Dragoncon Goers Beware

, , , , , | Working | December 5, 2019

My boyfriend and I were going with a friend to a very big convention in a large city. This convention happens to coincide with the city’s Pride Parade, so you have to book in pretty far in advance or there is no possible way you will find accommodation anywhere near the Con.

We made our booking on a popular home-rental site about three months out. We found a nice spot in convenient walking distance for a decent price, paid in full up front, and were all set for Con time. Awesome.

Then, two months later, our booking was cancelled and our deposit returned. We got a message from the owners stating that the price we booked at was incorrect, because their booking calendar “hadn’t updated to consider the increased demand.” However, we were welcome to rebook the same location for four times the original price.

My boyfriend called the helpline and, while the rep was extremely helpful and did place a penalty against the owner — though what form that penalty took we don’t know — he informed us that he wasn’t authorized to give us more than a $50 credit towards another booking, and the only things still open by then were much more than $50 over the price of our previous booking. He stated that he would pass our issue on to upper management and we should get a call soon.

That call never came, and now we were stuck without a place to stay, only a few weeks out from the Con, and everything in the area was either out of our price range or booked up. This was probably exactly what the owners of our original booking were counting on, hoping to trap us into rebooking at their inflated price.

Thankfully, our friend knew someone in the area who happened to have been given a free room at one of the host hotels due to being an invited guest at the Con, and offered for us to stay at his house while he was in the hotel. So, by a stroke of luck it all worked out, but no thanks at all to the house-rental site.

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