Rick Hudnett recently pulled into a Chevron station near his home in Orlando. He wishes he hadn’t.
Groupon is a bargain website that promises daily deals and “unbelievable” customer service. But Stuart Lord says he got neither when he bought a VIP wine package in California’s Sonoma Valley — a deal he later discovered was significantly overpriced.
Here are the specifics: The offer was for two people for two nights at the Sonoma Valley Inn and two “VIP” wine tastings. Total price: $169.
“The advertisement said it was worth $320 — a 47 percent discount,” he remembers.
Only, it wasn’t.
“Maybe this Groupon deal wasn’t a deal after all”
A few days before Eric Kimmel flew from Montreal to San Francisco for a recent conference, he checked to see if he could find a better deal on a hotel.
“BackBid promises a better hotel deal, but at what price?”
Everything you’ve heard about Dead Week may be dead wrong.
Dead Week, for those of you who aren’t dyed-in-the-wool bargain hunters, takes place the first week of every year. After the New Year’s holiday, travel falls off the map, figuratively speaking, as occupancy rates and prices plunge to their lowest levels in months.
So why ignore the conventional wisdom and stay home during the first week of the year?
“Post-holiday travel bargains abound, but are they worth it?”
Clem Bason is the president of Hotwire.com, the discount travel Web site. I asked him about the outlook for bargains in the second half of the summer, and to address some of the consumer complaints about so-called “opaque” travel sites.
Q: Can you give me an idea of the kinds of rates you’ve seen, compared with summers past?
Bason: It’s truly an amazing time to travel if you’re a bargain-hunter. Hotel occupancy rates have plummeted along with the economy – more than 55 percent of the hotel rooms across the US were empty on any given night in July. And this translates into deep discounts for consumers. Opaque rates in New York City have dropped 32 percent. San Diego is down by 29 percent and Orlando is off by 22 percent compared to last summer, just to name a few.
“Hotwire’s Bason: “I don’t expect these prices to last””