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BedandBreakfast.com guilty of Unfair Trade Practices???

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SteveL

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We, as most B&Bs are listed on BedandBreakfast.com. We are a Platinum member. We DO NOT have online booking with BedandBreakfast.com so we don't get a "BOOK IT" button on our listing. Instead, we get a couple of links. "Check Availability Calendar" and "e-mail reservation request". The "Check AVailability Calendar" link goes right to our Webervations booking page where guest may "check availability" AND provide credit card info, buy extras like champagne, cheese tray, package items, etc. WE HARDLY ever must reject a Webervations request. We pay a flat annual fee and DONT PAY COMMISSIONS OF 30% to BedandBreakfast.com. The "e-mail a reservation request" Sends the potential guest to a form on the bedandbreakfast.com website that gets e-mailed to us by support@bedandbreakfast.com giving us the name, phone number, e-mail address, check in date, number of nights, etc. that the potential guest would like.
I responded to one of these "e-mail reservation requests" and was told by mny guest that AFTER he filled out the form and was waiting for me to contact him, he received an e-mail directly from BedandBreakfast.com offering him a 15% discount if he booked with another inn that had a "BOOK IT" button (so Bedandbreakfast.com could get 30% commission). I had to give the guest a 15% discount just to keep him! This smacks of an unfair trade practice that might be actionable by either Federal or state unfair trade practices acts.
Anyone have similar story? Have guests coming from Bedandbreakfast.com looking for 15% discounts ? Here is copy of e-mail that was sent to my guest that he forwarded to me:"
Steve,
This is the promotional e-mail that I received yesterday afternoon.
Thanks,
XXCX XXXXXXX
________________________________
From: Travel Services [travelservices@bedandbreakfast.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 4:00 PM
To: xxxxxx, xxxxx
Subject: Special Offer from BedandBreakfast.com
To view this email as a web page, go here.<http://m2.criticalimpactsoft.com/go.php?t=7&i=72b2d3d089d5925f>
<http://m2.criticalimpactsoft.com/go.php?t=1&a=1&b=11185&f=cf48f38ec62de6c4bbcf698b065810cc8b78141f5d53604c>
Dear xxxx xxxxxxx,
As a past customer of BedandBreakfast.com, we would like to extend you an opportunity to save 15% on any online reservation made this summer. If you'd rather not receive future emails from BedandBreakfast.com, please click here<http://m2.criticalimpactsoft.com/go.php?t=4&eid=0b305509d25c2433&jid=72b2d3d089d5925f>.
Otherwise, follow these easy steps to receive your savings on online reservations made with BedandBreakfast.com between now and August 31, 2010.
Here’s how to save 15% on your next getaway:
* Find a property on BedandBreakfast.com that accepts online reservations. These inns all feature a button.
* Make a two-night or more online reservation directly with BedandBreakfast.com.
* Type the code GETAWAY15 in the "Redeem Special Promo Code" box before completing your reservation.
* All bookings and travel must be completed by August 31, 2010.
<http://m2.criticalimpactsoft.com/go.php?t=1&a=1&b=11185&f=cf48f38ec62de6c4adcaa5e30a4f71fa8b78141f5d53604c>
Sincerely,
The BedandBreakfast.com Team
Support@BedandBreakfast.com<mailto:support@bedandbreakfast.com>
800-GO-B-AND-B (800-462-2632)
www.BedandBreakfast.com<http://m2.criticalimpactsoft.com/go.php?t=1&a=1&b=11185&f=cf48f38ec62de6c4fc39e12a717eb5848b78141f5d53604c>
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This email was sent to: xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxx.com
This email was sent by: Bedandbreakfast.com
700 Brazos St Suite B-700 Austin TX 78701
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JBloggs

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Yes I got that same email "as a past customer" of this directory.
This inn was a lifelong member of this directory until we cancelled our listing, as well as weberv this year.
We used to take the same cut when a guest used a gift certificate, so if you didn't take them you didn't get the guest, or if you DID take them you took a % cut on the booking. So if you aren't in everything you are gobsmacked.
 

