of a credit voucher.

“We fully understand how disappointing this situation is and we are working very hard to come up with a manageable solution,” HotelQuickly said on Facebook.

“However, at the moment and until a solution is in place, we can only offer you a refund in the form of a credit voucher for the value of your original booking that you can use for a future reservation.”

The post also advises customers to contact their support team at support@hotelquickly.com if they have been affected.

According to Skift, the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, where the company is based, said their agent licence expired on November 12.

But CEO of HQ’s parent company Jérôme Clé has stuck to the “main supplier” line.

“This had nothing to do with the financial situation of the company,” Clé told Skift.

“But while multiplying the revenue by 5 times this year, compared to last year. The company did suffer huge losses since the beginning of this year with one of their main supplier, and it took them 8 months to get to the table and negotiate the losses and the damages.

“HQ spent an enormous amount of money and energy to build its brand but couldn’t work anymore with this supplier until all issues were dealt with.”

Clé said the supplier abruptly put pressure on HotelQuickly to terminate their relationship during negotiations.

TripAdvisor has since taken HotelQuickly off its site.

“TripAdvisor works hard to ensure all suppliers displayed on our price comparison tool comply with our policies,” a spokesperson told News.com.

“Whenever we become aware that an accommodation supplier or online travel agent is no longer able to honour bookings or offer adequate customer support, we are prepared to take swift action to remove their prices from our site.

“In this case, we became aware of customer issues affecting HotelQuickly in the first week of December and took immediate action to suspend the company from our platform.”

TripAdvisor also informed affected customers to do the following:

“Locate your confirmation email and HotelQuickly booking reference number.

“If a payment was already processed on your booking, please contact your Credit Card provider to dispute the charge from HotelQuickly letting the credit card company know you believe the booking has not or will not be fulfilled.

“If a payment has not yet been charged to your account, please contact your Bank or Credit Card provider to ensure any future payment is blocked.

“Check your travel insurance documentation to see if you may be eligible for compensation.

“Look for alternative accommodation as soon as possible.”

Travel Weekly has reached out to HQ for comment but is yet to receive a reply.

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