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Hotelscombined is a Scam

Discussion in 'Affiliate Programs' started by etc, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. filippomartin

    filippomartin Greenhorn

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    #61
    I can confirm that Hotels Combined is a scam and the bad hotels affiliate. I tried it , fisrt month i had good revenue with good lead value, after the first month lead value where about 0,03 $ !!! than they suspended my account one week before the next payment and so they missed to pay me 120 $. Than i moved to booking dot com affiliate that i was using before of hotels combined and i started to have reservations, when hotels combined said that i had few reservations! last month on booking i had 47 reservations!...so take care , you lose time with hotels combined and remeber to change all your links if you are moving on other affiliate program otherwise they will gain from your links!!!
    SEMrush
     
    filippomartin, Aug 24, 2015 IP
  2. Sanchik14

    Sanchik14 Peon

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    #62
    does anyone knows what is the commissions from booking dot com ?

    for example if the prices for the hotel is 100 USD , and someone takes it for 3 days ( total 300 USD )

    what will be the commission ?

    thanks,

    regards,
    George from Georgia
     
    Sanchik14, Nov 12, 2015 IP
  3. zgeorg

    zgeorg Peon

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    #63
    Hotelscombined is very unfair affiliate program, you should avoid them. Worst of the worst, because they make everything to attract you into and then steal your time and money. And we also find - Google banned your page rank fast on all domains we implemented code from Hotelscombined. Dont destroy your internet brand as we did.
     
    zgeorg, Dec 9, 2015 IP
  4. IG2010

    IG2010 Well-Known Member

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    #64
    If your website is over linked with affiliate links, you don't need to be with HotelsCombined, Google do ban affiliate site if the purpose of the site is just to make money, nothing new here
     
    IG2010, Dec 22, 2015 IP
  5. xtrem726

    xtrem726 Active Member

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    #65
    Hello
    I already stopped all hotelcombined link on my site.
    Any one here have some experience will agoda affiliate ? Please share.
    Agoda don't pay me, my earning already reached minimum pay out.
    Already contacted them, I will update here when I get update from agoda.
     
    xtrem726, Jan 3, 2016 IP
  6. Cappuccino7

    Cappuccino7 Peon

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    #66
    Hotels Affiliate Programs : Agoda, Booking, Tripadvisor, Hotelscombined. Who are the honest ones (and who scam) ?
    After having used these affiliates programs for a while, I would like to share my experience and maybe save troubles to newbies, because it takes a lot of time and efforts to discover the real nature of these companies. I also urge experienced affiliates, to share their knowledge and experience, it is after all, in our interest to expose, encourage and work with the honest companies and to avoid the bad ones, the ones who are exploiting affiliates.
    First a general comparison between these 4 :
    Agoda and Booking are sites with direct hotel booking. They have relationships with the hotels themselves.
    Tripadvisor and Hotelscombined are search engines that present to the surfer a comparison of prices and then direct to sites like Agoda and Booking.
    Agoda and Booking are paying their affiliates by sale, which means that a commission is payed only after a guest has left the hotel.
    Tripadvisor and Hotelscombined are paying their affiliates by lead, which means that a commission is payed each time a surfer has “landed” in one of the sites referred by them (like to Agoda, Booking and others). Of course that a commission on a sale is supposed to be higher than a commission on a lead.
    For the customer experience, Agoda and Booking are quite similar. They both have a good user interface and “travelers reviews” for each hotel (hotel reviews is very important for the customers). Booking has a very good reputation worldwide and it is considered the standard for hotel reservation, their offices are located in Amsterdam. Agoda on the other hand, is mostly popular in Asia, in countries like Thailand and that’s also where their offices are located.
    Tripadvisor has a very good reputation worldwide, and they also have a system of “travelers reviews” for each hotel. In fact, that’s what they are best known for, as a mark. They refer their users to big and known hotel reservation sites like Agoda and Booking.
    Hotelscombined, on the other hand, are less known. They don’t really have a “travelers reviews” system. They refer their users to less known hotel reservation sites, which are supposed to be cheaper. These sites sometimes lack international language support.
    Note: The experience we may have with these companies, as affiliates, may be different than the ones experienced by their clients.

