Room Key popup driving my business away

Discussion in 'Marriott | Rewards' started by airshadow, Oct 6, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. airshadow
    Original Member

    airshadow Gold Member

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    Dear Marriott and the other major hotel chains employing the Room Key pop-up:

    I HATE IT and LEAVE YOUR WEBSITES OUT OF FRUSTRATION without BOOKING

    (I can't block the popup without changing my settings beyond my desired level. FAIL)
     
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  2. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    Agreed. I would be interested to know what Room Key is offering Hilton and Marriott to include such any annoyance to their customers.
     
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  3. airshadow
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    airshadow Gold Member

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    It's really intrusive. With each and every new page I get a pop up. Enter a city and date - BOOM popup. Go to page 2 of the hotel list BOOM another popup. Change the date or any other search parameter and BOOM another popup. Decide on a hotel, BOOM popup. Go back, BOOM popup. Click on a rate BOOM popup.

    I literally can't negotiate the Marriott website without a new popup on every single new page. When I set my browser preferences to a stronger setting, it stops it, but then the website hangs when trying to bring up the rate details. It's literally as if Marriott is saying "Airshadow, we don't want your business, please use a consolidator"

    (which, of course, is the irony in all this)

    Epic fail in my opinion. I booked elsewhere today. And I know it's not just Marriott; they all should rethink this.
     
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  4. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    OK, so which chain do you book that doesn't use RoomKey?
     
  5. artvndlay

    artvndlay Active Member

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    I think airshadow has it right, try a consolidator. Some of them still have a pop up here and there, but nothing as bad as the hotel chains that are using roomkey. Expedia didn't give me any pop ups when I was doing sample bookings. Unless a Roomkey participating chain entices me to book on their site (usually in the form of bonus points) I will be avoiding it.

    As for what Roomkey is giving to the chains, it is actually a partnership between 6 big hotel chains, so presumably there is some kind of revenue sharing or something?
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Marriott owns part of it.

    http://www.roomkey.com/about.html

    Indeed. Can you imagine Dell popping up a screen offering you HP or Lenovo or Apple computers? Or, to stick with travel, United popping up a screen offering you Delta and AA flights as an alternative?

    An article about RoomKey:

    http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/9085/Traffic-vs-bookings-Gauging-Room-Key-success

    I will never book through RoomKey.
     
  7. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    I don't mind the RoomKey site per se -- I think it's useful to see many of the major chain offerings in one place and I've actually visited the site to see what was in the area.

    That said, I will not book through them, mainly because their popups are annoying, their interface poor and they very aggressively track. Last time I cleared their cookies there were 23 regular cookies and 5 HTML 5 cookie databases of theirs. All that stuff they keep yet they don't even care to remember any preferences.

    Whatever, in the end they lose money from me.
     
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  8. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    Hyatt's involved also, and it drives me crazy when I can't stop the pop-under.

    First make sure your preferences are set to block pop-ups.
    Next consider an add-on like ad block plus.

    Seems to work for me with google chrome + ad block plus using fanboy's filters and the recommended filters for google chrome in abp options.

    -David
     
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  9. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    How does this not lead to a price fixing cartel?

    From what I have read, the major brands are trying to reduce distribution fees that they are paying to third parties that book rooms. From a quick analysis of their business model, they are trying to eliminate competition in the services that book hotel rooms. Now while they are doing that, they are collecting user data that can be shared with the founding brands to understand what prices are most attractive in certain markets.

    While they might claim this helps consumer, they might be able to use this data and control over distribution to concede markets to brands in the cartel by optimizing their pricing so certain brands "win" their preferred markets while other brands "win" in the markets of their choice.

    I am all for competition, but I am all for open and honest competition. Something about they way room key is utilized by the brands seems very shady both from their data collection, how they were formed, and how they pop up on websites.
     
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  10. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    It leads to a cartel of pop-under ads. And we're going to bust that cartel using ad block plus as best we can!

    I don't know what that means either.

    Thanks,
    -David
     
  11. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    While that works for tech savvy people, it doesn't work for the majority of internet users. The first time I encountered the pop under, I thought my computer had a virus or some other scam ware installed.
     
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  12. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    I agree that it's really annoying and have said so myself. Their code should respect the user's preferences.

    -David
     
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  13. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    On the bright-side, many joint ventures like this fail because they are usually too late to the game to compete with established brands or fail to deliver the value the partners look for. Since established companies tend to look for high margins in new ventures and acquisitions, if the margin is not there, they will cut their loss and run.
     
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  14. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    A group of major airlines started Orbitz.com and later spun it off

    A group of major hotels mimicked the idea started a travel site of their own as well and later shut it down (I don't recall the site). It seems roomkey is take two for some of the major hotels to try again.
     
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  15. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    I don't recall the early days of Orbitz, but did they use pop-under ads on the airline's webpages?

    They also faced huge investigations by Government regulators during their start-up. I wonder if Room Key will face the same scrutiny.
     
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  16. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    AdBlock on Google Chrome seems to work on the Roomkey pop ups. I haven't seen any on Marriott.com or Hyatt.com.
     
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  17. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    I had to switch to ad block plus at some point. for some reason they were able to defeat ad block, though that may have been a temporary thing. It was incredibly annoying. Of course if you just leave the pop-under there and ignore it, that works too. It's the constant closing and re-opening of it on every click that probably drives us crazy.

    -David
     
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  18. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    Not that I'm aware of, but not sure how prevalent pop-ups were (and pretty sure pop-under didn't exist)

    Yes, Orbitz was scrutinized by regulators and won, which would probably be a prescient for Room Key to win as well, although as you point out the invasive nature of Room Key is quite different.
     
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  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You might be surprised how many travel bookings come from a click-out from a different site. And the hotels involved in RoomKey stand to save a TON in booking commissions by skipping the OTAs and other agencies.
     
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  20. nacho

    nacho Silver Member

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    Same here.
     
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  21. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    That is the reason they created RoomKey, but they seemed to also create annoyances and some privacy/trust issues. I really thought I had a virus on my computer when it popped under since that is a similar tactic spamware uses when it has been installed on your computer. I understand the motivation, but the execution is poor.
     
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  22. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Many, many legitimate sites still use pop-up or pop-under ads. It isn't a technique limited to malware. You don't have to enjoy it but it might be time to adjust your expectations/views on that concept a bit.
     
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  23. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    Many travel sites do, but I have been using a pop up blocker since pop up ads were invented, so I rarely notice. What is worrisome is the pop under on the brand's website. When it happened it was quite annoying.
     
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  24. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    Legit sites should not attempt to defeat my personal preferences.

    roomkey does just that, and it's not likely I would ever use the services of any company or organization that did that as part of their marketing plan.

    -David
     
  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Bingo! That's what it all boils down to for me.
     
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