The Hotel review scam in India

What happened to me in that Hotel in Delhi is so crazy I can’t believe it myself that this happened, and I continue asking myself how cheeky this guy was. I hope this was a single chase, and it’s not evolving into a trend, but you should be careful while booking your accommodation.

Here is the story: I arrived late in Delhi, and the initial plan was to fly out the other day and therefore I wanted a hotel near to the airport. So, I looked at booking.com like always for a hotel near the airport but not too expensive, of course. I found one only 2 km from the terminal away for 9 euros for one night and booked it.

The night I arrived only at 11.30 PM and was tired from the travel, I just wanted my bed and sleep. I came to the counter and said I had a reservation. The guy at the reception asked for my phone to see the booking and I showed him the confirmation on booking.com. He said I should fill out my details in the guestbook and so I did. While that time he still had my phone and handed it back to me after I finished. The showed me the room and gave me the keys.

The room was absolutely disgusting, the bedsheets were extremely dirty, the floor was dirty, and one of the pillows was so dirty I just threw it in the corner. I’m used to a lot after 11 months of traveling, and I slept in all kinds of budget hotels, hostels or homestays, and I’m not spoiled in terms of quality or cleanness of rooms. But this room.. it was super dirty. In the night I had the aircon on, and it leaked, the whole floor was wet, and my bag was wet all underneath it.  

India hotel scam
India hotel scam

Here comes the scam:

When I was lying in bed ready to sleep, I checked my phone the last time, and I saw that I got an email from Booking.com that my reservation got canceled and that MY request was successful. I didn’t fully understand what was going on. I never canceled the booking as I just checked in? And to cancel by accident is not possible as you have to confirm a few things. So what happened?

I remembered the time I was signing in and filled out the guest book with the guy from the hotel in possession of my phone, unlocked and on the booking.com site. While I was writing down my name, this guy was canceling MY reservation on MY phone in MY name? This is so unbelievable that I was thinking about any other possibility, but there was no other explanation. You might ask yourself what’s the reason behind it, why did he do it?

It’s straightforward, like this I can’t give any bad review anymore and he probably also saved the provision he has to pay for booking.com. And that’s probably also the explanation for the good reviews online. Most of the reviews were from Indian traveler who have significantly lower standards of cleanness then western travelers, and they probably do a favor for their people by reviewing the hotels well. Because the reviews and my personal experience couldn’t have been more different.

It’s just crazy that this guy went that far and took my phone to cancel the booking. I mean he has balls that’s for sure. But this is already on the edge of a criminal offense. Later I looked on reviews on google about the hotel, and it was rated super bad, I probably haven’t been the only one falling for this scam.

How can you avoid a scam like this?

Before you book a hotel check it on google maps as well, it the ratings are super bad there, or the pictures don’t resemble them on booking.com there is probably something wrong. TripAdvisor is also always an excellent place to see reviews. And the best thing is never to let go of your phone, show the receptionist but take the phone back and don’t let it open there.

Hotels/Hostels in India in general:

One other thing I found is that the quality of hotels in India is in general terrible. Of course, I only stayed in budget hotels and can’t speak about luxury hotels. But compared with the budget hotels in different countries, India has poor quality, although the ratings are often very high. I concluded that this is because of the ratings from Indian people, 90 percent of the ratings are from Indians and their ratings will always be higher than ratings from western people as their standards are way lower. It is advisable to take your time while booking hotels and hostels and double-check.  

  • Total countries I visited until now: 40

WorldTravel:

  • Planes: 23
  • Busses: 48
  • Trains: 19
  • Boats: 24
  • Km driving: 8000
  • Km running: 3206

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Author: Flo

Hey everybody, I took the decision of my life and will start my worldtravel on the 1. October 2018. Hope you'll follow my journey and enjoy all the posts.

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