    So now, here is what I think about these four :

    Agoda : A scam
    It took me some time to gather “evidence” but there are a lot of signs that show that they don’t have an honest corporate culture:
    1. Their threshold for payment is 200 $. That’s very high, the double from the standard used by other hotel affiliates companies. With this high threshold, they get a lot of “lost money”, a lot of money from new affiliates who couldn’t arrive to that limit. Also, when you leave them, you necessarily loose money. (Also for me, as a “coincidence”, when I decided to slow my activity with them, my sales have stopped very close to the 200 $, no more hotel reservations…)
    2. When the conditions for my first payment with Agoda finally occurred and I couldn't see any sign of money transfer and I wrote to them, they claimed that i needed to fill a form because I was new. I filled the form, it had the exact fields of the normal registration form. Why they don’t ask to fill the form at the registration process? why do they wait till the affiliate realize that he wasn’t paid and then write to them ? The answer: they gain time. I was paid one month after.
    3. When you are finally paid by Agoda, commissions are taken by their bank, the one that they are using for the transfer. They don’t offer Paypal or any other method of payment where there is no loose of money. When I was paid by other companies, whether it was by cheque, bank transfer or Paypal, I got exactly the sum that appeared on the reports. (Then my own bank took a currency exchange commission, but that’s another story), but with Agoda, a part of the payment is lost even before it reaches your bank account (10 % as I experienced it). Who knows the agreements that Agoda has with their banks…
    4. In mid 2015, Agoda stopped to use cookies to track affiliates sales. They decided to do like Booking and pay the affiliates only if the hotel reservation is done on the spot. (An explanation about this, later on, when I talk about Booking). The point is that Agoda didn’t announce to the affiliates that it was making a major change. When I noticed a sharp drop in sales and wrote to them, they lied and said that the drop was due to “seasoning factors”. Anyway, now that they are not tracking sales over a period of time (it used to be one month), they don’t have any advantage over Booking, quite the contrary.
    5. When you write emails to them, you receive replies with a level of english similar to one used by a Tuk-Tuk driver from Bangkok. Also the stories they tell you in the emails are like the ones of a Tuk-Tuk driver.
    6. On some localized Agoda sites (customized for specific countries), a phone number is displayed very clearly on the top of the home page, it is for customers who prefer to do the reservation by phone. Do you think you will get an affiliate commission if the client choose to reserve by phone ?
    7. Agoda was sending me (and all its affiliates), general marketing emails about how to improve the conversions and the site. Without entering into details, some of these advices could be considered spamming, by Google.
    8. In one email, they asked to replace existing banners with new ones (to very noisy and annoying banners). Their method to encourage the affiliates to do so was by simply stating that Agoda would not support anymore the old banners and so commissions would not be paid. A little bit aggressive I would say, they made me loose a lot of time.

    Booking : Honest
    They are fine. They pay on time, they pay with Paypal and their reporting system is clear. But:
    From the beginning they make it clear that they consider a sale, only if the customer has made a reservation on the spot and not if he did it the next day or the next week (technically, they just don’t use cookies to track who is the source of the conversion). From my own experience, the natural behavior of customers is to compare between offers and do the reservation only days or weeks later. It means that we as affiliates are loosing most sales that we are bringing to Booking. I don’t have real data about this issue but my guess is that we are loosing about 90% of the sales and it could be even much more than this. Not only that, but also the sum of each sale that we may finally get, is typically a low one because customers are unlikely to make big purchases on the spot. They may reserve on the spot a short stay of 1 or 2 days but not a vacation of 2 weeks on the beach. Also, when cookies are used (like in Amazon, for example), you sometimes get sales for products that you don’t promote directly on your site. For example you promote a book on Amazon and the next day the person buys a TV and you get a commission (optimistic example). In the hotel sector, it means that when cookies are used, you could get sales also on hotel reservations in countries and cities that you don’t promote directly on your site (but it is still a client referred by you, so it is just to receive a commission). But now, not anymore. Not with Booking and not with Agoda.
    Another drawback with Booking is that there is a high level of cancelations, (by the customers) over existing bookings.
    Despite all this, Booking is today the best option for affiliates in the Hotel industry. Sad but true.

