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Looking to score unbeatable deals on your next hotel stay? Then, dive into the often-overlooked realm of hotel mistake rates. While not commonplace, these occasional slip-ups can happen, and with a keen eye and the right approach, you might just land an incredible deal.
In this guide, we will unfold what these rates are, how they occur, and optimal ways to make them work in your favor for an affordable yet opulent travel experience.
What is a Mistake Rate?
Mistake rates, also known as error rates or glitch rates, are essentially pricing errors made by hotels during the listing process. This can occur due to a variety of reasons.
But regardless of why, the outcome is the same: accommodation offered at a significantly reduced rate. What’s important to remember is that they are not intentional discounts but accidental slip-ups. However, for sharp-eyed travelers who spot them, they can be a bargain.
How Do Mistake Rates Occur?
Mistake rates occur for many reasons. Here are some notable examples:
- Hotels allow rates to float more than they should, meaning that the hotel rate may go lower than normal. This float is often automated, so the hotel may not catch an incredibly low rate. These rates often appear during low seasons or sudden drops in demand.
- Hotels incorrectly publish the wrong rate manually. For example, if you see that a hotel room only costs $8.45 per night, the hotel likely meant to charge $845 per night.
- An automation error that comes from another software. For example, if the hotel is using Excel invoice templates that automatically connect to the hotel’s software. If a number was incorrectly typed on the Excel invoice, it will also be incorrect on the booking site.
- A technology glitch occurs. This happens when a hotel uses multiple booking websites and one of the website’s incorrectly sports a rate that’s much lower than normal.
With mistake rates, you can get a great hotel room for a fraction of the price. But is it possible to take advantage of this situation, or is it more likely that hotels will call to cancel your booking?
How to Take Advantage of Hotel Mistake Rates
If you happen to book a hotel that has a mistake rate, there’s a very high chance they’ll cancel your room. That doesn’t mean you can’t do the following to get a better price for a room.
Learn When Mistake Rates are Available
Knowing when mistake rates are available is more about staying vigilant than a specific time frame. However, it’s smart to keep an eye out during peak booking times, for example, the start of high tourist season or immediately after a hotel launches a new website or booking system.
These are periods when the likelihood of errors might increase due to high traffic or unfamiliarity with new systems. Meanwhile, consistently monitoring different hotel websites and using price comparison tools can also help you promptly spot any abnormal pricing and seize that cost.
You should also keep an eye out when a float rate could go into effect. For example, these rates could go into effect immediately after a peak month or during a sudden lull in business.
Call the Hotel Directly if Your Room is Canceled
If you manage to book a hotel at a mistake rate and the hotel realizes their error, they may cancel your room or try to charge more. When this happens, you’ll need to start negotiating.
One approach could be to politely explain that you chose this deal precisely because of its affordability within your travel budget. Make it clear that any changes to this initial agreement would force you to cancel as the altered price no longer suits your wallet.
This could often motivate hotel management to honor the initial rate, particularly if they value good customer relations and avoiding conflict. But what if they still won’t budge?
Convince Them to Offer You a Lower Rate
If you find yourself facing a hotel unwilling to honor a mistake rate, don’t despair. You can still ask if they’d be willing to offer a lower rate than what they originally wanted to post.
Start by politely expressing your disappointment and reminding them of the importance of customer satisfaction. Point out that a lower rate agreement now could lead to future bookings at regular rates and word-of-mouth referrals, creating a win-win scenario for both parties.
Snagging one of these mistake rates can be all about timing, diligence, and a sprinkling of luck. So, it’s time to get proactive! Keep your eyes peeled for any suspiciously low prices on hotel listings, and learn to negotiate calmly, yet assertively if needed. These mistake deals may just turn your dream vacation into a reality without burning a hole in your pocket.