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Has anyone booked in Agoda.com?

  • rlpangahas

    Joined Travelfish
    8th November, 2012
    Posts: 7

    I really need to know if they are reliable. I am planning to book most of the hotels we'll be staying via agoda.com. I just don't know if it's really reliable or not. :-/

    #1 Posted: 25/11/2012 - 10:50

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  • laurentiu

    Joined Travelfish
    12th December, 2011
    Posts: 14

    I booked quite a few hotels with Agoda and never had any problems but I did not need to contact their support yet. I think they cover a lot more hotels in Asia than other web sites.

    #2 Posted: 25/11/2012 - 11:34

  • busylizzy

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    Yep, I've also used them several times over the years - for accom in SE Asia, and in the US. No problems.

    #3 Posted: 25/11/2012 - 13:02

  • somtam2000

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    I use it regularly, though not all the time. Haven't had any problems myself, but do know one of the other Travelfish writers booked a hotel somewhere in Sumatra and when she showed up the hotel had been demolished!

    I wrote a post about booking with Agoda here, detailing possible savings etc -- may be of interest.

    #4 Posted: 25/11/2012 - 19:48

  • DLuek

    TF writer
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    I've used them many, many times in Thailand and never had a problem. The only instance I've heard of problems was when someone booked a guesthouse 20 minutes in advance. When they got there, the owner hadn't yet received the email and had already given the last room to a walk-in. But if booking in advance it should be no worries.

    #5 Posted: 25/11/2012 - 21:50

  • tyler

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    Yup, have used them many times - in Asia and in Canada. Going on about 5 years now. Have never had an issue myself. I tend to book the rooms a few days in advance to avoid any last minute problems.

    #6 Posted: 25/11/2012 - 22:19

  • rlpangahas

    Joined Travelfish
    8th November, 2012
    Posts: 7

    Thank you guys/girls. I really appreciate your replies. I was worrying if I'm gonna book a hotel via agoda because of that site reviews. Now I'm less worried about that. They have such great deals and cheaper than booking.com but they have $42-48 service fee as I remembered with my booking attempt. Lol. Thanks much to all! :)

    #7 Posted: 27/11/2012 - 03:10

  • Twerto

    Joined Travelfish
    20th November, 2011
    Posts: 37

    I used Agoda App for my phone while I travelled around Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.. Generally booking a day before moving onto the next place and never had a problem. I also quite often extended my stay at a few hotels through Agoda as it was still cheaper than what the hotel offered,
    I recommend cross referencing the hotels with trip advisor just to make sure you get a good idea of what the hotel is like. But I cant fault any of the hotels i stayed in either.
    There customer service the once i used it was reasonable.. in short i ended up having to deal with the hotel direct but all money was repaid instantly.

    #8 Posted: 27/11/2012 - 09:21

  • Xircal

    Joined Travelfish
    24th December, 2012
    Posts: 95

    Be aware that Agoda quotes prices ex-taxes and service fees. When you add those to the cost of the room, there's little difference between them and http://wwwbooking.com for example. The latter company quotes the room price including all service charges and tax which is a fairer way of doing business IMHO.

    Also, these seemingly vast discounts are a sham. Agoda especially seems to invent ridiculous sums which they then 'discount' to appear as if you're getting a bargain when in fact, booking with the hotel's own site is often a lot cheaper. That at least has been my experience with them.

    Booking.com only books the room for you. They don't charge your credit card like Agoda does at the time you book. That may have advantages and disadvantages since the exchange rate may go up or down in the meantime.

    It's also worth checking this hotel booking comparison site as well to see if there are any cheaper options available: http://www.hotelscombined.com/

    #9 Posted: 3/1/2013 - 02:55

  • floriancornu

    Joined Travelfish
    10th January, 2013
    Location Singapore
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    I booked with Agoda several times and had no problem at all. They are part of Priceline, a $30bn listed company, not a small site that will close tomorrow :)

    #10 Posted: 10/1/2013 - 07:27

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  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 955
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    No problems for me. Agoda and Booking.com are part of the Priceline empire. The difference is that with Agoda, you pay upfront. I used both within the past few months. I like the fact that Agoda is based in Bangkok. Just make sure you print the voucher and bring it to the hotel you booked.

