I had booked 3 nights/4 days stay (Check-in: 24th/Check-out: 27th) at Wind Flower Spa and Resort, Mysore through MakeMyTrip.com on December 15th 2010. I immediately got a confirmation email/booking voucher from them stating that my booking is confirmed and I need not re-confirm the booking by calling the hotel.
We (I, my wife and my son) left Mangalore at 7am and reached Mysore at around 2.30pm (around 300 Kms). As soon as we entered the resort, we were very impressed with it. My son was too ecstatic and I was happy for him. However, all this euphoria was short lived. When I presented the booking voucher to the receptionist, she told there was no booking in my name through Make My Trip.com. I just cannot describe how I felt at moment. I felt like an Idiot. My wife chided at me for not confirming the booking, for which I told that it’s clearly written on the booking voucher that I need not confirm the booking by calling the hotel. My son was just too happy playing around totally unaware of all this. I just couldn’t figure how to break this news to him that we will not be staying in that resort.
When I talked to the resort manager regarding what could be done, he told me that this is the 10th such case in this week. All my hopes went down the drain then. Being holiday season, the resort was running full and my only option was to call them back and request a refund. That’s OK, but then where to go now? Being a holiday season, chances of getting a room in a good resort/hotel was pretty bleak and if at all I would get one, the rates would be sky high. The hotel manager was a nice guy and may be pitying me, he suggested a newly opened similar resort (Silent Shores) where I could get a room. GREAT I thought! He immediately called the resort and found I could get a Suite. I figured it wouldn’t be less that Rs. 10,000 a day but at that moment, I just wanted to keep my family happy. I just didn’t want to take them back.
Now getting the refund back and the blasting part. I called the MakeMyTrip.com call center, entered my booking ID, and kept waiting for more than 5 minutes. Nobody took my call. I called again. Still no reply. The manager told me that they will not take my call and I write directly to them. Again I felt like an Idiot. I then called them again and choose the “New booking” option. I got through them and blasted them for making me go through this and asked for a refund.
The manager later talked to the person in charge of taking reservations from Make My Trip for their resort and told me that Make My Trip guys had called in at 12.00 noon today to confirm my reservation! Can you believe it? I book the rooms on Dec 15 and they call the hotel on the day of my check-in to confirm the booking!
Later in the evening, I checked mouthshut.com and was surprised to find that I was not the only one to have gone through such an ordeal. There were hundreds others with similar experiences. And this was making no difference to them, simply because the reviews were not showing up in the search results. That’s when I decided to create a dedicated website documenting my experience and allowing others to share theirs so nobody will have to go through the horrifying ordeal I and others have been through.
What really irked me most was the totally cool attitude of Make My Trip.com. It’s like this is no big deal at all – “We are really sorry and you’ll get a refund within 7 days”. That’s it! What about the ordeal we have been through? Travel 300 kms with family and make a fool of yourself! Can money compensate for it? This is not pardonable at any cost.
I sincerely request you that if you have been through a similar experience with MakeMyTrip.com, please share your experience. Please refrain from using defamatory words and try to include as much proof (booking ID, etc.) as possible.
Regarding the Silent Shores resort, it was very good and I thank god for keeping the Suite for me. Everything happens for good!
Why it makes sense to book your stay by calling the hotel directly
Here’s how travel sites work… When you book a hotel through a travel site, a copy of the voucher (not payment) is sent to the hotel. Depending on the relationship and reputation of the travel site in remitting payments to the hotel, the hotel people then may decide whether to confirm the reservation or keep it pending till they receive the payment. If the travel site repeatedly delays making payment to the hotel, then the hotel people may not make the reservation at all until they receive the payment. It may take anywhere from 2-3 days or never (like in my case) for the travel site to transfer the payment to the hotel. And then, only if rooms are available, your reservation is confirmed, else you’ll be refunded. So in reality you are basically trying your luck.
This entire process may take anywhere from 2-7 days. If it’s a peak season, and you don’t get a room through the travel site (and you are lucky enough to know it before you reach your destination), you must have already lost several days and until then room rents must have already hiked by then.
However, if you contact the hotel directly, not only your booking will be confirmed immediately, you also stand a high chance of getting a more discounted rate than what you see on the travel site, if you negotiate a bit. Think about this, for every booking through the travel site, the hotel has to give some commission to the travel site. Now if they could bypass the middleman, don’t you think they won’t or shouldn’t have any problems in giving back the same commission as discount to the customer?
So it makes lot of sense to use travel sites to read reviews and check fares, but make the booking by calling the hotel directly. If there’s no contact info of the hotel available on the travel site listings, just put the name and location of the hotel in Google and in majority of the cases, you’ll stumble upon their official website.
- MakeMyTrip.com Reviews on MouthShut.com
- MakeMyTrip.com Complaints on Consumer Complaints
- MakeMyTrip.com Reviews on Review Center