I have used Booking.com for the majority of my travel arrangements; however I did not realize until now how deceptive the marketing strategy is to get you to book through them. This realization came as I attempted to enforce their price match guarantee. I noticed that the room I booked was $60 less on the booking.com website so I brought this to their attention and they said my claim was unsubstantiated. They pointed out that the room I booked had VAT, taxes and fees included; the room that is currently advertised does not include VAT, taxes and fees included and that my room was about $1 less than the current advertised price. I pointed out to booking.com that VAT is not charged to US citizens, only to Colombian residents and therefore should not be included in the booking price.

Their response was that my price is less than the current price even with the VAT included. Since it is illegal for the hotel to include VAT for a US citizen, the VAT should not be included in booking price as it essentially adds 16 percent to the total price of the room. When I asked to speak to a supervisor, they ignored my request. Out of principle, I will be canceling my credit card that is holding the reservation since the reservation is nonrefundable. Buyers should beware of these nuances and laws in different countries since Booking.com does not appear to be aware or ignores you when you are more knowledgeable than them.

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