Online hotel booking service, Agoda, came in hot water after a customer complained of booking a “ghost hotel” worth THB160,000.
According to Thai PBS, Customer Sulawan Luckchonlatee contacted Agoda, who initially did not agree to make the refund, instead, Luckchonlatee came forward to Thailand’s Office of Consumer Protection who intervened and negotiated with Agoda on her behalf.
The said booking was made last August 21, but according to the customer, the site ignored her repeated inquiries regarding the matter. She filed a fraud complaint for the refund.
Luckchonlatee did not really intend to make the booking, it was human error on clicking the book button. Since she is a registered user with her credit card information on file, the said deduction was made automatically. Knowing this, Luckchonlatee claimed that she immediately contacted the booking site, but refused to refund her, saying that she had booked a non-refundable stay.
Since the customer could not do anything about the accidental booking, she then just claimed her booking and looked for the hotel on Sukhumvhit 42 named “Private Club in the Heart of Bangkok”, only to find out that the 4-bedroom accommodation does not exist and the listing photos were likely copied from another hotel on the next street. Aside from the questionable name on the booking app, the said hotel does not even have a legitimate address. Luckchonlatee, who shared her mishap on her live video said that the address of the hotel did not even have a specific soi or district on it.
The story was quickly picked up by Thai media, reporting it as the “ghost hotel.”
In a video posted on December 4, Luckchonlatee said Agoda refused to give the refund and even told her that the phone number of the said hotel should have been kept confidential.
After the government agency stepped in, Agoda has allegedly agreed to give the refund within 10 days. Coconuts Bangkok has reached out to Agoda for comment but the booking giant refused to comment.