Ontario Independent

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Residents of Ontario should be wary of third-party websites, as per experts

Third-party websites should be avoided, say experts in Ontario.

Key Takeaways:

  • As the pandemic’s effects fade, more people in Ontario are ready to plan a vacation that may include a hotel stay.
  • This summer, McGlinchey has reserved four nights at the Westin Hotel in Edmonton for four conventions.
  • People frequently use a third-party website, which may charge additional fees and have refund policies that differ from the hotel’s.

As the effects of the pandemic fade, more people in Ontario are ready to plan a vacation, which may include a hotel stay.

However, when booking online, experts advise caution to avoid accidentally using a third-party website, which might also charge higher fees and impose additional restrictions.

“I’m in such a bad mood. “It’s more about the principle than anything,” said Joyce McGlinchey, an Ottawa resident who recently used one of the third-party websites.

McGlinchey plans to attend a convention in Edmonton this summer and has booked four nights at the Westin Hotel.

McGlinchey stated she Googled the hotel as well as thought she was on the Westin’s website when she booked her stay, but she ended up on Reservations.com, a third-party website.

Also read: The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ontario has dropped to 684

She was charged $1,283 right away and told there were no refunds instead of paying the conference rate of $983 with the option to cancel within 48 hours of arrival.

“I called them right away and then said, please cancel this,” McGlinchey said. “They said it was not cancelable as well as non-refundable.”

McGlinchey is now concerned that she will lose her money if the conference is canceled.

Many people believe that if they type in the name of the hotel as well as the location they’re going to in a search engine such As google, the hotel’s website will come up first.

People frequently use a third-party website, which may charge additional fees and have different refund policies than the hotel.

“It may appear to be the website you were looking for, but double-check the URL link in the address bar to ensure you’re there,” Angela Dennis, president of the Better Business Bureau of Central Ontario, stated (BBB).

The Better Business Bureau receives many complaints about third-party websites, and the main issue is that individuals end up spending more than they intended.

“Consumers are paying extra charges for this when they would not have had to pay those additional fees if they had gone to the site they intended to go to,” Dennis said.

When booking a room, make a call to the hotel directly or double-check that you’re on the correct website and paying in Canadian dollars, as third-party websites may impose additional fees as well as restrictions if you need to cancel.

Reservations.com values excellent customer service as well as transparency, according to a spokesperson for CTV News Toronto. McGlinchey has been offered a refund, according to them.

Third-party websites should be avoided, say experts in Ontario.
Third-party websites should be avoided, say experts in Ontario. Image from CTV news

“Our top priority is providing excellent customer service, and we’re just as disappointed that Mr. and Mrs. McGlinchey’s experience was less than ideal. This is never acceptable. As a result, we understand their dissatisfaction. 

“According to the firm. “Please note that cancellation policies are determined by the hotels and rates booked by the customer and thus are displayed at various stages of the booking process. 

Our websites proudly display the Reservations.com logo and design, which bears no resemblance to any specific hotel or brand. Furthermore, we have no capability of inadvertently redirecting customers to our website.”

“However, we recognize that misunderstandings do occur from time to time, and our business model is to respond as well as resolve customer issues as quickly as possible.” That’s why, as shortly as we learned about it, we issued a full refund. 

In addition, as an opportunity to earn Mr. as well as Mrs. McGlinchey’s satisfaction and trust with Reservations.com, we would like to offer them a $500 voucher with their next hotel reservation with us.”

“[The company] was] sorry for what happened as well as understood why I wanted a refund,” McGlinchey said, adding, “and it was credited to my credit card this morning.”

Experts warn people to be cautious when looking for concert tickets, car rentals, or airline seats because they are also started to sell through third-party websites, which may charge higher prices and be more difficult to cancel if a refund is sought.

Source: CTV news

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