After publishing my article comparing Kaligo/Rocketmiles/Pointshound with Agoda/Expedia (Are Kaligo, Rocketmiles and Pointshound ever worth it?) , I received comments from a Dingwen and also a Tony on my content (see comments to that particular post) and such comments were suggestive of me unfairly siding with Agoda and/or Expedia:
I bet if Kaligo provided you an affiliate link, you would be promoting them instead 🙂, Dingwen
You conclude that Agoda and Expedia are the best options and then reveal that you are collecting affiliate commissions from only those two companies. Does that not discredit your post? , Tony
While I responded in the comments section why I believe my views regarding Kaligo (and other such sites) are correct, I decided to explore this topic further and expose how such sites (e.g. Kaligo ) create an impression that they are value adding with bonus miles thrown in whilst allegedly offering the same service and at the same price.
Use of vague representations – Kaligo
If you are an interested customer looking at Kaligo’s website and figuring out how Kaligo is able to offer such attractive packages without compromising on costs, you will eventually stumble on Kaligo’s explanation of how they do it:
About Kaligo.comWhat is Kaligo.com?
Kaligo.com is the only way you’ll want to book a hotel online – ever! We offer the same large selection and great rates for hotels you get elsewhere on the web, plus you earn unbelievable miles and points that can get you amazing rewards, including free flights, upgrades and more!Is there a catch? How can Kaligo.com offer such incredible miles and points?
Travel sites like Kaligo.com receive great commissions from hotels because we help sell rooms that would otherwise stay empty. While other sites use most of these commissions to pay for expensive advertising (e.g. through search engines, banners, etc), we return value to our customers in the form of miles and points instead, because they keep our customers happy and spending!
Making a BookingWhy does searching take longer than other travel sites?
Unlike other sites, we don’t source our hotels through just a single supplier. Instead, we bring you exceptional value by connecting in real-time to dozens of regional companies. The smaller ones can be a bit slower to respond, but they usually have the most spectacular deals. So it’s all worth it: for just a few seconds more, you’ll often see the most incredible offers popping up right at the end of a search.How do I know that I’m getting a good rate?
Rest assured with Kaligo’s price comparison engine! Other sites have “best rate guarantees” that make you file hassle-full claims to report rates found elsewhere. Kaligo.com does the work for you! We compare rates real-time against the most popular travel sites each time you search, so we can actually show you when you’re getting the cheapest rate.
You will see vague references suggesting that Kaligo’s prices being “great rates” and having “exceptional value“. Such prices are apparently the result of some special price comparison engine that connects “in real-time to dozens of regional companies” and compares “rates real-time against the most popular travel sites each time you search“. This ends of with a vague commitment that Kaligo “can actually show you when you’re getting the cheapest rate“.
If you are sharp enough (or maybe I am reading too much into the way Kaligo drafted its FAQ), it does not appear that Kaligo is guaranteeing that its prices are the cheapest or that it will match or beat a lower price found elsewhere. Kaligo is just saying that its price comparison engine will tell you when you are getting the cheapest rate and if its silent, then the rates offered are not the cheapest. And this sounds about right as I have not yet seen any such notification despite me fiddling with Kaligo these last few days.
If my analysis in my other post is not persuasive enough, I just did a random search for a hotel in Singapore on Kaligo. The only filter I had on was “Best Deals”. The first hit was “Hotel Royal”. I then searched Expedia for the same hotel. The superior rooms were sold out on Expedia leaving the next cheapest room being the Deluxe room.
These are the results:
The price difference between Kaligo and Expedia is SGD40 a night + the free breakfast thrown in by Expedia.
If you do the math, you will soon realise that for the same price you are paying you can get a room upgrade if you had gone with Expedia instead. For example, Kaligo is charging USD164 for a Superior Twin/Double. For that price, you could have gotten a Deluxe Twin/Double with Expedia (SGD221 = USD164)!
Based on my random search, it appears that Kaligo’s “best deal” is more of a puff (i.e. An opinion or judgment that is not made as a representation of fact – Puffing. (n.d.) West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. (2008). Retrieved August 26 2017 from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Puffing). So my advice to all readers is to be aware of this when booking with Kaligo.
No price guarantees – Rocketmiles and Pointshound
Unlike Kaligo, Rocketmiles and Pointshound do not appear to hold themselves out as offering the cheapest rates to their customers.
Rocketmiles makes it clear in its FAQ that it does not guarantee the rates offered are the best. It, however, states that the rates are “competitive”:
Do you have a “best rate guarantee”?
Rocketmiles does not have a “best rate guarantee”, though offers competitive rates combined with large loyalty program rewards with every hotel booking.
Pointshound is slightly problematic. My research indicated that they may have offered at some point in time a low price guarantee. Some older sites summarised the requirements as set out below:
- The hotel room you booked must be marked as “Price Match Guarantee”
- You must find the lower room rate whilst the hotel can still be cancelled (this varies based on each hotels cancellation policy)
- Lower price must be for the same hotel, dates, length of stay and room type
- The site you’re comparing to must be directed towards consumers and operate in the same locale (e.g a website targeting businesses will not count, a website focused on the Ireland market will not count)
However, googling “Pointshound price guarantee” will lead you to a page that does not exist (retrieved on 27 August 2017). Pointshound may have stopped offering such price guarantees and this appears to be supported by a review of their terms and conditions (who actually reads such boring stuff anyway):
DisclaimerPOINTSHOUND AND THE SERVICES OFFERED THEREON ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY, REPRESENTATION, CONDITION OR GUARANTEE OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES, REPRESENTATIONS, CONDITIONS OR GUARANTEES OF QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY, MERCHANTABLE QUALITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NON-INFRINGEMENT, ALL OF WHICH ARE DISCLAIMED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.