Wednesday, June 03, 2009


I just used Priceline to book a hotel in the Boston area for Bryce and I to spend the night for our anniversary (the night before Kyle's wedding). I did some checking around online and was able to get our hotel for a bid of $58. Pretty good right? Well, taxes and fees bring it up to $73, but still okay. And the hotel is an hour's worth of public transportation rides away from anything we wanted to see in Boston. But cheap so worth it right? Then I checked out the hotel website and *SURPRISE* the price to self-park for 1 night is an additional $35. So $58 = $108. We could have stayed at the hotel where Kyle is having his wedding luncheon the next day for $1 less.

Oh, and don't try calling Priceline's customer service. The woman refused to transfer me to a supervisor and said she "wasn't allowed to tell me her supervisor's name or phone number." This went on for half an hour. I'm okay with paying incidental fees and even a reasonable parking fee...but 60% of the cost of the room is not a reasonable parking fee in my book. Priceline, however, absolutely does not care. But it was nice of them to follow up by sending me an e-mail assuring me that customer satisfaction is Priceline's #1 concern. Yup.

Oh and don't bother calling the hotel either - here is my conversation there:
Me: Hi, I just made a reservation at your hotel through priceline. I was happy with the price I paid until I discovered the $35 parking fee.
Her: We don't even own the garage. MIT owns the garage. And that is the rate. And we have to pay it too.
Me: Ok, I understand that...but can you tell me if there is any public parking or other parking garages nearby.
Her: There is nowhere else to park. The only other garage is at Harvard and it is a mile and a half away and it costs more.
Me: There aren't any public garages anywhere nearby? I got the room for $58...
Her: You paid $58! You ain't kidding?!
Me: Um yeah, so are there...
Her: The employees have to pay $139!
Me: Well I guess you should use priceline.
Her: You ain't kidding! I have to go.

And she hung up. Thank you for that helpful information. Seriously, I am not okay with $35 surprise fees on a $58 purchase. Name Your Own Price = Sign Your Own Death Warrant


Abbie said...

Erin- What hotel are you staying at? If it's in Cambridge, we have some free street parking on campus (MIT's) and I can tell you where it is. :) Just shoot me an e-mail: (this is Abbie Swenson, your former neighbor, btw).

M.M.M. said...

1. Glad to see your lawyer negotiating skills are being successfully used.
2. Priceline "ssssssssssuuuuccccc************"
(I can't say that word anymore. Don told me it is a bad word. Although, Chelsey thinks it is a fine word. And I think it adequately describes the situation.)

Another favorite conversation line from our trip back east, remember the McDonalds girl..."Wha he say???"
Classic. We are so good to deal with all the idiots out there.

Aubri said...

OH yes...I learned this lesson while booking conference rooms when I was a meeting planner. They can really get you with the parking prices. There are some places in New York and San Fran that charge $60 per day flat fee for parking...what? RUDE! That's one of the first things I check before I book any hotel rooms now! But, I agree...Priceline should tell you those kinds of things for sure. Hope you have fun anyway!