By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Are you planning a trip anytime soon? Most seasoned travelers know that hotel room rates can often change at the blink of an eye. But 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan tells us about a new way to reserve. It’s a service that tracks your room rate and if your rate drops after you book, you’ll get a refund for the difference.
“I travel somewhere every month, I go somewhere,” says frequent traveler Michelle Oulette. So finding a great rate on a hotel room is a top priority. She says, “The cost of everything is so expensive that I mean, just to sleep you don’t want to have to pay $400 a night.”
Now a new website says it can help Michelle and other travelers rest easy and at a price that can’t be beat. It’s called Tingo and it guarantees that you’ll pay the lowest rate no matter what. “When you walk in the lobby and you check in, you know you got the best rate,” says Tingo General Manager David Krauter. According to Krauter, if the hotel price drops for any reason — you pay the lower price.
Krauter says, “We automatically watch your reservation for you and if the price drops for any reason, we’ll rebook you at the lower rate and we’ll refund the difference to your credit card.” Just weeks after launching Tingo, Krauter says that customers are cashing in. He says, “We’re seeing about one third of the time that someone books on Tingo that they will receive money back. On average they will receive $35 dollars for a two night stay,” adding that some refunds have soared as high as $500.
While other websites do offer price guarantees, they do that with a catch. For example on Orbitz you only get a refund if another Orbitz customer books at a lower rate. But Krauter says, “We don’t worry if someone else has booked the same trip with the same room with the same dates we just look at your reservation.” Krauter says that he created Tingo so that customers don’t have to second-guess their travel plans. He says, “Really the thing that Tingo gives is peace of mind.” Peace of mind no matter when you book.
One drawback of Tingo? The site doesn’t allow you to use promotions or discounts from third parties. For instance if you normally book hotels using your AAA membership discount or you look for military rates, they won’t apply on the Tingo site.
For more information visit www.tingo.com.