    Tripadvisor : Honest
    They are good and they pay on time. But :
    You loose money with them because they are split into several domains, and affiliate programs and affiliate marketing groups (they are complicated). I know at least two affiliate marketing companies working with them : CJ and Zanox. Inside these two, TripAdvisor are split into many programs for different countries. If you have a multilingual site, you have problems because you could be admitted, for example to Tripadvisor U.S but not to TripAdvisor Germany. Then if the client’s browser detects that the Ip is from Germany, the German site is presented and you get nothing. There are also countries without any TripAdvisor affiliate program, like in south america. I don’t know what happens if a surfer from Colombia is choosing his flag over the flag of Spain, I mean I am pretty sure that the affiliate’s commission is lost.

    Hotelscombined : Don’t know yet. I am still testing them, they are weird.
    The bad signs :
    1. Horror stories from affiliates on forums. I specially noted someone telling that Hotelscombined didn’t want to pay him with Paypal because he was from Australia (the company headquarters happens to be also in Australia) but only by bank transfer and only for a minimum of 500 $. Finally his case was resolved, but it is fishy. There are many tells of affiliates who approached the threshold of 100 $ and were not paid because Hotelscombined claimed that the affiliate didn’t produce sells. I cannot personally confirm this because I never arrived to the threshold with them.
    2. For the customer experience on their site, I noted that Hotelscombined present a price “best offer“, then if you click, you are redirected to an hotel reservation site, but the minimum price that appears for the room is suddenly higher.
    The positive signs :
    1. There is one travel site, that I respect a lot, and it is using Hotelscombined as a first choice. I don’t know why. But maybe it’s a wrong indication because big affiliates are treated differently.
    2. I like their affiliate user interface, easy integration and multi lingual banners.

    There are other Hotel booking companies that I didn’t cover here and that I like as a regular customer (and don’t have any working experience with them). for example Expedia. But for affiliates, Expedia suffer from the same problems as TripAdvisor (they are split into many international programs)
    My conclusion :
    The situation is pretty bad. It seems the hotels affiliate companies don’t want to give an honest part of their gain to the affiliates who brought them the sales. Today you can’t get a decent percentage of the sale for a nice reservation of 2 weeks on a beach resort, it just don’t happen.
    Maybe it’s because there is no real competition in this sector. The 2 big companies, that dominate the market are Booking and Agoda and they are both owned by the same corporation (Priceline). We could easily imagine a situation in which Priceline ordered to pay the affiliates the minimum because one way or the other the sales were arriving to one of their companies.
    Once again, I urge experienced affiliates to share their experience and also to correct me if I have missed something. If someone knows about an honest and good hotel booking company with one multilingual affiliate program, please share. Thanks
     
    Cappuccino7, Jan 7, 2016 IP
    dannyinpt likes this.
  7. dannyinpt

    dannyinpt Member

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    #67
    Thanks for your input, nice to read a full opinion.

    As you suggest it would be good to see more in depth replies from others with more experience!
     
    dannyinpt, Jan 8, 2016 IP
  8. alinzm

    alinzm Greenhorn

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    #68
    I am really confused, I have some Blog and site with Travel niche. even in the past, I had time and booked the hotel directly by Hotels. I want to start affiliate because I don't have time to manage deal with hotels but Hotelscombined seems so not professional, even I don't know if anyone book the hotel with them! Booking-com seems more professional but I'm not sure about How much it will be their commission and which one it will be better for me!

    I hope you will write again about experience with both.
     
    alinzm, Jan 25, 2016 IP
  9. tokyoice

    tokyoice Well-Known Member

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    #69
    Hmm, I was going to use HotelsCombined as a new project of mine, but after reading this thread, it's made me not want to anymore..
     
    tokyoice, Jun 23, 2016 IP
  10. IG2010

    IG2010 Well-Known Member

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    #70
    if your leads are real, there is no fear to have, I got paid again, I had problems the first 2 payments as I needed to contact them to receive it but since then, my leads are genuine and I am getting paid on time.
     
