How I cancelled a Priceline ‘Name Your Own Price’ hotel reservation for free

Yesterday I made a bid for a Priceline ‘Name Your Own Price’ hotel in San Diego, CA. Unfortunately, I did not get the hotel rate/place that I wanted. I had to figure out a way to get the reservation refunded. Unfortunately, Priceline is pretty darn tough about cancelling Priceline NYOP reservations, and the only (known) exception is death of a family member.

At first I emailed Priceline and asked if they could please refund it. They said “absolutely not, no way, no how” (OK, I’m paraphrasing!). Next, I tried to pull a technicality. You see, when I made my reservation, there were two districts available for Gaslamp: ‘Gaslamp Quarter’ and ‘Gaslamp Quarter South – Convention Center’. I only selected ‘Gaslamp Quarter.’

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Now, the hotel the system gave me, the Andaz San Diego, is technically within the Gaslamp Quarter. Priceline gives you a map of the selected district, and the Andaz San Diego was in it. However, when you search the Andaz San Diego on the normal Priceline booking engine, it shows the hotel as being in the ‘Gaslamp Quarter – Convention Center.’

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I made the claim that Priceline’s own site said the Andaz San Diego was in a different district than the district I chose. The first telephone agent would have nothing to do with it, and transferred me to the supervisor. The supervisor was a little more helpful, but said he could not cancel it. I asked “What if the hotel agrees, would Priceline agree?” He said yes, and made a note on my file to that effect. I called the hotel, and the lovely front desk agent was happy to refund the reservation (interestingly, she noted that my reservation had free cancellation until the day of arrival!). I then called Priceline back, who called the hotel to confirm that they would cancel, and within 5 minutes, the Priceline agent confirmed a full refund. 10 minutes later I got a refund email. Score!

So, it never hurts to ask and ask and ask if you don’t get what you want on a Priceline NYOP reservation.

 

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  1. The hotel also does not charge Priceline (on their special credit card your rez is booked with) until after your departure.

  2. Hotwire and Priceline always agree to cancel the reservation if the hotel agrees. And the hotel will always agree because they are afraid of bad reputation, credit card chargebacks or even a complaining guest that didn’t want to be there.

  3. Wow, this works great. Never knew about this even though I booked it correctly, but since I didn’t get the hotel I wanted and by cancelling using your method, I was able to book another hotel within the same region for about $10 cheaper this second time around.

    Thanks

  4. Honestly, I made a reservation months back using the “Name Your Own Price” feature and a few days ago I had a change of heart about the hotel that PL had given me. I initially called Priceline to express buyers remorse and they gave me the usual runaround about not being able to cancel and non-refundable and whatnot. I then decided to give the hotel a call and spoke with the manager. I told the manager that my significant other was not happy with the hotel we were given at the time of purchase, as it did not fully meet our needs and the manager was more than happy to refund us. All we had to do was call back Priceline and tell them to call the hotel and speak directly to the manager. The manager confirmed the refund to the Priceline rep and that was it. I received a confirmation e-mail from Priceline stating I was having my refund processed and it would take about 7-10 business days. I was honestly surprised.

    • I can confirm that the route of going directly to the hotel and asking if they would cancel the reservation works 100% and is the only way to go if you need to cancel and would like your money back. Do NOT attempt to even try to bargain with Priceline on getting a full refund for a NYOP hotel directly. At best, they will only refund you 1/2 of total cost of the reservation and, if you are lucky, they say they are doing you a favor by giving you back another 25% after you re-book another itinerary with them. Complete BS. They are horrible to deal with!

      Call the hotel first and explain the quandry – they are typically very receptive and honestly, they don’t care about cancelling because the hotel hasn’t even been paid by Priceline until you actually check in. If they are nice, they will usually tell you to call back Priceline and then ask that Priceline call them back.

      To save time, you must call the Priceline Customer Care number (a different dept. from Customer Service – just call the main line customer service # and ask to be connected to a supervisor in Customer Care). Then tell the supervisor that you spoke directly with the hotel reservation manager and that they agreed to fully cancel the reservation without penalty. The Priceline supervisor should then put you on hold while they contact the hotel to confirm this with them. Once confirmed, then Priceline will issue you a refund for the FULL amount of the booking.

      This is something that Priceline will NOT tell you.

  5. This worked for me also! Thank you, dealing with Priceline directly was a waste of time. I had my refund back in no time after contacting the hotel for approval.

