Is Agoda Legit?
Are there any doubts about Agoda's legitimacy, security, and reliability? If so, we might be able to help you.
When using an online travel agency (OTA) such as Agoda, booking accommodations or flights is often cheaper than using an OTA. Here are some questions to ask yourself
- Is Agoda legit?
- Are there any risks involved?
- It's cheaper because we use an agency.
- Do they charge too much for their services?
If you're looking for detailed answers to these specific questions and many others, this article is for you!
Now that we've covered the basics, here's the main question.
Is Agoda Legit?
Agoda is a legitimate company because it is owned by Bookings Holdings, one of the largest providers of online travel products and bookings worldwide. However, using Agoda may carry a higher chance of issues since they act as an intermediary between travelers and hosts.
Before we go into the details of explaining why you should avoid booking hotels through Agoda, I want to clarify something:
How can I say Agoda is a legitimate booking site?
From personal experience, statistics, and the company behind them.
So far, so good! I've booked two rooms using Booking.com once before without any problems.
Despite my own experience, Agoda has been operating for more than 16 years, and if it weren't a legitimate company, it might be dead by now.
Apart from that, Agoda's reputation is further supported by its parent company, Booking Holding, which also owns the world's leading online booking websites like Booking.com, Rental Cars.com, Kayak, Priceline, Open Table, and more.
Moreover, over 2.3 million travelers use it to book their travel plans, and it is one of the fastest-growing online travel agencies currently ranked among the top 10 booking sites on the entire web.
To summarize the answer, is Agoda legit?
An app that is part of the largest online travel company in the world has been operating for so long, attracting hundreds of thousands of people, and ranked among the best booking apps is a legitimate platform.
While it's a legitimate platform, that doesn't necessarily imply that there aren't any downsides, and it's 100% safe and reliable for booking hotel rooms or flights.
To understand how reliable and safe the Agoda platform is for reserving hotel rooms, you must first learn how it operates.
Agoda is an OTA that acts as a middleman between travelers and hotel owners or airlines.
They partner with several airlines around the globe and let anyone post their properties on their site for a percentage of commission if travelers book flights or hotel rooms through them.
One of the reasons why people use listing sites is because they help travel agencies or property owners to reach potential customers without any hassle.
Simply put, here's how it works:
- On Agoda, property owners and airlines advertise their properties to reach millions of customers worldwide.
- When you book through Agoda, they take a commission for each reservation.
- Travelers often use Agoda because they typically offer cheaper rates than booking directly with hotels or airlines.
There's a big downside for both travelers and airlines: they don't know when their flights will be delayed or canceled.
There are higher risks when using Agoda for travel bookings than when making direct reservations.
Bookings made directly from hotels usually have fewer risks than bookings made through third-party sites such as Agoda.
If there are any issues, don't count on hotel staff or airlines for help; instead, contact Agoda directly.
If you want to resolve the issues between you (the customer) and your hotel or airline companies, then you'll need to:
- First, contact their customer service department and explain the problem.
- Agoda will contact you again and may request additional information.
- When you book through Agoda, they will contact the host directly and handle the rest of your booking.
It makes the whole process a lot of trouble and your problem usually takes longer to fix than if you booked direct.
However, I've also heard some complaints from travelers who claim Agoda denied them refunds. It's not always their fault.
Sometimes, it's the customers' fault, too, when they don't follow the safety tips below or the cancellation policies, which leads to problems.
You need to follow the steps I am about to share to avoid any potential issues.
First, we need to learn about safety tips.
Here are six tips for travelers to stay safe when traveling abroad.
When booking travel accommodations online, here are some things to keep in mind to stay safe and prevent scammers from taking advantage of you.
1. Research Before Booking
As I mentioned at the start of this article, the quality of your hotel reservation depends mainly on which one you choose. So, if you want the best deal, you need to research before choosing where to stay.
That s why it is so essential to thoroughly investigate any hotel or airline company before booking with them.
Before booking, here's what you want to look for:
- Amenities and facilities in your room
- Be careful when reading property policies and their terms and conditions because they may not be precise enough.
