Hotel room price protection from familiar watchdog group

hotel room doorTravelers booking hotel rooms often use a variety of sources while trying to get the best price. Once satisfied that they have found the best price, they book it and forget it. What they don’t realize is that between booking and staying, the price may very well go down. A price drop might happen for a number of reasons and might be a limited-time offer too. Now, a new service tracks hotel pricing and automatically refunds the difference between what a traveler paid and the lower, sale price.

Tingo is the first hotel booking site that automatically rebooks hotel rooms at a lower price if the rate drops, and then automatically refunds the difference to travelers’ credit cards.

“Travelers could have saved millions last year had there been a simple system in place that automatically rebooked their rooms,” said Smarter Travel Media General Manager David Krauter in a release. “And that’s what Tingo does, by taking the gamble out of booking and refunding travelers’ money when rates drop.”

The deal is simple: Book a “Money Back” room and Tingo watches that room’s rate to see if it changes. If the price drops, Tingo rebooks that same room at the lower rate and refunds the difference to the booking credit card.

The process adds up to big numbers too. Using comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Worldwide, January 2012, Tingo estimates that in 2011 alone, Americans could have saved nearly $314 million if they had had access to a site like this.

“It’s a no-brainer,” adds Krauter. “And just to put it in perspective, $314 million would book the $2,000 per night Penthouse at The London NYC, straight through for the next 350 years.”

If this all sounds a bit familiar, it is. Tingo is a sister site of Gadling favorite AirfareWatchdog, a site best known for tracking airline fares and notifying members when point-to-point fares become available that match what the member is willing to pay.

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Flickr photo by Bob B. Brown