    #11 Posted: 10/1/2013 - 12:47

  • RakiMan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th January, 2013
    Location Australia
    Posts: 7

    There are the same crowd as who run Booking.Com

    #12 Posted: 10/1/2013 - 14:24

  • Ulises

    Joined Travelfish
    11th September, 2014
    Posts: 1

    Watch out with this company because we made a reservation in a hotel in Paris and less than two hours after being confirmed,they sent us an email saying that our reservation was cancelled by them without any explanation and that they will not refund us our money. So, we were in a situation where we did not have a reservation in Paris anymore and they had taken our money anyway.
    I contacted the concerned Hotel and for my nasty surprise they told me that AGODA sent an email to them saying that our credit card was fraudulent. I called my bank in Luxembourg to check whether they had already charged the payment and to my surprise again it was the case, they had indeed charged the full payment to my credit card.When I called them to England to check what was going on, they said that they had not charged anything and after that leaving me waiting for more than 15 minutes (paying an international call) nobody attended me anymore.
    Afterwards,they sent me an apology by email but still saying that I will not be refunded if we do not show up at the hotel, but at the same time saying that I should make a new reservation.
    To make this story short: they accepted a reservation for us. They called the hotel to ask them not to charge them for this reservation. They told the hotel that we are fraudulent. “Please do not allow the guest-in using the issued hotel voucherand proceed to charge the guest directly should they wish to stay at your hotel".
    I told them that I will take legal actions and I am taking contact with my lawyer in Luxembourg.
    They keep saying that they had already refunded us and according to what my bank says they have not refunded us yet.
    We lost a fantastic day at the beach in Spain, they spoiled our lunch with friends we were visiting in San Sebastian just for a few hours to make calls to France, to England and to Luxembourg, at our expenses.

    #13 Posted: 11/9/2014 - 12:06

  • aleeza

    Joined Travelfish
    11th September, 2014
    Posts: 6

    They are quite reliable as they offer every facility and comfort to their customers with best price as compare to others.

    #14 Posted: 11/9/2014 - 12:35

  • exacto

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    we had a mixed experience with them on our last trip to indonesia. we booked through them twice. the first reservation came off with no problems at all. for he second one, the guest house did not have the two rooms we'd booked in advance and complained to me that this was a chronic problem with agoda booking more rooms than he had available. this was a really small guest house, however, with only 5 or 6 rooms total.

    i'd say that when booking at larger, busier places, agoda would be fine. i'm not sure i'd use them again for smaller or out-of-the-way spots. also, agoda was good about refunding my deposit when we couldn't stay at the second place. cheers.

    #15 Posted: 11/9/2014 - 12:39

  • busylizzy

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    Exacto - it's my understanding that it's up to the hotels to manage the number of rooms that they have available. Agoda will (should) reduce the number of rooms on a particular date as a booking thrugh their site is made. But a hotel/guesthouse can also sell rooms through their own website, other booking sites or via email. In this case it's up to the hotel to manage the number of bookings that they have available - ie to remove one from it's available room count if they sell a room outside the Agoda system. I've been observing this first hand, and have seen several cases of overbooking as a result of the hotel not keeping on top of it.

    I've used Agoda many times over the years, and can't think of a single problem. Likewise, I have used their partner company, booking.com while in Europe/Turkey/Greece over the 6 months without incident. I prefer Agoda over booking.com as they give out reward points and I score a free room occasionally. But booking.com provides better searching. So.. I search on booking.com, then check out Agoda for a particular hotel to see if it's listed (for the points).

    I have also learned that you should check the rooms and hotel facilities on the booking sites - then contact the hotel directly via their own website (if available) or email. Many hotels will reduce their rate if they are not paying commission to the booking sites, especially for single travellers. For example, you can single travellers have one less breakfast to be paid for. Or you can even ask for the rate without breakfast and save a bit. Not all hotels will offer lower rates, but some will. It's worth trying. And it means you're not handing out your credit card details just in case something isn't quite what you expected.

    #16 Posted: 11/9/2014 - 13:31

  • exacto

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    Merhaba lizzy! Nasil sin arkadasim?

    That makes perfectly good sense. In this case, the guest house owner told us that he'd only committed one of his rooms to be booked through Agoda at any one time, and didn't understand why Agoda told us two rooms were available. But as you say, this could just as easily been the guest house not staying on top of it. Plus, as I said, Agoda was quite gracious about the refund.

    This bummer of it is this was the time when we arrived so late on Lombok and because of that really needed two rooms booked ahead of time. We wound up staying at this funky, really out-of-the-way place in Mataram called Werhdi Guesthouse. The owners were lovely, and we had a quiet, wonderful night there before heading off to Mascot at Senggigi for the next few nights.

