Last Updated on May 25, 2023 by Tina
I used to be a loyal Agoda customer. Most of the time, properties are cheaper in Agoda than in other third-party booking sites so I book with them. And because of that, I have AgodaVIP Platinum status. I never had any problems with my bookings until our trip to Siquijor last month. It was a nightmare. We arrived at the accommodation and we were told that they couldn’t find our Agoda booking. What’s worse, they were already fully booked.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to book something is completely up to you. Using my links costs you nothing extra and will help in maintaining this blog. Thanks for your support!
Last Holy Week, we traveled to Siquijor from Bohol. We spent five days there- 2 days in San Juan, 2 days in Lazi, and for our last day, we decided to stay near the port of Siquijor because we have an early trip back to Bohol the following day. We booked Tumamak Lodge in Agoda. It has a low rating, only 5.2 in Agoda. But we’re only staying there for one night. And it is very close to the port, you can see the port from the property. Also, we were able to book the room with a private bathroom so we thought it should be fine.
I received the email confirmation for my booking right after I paid so I thought everything was good. But when we arrived at the property, the owner told me she doesn’t have my booking. She asked where I booked and I told her I did it in Agoda. She said they’re no longer with Agoda. It has been more than a month since she removed her listing with Agoda. So she was surprised that I was still able to book there.
Since she’s no longer with Agoda, I thought she couldn’t do anything about it anymore. I just asked her if they still have a vacant room. She said they are already fully booked. I asked if she knows any other accommodation establishments in the area and she told us to check the big building near the church.
Related Post: My Belt Bag Was Stolen In Alona Beach- What to Do When You Lose Your ID Card While Traveling
However, it was Holy Week. As expected, the hotel was also fully booked. We checked another one nearby and also tried to check in Booking, but everything’s fully booked. My friend asked me if Tumamak Lodge was really fully booked and I said yes. I told him the owner said there is a room on the second floor but the bathroom is downstairs. When he heard me say it, he asked why I told him it was fully booked when there is one room available. I said that he used to tell me he doesn’t want a room without a private bathroom so I didn’t tell him about that room anymore. He said there are no more available accommodations nearby and we would only be spending a night there anyway so it is fine with him.
So we went back to the lodge and luckily the room was still available. The daughter of the owner was hesitant at first because she saw that my friend is a foreigner. Maybe she thought my friend wouldn’t like it.
Related Post: Why You Should Include Siquijor in Your Travel to the Philippines
Getting the Refund From Agoda
As soon as we settled in the room, I called Agoda although I wasn’t sure if there would be anyone who would pick up because it’s Black Saturday. Someone answered and I told him what happened. I asked why they still have the property in their system even if the owner already removed her listing with Agoda. The guy from Agoda confirmed that Tumamak Lodge is indeed no longer with Agoda, but they made my booking through their partner. He told me to stay on the line while he talks to their booking partner.
After a few minutes of waiting, the guy asked if I’m still on the property, and if I am, he asked if he could speak with the owner. They tried to find out what happened and why my booking through their partner didn’t get through. But even if they were able to resolve it, it doesn’t really matter anymore because the lodge is already fully booked.
The guy from Agoda offered to help me look for another accommodation but I said I am no longer interested. I told him to just give me a refund. The call lasted almost an hour and I was so exhausted from that travel disaster, but at least I got the refund right away.
The Room at Tumamak Lodge
I have a confession to make. One of the reasons I didn’t tell my friend about the last available room was because I was also hesitant about staying there. I haven’t seen the room but based on the low reviews in Agoda, I thought the room must be bad. I was wrong. It wasn’t fancy but the bed was comfortable. And it was a big room with one double-deck bed and one single bed. The common toilet wasn’t bad too. Again, not fancy, but it was clean. The lodge is actually fine for an overnight stay. Like when you took the last ferry from Dumaguete so you arrived late in Siquijor, or when you have the early trip to Tagbilaran. Also, the family who owns the lodge was very kind. I think because of that, I would actually give them a higher rating.
How to Avoid this Travel Nightmare
I’m not gonna say don’t use Agoda anymore because I really had good deals with them many times. To ensure the property really received your booking from Agoda, email the property after you receive your booking confirmation from Agoda. You’ll see the email address of the property from the booking confirmation.
Although for me, after that incident, my booking platform of choice has become WayAway Plus. I use WayAway even before the incident but only when the property is cheaper on Booking.com. WayAway is a travel aggregator that shares the commission it gets from airlines and travel agencies with users through a cashback program. With WayAway Plus, you pay a small price of $49.99 for an annual membership plan. Then when you make bookings through WayAway Plus to Booking.com, Klook, Hostel World, etc. you get a cashback reward after your stay.
Although Booking.com is sometimes more expensive than Agoda, it’s the only app I use now because I get cashback with WayAway Plus when I book with them. Another thing I like about Booking.com is that you can message the property directly through their app, unlike Agoda where you have to email the property if you’d like to communicate with them.
Have you ever experienced any travel nightmares on your previous trips? What did you do about it? Feel free to share your experience in the comments section. Who knows, your experience might help other travelers too.
Subscribe to New Posts
Never Miss An Update
Follow my Facebook page @iwentanyways and like my Instagram accounts @iwentanyways and @tnadeperalta for updates.
If you need more information about traveling to Siquijor, you can check out Solo Travel Guide to Siquijor. I have updated the post to cater to everyone, whether you are traveling solo or with someone else.