In the last two days, I have come across two examples of absolute idiocy when it comes to telling people how to book hotels and airfares at the cheapest cost. One came from the Wall St. Journal's own Marketwatch of all things where some lame business person promoting his new travel site said this: "Popular websites such as Expedia, Priceline and Hotels.com offer travelers discounts on airfare and accommodations." Shame on the WSJ - they should know better than to allow this type of misleading statement to float around unchallenged.
The other came from a blogger that wrote while he didn't DISagree with those who 'rail' against Third Party internet sites, he didn't necessarily AGREE with them either. I commented on his blog, pointing out that he failed to mention WHY people like me rail against the Expedias and Travelocitys - because they CHARGE MORE (sometimes FAR more) for accommodations than you can get them for by using other means. It's no wonder people believe the TV ads and hype put out by these sites that they ALWAYS have the LOWEST prices - even the apologists for these sites tend to validate their business model.
I dedicated my e-book Book Hotels Cheaper to show why it isn't possible for these sites to have the LOWEST rate, giving example after example where I could ALWAYS beat a price on a Third Party site and WHY they could NEVER be cheaper than a hotel's direct rate (not counting human error) but it seems people want to believe these sites have the cheapest rates because they don't want to have to learn how to actually GET the cheapest rates. This I suspect because I talk to people EVERY DAY who book on these sites and they are always amazed when I tell them they could have reserved the room cheaper by calling us instead of Hotels.com but they continue to use them anyway!
Apparently it isn't just the misleading ads either that allow for this folly as people who should know better make silly statements like the examples I just gave and people believe them. I suppose the fact that millions of dollars are STILL lost every year to the Nigerian Inheritance scam shows that people simply don't pay attention to details. You'd think after all the publicity about it that there couldn't be anyone left save for the remotest jungles of the earth that aren't aware of the 419 scam, yet hundreds if not thousands fall for it anyway. And thousands continue to line the pockets of the Third Party sites with MILLIONS of dollars per day for reservations they could just as easily make booking direct.
I prepared a short 14 page report called the Hotel Rate Game that shows in a nutshell how millions are siphoned off to these sites for absolutely nothing of value in return. In fact, it is the CONSUMER who loses in the end because those millions going to companies with call centers in India would be going to the hotels to improve their properties instead. So everyone who uses these sites loses not once, but twice. And idiots like I found above live on in professed ignorance while only a few of us 'rail' against the stupidity of using a Third Party site.