  6. Thank you SO much!!! I would’ve been out $275 if I had not came across your post. Worked like a charm. Rose in Customer Care at Priceline was awesome!!I am ecstatic because I was sooo upset about losing the money. All I had to do was call the hotel, see if it was ok. Then call Priceline and have them call the hotel to be sure it was ok. Awesome!!! Refund coming soon!

  7. Hi, I am glad I stumbled on this website. I just made a NYOP reservation in St. Augustine, my first offer wasn’t accepted so I lowered the star rating for the hotel class from 3 to 2 1/2 moderate…well the hotel that accepted was ranked 9 out of 10 hotels in the area with a ton of horrible reviews of Tripadvisor. I know most reviews you take with a grain of salt, but if nearly all the reviews are consistent about the quality of the hotel–that many people can’t be over exaggerating.

    I do have a question, and hope someone can help. I know to call the hotel directly and ask for the cancellation, but what reason should I give? I don’t want to offend the manager out of giving me a refund, and I don’t necessarily want to lie, but I also DO NOT want to stay at that hotel.

    Thanks for your help!

  8. Thank you so much for this! I booked a hotel in the city for a special date night for wife & I, but after speaking with her found out she was hoping for something else! This article totally saved me as I didn’t know what to do!!

  9. Have a similar problem with a booking for a hotel in Paris and its a different location. I contacted the hotel and they said they cant cancel but dont have a problem with cancelling if Priceline say OK for cancellation. So far Priceline are saying no. Any suggestions

  10. worked like a charm. thanks for the tip. got a hotel that was in the “requested area” but was honestly like 20 miles away and had terrible reviews. Thanks for the tip.

  11. I am glad I found this site. I followed the information by calling the hotel and canceled the reservation then I called Priceline and told them the reservation was canceled. They called the hotel to verify then issued the refund. I wish I had found this site before I tried talking to the representatives at Priceline directly (online chat, a phone rep, and two supervisors). Now, I will NEVER book anything with Priceline again because they truly have bait and switch tactics. Namely they claimed my hotel had “no additional fees”, but the hotel did (as stated on their site). Priceline claimed it was a 3 star, but numerous reviews stated it should be at best a 1 star. I had bid on this so didn’t see the hotel name beforehand.

    Another way that you can get this refunded if the above does not work, is to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau as I did long ago with regards to the hotel quality level Priceline stated it was.

  12. I just tried this and the hotel would absolutely not touch the reservation because “they have no control over Priceline reservations”. Frankly, I think this is false, but I have hit a brick wall. My problem is that I received a hotel that charges a $24 dollar fee for parking per night in additional to the hotel per night charge. I argued that this is an additional fee and Priceline response was that I do not have to bring a car. I just filed a dispute with Discover, but the hotel stay is two weeks away and the dispute could take at least 30 days. Therefore, I am between a rock and a hard place. If anyone has any other ideas I would appreciate it.

    • Call Priceline and say that the hotel has agreed to cancel the reservation. I did this without even speaking to the hotel and the priceline rep put me on hold for about 3 minutes and came back to say the hotel agreed and they refunded me the money. Good luck!

  13. I had similar results to Rob:

    I made a ‘name your own price’ hotel reservation for an upcoming trip, the reservation was for one night but for multiple rooms. The airline canceled the flight at the last minute and so we were unable to make the reservation. I know from past experience that Priceline doesn’t like giving up their money, so I followed the advice above and called the hotel.

    The hotel was resolute in refusing to cancel my reservation. They kept saying that only priceline themselves could change it and that the hotel had no control.

    I ended up calling priceline, briefly explained my situation, and requested that they cancel the reservation. I was on hold for a while as the priceline rep contacted the hotel and attempted to verify that there was a reason for my flight cancellation. The priceline rep said that the hotel refused to cancel the reservation, but they would make a one-time exception for me and refunded my reservation in full.

    I’m amazed but happy.

  14. This worked for me. It was easier than canceling the reservation normally. I usually see this stuff and it is outdated but it still worked today. Thank you!

  15. Yes! Thank you for writing this blog post. It worked. The hotel said they would cancel. It might depend on the hotel (mine was a four star hotel), but be polite and say you would appreciate if they would extend the courtesy and flattery about the venue itself does not hurt.

    In my case, I used Name Your Own Price and they actually gave me a hotel that cost more than the lowest published price online. I bid $200 and I found I could have just booked it for $169 on Priceline, $155 on other sites. They would only agree to refund the difference – however, there would be no discount. The only reason you use the Name Your Own Price is for the discount they advertise, as you can certainly end up in a hotel and location you do not like. I think it is really deceptive that Priceline allows hotels to accept bids that are higher than the actual published price everywhere else. That should be a blog post in itself.