Morticia

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Do you know if the guest really was a 'past customer'? Or if this really did just come to them when they sent the email to you? It would certainly explain why it's rare that guests who email us from bandb ever book with us. Every once in awhile we get back a response that says, 'Thanks for your quick response, we've booked with someone else.'
I will say that no one has ever emailed back and asked for the same discount to stay with us. They must just hit the 'book it' button.
We also weren't asked to participate in any of the 'special' programs for $1. We're silver members, so not good enough for the premium promotions.
 

gillumhouse

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Not sorry at all that I dumped them last year. All the ROI exaggeration, the rate increases, and the personal insults from the P O and now stuff like this? Nope, not worth it to this small inn. I may had had hits from them, but few bookings. To be honest, if they had not just charged my cc as a Silver, I was actually going to stay on as a Bronze since they did finally put the link to our web sites on Bronze. I have a problem with my cc just being automatically charged without asking me first. Everything just smacks of gold-digging - get out the wallet and we will do a vac on it. I do not want diamonds of any kind!
 

Innkeeper To Go

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SteveL said:
I responded to one of these "e-mail reservation requests" and was told by mny guest that AFTER he filled out the form and was waiting for me to contact him, he received an e-mail directly from BedandBreakfast.com offering him a 15% discount if he booked with another inn that had a "BOOK IT" button (so Bedandbreakfast.com could get 30% commission). I had to give the guest a 15% discount just to keep him! This smacks of an unfair trade practice that might be actionable by either Federal or state unfair trade practices acts.
Steve the story you're relaying here is really shocking.
I'm no attorney and don't have any idea if this is actionable or not. But if I were you, I'd sure be looking into that.
One thing it most definitely smacks of is not taking the best interests of its members into consideration. If what the guest told you is true, it is an unconscionable failure of ethics at the very least.
 

JBanczak

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Hi gang,
I cleared this up with Steve, but just for everyone's info, this guest was in our BB.com database all the way back to 2007. It is a huge coincidence that they got an email the same day, but it is just that - a huge coincidence. The email list for this was pulled in May actually - since it takes quite a bit of lead time to pull these lists and get them to our email provider. We do have a new email provider though, and one things is clear, many more of our emails are getting through than were getting through with our older provider.
Hope that helps to explain,
John
 

JBanczak

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Not sorry at all that I dumped them last year. All the ROI exaggeration, the rate increases, and the personal insults from the P O and now stuff like this? Nope, not worth it to this small inn. I may had had hits from them, but few bookings. To be honest, if they had not just charged my cc as a Silver, I was actually going to stay on as a Bronze since they did finally put the link to our web sites on Bronze. I have a problem with my cc just being automatically charged without asking me first. Everything just smacks of gold-digging - get out the wallet and we will do a vac on it. I do not want diamonds of any kind!.
gillumhouse said:
To be honest, if they had not just charged my cc as a Silver, I was actually going to stay on as a Bronze since they did finally put the link to our web sites on Bronze. I have a problem with my cc just being automatically charged without asking me first.
I personally do everything on auto-billing. My cellphone, Directv, gym membership, auto insurance, online banking, kids daycare, newspapers - I really don't like to have to remember to deal with all of these bills every month. That is why we put in the auto-billing. Countless innkeepers asked for it, and it seemed like a great time saving idea on both sides, particularly given how high the renewal rate was anyway. Seems like it has saved everyone time and for the few people who decide they do not want to continue - if they don't remeber to contact us and let us know - we take care of them just like we did in your situation.
 

Morticia

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BTW, I got this email, too. Oddly addressed, not to me, altho it came to my email addy.
 

Mini

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As you all are....I also am so tired of bedandbreakfast.com trying to convince everyone that they will get at 30% or now even 50% off if they book with any bed and breakfast on their site. So many guests don't read the small print and often think it applies to all b & b's even booking right on our site. I received this email 3 days ago from a potential guests, obviously not reading that it applies to only those having the "book it" button. Our prices are already too low and we are not about to make them even lower.
Hi, there I am meeting my daughter in _______on April 24th and am thinking about your establishment. I am coming from Winnipeg, MB and she is coming from Fernie, BC. Your place is about half way. I am trying to book online, on your site, using the B&B discount code BBAPS30, but don''t see any way to do this. I need rooms for 5 or 6 people (expecting to book two rooms to accommodate all of us). The ages are: Milt (over 50) Joanne (over 50) Randi (19) Sara (19) tentative Amanda (18) Josh (16) With the discount, I was expecting to pay $119 + $20 - $30 (so $109 per night). Can you let me know if you have availability and if I should just call you and you would honor this B&B online code? Or is there a way for me to book online, could you just send the link. I got the information from the code from the BedandBreakfast.com website. thanks. Joanne
After I replied to her stating it only applies to certain b & b's having the "book it" button", I never heard back from her.
 

