BREAKING: Expedia Canceling Hotel Bookings Citing Made Up Terms

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expedia cancelation mistake rate

Expedia Canceling Booking With Brand New Terms & Conditions

Update: As you will see, I have discovered the terms were not made up, but rather the terms published online when the deal was live were incorrect. Additionally Expedia said in an email that the codes were a mistake, but I now have evidence they were sent out in mailers. (See below.)

Earlier this week Expedia had some amazing promotional codes available. These codes gave up to $200 off hotel bookings with no minimum spend requirement. Later in the day after the codes were discovered, Expedia sent me and a number of other bloggers an email explaining the codes were made by mistake.

At the time, I speculated that this was an excuse and that they would not honor the promotion. It turns out I am right, but the reason is peculiar. At the time of the deal, Expedia had a full terms & conditions page. They have since removed it, but Doctor of Credit archived the terms for all to see.

Update: Here is a screenshot of the original terms:

expedia
A screenshot of the original terms.

Cancellations Coming

Now they are sending out cancellation emails citing completely different terms. Muslim Travel Girl Elena Nikolovaa shared on Twitter that she received a cancellation with the following terms. Here is the screenshot.

expedia cancelation mistake rate
The new terms she was sent with the cancellation.

It seems they are now claiming that this code needed to be used with a Discover card in order to be eligible. Remember they had fully published terms and that language just didn’t exist. They made it up and are now cancelling bookings based on it. Shameful.

These Are The “Correct” Terms

Update: @iceegriffin sent me a message via Twitter with a photo of an advertisement she received in the mail about a week ago. It has the terms that are being sent out, so this is clearly a case of Expedia making a mistake and not owning up to it. It is curious that their original email to me stated the codes “were mistakenly made by Expedia.” Now we know that wasn’t true.

expedia2
The original solicitation matches the new terms, but what they published online was different. Additionally, I was told the codes were a mistake when they clearly weren’t.

So What Happens If You Use Discover?

expedia cancelation mistake rate
The code isn’t working.

You would assume based on the expiration date of 3/15/15 on these new made up terms, that you could just use the code and get a discount by using a Discover card. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case. I tried to create a booking and I get an error each time I try to use the code.

Conclusion

This story is developing and I will keep updating as things go along, but it seems that Expedia is trying to do something very shady here. They clearly put the incorrect terms online, sold a bunch of rooms and then are trying to find a way out.

First they told bloggers the codes were made by mistake and now they are trying to stick to the terms they meant to publish. Was your booking canceled? Let me know in the comments.


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66 COMMENTS

  1. I didn’t catch this promotion in time but just reading it irks me. I definitely agree with you. If they want to claim it was a mistake and not honor it then just do it and everyone moves on, upset or not.

    Definitely shady to implement T&C that weren’t in place at the time of the promotion. In short, they could’ve owned up to what was a mistake and ruffled a few feathers temporarily but instead turned it into a lie that will probably cause them to lose returning customers. Not exactly the type of behavior you’d want to see from any business. I’ve definitely noted this for future reference if I’m ever put in a position of choosing between booking sites.

  2. Shawn, just got an email that my reservation also has been canceled …..I am really mad because I canceled the hotel that I got through Orbitz deal a while ago after I got the Expedia deal since the Expedia one came out cheaper in total. Now I really regret it.
    If United customer has DoT to complain to…..where we can file a complaint for this? we got a screenshot of T&C that they put up before they changed it. This is really unacceptable and more worst and shadier than United’s first class gate.

  3. I think there is an element of Unite’s move to not honour their mistakes. With all the hype they probably thought it will be swiped under the carpet. I for once will not be using them unless i MUST. I am not bothered about them cancelling but it is the lie that bothers me.

  4. unlike UA, expedia should be forced to honor this as they didn’t cancel customers quickly and they published the codes and the T&C. No one had to change point of sale or do anything unreasonable to get this deal.

  5. Interesting. They must’ve had some kind of marketing agreement with Discover but now the codes don’t even work with a Discover card. I hope this deal gets resurrected in some way because I would sure like to take advantage of it.

  6. Yes I also received a cancellation email. If I had known I would have used a Discover card but it seems that Discover card also doesn’t work!

  7. GLad i saw this post when i did. My hotel reservation is still active but now need to book a backup reservation just in case.

  8. Expedia if you are reading this – I won’t be using your services any time soon…

    In fact, I will go out of my way to use your competitors as I did after you cancelled my reservation.

  9. My non-refundable reservation was cancelled and full price paid is now listed as cancellation penalty. I’m wondering if Expedia will even refund the money.

    By the way, I am hearing from people who already started they stay using the codes and say everything goes all right so far.

  10. I didn’t get in on this promotion however I will never use Expedia again. I hate corporations who scam people. Boycott Expedia.

  11. I had two reservations and both are alive now.
    I don’t know if it has something to do with the non-refundable feature, or just the EX hasn’t dealt with my reservations yet…
    Any reservations from others that are still alive?

