More on Agoda and the Avani Quy Nhon - Rusty Compass travel blog

More on Agoda and the Avani Quy Nhon

| 22 Jan 2015
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22 Jan 2015

This is a follow-up to a recent blog piece about a less-than perfect stay at the Avani Resort in Quy Nhon, while major renovations were under way.

A few weeks ago, I posted a blog piece about a terrible stay at the Avani Resort in Quy Nhon on Vietnam’s central coast. There were major renovations underway. The place was a construction site. It shouldn’t have been open at all.

Even worse though, both the hotel and Agoda (I booked through Agoda) only made a half-hearted effort to advise guests of the renovation work. None of the guests I spoke with had prior knowledge of what was happening before they arrived.

You can check out the extent of the renovations in this video.

As I mentioned in my previous piece, both Agoda and the resort had references to the renovation work on their websites. But they required a good lawyer’s diligence to find.

They definitely weren’t posted in such a way that someone making a booking would see.

Both Agoda and the resort responded quickly to my complaint.

We checked out one night early and they proposed to refund us the unused night and one of the two nights we stayed.

The resort also offered a further two night’s complimentary accommodation this year after the renovations are completed.

All up, I was satisfied with these offers and accepted them.

But that was my circumstance.

What if someone had travelled from North America, Europe or Australia having selected Avani Quy Nhon for an annual beach break or a honeymoon?

They would have squandered their precious holiday and would not have had any reasonable alternate accommodation options in the area.

In that circumstance, when both Agoda and the resort knew of the renovations and made only a pathetic effort to  communicate what was happening, a token refund would have been inadequate.

In my previous piece I speculated that the Avani and Agoda might have made a commercial decision that it’s better to face the ire of disgruntled guests, poor reviews and make the occasional payout during renovations, rather than close the resort or make a serious effort to ensure guests were informed of disruptive renovations.

I also wondered whether the internet's promise of improved transparency and accountability might be eluding travellers because of the quality control practices of companies like Agoda - who seem to subcontract this important work out to their customers.

As I’ve now had a response from both the resort and Agoda, it looks like that speculation was spot on.

Both the hotel and Agoda apologised, accepted my criticisms, offered compensation - all without offering any meaningful defence or explanation.

But - and this is the important part - they did nothing to address the issue in the interests of future guests either.

They didn’t close the resort until such time that it vaguely resembled its depictions on their websites. Nor did they take the easy steps on their websites that would ensure that all intending travellers during the renovations, were alerted to the disruption they would encounter.

Surely if they acknowledged wrongdoing, they needed to do something to ensure it wouldn’t happen again?

While Agoda was quick to reply, I can’t help but wonder if their response was generated by a computer rather than a human being.

“Luke”, the Agoda respondent rambled on even more than I do - in English even less comprehensible than mine. He then wrote “We realized (sic) that you are not satisfied with the hotel decoration during your stay”.

I made no mention of decoration in my complaint. I had no issue with the decoration of our room - or of those parts of the hotel that had been decorated.

“Luke” went on to remind me of the Agoda escape clauses for such events.

They’re not lengthy and are worth reading.

1. Agoda makes every effort to ensure that any materials or rates displayed on this website are accurate as at the date of issue. Changes in market conditions or circumstances may occur after the issue date which may make information displayed on this website no longer accurate or no longer reflect the current position.
2. Agoda hereby expressly disclaims any representation, warranty or undertaking in relation to the accuracy, completeness, quality or adequacy of any contents of this website.
3. While Agoda makes every effort to work with hotels which provide an acceptable standard of service and accommodation for the price paid, we hereby expressly disclaim any representation, warranty or undertaking in relation to the quality or adequacy of any hotel listed on our website.

You could paraphrase these disclaimers as follows -

“Agoda customers should not assume that any representations and depictions of hotels and resorts on the Agoda website have any grounding in fact or reality”.

That really should be captioned at the bottom of every image presented on the Agoda website.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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