- Check room photos
- Check for flight cancellations, changes in policies, seating choices, baggage options, and restrictions.
When making reservations at hotels, be sure to look up their reviews before you book. Check out things like cleanliness, amenities, and customer service.
As long as you trust the reviews on Agoda, you can use them to help you decide whether or not to book a hotel room.
It would help if you stayed in accommodations with at least 100+ verified customer ratings. These should be high enough to give you a good insight into what the accommodation is really like. Opt for a minimum rating of 9.0 or higher to get the best result.
Moreover, it's essential to double-‐‐‐‐‐‐‑- tly know what you'll be getting for your accommodation. It would help if you looked at your room amenities and features to know exactly what's included in your package.
It's also essential to check out the hotel's room rates and cancellation and refund policies because each has its policy for different types of accommodations.
Some rooms offer free cancellations before a specific time to get full credit for the room, whereas others are nonrefundable.
Furthermore, it would help if you also looked through the pictures of your accommodation thoroughly before booking so that you don't get caught out by anything unexpected.
Always double-check the cancellation and changing policies for any flight or transfer before making a reservation. Also, always know how much luggage you can bring when traveling.
Make sure you know where to choose your seats so you can sit next to your friends.
If you want to cancel an airport pick-up, some services offer on-the-spot cancellations, but others require you to call them at least 24 hours before the scheduled pick-up time.
If you're going to travel by air, I'd suggest booking your flights direct with the airlines rather than using an online reservation service like Agoda.
But I recommend using Agoda if you're familiar with their policies.
2. Confirm Your Booking
Another important tip is to check if your booking has been confirmed by calling the hotel directly.
Agoda may send you an email to your email address after your reservation has been confirmed. Still, we recommend checking the hotel directly for any changes since they might not match the one you received via email.
If you want to get in touch with the hotel, you can visit My Bookings within your account and click on your reservation.
Don't deal outside of Agoda.
Another essential tip for travelers is to never deal outside their travel booking platforms. This includes making bookings on websites like Booking.com.
When making bookings with Agoda, you can communicate directly with them through their live support system.
However, your host shouldn't ask for any payments or security deposits from you outside Agoda. If they do, then it's most likely a fake account.
You don't need to worry about paying for your hotel room when using Agoda; they will take care of everything for you.
Communicating with your travel suppliers and contacts through the Agora platform is essential because they're monitored for security purposes.
Agoda will not be responsible if you enter into an agreement outside of our system with a third-party travel provider who turns out to have been a fraud.
3. Choose A Safe Destination
Agoda offers travel options at more than two million destinations worldwide. Doing your research will help ensure safety.
Be sure to investigate any location you're thinking of visiting so you know if it has any common scams, political problems, or security concerns you need to be careful of before visiting.
Suppose you're going to be traveling by yourself. In that case, I suggest staying in an urban area, where there are many other travelers and where you won't have trouble finding assistance if you run into any issues.
You can get an idea of the local facilities and restaurants by looking at the listing on Agoda. Make sure the location looks safe and friendly.
Print out your itinerary for each day, so you don't
Once you've made a successful booking with Agoda, they'll send you an email confirming everything. It includes details about your booking, their cancellation policy, and other important info.
It's best to print out your itinerary before you leave for your trip so that you know exactly where you're going and what you need to bring.
4. Be wary of phone calls and email scams.
Unfortunately, scams are common in our digital world, especially in the travel industry.
If you've already registered for an account with Agoda, check that the email address you provided is correct.
Travel scams may involve scammers pretending to be from a reputable company.
If you get an email or phone call from someone claiming to be from Agoda requesting your personal information or credit cards, it's likely a scam.
Please don't provide any information to anyone who reaches out to you this way, even when they claim their reservation has been canceled or their accounts have been banned. Instead, reach out to Agoda directly via the platform to see if there are any issues.
Apart from that, beware of phishing attacks where someone sends you a file claiming to come from Agoda. They may look authentic, but they could contain malware. Be careful not to open attachments unless you know they came from Agoda.
You may see a small spelling mistake in the email address, such as support @ agoda.com or support @ agoda.co.uk.
