Legitimate Hotel Booking Websites (BBB Accredited Services)
Wish to save considerable time and money, find great hotel options that will meet your individual needs, budget and trip purpose and eventually reserve a room online?
Booking through legitimate and trustworthy websites is the best way to avoid the risks of being exploited, overcharged, scammed or ripped off.
This list provides information about online hotel reservation services approved by the Better Business Bureau, after being thoroughly reviewed by the national consumer organization and successfully meeting all their strict requirements.
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Consumer tips, how-to’s and articles that you may find interesting.
The domestic and international hotel industry serves a diverse audience: solo travelers, couples, families, tourists, business guests, conference attendees, and many others.
In this highly technological age, most consumers and businesses use travel websites to look for accommodation.
The reason? Hotel booking engines offer a convenient way to browse and compare different properties, rooms, locations, and rates.
It’s a great way to find places to stay that meet the guest’s criteria, such as certain travel dates, star rating, proximity to destination landmarks and attractions, access to public transportation, facilities, room amenities or other key factors.
Hotel reservation websites also enable users to read guest reviews and recommendations that may help them better understand the pros and cons of each option and get first-hand impression of the staff’s friendliness, bed comfort, state of the room, general cleanliness, Wi-Fi quality, and overall value-for-money.
In addition, such global hotel search services provide access to special offers, discount deals, attractive promotions and even last-minute bargains that can help consumers reduce the overall cost of their trip.
Some services offer many incentives to use them, which may come in points, rewards, free nights, low member-only rates, price matching or other perks.
Consumer Tips: How to Book Safely and Avoid Hotel Scams Online
Just like any other industry that involves consumers, businesses, and money that switches hands, the hotel booking market also has its fair share of scammers, fraudsters and cybercriminals that operate online and look for potential victims.
Scammers use many illegal, unethical and deceptive ways to trick unsuspecting travelers.
Fraudsters build and maintain fake hotel websites that professionally mirror the appearance of real well-known travel websites convincingly – using their logo, images, graphic design, and even a similar URL.
The sole purpose of these rogue sites is to steal the customer’s credit card information or identity in a phishing attack.
As soon as the fraud victims show up at the hotel and try to check-in, they’re shocked to discover there is no record of their reservation and that they have been scammed, leaving them in a tough situation with no place to stay.
In addition, low-end booking services are notorious for using high-pressure marketing tactics, having misleading cancellation and refund policies, charging undisclosed hidden or extra booking fees besides the advertised cost of the room, downgrading customers into lower room class or use other terrible business practices.
Taking these steps will help you find credible and reliable hotel room reservation services and complete your order in a safe, secure and satisfactory way:
Make Sure the Website is Secure
Verify that the booking site’s URL starts with “HTTPS” (and not the plain “HTTP”) coupled with a small padlock symbol that appears within the search bar.
This provides a clear indication that the site uses a secure connection.
Don’t Use Unsafe Payment Methods
Prefer using a credit card for payment, as this method offers more fraud protection than cash, debit cards, wire transfers, and others.
Investigate the Online Hotel Booking Service’s BBB Record
Check the company’s record on the Better Business Bureau’s website.
What you’ll find there, will help you evaluate whether it’s a legitimate business that deserves your money and trust or if you must look elsewhere.
Look for current BBB rating, customer reviews, complaints, warnings and alerts on their business profile.
Also, learn how long it has been in business – a potential indicator of experience and reputation.
If the website is not even listed with the BBB, this is a bad sign.
On the other hand, if the hotel site is certified as a BBB Accredited Business, it’s an important positive signal.
Pay Close Attention to Red Flags
Learn how to protect yourself better when ordering goods and services on the internet, to avoid scammers and keep safe in general.
Knowing how to check if a website is legitimate or not is the first line of defense.