I thought I was alone on this one, but looks like other feel the same as me. I even got a survey from AAA to complete on the subject, so I guess there are some serious rumblings going on. And they want to charge us 15% for what?

Below is an e-mail I have just sent to our local representative at Expedia:

Fabio hi.

Thank for sorting that out for me and a few others, but I see that there are still a load of others that remain as ‘sold out’. Mostly are in Byron, but also a Ballina’s Holiday Parks.

I am sure that you are way distanced from the decision making process on this, but to me Expedia has basically destroyed everything that was good about the Australian entity of Wotif. I am already hearing noises from the industry that people are far from happy.

Now can I raise the couple of other points I mentioned last week?

Firstly, not all my ‘room types’ were transferred over from Wotif. I presume that unless there was a match with the existing Expedia, they were ignored? I have see nothing come through from you guys to advise that this is the case and that you then have to load those ‘room types’ onto Expedia yourself?

Secondly ‘reviews’. Something has been fudged here? On the old Wotif, I had a score of 4.3 from 39 reviews. The new Wotif gives me a 4.4 from 53 reviews. How can that be? Coincidently Expedia shows me as 4.4 from 52 reviews! I have analysed this with other operators that were on Expedia and exactly the same has happened to them. Of the others that had not been on Expedia previously, their scores have all leapt. One had a 3.9 from 80 and now reads 4.2 from 97. Another has moved from a 4.4 from 101 to a 4.7 from 99. These are huge.

Thirdly, why does a Ballina search have to include Byron accommodation? Now there are only 26 of use but 65 of them. The basic search will put Ballina operators first, but if you then sort by any of the criteria like ‘price’, ‘rating’, ‘class’ etc. we are just dumped in with everyone and lost. This would have to be a big turn off for customers, who would likely just move on to another OTA. Can we get this corrected? p.s. Lennox Head is even more extreme, as they only have 5 accommodation providers but are being swamped by 54 outsiders!

Fourthly, who wrote the motel description script? My wife almost a heart attack when she read it. Attached is what is written in Expedia and then what has been written in the new Wotif. I have highlighted a few areas of concern. It reads that I am now 30 minutes from everywhere in particular the Shopping Centres, to which I am the closest at just 3 minutes walk. Ceiling fans seem to be more important than air conditioning; this is Australia and at this very moment the temperature is over 30 degrees. Room service sounds like a hotel, which we aren’t and don’t provide. Yes, we do provide breakfast to you room, but that is not the same thing. Can we get some of this corrected. p.s. have just sorted (I hope) the ‘room service’ by un-ticking the box on the extranet.

Lastly and something very close to my heart, STAR Rating. I have just spent a year working with STAR Ratings Australia to get OTAs to display the correct STAR or Self Rating and keep the playing field level. The old Wotif, Booking.com and others worked together on this, but not Expedia. Now, to add insult to injury, the new Wotif not only does not use ‘dots’ to denote Self-rated, but overwrote the correct old Wotif STAR Rating with the incorrect ones that existed on Expedia! This has got to be corrected, as it is a trade mark breech not to display the correct rating. So we have Riverside Holiday Apartments who are 4 Self-rated not 4.5; Comfort Inn All Seasons who are 3.5 STAR Rated not 4; Ballina Island that are 3.5 STAR Rated not 4; Leisure-lee Holiday Apartments who are 3 Self-rated not 3.5. Can we get something done about this?