Tripadvisor launched a new online hotel booking site today: Tingo.com. Dont look for it (yet) on the Tripadvisor site however – not even as a search comparison option.
Tingo takes a little bit from Expedia (hotel inventory), a little bit from Orbitz (Price Assurance) and combines them into what is pitched as a new offering where consumers “just can’t lose”
After a consumer books, Tingo continues to monitor the price of the booking to determine if the price has dropped. As many insiders know, hotels often actually drop rates as the departure date nears when demand fails to materialize. Yes, they raise rates too, but that isnt the issue if you have already booked. If Tingo finds the price has dropped, they rebook the room at the new price and refund the difference back to the hotel guest. Sound familiar?
Similar services exist today for air – Yapta anyone? Tripit Pro offers a similar feature for air. And Orbitz offers Price Assurance for hotels (and air) where they refund the difference if the price drops. Orbitz Price Assurance, however, requires another consumer to actually book the exact same stay (or airline ticket) for the refund to kick-in. Tingo promises the refund no matter what – back to “you just can’t lose”
or can you?
Given Tingo offers hotel inventory only from Expedia (dig deep into the Ts&Cs for that) vs. a meta search model – this looks like just a slightly better place to buy a room from Expedia. And that is if you don’t value Expedia Rewards….