egoodell

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Not sorry at all that I dumped them last year. All the ROI exaggeration, the rate increases, and the personal insults from the P O and now stuff like this? Nope, not worth it to this small inn. I may had had hits from them, but few bookings. To be honest, if they had not just charged my cc as a Silver, I was actually going to stay on as a Bronze since they did finally put the link to our web sites on Bronze. I have a problem with my cc just being automatically charged without asking me first. Everything just smacks of gold-digging - get out the wallet and we will do a vac on it. I do not want diamonds of any kind!.
gillumhouse said:
To be honest, if they had not just charged my cc as a Silver, I was actually going to stay on as a Bronze since they did finally put the link to our web sites on Bronze. I have a problem with my cc just being automatically charged without asking me first.
I personally do everything on auto-billing. My cellphone, Directv, gym membership, auto insurance, online banking, kids daycare, newspapers - I really don't like to have to remember to deal with all of these bills every month. That is why we put in the auto-billing. Countless innkeepers asked for it, and it seemed like a great time saving idea on both sides, particularly given how high the renewal rate was anyway. Seems like it has saved everyone time and for the few people who decide they do not want to continue - if they don't remeber to contact us and let us know - we take care of them just like we did in your situation.
.
JBanczak said:
gillumhouse said:
To be honest, if they had not just charged my cc as a Silver, I was actually going to stay on as a Bronze since they did finally put the link to our web sites on Bronze. I have a problem with my cc just being automatically charged without asking me first.
I personally do everything on auto-billing. My cellphone, Directv, gym membership, auto insurance, online banking, kids daycare, newspapers - I really don't like to have to remember to deal with all of these bills every month. That is why we put in the auto-billing. Countless innkeepers asked for it, and it seemed like a great time saving idea on both sides, particularly given how high the renewal rate was anyway. Seems like it has saved everyone time and for the few people who decide they do not want to continue - if they don't remeber to contact us and let us know - we take care of them just like we did in your situation.
We keep a tighter control on our finances than that, and after the fiasco that so many people had trying to leave N p c credit card processing I would never do anything auto billed. Some had to change their bank accounts as they would not stop taking money every month even after they cancelled the agreements.
Riki
 

Alibi Ike

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As you all are....I also am so tired of bedandbreakfast.com trying to convince everyone that they will get at 30% or now even 50% off if they book with any bed and breakfast on their site. So many guests don't read the small print and often think it applies to all b & b's even booking right on our site. I received this email 3 days ago from a potential guests, obviously not reading that it applies to only those having the "book it" button. Our prices are already too low and we are not about to make them even lower.
Hi, there I am meeting my daughter in _______on April 24th and am thinking about your establishment. I am coming from Winnipeg, MB and she is coming from Fernie, BC. Your place is about half way. I am trying to book online, on your site, using the B&B discount code BBAPS30, but don''t see any way to do this. I need rooms for 5 or 6 people (expecting to book two rooms to accommodate all of us). The ages are: Milt (over 50) Joanne (over 50) Randi (19) Sara (19) tentative Amanda (18) Josh (16) With the discount, I was expecting to pay $119 + $20 - $30 (so $109 per night). Can you let me know if you have availability and if I should just call you and you would honor this B&B online code? Or is there a way for me to book online, could you just send the link. I got the information from the code from the BedandBreakfast.com website. thanks. Joanne
After I replied to her stating it only applies to certain b & b's having the "book it" button", I never heard back from her..
I've had that as well. Guest is on the phone telling me they are looking at MY website and I state $50 off any reservation of 2 nights. I ask for the exact page and they describe the bedandbreakfast website. It's a pain. Nothing on that site is designed with the guest in mind. It's all designed to get bandb more money.
 