  12. I am currently staying at a hotel in Bangkok, booked with this promotion voucher. No issues at check in – hope I will not get kicked out!

    • Generally with deals like this if you use it right away, you are fine. I am sure since you are already there that they won’t try to cancel your booking. Enjoy Bangkok! It is one of my favorite cities.

  13. Also my reservation was cancelled! It was a free cancellation booking…i hope i’ll get my refund without problems…they invite me to call their customer service…but calling from Italy to a free toll us number is not so easy…

  14. Personally, I don’t think I am ever going to waste my time with a hotel deal again. They seem so easy to cancel, and then we are out all of this time. I have quite a few hotel deals cancelled recently. Time to focus on good old fashioned credit cards

    • Yeah hotel deals are generally a lot easier for them to cancel. With this one though, I don’t see their argument. They published the codes and terms on their website. Hopefully some people are able to complain and get it honored, however I agree it can be a huge time suck.

  15. I had called them immediately after seeing this post. My reservation was yet to be cancelled at the time and the lady assured me that it was still confirmed. Having a shaky history with Expedia I figured something was still going to happen but I made sure she said my price would stick and if it was cancelled I can call back and they will take care of it. Now this phone call took about 45 minutes and in the end nothing happened. About 10 minutes later I get a call back from her supervisor telling me that yes indeed my reservation will be cancelled in the next 3 hours since Expedia invalidated the coupon code. My girlfriend has a discover card but I didn’t even need to ask if they needed me to use it. Instead she just told me she will go ahead and cancel, add a custom $150 coupon (the one I used) to my account and rebook everything for me over the phone. Took another 25 minutes, so all in all Expedia gave me another headache will all this, but in the end they honored the price for me. YMMV, but a phone call is definitely worth a try. Be warned tho, they are idiots and it could take a while.

  16. My booking for three days at a best western in France was canceled yesterday. I called in and got a CSR on the line. CSR was clueless, asked to speak to a supervisor. Supervisor saw what happened and really took care of me. Got the stay rebooked and instead of the original $100 coupon hooked me up with a $200 coupon! Also refunded me for the first reservation that expedia canceled.

    Give expedia a call and talk to a supervisor. Be forceful but nice, they should take care of you.

    Hint…. Wait times have regularly been over an hour, call the CS number and go through the prompts like you are making a new reservation then once CSR picks up tell they you were disconnected in regards to help with your canceled booking. They will then plug you into an open line right away, skip the hold times!

    • This is exactly what I did and 26minutes I am still waiting to speak with a supervisor! 🙂 let’s hope they will rebook me

      • Good luck! hopefully they will honor it. Please update us and how was your conversation with them…..mine also canceled and I am clueless now…thinking on calling them but not sure what to say if they said that I violate the T&C by not using Discover card. what did you say when they told you that?

  17. I got an email that they canceled my reservation. I’m pretty mad because i canceled another reservation for this one. I just got off the phone with them. They did nothing about, just pretty much said too bad. They offered to book me at regular price, thank but no thanks I’ll go somewhere else.

    • Sorry to hear that, I have same situation as yours, I canceled the other booking when I got this Expedia deal and now it got canceled, now I have no place to stay and price on other hotels have gone up already or sold out….
      Some people above called and could get the deal honored and rebooked….not sure how to do it…anyone who knows, please help us.

  18. I just posted about it on my blog. Mark I would call again and ask to speak with a supervisor. I spoke with two members before I ask for a supervisor who did apply $200 coupons to my bookings. Initially the CS refused to do anything other than book normal rate. I said I want the supervisor who was awesome.

    I think they are aware of the issue and he was pretty proactive to actually apply the coupons himself. Just be polite but stick to your story. He told me it was their fault as they were only meant to work for Discover cards which was not the case as we know.

      • Me too Shawn it is nice that they are rebooking people. I guess it would have been easier just honouring the existing reservations but I guess not all of the people who booked will call to re-book. So there might be some saving there too for them.

  19. My is still alive, haven’t received an email yet. Don’t wanna get stuck so I booked another one that’s refundable. When will I know I’m safe with the coupon booking?

  20. I received a cancellation email yesterday but when I go into my Expedia account I still see the booking and it says my reservation is booked. Does anyone else still have the reservation in their account even though they got the email? My booking is for next weekend I booked another hotel just to be say that I can cancel by Thursday no penalties.

  21. K and Eddy, I received cancellation emails for both bookings however today their told me one of them was still alive. However the supervisor also informed me that more likely they will cancel it as well. Not sure why they sent an email stating it is cancelled when it wasn’t but hey, on the save side I would say just double check.

  22. $150 code used: cancelled after using MasterCard. Was charged full cancellation fee of the reservation because it was non-refundable. Called and am supposed to be refunded. Disputed charges with barclaycard who said I can expect a statement credit. Will never use expedia again.

  23. I spent 4 hours on the phone with several different Expedia Customer Service reps trying to get the $200 code, ending with one helpful rep working with the Help Desk giving me a “substitute code” they generated which the reservation would accept, then completing it for me so I only paid for taxes.