    The overbooked guesthouse didn't have its own website, which is why I suggested above that Agoda might be better for larger places over the small mom&pop stops.

    Good veteran road warrior tips on maxing out the value for online reservations. Cok sagolun. Gorusmek uzere. Kolay gelsin.

    #17 Posted: 11/9/2014 - 16:18

  • karibou

    Joined Travelfish
    14th February, 2013
    Posts: 62

    Agoda has worked fine for me, but with small guesthouses I prefer to email the innkeeper directly. This person usually has the authority to guarantee special requests like rooms with a particular view, or better wifi access, or specially lowered rates. Also in conversing with the innkeeper you can sometimes establish a personal connection before you arrive.

    #18 Posted: 12/9/2014 - 01:02

  • travellings-
    arah

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    I agree. I also tend to check out the price on agoda and then on the guesthouse/hotel website - agoda is not always cheaper once the tax has been added - and then book direct if it's the same price so the guesthouse doesn't have to pay commission. But I've never had any problems with agoda and it's an invaluable research source.

    #19 Posted: 12/9/2014 - 02:29

  • savorygal

    Joined Travelfish
    16th July, 2010
    Posts: 135

    ugh, I hate Agoda. ( I am commenting as a business owner & not a traveler) They would often over book my hotel ( small guest house with 6 rooms) They would automatically make another room available after one had booked out, which they thought was a favor to me, despite my protests to the contrary. This would be fine for hotels with 50 + rooms but not so fun for a small hotel owner. I had repeated double bookings and finally had to stop using them. They also artificially inflate the prices so you think you are getting a bargain, but if you look at the hotel website the rate is often way way less.
    As a traveler I would say that if you are staying in large resort type places you may get a deal simply because of volume, but if you want to stay at a more intimate place you are better off booking with the hotel/guest house directly.

    Also, as karibou said if you book directly with the innkeeper you can get a more personal feel, like assistance with transport, special requests, etc. Agoda does not allow the hotel to have any guest contact info, so, for example, I had no way to contact guests to inform them of severe weather, transport issues, etc.

    #20 Posted: 12/9/2014 - 03:19

  • busylizzy

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    Gunaydin exacto! Your Turkish is obviously much better than mine,but I got the gist of it without even having to resort to Google Translate, so I must be learning something. I'm doing an online when I get a moment, plus I do an hour or so of English/Turkish language lesson exchange with some of the guys at the hotel.

    Sonra gorusuruz!

    #21 Posted: 12/9/2014 - 03:26

  • somtam2000

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    That's interesting savorygal - in the past I've quizzed both Agoda and hotel managers I know about the rack rates that are displayed. I've always been told they're the responsibility of the property -- ie Agoda isn't permitted contractually to increase them. So I wonder, given your experience, if they have a different contract agreement with larger hotels compared to small businesses like your own.

    I find the practise annoying and have complained to Agoda a number of times about it, as given nobody pays the rack rate it's not a real discount, and I'm always told it comes from the property.

    I know they ask for a bigger commission than say HostelWorld etc - that's more often what I hear hoteliers complaining about!

    Cheers

    #22 Posted: 12/9/2014 - 08:14

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    i thought savorygal's comment was interesting too, because it tracked almost exactly with what the small guesthouse owner from Senggigi told me when he didn't have rooms for us as planned. excellent advise from the others on speaking directly with the small guesthouses for all the reasons they suggest. in this case, however, i could not find a contact for the small guesthouse - email or otherwise, until after i made the reservation through Agoda. even then, it was only a phone number. that's why i booked through Agoda in the first place.

    i think i'll stay with my original plan, which is to use sites like Agoda to book at the larger properties, but to contact smaller places directly, since based on my own experience and savorygal's comments, it doesn't seem like the Agoda business model meshes well with smaller properties. regards.

    #23 Posted: 12/9/2014 - 09:53

  • SBE

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    Agoda does not allow the hotel to have any guest contact info, so, for example, I had no way to contact guests to inform them of severe weather, transport issues, etc.

    And the booking companies do not allow the guests to have any hotel contact info either! I'd love to be able to book small hotels and guesthouses directly because it's usually cheaper than going through Agoda, Booking.com etc but if they want guests to book directly through them they have to provide people with some means of doing it! You might find a Facebook page after wading through about 10 pages of hotel booking sites, but usually the only contact info on it is a local phone number. It's amazing how many Indonesians have a Facebook account but no email account. GHs don't seem to realize that a) not everyone is on FB and b)when you're on the other side of the world it's much easier to send an email than call.

