This posting was prompted by a blog question I recently read elsewhere. I thought I would comment on the answers and set the record straight.
Blogging experts tell us to read other blogs for a variety of reasons. I actually haven't found many that relate to my subject expertise but I did find someone posting a logical question (albeit 2 years ago) about a hotel: Is it best to book a hotel room at their internet rate or call the hotel directly? What I assume they were asking is: "which is cheaper?"
I expected a mix of answers to be honest. There were about six or seven responders and ALL of them said the same thing. This made it appear that their answers were in fact the correct answer. In truth, they were only 'sort of' right.
They all said the Internet rate would be the lowest rate a hotel offers. While this is generally true, it is not quite that simple. For instance, walk-in rates for same day callers are always quoted higher because hotels assume you don't book through the internet and won't know any better if you are calling them on the phone. At the same time, a smart clerk that is looking at 48% occupancy may have the leeway to wheel and deal. If the internet rate was $90.00 and they quoted a walk in rate of $105, at the least you could ask for any 'internet' rate and probably get the $90 rate.
But you don't know whether they just might say they have a special rate that night of $85 "which is better than our lowest internet rate". So it pays to always call the hotel. You may in fact have to book the room on the internet, especially if the clerk is a dunderhead that won't back off the rack rate even in the face of losing a guest. But it CAN'T hurt to call and ask even if they tell you that you need to book it on the web 'to get that rate'.
If they have any sense at all, they won't risk you booking it on Expedia or Orbitz where they get even less than the $90 internet rate. Or finding a comparable hotel charging less. We make it a policy not to lose the sale when a person calls and that means giving them the most enticing reason to book it right then. Just like a car salesman, we may say something like; "And if you reserve it right now, I'll let you have it for ..."