USA Today reported yesterday in "22 online shopping sites supoenaed" article that 22 online shopping sites have been issued subpoenas by investigators. These online businesses were suspected of "linking unsuspecting consumers to membership programs that charge fees under the guise of discount offers." "Consumers who shop at the sites are often offered a discount or cash back as they complete the purchases. Clicking that option transfers the shoppers to fee-based membership programs." The practice "isn't illegal" per se, but it is "deceptive." Among them there are the travel sites: orbitz, priceline, travelocity, hotwires, expedia/hotel.com.
How true it is. While you navigate the web, travel sites and hotel booking sites promise to offer you this, and that, and the best deal out there, only to find out you got more than you signed-up for. So, do they really deliver? Do you really know what you are getting? How do you know it is a good deal? Are they trustworthy? Are these sites honest? Are they there when you show up at the hotel? Will they be there for you five years later when you want to return to the same place? Will they know who you are?
Today we are perfectly ok with trusting what the internet tells us! And everyone has an opinion and a say about everything. And if you buy enough advertising you can sell anything. But what happens when you don't get what you pay for? When you don't get what you were promised from these sites, good luck trying to get in touch with someone to fix it. Bed and breakfasts are different than hotels. They offer a more personal service and undivided attention. And the innkeepers will actually remember who you are five, ten, years later. You won't likely hear a guest say "I booked my vacation stay at a bed and breakfast through a booking engine." It sounds so impersonal, so commercial. They likely called the B&B directly, and someone is there waiting for them. It's like going over to someone's house...
So our suggestion is, take it easy, go back in time, call - the old fashion way, book your place to stay for a vacation, but book it with someone who will be there to answer all your questions, who knows the area and wants you to experience it, who might give a care whether you will have a good time or not who can tell you where you can find a good restaurant.
And that's just a suggestion.