Here they are! You need to know these essential things when booking on Agoda.
We'll now look at the policies for bookings made through Agoda.
Agoda's policies you should know before booking
Many customers overlook Agoda's Cancellations/Refusals Policy, which results in unsuccessful cancellations and refunds.
To help you understand these policies better, we'll explain each one of them now.
Agoda Cancellation Policy
Before you book any flight, check its cancellation and refund policies.
Some offers allow for free cancellations, while others do not.
Unless explicitly stated in a reservation policy submitted by a vendor (such as Airbnb), Agoda does not collect cancellation charges.
You may be able to cancel your booking for free if you notify them at least 24 hours before your trip begins.
Cancellations must be made at least 24 hours before arrival to avoid fees.
If you want to cancel or modify your reservation, you must first go through Agoda.com. You cannot call the hotels directly to make these types of requests.
Agoda Refund Policy
All refund requests must be handled by contacting Agoda directly. You may contact them via their help center.
Not all properties offer refunds.
Cancellations made less than 14 days before arrival (or within 24 hours) will not be eligible for refunds.
You should receive an email confirming your reservation after paying for a service. It should include any cancellation deadlines you must adhere to.
You must cancel by 14 days before arrival at the hotel. Otherwise, there may be penalties.
Cancellations must be made at least 30 days before the start date for a refund. You won't incur any additional charges if you cancel up until the day of the event. Refunds take 7–10 business days after receiving your request.
You may postpone your order for up to 10 business days after placing it. However, any applicable penalty charges will be deducted from your refund if you do so.
Refunds will be processed within ten business days from the date of notification unless we receive notice of cancellation. We may charge a fee if we need to extend the period to process the refund.
If you let Agoda know that you're leaving early for any reason, they might not be able to issue a full reimbursement until after you've left.
Since Agoda is responsible for resolving any disputes between either party (guest or host), they enforce these policies on either side regardless of whether the guest or the host has done something wrong.
When guests book a place through Airbnb, they agree to our terms and conditions.
If a host is caught doing something wrong, Agoda will punish them by taking away points from their account.
If a customer cancels or doesn't show up, Agoda won't give you a refund.
You're likely to face fewer issues when booking through Agoda if you follow their safety guidelines.
Now that we've discussed the two most important questions, here's one more: why is Agoda so much cheaper than booking directly?
Agoda is so cheap because they offer low prices.
Often, when something seems too good to be true, it probably is. People ask if Agoda is legitimate, safe, and reliable because of its lower prices compared to direct bookings with hotels and airlines.
Let me explain why Agoda's prices are lower than Bookings' prices.
Because Agoda purchases rooms in bulk (wholesale), they can offer their guests much lower rates than hotels would be able to if they were buying rooms one by one (retail).
Because the hotel buys in bulk and makes an upfront payment, it gets a better price from its suppliers. Agoda has a mutual benefit relationship with its partners, allowing it to get discounts on rates far below the standard rates.
For example, if Agoda could sell a block of 50 hotels at $100 each, they could not lower their prices further than $100. They could not offer a cheaper rate because Agoda had already booked those hotels for specific days.
When Agoda has reserved the rooms, if you ask the hotel directly for a rate on a specific type of accommodation, they would be forced to charge a higher price than usual.
When booking through Agoda, you pay a slightly higher rate than the hotel paid for the room but less than the rate the hotel would charge if you booked directly.
Agoda uses the same airline ticketing and airport transfers model to offer you the best possible prices.
More importantly, most partners are more likely to offer Agoda discounts because they realize that it helps them access a larger pool of potential customers.
Agoda markets the hotel properties for the vendors and helps them book them throughout different periods.
Agoda also has a marketplace for booking hotels and apartments. Some hostels allow Agoda to offer their room rates at a discount to get more bookings.
The cheaper the hotel, the higher its listing will be on Agoda's search results page.
So that's how Agoda is able o offer cheaper rates than booking direct.
However, it's worth noting that Agodas' rates may not always be the cheapest. You might want to check their rates with Agoda and the supplier directly to get the best deals.