  16. Worked. I had stayed at the hotel previously and new it was not a 3 star, hotel was great about it and the second customer care person at priceline was excellent. I have used NYOP at least 30 time and usually get great hotels, only been truly disappointed once. DON’T book below a 3 star!

  17. This works so well!!!! I contacted the hotel first, they told me they can not change it and I need to contact with priceline. I almost gave up but I try to contact with priceline agent and told them to contact with the hotel, I lied that hotel agree to cancel the reservation. And that agent help me to work it out to get the full refund!! which save me a fortune !

  18. I tried this. I’m thinking with any other hotel it would have worked. The general manger from Days Inn Glen Burnie in Baltimore refused to cancel. Priceline was ready to do the refund by the manager absolutley refused. I almost want to cry. Does anybody have any ideas on what I could do?

  19. Hi,
    Luckily I saw this. Thanks everyone for this site. I was successfully able to call Priceline directly and state hotel agreed to cancel (Even though I never called the hotel). Priceline called their Manager and they agreed to cancel. 30 hours prior to check in.

    Great site and great information.

  20. You are the best! Saved me about $375 on a hotel after the place we were going to visit cancelled their event at the last minute.

  21. I would add that Priceline told me to call the hotel and the hotel told me to call Priceline but I asked the hotel directly if they would agree to cancel it if Priceline called them and they said yes. Ultimately that’s exactly what happened. I got Priceline on chat after that, they called the hotel and talked to the same person I had just talked to and boom. Cancelled.

  22. Hello Everyone,

    I had just won a NYOP through Priceline and was not pleased with my results. I was rewarded a 3.0 star but the Tripadvisor reviews were more negative than positive, especially lately. I started to panic but this forum helped me!

    I was just rewarded my full refund, here is how. I called the hotel first and asked for the manager on duty. I told her we had an emergency come up and asked if I could cancel. She said that Priceline reservations cannot be canceled through them, only Priceline. I politely asked for her name and thanked her for her time.

    I then called Priceline and told them I just got off the phone with the manager (tell them their name) and she said they needed to call them to cancel. Priceline put me on hold, called the hotel, and canceled for me. I never even had to tell Priceline why I was canceling, just told them to call the manager.

    On a side note, I have been very unpleased with my Priceline results lately. I have had much better luck using Hotwire Express deals.

    Thanks for all your help!

  23. Yay – this just worked for me! I contacted the hotel who said that basically it would be almost impossible to do, that it could only be changed by their management because of hurricanes, flight cancellation that sort of thing and that Priceline would have to fax info to them to cancel. So then I did live chat with Priceline, told them I had contacted the hotel and that they were agreeable to cancel. Live chat was amazing – very helpful, said no problem, put me on hotel to contact hotel, came back and said all had been cancelled and refunded. Easy peasy….

  24. Thank you every one for your feedback!! My husband double booked me at a very nice hotel in Saint louis. I just followed your directions and it worked beautifully !! Refund without penalty!! Awesome!!

  25. Just wanted to comment on this as well. It really does work if you call the hotel first, explain the reason why you want to cancel, and then have Priceline call the hotel to verify that the hotel is willing to cancel your reservation. The hotel lobby clerk was very polite and understanding. If for some reason you have trouble with the hotel clerks, I would suggest asking to speak to a supervisor. Keep going up the chain until you get the results you are looking for. Customer service should be their primary concern. Thanks for the advice!

  26. Here is another verification that this works. We put in an offer into Priceline’s NYOP for a 2.5 star hotel. It stated that there was a breakfast available. When going to the website and contacting the hotel this was not what I would determine a breakfast. It was a snack to go. The room reviews where terrible. As some one earlier mentioned, that you need to take some of these reviews with a grain of salt. However if the majority of the reviews are negative you really begin have a bad feeling about it. This was by no means a 2.5 star hotel and doing some research on other sites they had this hotel listed a lot lower. We phoned Priceline but like all others were not going to budge. We phoned the hotel talked to the front desk about the hotel and such and they asked us to call Priceline not much they could do. After finding this website and reading the successful stories we decided to attempt one more time. We phoned the hotel, talked to the same front desk person and for manager. He told us there had been a manager switch resently but that he could take care of it for us. The front desk person actually phoned Priceline for us and cancelled it. Priceline then called us to verify the information. Thanks for this blog. Saved us some cash.

