Priceline’s ‘Name Your Own Price’ (“NYOP”) program for hotel reservations can offer some pretty lucrative deals, often with discounts exceeding 50% of the prevailing rate. I’ve had some wonderful hotels through NYOP, including the W Austin and the Intercontinental Monterey, CA.
Priceline’s NYOP program works by allowing the customer to place some desired hotel characteristics (e.g. location, number of stars, etc). You then place your “bid” amount, and the system will either accept or reject your offer. If accepted, you are locked into the hotel provided, and are only given the hotel’s name after paying. Essentially, it’s a blind auction for a hotel. While there are ways to help ensure you get the hotel you want, you can still be locked into a hotel room that you don’t want, and Priceline will do absolutely nothing to refund your reservation. However, there is a way to get a refund if you don’t like your hotel, which has been confirmed to me by readers dozens of times.
Getting a Refund from Priceline
After making your NYOP reservation through Priceline, and deciding you don’t like the provided hotel, call the hotel front-desk or reservations department and explain that you bid through Priceline and are unhappy with the hotel provided. Explain that it’s not the hotel’s quality, but rather, the location is not what you were expecting, and it would cause you problems. The goal is to get the hotel to agree to cancel the reservation. If the first person doesn’t help, call back later when you know their shift is over. Once you’ve found a willing agent, get their name, and then immediately call Priceline. Explain to Priceline that you spoke with “Bob” at the hotel, and he agreed to cancel the reservation. Priceline will then call Bob and confirm the cancellation. Shortly thereafter, you’ll get an email confirming a full refund for your NYOP reservation!
Of course this method isn’t guaranteed, and should be reserved for extraordinary cases.
This email is to confirm that your hotel reservation, XXX has been cancelled with Andaz San Diego – A Concept By Hyatt.
A refund of 350.10 USD has been applied to the payment method you provided to us upon submitting your request.
We would like to remind you that this cancellation has been granted based on the extenuating circumstances related to your reservation. Under normal circumstances, this type of restricted reservation cannot be changed or cancelled.
Have you tried this method? How’d it go?
This post is an updated copy of a post made August 2014.
Works with Hotwire too in my experience. I had to leave 2 nights early and the front desk agent told me I would have to call Hotwire for a refund of the last 2 nights. I got his name and Hotwire called him at the hotel to confirm and refunded the 2 nights. The way I understand it, the contract they sign with the hotel only allows the hotel to cancel the reservation, so Hotwire loses the funds if they refund you without the hotel’s permission.
Much better yet, just use the ExpDeals app to find out the exact name and hotel location before purchasing on priceline… so much simpler!
Great tip! Thanks.
Dug this old post up and it helped me out immensely.
Booked a NYOP for YVR airport and it gave me a motor inn, which is a pretty far cry from a Courtyard by Marriott etc. Called the hotel, asked if they would cancel which they agreed. Called Priceline back and they called the hotel in within 5 minutes it was refunded.
Thanks for your help 🙂
Worked for me! Thanks so much for the insight