    #24 Posted: 12/9/2014 - 18:12

  • somtam2000

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    @SBE - Yeah I agree.

    There is a villa development that was recently built next door to us. Has about a dozen villas around $100 per night (I think).

    So recently when an all night party kept going through till dawn, cranky old dude that I am I went to Google them to give them some crap.

    They have no website. No telephone number. Just the name out front of the villa complex.

    BUT they are on every OTA (so Agoda, Booking, Wego etc etc). So there was actually no way to contact them personally, and I can't imagine Agoda would have been overly concerned! I thought I found them on Facebook so whined there, but that turned out to be the developer's Facebook page, who proceeded to call me an idiot.

    Essentially management has outsourced all bookings to the online mob and it's just not possible to book with them direct.

    I don't think this is an isolated case either.

    #25 Posted: 12/9/2014 - 19:40

  • DLuek

    TF writer
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    Interesting discussion here. I've found that the online strength of the big booking sites (as well as tripadvisor) has increased almost to a frightening level. When writing reviews I usually google a given property's name to see what their online presence is like while cross-checking the info I received on the ground. There have been times when a guesthouse's website (i.e. nongsguesthouse.com) is buried below all of the booking sites' pages in the search results, not to mention the guesthouse's facebook and tripadvisor pages (and often multiple pages from one or more of these giant sites).

    As a reviewer, I've increasingly found that certain hotels are confused or even suspicious when I walk in to check out rooms the old fashioned way. I've been told countless times that "you can just look at the website" or "just book online." Clearly some of these places rely almost entirely on the booking sites for their business, to the point that they're shocked someone would actually show up and book a room in person. I was practically accosted the other day by a very rude security guard at Chakrabongse Villas in Bangkok when I stopped by in person. He wouldn't even let me on the grounds at first, saying "No! You have to booking!" I got in after a bit of an argument and the first thing the receptionist said was, "You can see our rooms online." (In the end I was able to see a room but it wasn't so easy to persuade them).

    Now I'm gonna go on a bit of a rant here about google and hotels. I've often found that when I search for some regular address or small guesthouse in Bangkok on googlemaps, it inexplicably directs me to some big hotel in a totally different part of the city that doesn't even have a related name to what I'm actually searching for. It's extremely frustrating; as if to say, "You don't want to go to that little-known place in Thonburi, try this expensive hotel on Sukhumvit instead." And of course there's a box to book the hotel that pops up right there on the map!

    All of this really makes you wonder... Agoda and booking.com are so prevalent in google search results that they're making it hard for small properties to compete without them, while at the same time forcing the small businesses to shell out big commissions and causing the headaches that savorygal refers to. Tripadvisor may not charge anything to be listed, but it's notoriously unresponsive when it comes to customer service, and a single fake bad review written by a competitor can have a hugely negative impact on a small business. As these sites rule the roost in google, small businesses are increasingly forced to live or die by them.

    So the trend with google is that the giant, impersonal booking sites (not to mention wikipedia and others) are perpetually favored over small sites run by small businesses (not to mention educational institutions, blogs and online travel guides written by real people who actually travel to the places they write about). Google is creating a situation in which the big, powerful companies win and the little people (the people whose opinions probably matter most to you) are pushed to the margins. When you consider how google itself now profits off travel bookings, and how dependent we all are on it for the information we need, I personally feel that a potentially dangerous situation is gradually unraveling. Who's to say that, 20 years from now, google doesn't start buying all kinds of businesses and simply using its search machine to lead consumers straight to them. I know their motto is "don't do evil", but human nature is greedy.

    And now I'll start on my sci-fi book about when Google rules the world with a virtual iron fist. ;)

    #26 Posted: 12/9/2014 - 22:14

  • kmgy

    Joined Travelfish
    26th November, 2014
    Posts: 1

    I had to cancel the booking and they agreed to do a full refund .. and it has been over 3 months and the refund hasnt been done yet. When I inquired them about it they kept saying they did the refund and did absolutely nothing to follow up and always send a copy and paste reply when I ask them to investigate or do the refund again. I have also checked my account and confirmed with my bank and there was no refund. They are nothing but a scam. You would never have to go through this horrible company for your nice holiday. CHOOSE OTHER COMPANY TO FIND A HOTEL!

    #27 Posted: 26/11/2014 - 01:18

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