Some safety concerns by guests include:
Here are some common safety concerns you may also have:
- Are my payment and personal information secure?
- Is there any danger for guests at the property?
- Are there any scams when booking accommodation through Agoda?
Let me address your worries.
Are my payment details secure?
Agoda uses various security measures to protect your payment details and personal info when making bookings online. The site is protected by an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, meaning any sensitive info you enter into a browser stays encrypted.
Agoda also adheres to the guidelines set by applicable data privacy laws, ensuring they don't retain any unnecessary personal data.
After reviewing Agoda's customer service ratings, I found no negative feedback regarding their safety and security practices. It would help if you were comfortable knowing your personal information remains secure when using them.
Is my personal information passed onto hosts?
You should be aware that when you book through Agoda, there's less chance of your personal information being shared with third parties. Agoda remains responsible for processing payments rather than hosts. So, your personal information isn't passed on to the host directly.
You mustn't disclose personal information beyond your first and last names when booking through Agoda. If your hotelier requests any sensitive information from you, please report them immediately.
Is there anything unsafe about staying at the property?
For any booking you make, whether a vacation, a personal trip, or an event, you should always feel as safe as possible at the destination. You shouldn't worry too much if you aren't entirely sure you will be safe there.
You should be safe with most hotels you can book through Agoda. However, there may be times when you cannot guarantee safety at any hotel. It'll always be better to do your research before booking anything.
Before searching for properties, be sure they have enough customer reviews. If not, look for properties with a minimum rating of nine out of ten.
Stay away from rural locations because they may not be able to provide the kind of help you need if something goes wrong. Always stay near others and nearby resources.
Yes, you can get scammed on Agoda.
There are some chances of getting scammed on agoda.com, but they are not too high.
Agoda has systems in play to prevent bookings from going awry. An example is Agoda holding on to a host's initial payment for 30 days after their guests check out. Payments are only released if the reservation goes smoothly.
As a guest, you're responsible for following the safety tips I've shared and becoming familiar with their policies before booking through them to prevent potential problems or scammers.
We'll finish up by talking about Agoda's customer service.
How's Agoda Customer Support?
However, when you dig deeper into their support system, you'll see that they're not always so helpful. For example, if you need to cancel your reservation, you might be able to get some assistance from their online support team, but if you want to change your dates, you'll probably have to wait for them to contact you by phone.
However, if you need genuine support from a professional team, then this is when everything starts to go wrong.
According to my research, though there is a free phone line for queries and complaints and a live chat feature, customer service is notoriously slow and sometimes not helpful.
On Agoda, users tend to be dissatisfied with the customer service quality and complain about limited help with bookings.
Even though the team says they're available 24/7, you may not be able to reach them when you want help.
Do I Recommend Agoda For Booking?
If you follow their guidelines and know their policies, I highly recommend using Agoda instead of Booked.com when making hotel reservations.
But I wouldn't use Agoda for bookings.
Usually, flights are expensive, so I would recommend buying them directly from the airlines instead of using an online travel agency like Agoda.
Because airlines usually handle their bookings, they're less likely to experience problems than third-party sites such as Agoda.
Customer service and cancellations or refund issues may occur, so it'd be best to pay more for your flights rather than take too many risks.
Bookings are usually cheaper than bookings, but they're not nearly as expensive as buying tickets. There's no high risk involved if you choose a cheap hotel.
So I advise booking your accommodation through Agoda rather than directly because the prices tend to be lower.
However, you must always double-verify the rates from booking direct accommodations versus using an online travel agent. Only use an online travel agent if there are significant differences between the two.
These are my ideas; the final decision is up to you.
Agoda is owned (or partially) by Bookings Holdings, which makes it legitimate. However, using an agency is more likely to have issues than booking directly.
On a positive note, bookings made through Agoda are often cheaper than direct bookings with hotels or airlines. It helps you plan your trip better and keep track of everything at once.
For flight bookings, I recommend avoiding Agoda. However, if there is a significant price differential between Booked.com (or another site) and Agoda, I would suggest going with Agoda.
November 16, 2022