Get your money back: Third-party booking sites slow to refund money for hotels that were closed during the storm

HOUSTON – As families with no electricity tried to stay warm last week, some of them checked into hotels with heat. Others, though, paid for rooms they didn’t get. Now they’re calling consumer expert Amy Davis for help to get that much-needed money back.

Third-party booking sites like Travelocity, Expedia and Priceline let people reserve and pay for rooms online, but when people showed up at hotels last week, they found them closed with no power.

Getting the money back has been a challenge.

“We were already in a blackout. We had no lights,” explained Angela Worthington, who lives on Galveston Island. “And I have an 8-year-old at home and a pregnant daughter so we decided to just go ahead and look at hotel options.”

Online, they found a room through Agoda, a booking site owned by Priceline.

They paid $65.37 for one night at a Country Inn and Suites on the island. They immediately drove to the hotel to check in, but found it closed. A manager at the hotel tells KPRC 2 they were closed because they had no electricity for three nights.

Worthington’s reservation, along with dozens of others were canceled. The manager said they never received any money from Agoda for Worthington’s reservation. Any refunds will have to come from Agoda or Priceline. Worthington tried to cancel her reservation and request a refund online, but she says her refund was denied. She then filed a dispute with her card company, but since she used her debit card, the funds are not available to her now.

“Bills still have to be paid and that $65 is now out of my mouth,” said Worthington.

About the Author: