The Indian online travel facilitator, Cleartrip has announced another customer centric feature to add to its list of services. This new feature called Pay@Hotel allows users to book their hotel rooms from the Cleartrip website and pay the booking amount directly at the hotel/resort. This will not only simplify travel planning for a lot of people but also allow users to trust the process of booking rooms online.
The company guarantees the hotel booking once you select the option. After this, you will get a call from a Cleartrip executive to reconfirm your booking. The additional step of reconfirming is needed because of the uncertainty involved in booking hotel rooms before payment is done. If you need to make changes in your travel plan and you can inform the company during the reconfirmation, the company can drop the reservation without the individual hotel’s cancellation policy goes into effect.
If there is a possibility of cancellation after the reconfirmation, then the hotel’s cancellation policy will apply and may include a certain penalty. Cleartrip says that if you do not reconfirm or are not available during the reconfirmation call, the company will drop the reservation.
The company says that around 200,000 hotels around the globe are aligned with its Pay@Hotel feature. Whenever you are booking a hotel, you should search for the Pay@Hotel tag to see if this feature is available at that particular hotel. Once you have booked the room, you can then check-in at the hotel and make the payment. Cleartrip promises that the process is transparent and the amount you see on its booking page is the exact amount that will be due and no extra charges will be added. It also says that if a customer does not find the hotel room to their satisfaction, Cleartrip will have it changed right away.
While the feature is extremely welcome from the customer point of view, it definitely can result in a lot of operational problems for the company when it comes to higher volume of cancellations. A lot of online commerce companies are taking measures to get customers to trust the online transaction process, but this can also result in problems later when customers get used to the service and unintended effects emerge. A good analogue would be the Cash on Delivery feature which was pioneered by e-commerce companies to make users comfortable with buying online, but has now become an expensive proposition for them.
What are your thoughts on Pay@Hotel? We would love to hear them in the comments.
Website | Pay@Hotel