Australian couple Rochelle Dryden and her husband Ben arrived on the luxurious resort that they had booked in South Africa, jet-lagged however “ecstatic” to be on their honeymoon, solely to find their reserving had been cancelled 18 hours earlier.
“I actually sat there crying at one stage as a result of I used to be so annoyed,” she stated.
Dryden had booked their December keep at Cape Grace Lodge by means of HotelQuickly, a reserving web site based mostly in Hong Kong that has since ceased working and has been topic to quite a few complaints from prospects in Australia and abroad.
In December, the NSW Division of Honest Buying and selling obtained 12 complaints concerning the firm.
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Dryden, from Sydney’s northern seashores, stated she triple checked with the Cape Grace Lodge earlier than their arrival to see if their reserving was alright, as one other resort she booked by means of HotelQuickly advised her their reserving had been cancelled.
“They stated ‘yep we have obtained your fee it was all effective and good to go’,” she stated, solely to find the reserving was cancelled by the reserving web site simply earlier than they arrived in Cape City.
Whereas the resort was in a position to match the couple in – at the next price – and her bank card firm gave her a reimbursement, Dryden stated it was not a pleasing state of affairs to cope with throughout her honeymoon.
“We ended up having a unbelievable time, it did not destroy [the honeymoon] for us, however I am so pissed off with HotelQuickly,” she stated.
“I do not suppose anybody else ought to need to undergo this expertise.”
Jeannie Webster, from Perthshire in Scotland, stated she usually books her occasional resort stays in London with bigger reserving firms, however for a deliberate January journey discovered HotelQuickly promoting a less expensive price. After receiving a affirmation electronic mail, she stated she thought no extra about it till they arrived on the Lancaster Gate Lodge.
“Think about our disappointment and disbelief after we arrived on the resort to be advised our reserving had been cancelled,” she stated.
The resort was in a position to accommodate them, for an additional £40 (NZ$76), and the “extraordinarily useful” receptionist knowledgeable her they weren’t the one ones who had been scammed by the corporate.
Webster, a retiree, stated her bank card firm had refunded her the unique quantity however have been nonetheless pursuing HotelQuickly.
“[They] have suggested me that they could not be capable of acquire the cash and will but need to take mine again,” she stated.
“It’s so troublesome to know the way we stand legally.”
Whereas the remainder of her and her husband Jim’s journey to London was “most pleasant”, Webster stated she wished she had additionally carried out extra analysis on HotelQuickly.
“I’ve suggested my pals to not contact them with a barge pole,” she stated.
Each Webster and Dryden each used HotelQuickly after they noticed offers marketed on TripAdvisor.
A TripAdvisor spokeswoman stated the web site took “swift motion” to droop HotelQuickly’s enterprise as soon as the corporate knew there have been issues.
“HotelQuickly is a web site that had been in operation since 2012 and was backed by credible financiers with expertise within the journey sector,” the spokeswoman stated in a press release.
“There may be an onboarding course of that each provider should adjust to with a view to show costs and availability on TripAdvisor.
“When HotelQuickly’s monetary and operational points got here to mild, we took swift motion to droop their enterprise from our web site.”
HotelQuickly’s shuttered web site states the corporate has ceased working.
“We deeply apologize for any inconvenience brought on throughout this unlucky interval,” the web site says, directing any affected prospects to contact them by way of their assist electronic mail.
Nevertheless, Webster stated she has obtained the identical commonplace response from HotelQuickly every time she has emailed, with “nothing constructive forthcoming”.
Dryden, who works in advertising and marketing, stated she and her husband weren’t first-time travellers and she or he had carried out loads of analysis earlier than the journey, which made the reserving cancellation all of the extra irritating.
“It is laborious, it doesn’t matter what typically you sadly get put in these positions the place you get stung, and thank god with my bank card and my financial institution they helped me get my a reimbursement,” she stated.
“My largest recommendation can be to be sure you analysis any of the third-party firms that are not well-known, to triple verify who you are reserving by means of, and in case you can ebook direct with the resort.”