Hotels.com New York apartment 'didn't exist', family says
A family of eight who booked a break in New York arrived to find their accommodation "did not exist".
Vince Baker paid Hotels.com $1,100 for five adults and three children to stay in a holiday apartment in Manhattan.
After making the 3,300-mile trip, they arrived expecting "a lobby or reception" but were instead met with a locked-up building.
They were forced to ring around to find somewhere else to stay. Hotels.com has apologised and paid compensation.
Mr Baker, from Sawley, Derbyshire, said he had been concerned by some reviews on Hotels.com when he arranged the festive getaway.
But, he said, the website's staff had assured him there would be no problems.
"We were expecting a lobby and some sort of reception but it was just a private block, all locked up.
"The contact number we had just went to a holding message. Our holiday apartment didn't exist.
"So we were just left there on the street with no where to go. It was 9pm, our bodies thought it was 2am and we had three children aged 8, 6 and 1.
"In the end we had to find ourselves a place - not easy in New York during the festive season - and pay what they asked."
Hotel.com have now refunded Mr Baker for the £1,100 and paid him £1,250 compensation.
Mr Baker added: "Like most people we were looking for a good deal and this one fitted the bill.
"We got our money back and some compensation but I think it is important for people to know the risks they run using these sites.
Hotels.com said the apartment was a "genuine property" but following a number of issues, it had ceased taking bookings for it.
"We have processes to find alternative accommodation for customers at no additional cost and we are very sorry that this process didn't work as it should have done in this instance."