    IG2010, Jul 9, 2016 IP
    sunnykgupta likes this.
  11. sunnykgupta

    sunnykgupta Well-Known Member

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    #71
    Starting out with a new website with HotelsCombined. I'll be using a lot of SEO and PPC traffic in the travel domain. Hope to post a honest review here soon.
     
    sunnykgupta, Jul 10, 2016 IP
  12. tmean

    tmean Active Member

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    #72
    I have earned $34.2 in my hotelscombined account
    But no any earnings for last 7 days
    I think i will never get my money from them

    I will join booking.com affiliate program because they are honest!!
     
    tmean, Jul 13, 2016 IP
  13. donjonas

    donjonas Peon

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    #73
    Hi IG2010, what is your Lead value currently?

    Thanks for sharing your experience.
     
    donjonas, Aug 2, 2016 IP
  14. Plan Trip

    Plan Trip Greenhorn

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    #74
    So when I reached $78 now no leads are generating in my website www.plan-trip.com . I can see about 10+ converted clicks every day in my google adsense account but no visit / leads has been generated since 1 month. I have no idea if they have changed links or they do same when their users reach near minimum payouts.
     
    Plan Trip, Aug 30, 2016 IP
  15. tmean

    tmean Active Member

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    #75
    tmean, Sep 11, 2016 IP
  16. tmean

    tmean Active Member

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    #76
    $0.47 earning yesterday

    Thanks
     
    tmean, Sep 11, 2016 IP
  17. sarafoster

    sarafoster Active Member

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    #77
    Now i have reached to $129 , but now from last 5 days in my account unable to see revenue against my leads // getting daily 6 - 7 leads but revenue $0.00 while before revenue was parallel with my leads. And they are not replying my emails. What's matter with them ? hotelscombined going to eat my money :D even i am legit all traffic legit everything is perfect. But ........
    check out : http://prnt.sc/dlg0w1
     
    sarafoster, Dec 19, 2016 IP
  18. IG2010

    IG2010 Well-Known Member

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    #78
    got paid in december $118

    I have now reach $1000, even though I had some problems with late payment when I started, eveything is fine now
     
    IG2010, Jan 8, 2017 IP
  19. Tom Davies

    Tom Davies Peon

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    #79
    Hotels Combined are a complete SCAM.

    I hit $100 and then they closed my account, saying there was no bookings.
    This was false as my friend had booked a hotel through my site. I queried this with them, then they mysteriously found 2 bookings ( I suspect there was more, but it is untrackable) however they said I would only get $54 from them. Why operate a cost per click if you can just adjust the commission accordingly, I suspect they would not adjust if I generated $400 commission?
    So apparently I am back below the $100 threshold, and I will not receive my money.
    I will not be sending any further traffic to them, and moved to Booking.com who has 5 booking in 1 month and over EUR 100 commission, with a much more informative admin section detailing bookings.

    I have all E-Mails to confirm the above, but I hope someone listens to this and don't waste your time and effort with sending them traffic to not get paid.
     
    Tom Davies, Jan 9, 2017 IP
  20. Oglasi

    Oglasi Peon

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    #80
    Ok so first time i was reading this post, i was already in HC affiliate program for 20 days, earned 16$ and tried to contact them regarding my earnings and this forum post, and other similar posts on internet. I waited for 14 days, just to see if they will reply, gues what, they never replied. I want to warn people not to waste their time on these scammers. They say that they pay per lead, but somewhere hidden in thir marketing is that it is not pay per lead. I used AdWords for traffic on my website, mainly because travel niche is to competitive, and i am lucky that i run into this and many other warrnings so i cut the sneaks head on time. PLEASE be carefull and dont waste your time with HotelsCombined.com affiliate program! They will never pay you, they will disable your account as soon as you reach payment threshold and reply you with some BOT like answers. Since this post was from 2013, maybe even earlier, at first i was like, its 2017 they must have learned? They did not! They do not respect effort you make and they dont give a flying fck.

    Dont waste your time! Find some other travel affiliate that respects and pays their customers.

    Thank you all who participated so far in this post and help me dodge the bullet. It is much appriciated.
     
    Oglasi, Mar 5, 2017 IP