I thought the new breed of startups were honest….

…..and most of them surely are, but I just had an experience of total dishonesty and miselling by Hotel Tonight.
It’s my anniversary and I’m taking my wife out on the town and the only way not to be woken before 7am for us means sleeping somewhere far far away from our 3 children.  A treat in a hotel – never done it before in London and excited to do so.
My friends at TripTease suggested HotelTonight as a place to get good deals.  TripTease exists to drive direct bookings to hotels but they did admit that HotelTonight does get some good last minute deals.
The app looked great – loads of great deals on really smart hotels.  My choice – a £600 room at the Ham Yard Hotel for £360.  A big treat, but hey, 6 years of marriage and 3 kids – my wife deserves it.  So I booked.  And then I got in touch with HotelTonight using their efficient messaging service to double check we had a king size bed.  I was told that I didn’t but the next room category up did and that would cost £60.  A £600 room without a king size bed. What??  I called the hotel and they told me I was in a standard room which the website tells me is worth £420.  So my discount of £240 was actually a discount of £60.  Take a look at the screen shot below.  Pretty clear, right?  Well, the hotel told me that they never tell HotelTonight about which room category is going to be available and selected for the customer (and I believe them – I spoke to their revenue manager in the end and she manages the relationship with HotelTonight).  So, HotelTonight lied to me, knowing that like almost everyone, I like a good deal.
The revenue manager offered me a complementary upgrade to the next category of room to get my king size bed which was great, but I am very disappointed in HotelTonight.  How can you justify such blatant mis-selling?
Am I going to do anything about it?  Well, yes.  In a small way.  I’m writing this blog which reaches a few thousand people.  I’ve Tweeted – that’s another few thousand.  I left a 1* review on the app store and I’ve reached out to the UK GM to whom i’m connected via LinkedIn.
Shame on you HotelTonight for misleading me on my anniversary night!

Adrian Lloyd
Half Swiss. China obsession at Oxford. Tech obsession at Stanford GSB. Strategy consulting to Venture Capital. Tennis, skiing, Cresta riding. 4 young children, a boxer. Fabulous artist wife, Print-maker.



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