    I am hopeful that since this was not the original faulty code they are now committing web fraud with by fabricating new T&C’s (I have the original printed out), that I won’t be affected. What do you think?

  24. While it’s clear that altering the Terms and Conditions to cancel reservations is a tort fraud which no jury would ignore, is it also criminal fraud to deliberately change the conditions after the fact to void a bunch of transactions purchased in good faith based on the original Terms being correct?

  25. I booked myself a room for 3 nights, total price in the end was 5$ and they didn’t cancel my booking yet.
    I also talked to the hotel via email, they confirmed that my booking is still valid. I’m planning on staying at the hotel in 2weeks and I really cant get bothered to check my emails every day to see if I might need a new accommodation.
    If they do cancel my booking and don’t give me a new coupon, I’ll fight this.
    I have the original terms&conditions saved as a printed version (as a pdf), its 28 pages long (including the full list of excluded hotels), has a timestamp and the url: https://www.expedia.com/p/infoterms/
    terms?pageid=19131 on it.
    There is no way they would win this battle.

    • The funny thing is, the t&c even state: “Terms and conditions of this coupon are as written and cannot be changed by any representation of any unauthorized
      person, including employees of Expedia, Inc.”
      To they are clearly breaking their own t&c by changing the t&c 😀

  26. Called the first time and was getting transferred to a customer service supervisor when I got disconnected. Calling again now.

  27. Dear friends,

    never more …… Expedia!

    This is in a decent world does not feel like a scam to me, to you and to all who, love to travel!

  28. […] BREAKING: Expedia Canceling Hotel Bookings Citing Made Up Terms by Miles to Memories. Disappointing, but not surprising. This is particularly annoying because we actually had clear terms & conditions for this offer. Thankfully, Miles to Memories also found a work around for this, make sure to read this post to see how you might be able to get your booking honored. […]

  29. I have booked two reservations in BKK, and so far they have not been cancelled. I’m checking constantly on expedia’s site, and still have yet to receive any cancellation email. My fingers are crossed but I realize I might have to find some last minute accommodations.

  30. Expedia cancel me and my friend’s booking as well… I managed to get a $100 discount coupon for compensation but my friend doesn’t. He called them three times with different agents and supervisor…. The supervisor who handle my case was quite helpful that he proactively offer the coupon to me after he explain the reason of cancellation.

  31. Just talked with an agent, it seems the frontline agent have power to only credit $100 coupon. And they necessarily need to transfer you to a supervisor for a coupon of greater value. There is another wait time to talk to the supervisor

  32. When I called them, the front agent seems aware of the case but they didn’t offer me a $100 dollars coupon, they transfer the call to their supervisor after reviewing my itenery. Still got nothing on my third call…

  33. We flew from US to Germany. Went to the hotel and were told of the cancillation then. Then we were told they were booked up. After I went ballistic the hotel clerk put us up in a sister hotel. Tried to call Expedia but ran out of minutes on our calling card. Will take this up with corporate when we return to the States. I will do everything in my power to hold them accountable for what they did. What a great way to start a vacation.

  34. I currently have a booking but they will not honor the coupon code and when you call expedia they give you nothing but a run around, they dont actually tell you that the code was canceled

    • If you can’t get a supervisor to honor it, I would suggest contacting the better business bureau. Most people were able to get them to honor it, but I know others had to go that route.

      • Got the worst experience ever, booked it with the coupon, didn’t get it canceled, wrote an email to the hotel to confirm my booking, they said its all good, 1 day ago I let them know about our arrival time today and they told me Expedia canceled it. Worst thing about it, Expedia didn’t let me know! No email, no text, no phone call, nothing. They canceled it out of the blue!
        Since I’m traveling right now and I can’t call anyone I just trebookes it with Expedia and will do a chargeback with my bank after my stay. If Expedia thinks they can screw me over by changing the t&c, they are mistaken.

  35. I completely hate Expedia!
    They booked me for a hotel never got a confirmation number but pending charges went on my credit card…. called them they said oh no worries pending charges will clear in 24 hours since it didn’t go thru on our end…did they clear after 24 hours? NO! And guess what they don’t care after I called 8 times in 3 different days someone finally said oh charges are being held!!!! Charges for what!!! I never got a confirmation! They transferred me to customer service and they never answered. So I had to call my bank!
    Expedia is Evil spreading the word! FRAUD!

  36. I was just robbed by Expedia because I cancelled a flight within 24 hr of the flight. I was told that I could cancel and get a refund, 3 week later I called and was told no refund allow so I just gave away $517.46 because my kidneys shutdown and I was admitted to hospital….. The are thieves and I could have given to a charity. I WILL NEVER USE THEM AGAIN

    • When you book a flight with Expedia on the final booking stage you can open the fare rules of the flight, there you can find all change and cancellation fees, if you don’t read it , I’m sorry but then you can’t complain afterwards for signing a contract that you didn’t read

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