Trivago is a Scam

As a traveler, I was titillated by Trivago’s slick TV ads. You cannot miss them. I was intrigued and wanted to try the service online, so I did. I was soon disappointed. Trivago claims to find users the best hotel deal by searching hundreds of websites simultaneously and displaying the results instantly.  While the results my be instantaneous, the results are far from accurate. In fact, they are a scam.

The problem is, Trivago displays a couple of results that are right on target: They show you your selected booking dates, the hotel amenities, and the lowest price in comparison to other sites’s prices. Here’s the rub: If you click on the lowest price, you may not notice that the hotel you are booking may be hundreds of miles away from the city that you originally entered in your search.

You heard me right: In order to fulfill their huge advertised promise to their customers, Trivago may only show as few as two relevant results with the rest being complete fallacies.  To make it worse, they give you no notification of this fact, unless you are keen enough to notice the small print within the listing naming the far away city that you have selected. If you are not that keen, you quickly go from being a customer to being a victim of false advertising.

I cannot imagine the number of headaches that this causes for customers and Trivago alike every single day. They must get thousands of calls per week with angry people asking why the hotel they searched for is suddenly booked in Topeka instead of Toledo, or New York instead of San Francisco. Perhaps they are in such a steep growth phase that they can afford that many angry, and most likely non-repeat, customers. But I have never heard of a business being sustainable with such disdain for its customers’ satisfaction.

You are better off going with your preferred and reliable handful of familiar hotel booking websites, and doing the comparison on your own; much contrary to the entire stated mission of Trivago. Perhaps they are in the process of working this kink out. Perhaps they don’t care. If this is the case, I don’t care very much for using Trivago.

Man, am I glad I noticed the problem before I booked my vacation with my hotel half the country away from where I would be. Can you imagine how it must be for people who do not realize the scam until they arrive at their chosen destination?

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