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Don't give credit card details if you just want info.

Travel Forums Asia Don't give credit card details if you just want info.

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1. Posted by Ingrid Eva (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

Ingrid Eva has indicated that this thread is about Japan

Pay for goods and services received? No problem.
Pay for goods and services not received? No way.

A caution to travellers to Japan.

Be very wary about furnishing your credit card details when all you want is information about availability of accommodation. You may find you have authorised a payment for accommodation that you don’t want.

I recently went to the JapanHotel.Net site in my search for a hotel in Kyoto. I wanted to check availability in Kyoto Ryokan Kinoe, but found there was no way to do so on this site. When you click on the ‘ask a question’ button, you read:

‘Please do not request availability information. We cannot give this information as it becomes outdated very quickly and the situation is often different when the guest tries to make a reservation.’

So my only option if I wanted to find out about availability of rooms in Kinoe was to supply my credit card details and click on the ‘reserve’ button.

Since I was shopping around at the time, I found and booked with another hotel that was cheaper and more convenient, not realising that my enquiry with JapanHotel.Net had resulted in a confirmed booking.

I returned home from my trip to Japan to discover that the hotel was classing me as a ‘no-show’ and applying the full penalty – 100% of the accommodation charge for two nights, a whopping £350 of pure profit, in return for no services whatsoever.

I learned the hard way not to give out credit card details in advance of finding the right information. So, if you’re looking for accommodation in Japan, be very careful not to let this happen to you.

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2. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 8y

Quoting Ingrid Eva

So my only option if I wanted to find out about availability of rooms in Kinoe was to supply my credit card details and click on the ‘reserve’ button.

Since I was shopping around at the time, I found and booked with another hotel that was cheaper and more convenient, not realising that my enquiry with JapanHotel.Net had resulted in a confirmed booking.

By the sound of it you did make a reservation (hence the "Reserve Button"), so it's not really a surprise that you were considered a no-show. Perhaps you should have been a little less "click happy" with card details until you had done that further shopping around.

3. Posted by Ingrid Eva (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

Obviously, but don't rub it in. I feel bad enough already. I'm just hoping to stop someone else from making the same mistake. And don't forget that on that website, supplying the credit card details is the only way to find out if a particular hotel has available accommodation.

4. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 8y

You may have considered cancelling the reservation once you had made the 2nd reservation. This page on the website you mention has the cancellation fees (you probably went through this page when making the original booking).

5. Posted by Ingrid Eva (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

I not only considered it, I fully believed I'd done it. I was preoccupied at the time, having too much to do, and then, shortly before going to Japan, learning that my son has epilepsy.

You are proving just as unforgiving of what was a genuine oversight as the agency! Don't you ever make mistakes?

Here's an example of a helpful modus operandi. In Tokyo I made a booking at a hostel, without having to supply any credit card details. The hostel asks the client to reconfirm the booking a week before the date of arrival. If I'd forgotten to reconfirm, I might have lost my reservation but I wouldn't have lost any money.

So, since I'm naming names, I'd like to recommend Sakura Hostel, Asakusa, Tokyo.

6. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 8y

Quoting Ingrid Eva

You are proving just as unforgiving of what was a genuine oversight as the agency! Don't you ever make mistakes?

Yes, of course I make mistakes. However the following thing you said in your first post is untrue:

Quoting Ingrid Eva

So my only option if I wanted to find out about availability of rooms in Kinoe was to supply my credit card details and click on the ‘reserve’ button.

It was not your only option - you made the choice to go through with that option, and then afterwards made the choice to follow a different option.

It's not about being unforgiving, as the agreement wasn't made between people. It was made between yourself and a company, a contract was made and agreed to.

You also said:

Quoting Ingrid Eva

Since I was shopping around at the time, I found and booked with another hotel that was cheaper and more convenient, not realising that my enquiry with JapanHotel.Net had resulted in a confirmed booking.

However, after going through that website and looking at the booking process there is no way I can see that you could not tell that it is a booking that you're making. You even have to select a box saying you have read the Terms including Cancellation Fees - which includes the section about you being contacted by them confirming the booking.

Ok, you may have made a genuine mistake however it comes across as you're placing the blame of this mistake onto JapanHotel.net - this I feel is misplaced.

7. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3720 posts) 8y

this sounds suspiciously like a rival of JapanHotel.Net posting to try and badmouth them - 1st time poster, no profile details..... all seems a bit familiar.

8. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 8y

Quoting bex76

this sounds suspiciously like a rival of JapanHotel.Net posting to try and badmouth them - 1st time poster, no profile details..... all seems a bit familiar.

That is what I was thinking too..

9. Posted by Ingrid Eva (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

Now I have forum members ganging up on me. This is not pleasant. No way am I a rival of JapanHotel.Net. I am an ordinary traveller who got caught out by being a bit careless and overhasty. As I said, I was making a lot of enquiries in different places at the same time, and I believed that I had declined this particular reservation when I decided to accept something cheaper.

The fact remains that this is the only accommodation website I have ever seen where you cannot check availability of rooms in advance. JHN's reasons for preventing this seems just spurious to me.

I am already paying through the nose for my mistake, and I repeat that my reasons for posting this item are to prevent anyone else from suffering the same bad luck - by avoiding entering into a contract with an organisation that asks for your credit card details before it gives you information.

I have already mentioned another site and hostel where a traveller is protected from falling into the same trap. There are thousands of others that provide that same protection. Why not JapanHotel.Net?

What profile details do you want about me? Travelled in over 30 countries, nearly always responsible for making all travel arrangements for whoever I'm travelling with (in this case one of my sons, in order to meet my daughter in Japan), usually extremely well organised (only as I have also said, I learnt that my older son, aged 34, was diagnosed with epilepsy shortly before my Japan trip - he insisted that we go nonetheless). College lecturer and author.

May I respectfully suggest to other forum members that you cease reminding me of what I did wrong and if you have nothing pleasant or even mildly empathetic to say, to say no more. Thank you.

10. Posted by Harry458 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

I have read through this debate with interest and would like to add my views as a travel agent.

I visited the website and looked at it from a travel agents point of view. You may all say that there was an oversight on Ingrid's part but there is no doubt one major mistake there. You CANNOT ask for availability on this website. In the service industry it is our duty to help our clients. It is an unwritten law that "Client comes first". So although, most members may be right in their views they should not forget that the debate is not about undermining a website or a hotel. It is about a major flaw in the service to the client, that is YOU. i.e. you cannot check availability.

This is the first website that I have seen (and you all will agree) that does not have "Check availability" button. Kindly see more recognised hotel websites before you make further comments.

The Warning is to be aware of such websites, which do not offer this service and just want to book a hotel.
I write without any intention to offend anyone but put the matter right.
thanks for reading
Harry

[ Edit: just removing link... ]