  27. Followed instructions to the T and was able to cancel my Hotel reservation at Vegas that I had booked via NYOP on Priceline.com

    The front desk at the Hotel did give me a hard time but I persisted.

  28. This is magic! I never know I could do this until I saw this post. Bid a 3-star hotel which ended up with a lot of negative reviews online. What’s even worse was that the hotel is only $39 TripAdvisor per night, which was $20 cheaper than the price I bid. Called to speak with the supervisor(I didn’t even call the hotel) and he called the hotel and cancel it for me.

  29. Just wanted to add that this does work! My NYOP hotel turned out to be a 3.5 star motel instead of the 4 star hotel – but no point arguing that with Priceline.

    I initially tried by contacting Priceline via Online chat, and was told to call instead. At this point, I thought I’ll contact the Hotel as well, and was told in order to cancel I had to speak to Priceline. So got the name of the person I spoke to, and contact Priceline via phone this time.

    The rep on the phone agreed to cancel straight away (after I fibbed and said the property had agreed to cancel, and just needed Priceline to make this happen) without asking for any further details about reasons or person I spoke with.

    All in all, I’m so happy this worked! I’ve used NYOP once before with no issues, but never again!

  30. Worked for me as well. Called the hotel and hotel said they could not cancel and would have to hear from priceline to do it. Called priceline and told them that I had booked in wrong area on accident and needed to cancel the reservation. Told them that I had spoken with the hotel and that they agreed to the change. Was put on hold while the priceline agent called the hotel and she came back saying the hotel did indeed agree. Boom, full refund received with no problem. Thanks for everyone on this post.

  31. So… on one other occasion, I tried canceling a Priceline hotel by calling the hotel and then Priceline and getting it canceled and it worked.

    Unfortunately, I have ran into a brick wall. I did a NYOP for 3* and when I got the results, I was immediately disappointed by all the negative reviews. I called the hotel to try to get them to cancel and they refused saying their system doesn’t allow them to cancel non-refundable rooms of any kind (Priceline, their own site, etc). To be fair the manager was very nice and understanding and offered some upgrades and free breakfast, but still really disappointed that I am stuck at this hotel.

    I am considering doing a charge back, but I am betting it won’t work since I did agree to the terms of Priceline and I personally haven’t verified the condition of the hotel, however, I believe there is a implicit expectation for a 3* hotel to not have so many complaints about cleanliness and service. (side note, the hotel is about to get renovated so there has been 0 investment in the current state)

    So, buyer beware, asking the manager to cancel does not always work.

    I am actually more disappointed that Priceline would even allow a hotel with such poor ratings in their system.

  32. It worked like a charm. Just called priceline, I told them I spoke with the hotel and they agreed to cancel (I never called the hotel). They put me on hold, called the hotel, canceled the reservation for me. You don’t even need to call the hotel, priceline will do it for you if you ask politely (but tell them you called and they canceled just to be sure it will work)! If this doesn’t work, just call your credit card company. Most credit cards have an agreement that you cannot be charged for a service that you did not use. I am posting thins information because I am tired of companies like Priceline trying to screw the average Joe. Best of luck!

  33. hi
    after reading all the above comments, i just have a feeling that if people keep abusing NYOP system (which is a good system if you know what you are doing and if you are willing to take a risk) then priceline will either cancel it altogether or not give out the same discounts it could have (just another case of corporations passing on the costs to the consumer so way or another).

  34. Thank you soooo much to this forum — i was able to successfully cancel the impossible! Am sooo happy!!!!! Can not express enough gratitude & thanks!!

    Like everyone I used “Name Your Own Price” bid for 4+ star hotel — based on reviews (i.e. tripadvisor / priceline / hotels / kayak ) the hotel was horrible & not recommended. We wanted to cancel & Priceline refused, they said it was impossible per contract. So we resorted to this forum as our last hope.

    We took the following steps based on this forum:

    1) Step 1 : Speak to Hotel Directly — do NOT contact Priceline first, instead speak directly with the Hotel Manager / Reservation Manager. We told him that due to personal matter we need to cancel : hotel manager was immediately accommodating & very understanding — he said no problem to cancel & as part of cancellation process to just have Priceline convey cancellation as formality. ( Be sure to get the name of the Hotel Manager as reference )

    2) Step 2 : Do live chat with priceline — I msged the online priceline rep that the hotel manager has approved request to cancel & has started cancellation process but is waiting for Priceline to call to finish request.

    Live chat transferred us to special priceline phone # 800-774-2354 ( not listed on their site ) — from there a live rep took the call & I re-stated everything. Live rep kept me on the phone for about 10 minutes & issued full refund!

