MBS investigating mispriced booking rates

Marina Bay Sands said it was investigating the cause of incorrect room rates being offered on its booking site.
Marina Bay Sands said it was investigating the cause of incorrect room rates being offered on its booking site.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is investigating the cause of incorrect rates offered on its booking site, which advertised prices as low as $70 a night at the five-star hotel.

Travellers and staycationers who thought they had snagged a good deal last week were told on Monday (Dec 5) that their bookings would not be honoured at the mispriced rates.

MBS said in response to queries that the error affected only guests due to arrive on March 31 next year for stays up to April 7, and apologised for the inconvenience.

No credit cards were charged at the time of booking, it said, and affected guests have been extended a $100 credit towards their final bill if they choose to keep their reservations.

While MBS did not disclose how many customers were affected but said that "many of the affected guests have reconfirmed their bookings with us at the correct rate."

The lowest rate offered to affected customers is $450 a night for a deluxe room.

Unhappy customers took to MBS's Facebook page to express frustration at its refusal to honour booking prices.

Mr Hsu, an American lawyer who had planned a vacation here during the affected dates, showed The Straits Times a booking confirmation for a seven-night stay at a club room at MBS for $763.87.

After making the reservation on Nov 29, Mr Hsu, who declined to give his full name, contacted MBS to update his information and was told that his reservation could not be retrieved due to a technical issue with MBS's computer system.

A week later, he received an email informing him of the error and that he could keep his reservation for a rate of $610 a night.

Mr Hsu, 43, said he has already paid for a non-refundable flight from New York to Singapore, but declined the offer by MBS.

He said he has lodged a complaint with the Singapore Tourism Board.

However, MBS pointed to a clause in its terms and conditions that states that for bookings based on rates that have been incorrectly posted, "the hotel reserves the right to correct the rate or cancel the reservation at its discretion."

A spokesman for the STB said it has received feedback, and "as this is a commercial arrangement between MBS and its affected customers, STB will convey these customers' concerns to MBS to address directly."

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) said it has received two complaints on the matter.

"As a matter of good business practice, we would expect the hotel to work towards an amicable resolution to this matter," said Case's executive director Seah Seng Choon.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic's senior tourism lecturer Michael Chiam said while MBS has the legal right not to honour the incorrect pricing, "from a goodwill point of view, they would have to consider fair compensation for the mistake made and the inconvenience caused."

The incident is unlikely to tarnish MBS's reputation as a top hotel for tourists, he said.

"It may leave a bad taste for some customers in the short term, but it is a genuine mistake and one-off incident."