gillumhouse

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Not sorry at all that I dumped them last year. All the ROI exaggeration, the rate increases, and the personal insults from the P O and now stuff like this? Nope, not worth it to this small inn. I may had had hits from them, but few bookings. To be honest, if they had not just charged my cc as a Silver, I was actually going to stay on as a Bronze since they did finally put the link to our web sites on Bronze. I have a problem with my cc just being automatically charged without asking me first. Everything just smacks of gold-digging - get out the wallet and we will do a vac on it. I do not want diamonds of any kind!.
gillumhouse said:
To be honest, if they had not just charged my cc as a Silver, I was actually going to stay on as a Bronze since they did finally put the link to our web sites on Bronze. I have a problem with my cc just being automatically charged without asking me first.
I personally do everything on auto-billing. My cellphone, Directv, gym membership, auto insurance, online banking, kids daycare, newspapers - I really don't like to have to remember to deal with all of these bills every month. That is why we put in the auto-billing. Countless innkeepers asked for it, and it seemed like a great time saving idea on both sides, particularly given how high the renewal rate was anyway. Seems like it has saved everyone time and for the few people who decide they do not want to continue - if they don't remeber to contact us and let us know - we take care of them just like we did in your situation.
.
JBanczak said:
gillumhouse said:
To be honest, if they had not just charged my cc as a Silver, I was actually going to stay on as a Bronze since they did finally put the link to our web sites on Bronze. I have a problem with my cc just being automatically charged without asking me first.
I personally do everything on auto-billing. My cellphone, Directv, gym membership, auto insurance, online banking, kids daycare, newspapers - I really don't like to have to remember to deal with all of these bills every month. That is why we put in the auto-billing. Countless innkeepers asked for it, and it seemed like a great time saving idea on both sides, particularly given how high the renewal rate was anyway. Seems like it has saved everyone time and for the few people who decide they do not want to continue - if they don't remeber to contact us and let us know - we take care of them just like we did in your situation.
We keep a tighter control on our finances than that, and after the fiasco that so many people had trying to leave N p c credit card processing I would never do anything auto billed. Some had to change their bank accounts as they would not stop taking money every month even after they cancelled the agreements.
Riki
.
I agree with you, Riki. I am trying to avoid shopping at stores that give me back my check after the transaction is completed. I do not want anyone other than me mucking with my checking account. Now I want to know what all these stores are doing with my bank account numbers. We know what has happened with cc numbers from various chain stores, SS numbers that have been hacked at facilities. Apologies do not cut it. WE get hammered by that damned PCI compliance.
My son was notified just last week that someone used his bank account to make over $700 in purchases (debit card type transactiuons). He said the bank notified him, which made him feel good that they monitored it but he still had to spend most of a day filling out the forms etc. Got his money back at least.... The only reason my honking loan payment is a direct yank is that it was a condition of the loan that I so desparately needed at the time.
 

One Day

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You have to give a 15% discount to the guest..........and 30% commission to BB ?
Why in the world would anyone be part of that program ?
And the response email directing patrons to seek another establishment ?
Forget a lawyer.........I'd go straight to the County or State Attorney General
 

Copperhead

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You have to give a 15% discount to the guest..........and 30% commission to BB ?
Why in the world would anyone be part of that program ?
And the response email directing patrons to seek another establishment ?
Forget a lawyer.........I'd go straight to the County or State Attorney General.
You have to give a 15% discount to the guest..........and 30% commission to BB ?
NO - he gave a 15% discount in order to KEEP the guest from booking with a B&B in the program
And the response email directing patrons to seek another establishment ?
According to John w/bb.com, it was just a timing issue, it was not a response to his booking
This topic is a year old, but was reopened with new / different content...
 

agoodman

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Umm have you called bedandbreakfast.com to ask them what this is all about? The "link" seems off to me
 

One Day

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You have to give a 15% discount to the guest..........and 30% commission to BB ?
Why in the world would anyone be part of that program ?
And the response email directing patrons to seek another establishment ?
Forget a lawyer.........I'd go straight to the County or State Attorney General.
You have to give a 15% discount to the guest..........and 30% commission to BB ?
NO - he gave a 15% discount in order to KEEP the guest from booking with a B&B in the program
And the response email directing patrons to seek another establishment ?
According to John w/bb.com, it was just a timing issue, it was not a response to his booking
This topic is a year old, but was reopened with new / different content...
.
I was replying to this, qouted from the original post
"BedandBreakfast.com offering him a 15% discount if he booked with another inn that had a "BOOK IT" button (so Bedandbreakfast.com could get 30% commission)."
I find that timing excuse doesn't hold much water.....
Yes, this is a year old............and this exact issue has been discussed before, many times
I'd still contact my district attorney
 
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