    Still in utter shock that this worked — saved us several hundred dollars, amazing! Thank you!

  35. Hello, I bid on Priceline for a 3 star hotel in South Winnipeg (was aiming for the Sheraton), and ended up with the Quality Inn which has much smaller rooms. Also, I had bid $62, and the Quality Inn room rate is $65 anyway. I called Priceline and told them that the manager had approved my request to cancel. I got put on hold for 5 minutes, and then the girl said that the refund was complete and to wait for a cancellation email! Thank you so much for posting this.

  36. This absolutely worked like a charm. I’m really glad that I could see this post before handling the NYOP problem!

  37. I MADE AND CANCELLED A CAR RENTAL RESERVATION IN SIGHT OF A FEW MINUTES HAVE BEEN TRYING TO TALK TO PRICELINE REGARDING REFUND SEVERAL AUTOMATED PHONE NUMBERS NO HUMAN HOW DO I GET MY REFUND!!!!!!#

  38. So happy I found this site! I just did a NYOP and got a supposed 4 star hotel that cost more on priceline’s site than the hotel’s actual website. Well I called the hotel and went through some grief with the phone agent at first. However, I was persistent and eventually she connected me to the manager on duty. The manager agreed to cancel if I could get the priceline agent I was chatting with online to call them directly and within 10 minutes I got a full refund. Definitely never using priceline again, but I’m happy I was able to get my money back since it was a good chunk of change. Not to mention the fact that the room they gave me was only $100 less a night than the hotel I really wanted that came with way more perks.

  39. I just did this! Didn’t need to call anyone! I just started a chat on priceline and told customer service I called the hotel and they agreed to cancel the reservation. (I actually did not call the hotel). The priceline person I was chatting with asked me for the name of the person I spoke to. I told him I did not catch the name but it was a manager. He said he will call the hotel to resolve it. And it worked!!

  40. When booking the Express Deal whether it be a 3-star, 3.5-star or 4-star, be sure to view the map as it can be misleading! I booked a 3-star Express Deal where they do not give you the name of the hotel until after booking. I was under the impression that it was in Downtown Denver, CO since that is the area of interested I had selected. The description also stated Downtown Denver, CO. Therefore, I had no reason to doubt that they would give me a hotel outside of downtown and didn’t bother checking the map. Lo and behold, it was hotel on the outskirts of downtown! Talk about false advertisement! I chatted online with a Priceline rep and he was unhelpful. He stated that since the hotel is within the map provided at the time of booking, he was unable to issue a refund due to the strict cancellation policy. I called Priceline twice. The first time, I spoke to two different ladies and they were unhelpful. I chatted with another Priceline rep and was hoping to get a different response. I falsely stated that I spoke to the hotel and they agreed to cancel. So he asked for a name, date and time of when I called so they could call to verify. That’s when I immediately called the hotel again and spoke to someone else. He was super helpful and said not a problem, tell the Priceline rep to call me and I’ll agree to cancel. The hotel guy said it happens because we’re really a 3-5 mile radius outside of Downtown. So I gave the Priceline rep his name and number and he called to verify the information. Once verified, Priceline was willing to issue me a full refund!!

    So be patient if you’re wanting a refund and don’t give up. If you don’t succeed the first time, either call the hotel again and again until you speak to someone helpful and/or talk to a different Priceline rep!

  41. OMG! You ROCK!!! I had booked an Express Deal with Priceline for an upcoming trip. I never book less that a 8+ rating and usually a 3* or better, and mistakenly booked one that was a 2 1/2 * with a 7+ rating. After receiving which hotel I booked, I started reading reviews on Trip Advisor. Sketchy area, smelly rooms, and theft seemed to be a recurring theme. I went from being so excited about my vacation to dreading it. I first contacted Priceline and they gave the same song and dance about not being able to cancel. I then found this forum and thought I would give it a try. And it worked! I am so relieved! I contacted the hotel and after being on hold a bit, he said they would honor the cancellation “this one time” but wouldn’t be able to do it again in the future. I don’t think that will be a problem, as I don’t foresee ever booking with them again. lol I then contacted Priceline through the chat feature and they contacted the hotel to cancel. I honestly don’t have anything against Priceline. I have been a very avid customer of theirs for many years and have never been disappointed in the hotels I have received when sticking to my 3* and 8+ rating rule. I have quit using the NYOP feature as they only guarantee a 7+ rating. With Express Deals, you have more control over what you are going to get. They have saved me so much money over the years. I’m just glad this worked out.

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