If you book a room with one bed, you should expect a room with one bed

Moinuddin Sayed booked a room on Priceline with one bed, which is exactly what the Sheraton Rockville gave him.

“I asked about changing to a room with two double beds, and was told it would cost $20 extra per night,” he says.

Sayed doesn’t want to pay the extra $20 and thinks we should help him get the fee waived. And you can probably guess our answer. But in this story, there’s an important truth about getting what you pay for: It cuts both ways.

Sayed’s circumstances are a little complicated. When he called Sheraton the second time, it told him his room did have two double beds.

“I asked about my room charges and was told my total amount would be what I had paid through Priceline,” he says. “After this call, I understood that the two double beds was a free upgrade.”

It wasn’t.

“At checkout, I was charged $60 extra for the double beds. I complained, but was told I had been informed about the charge. I had a flight to catch, so I had to leave,” he says.

So, to recap: First call, extra charge; second call, no extra charge; at check out — surprise! — an extra $60 on the bill.

“After returning home, I called the hotel and corporate customer care several times, but to no avail,” he says. “I don’t care as much about the $60 as I do the hotel being dishonest. Would you recommend that I initiate a chargeback on my credit card for the $60?”

When you book a hotel through Priceline, you’re paying a lower rate for the room. The reduced price often has restrictions disallowing changes and cancellations. That can include changes to the type of room booked. Priceline’s terms disclose that cheaper hotel rates “carry special restrictions and conditions, for example regarding cancellation and refund. Please check the room and rate details thoroughly for any such conditions prior to making your reservation.”

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Although Sayed sent an email to Priceline’s customer care, he also could have tried to contact Priceline’s corporate executives for help. We list executive contact information for companies on our website company contacts page.

At the suggestion of our advocates, Sayed posted his question to our help forums.

Our forums are staffed by travel industry experts, and often read by company executives. Our forum advocates felt that he booked a restricted rate for the room and the hotel disclosed and rightfully charged the upgraded room cost. The forum advocates also felt that a credit card chargeback would be false because Sayed confirmed that he used both beds during his stay.

Although there appeared to be a misunderstanding about the upgrade rate, our advocates didn’t feel that this was a case that could be advocated.

Should Sheraton have honored its promise to not charge Sayed?

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Diane Perera

Diane and her family love to travel, and they do so as much as they can. Having experienced the downside of travel, and having learned so much from Elliott.org, led Diane to become an advocate and to help fight the good fight. Read more of Diane's articles here.

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