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Agoda keeps saying "Someone just booked that room..." after I see a hotel and price that I like. It happened twice in a row tonight. I noticed I was doing this around before midnight till now 1:00am plus.

The price I saw was 331/night and then since it showed me the error, I went to my Agoda app on my phone and it was 452/night there!

Does this mean the website was showing me the "yesterday price" and now the price has increased?

Are they arbitrarily increasing prices since they know you are keen to book?

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    it's possible someone did book that room. But it's also possible that the price is only available more than n days before arrival, and as you tick over midnight the hotel responds with "no longer available" when the booking site inquires. Then a human-made decision translates that into "someone booked it!" either because they didn't consider other possibilities, or to give you a sense of urgency. May 14 at 17:30
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    Booking com is already a little bit sketchy with stuff like this but Agoda just rushes headlong into all kinds of BS. My current trip has lasted over two years and the prices on Agoda have been bollocks the whole time. In Japan one place even had signs up that they did not work with Agoda at all yet Agoda would book rooms there they didn't have and they couldn't get Agoda to stop doing it. May 15 at 6:19
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    Booking.com did similar rules, but then in EU it was ruled it is illegal (and I think with a fine). So in EU we should not expect such things, OTOH many dot-com doesn't have much clues on laws (especially internationally). You have the final control: if you do not like a behaviour do not use that site May 15 at 7:41
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    It's really annoying when they show you one price and then suddenly increase it. Try searching for accommodation on other booking sites May 23 at 12:14

2 Answers 2

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Since bookings in the hotel industry are fluid, it is normal for prices to rise when supply really becomes scarce.

But based on the experiences of my friends and mine, when we saw that the price had increased, we used to open the app on the mobile and the website version on the laptop at the same time to compare the prices.

If the prices are different, that's a way to create FOMO in marketing. That makes you book it immediately with a higher price (higher profit).

A similar situation also occurs on some apps or sites for comparing and booking cheap flights, which is not difficult to achieve with the algorithm.

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Are they arbitrarily increasing prices since they know you are keen to book?

You can test it yourself by changing IP and using some incognito browser (or just changing device).

It sounds to me like some price that was available in the past and then was not anymore (but it could reappear in the future). As Kate commented, they probably default to "someone booked it!" to try to rush you into buying something. Agoda is full of nasty tricks to rush their customers to buy some accommodation: time pressure, fake discounts, etc. While Agoda is legit (they do book hotels at the agreed price, which of course only appears at the last page of the booking, and hotel descriptions typically match the reality), you can't trust anything they say about price, time and availabilities.

FYI, Can hotel booking companies make up any "original price" they want, or does the claimed original price have to be somehow grounded in reality? and here are some of the many other examples showing Agoda tricking customers:

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