The internet is a fast and convenient way to book travel. You can compare prices, look at hotels and create your perfect holiday. But more and more people are getting worried about booking online due to security scares in the last couple of months. As a website where you can book hotels online, we here at Hotelsireland.com thought it would be a good thing to give customers some insights into how save online bookings really are and tips on how to stay safe when purchasing goods and services online.
1. Make sure that the company you’re booking with has some kind of Financial Failure Insurance
a) What happens if the website/company I booked with goes bankrupted?
If the travel website you’ve booked with goes bust, your holiday is usually gone, too – as well as your money. If you make sure that the company you’re booking with is covered by financial failure insurance, you will be guaranteed that you’re getting your money back when this company goes bust. Hotelsireland.com for example is covered by Financial Failure Insurance – so whatever happens to us, you will not be affected.
b) What happens when the Hotel that I booked goes into receivership or closes down?
Should anything like this happen you’re very secure when you’re booking on Hotelsireland.com. We are in constant contact with the hotels and once we are being told that a hotel ceases business we will do anything possible to book you into a similar or better hotel nearby. If this isn’t possible you will get your money back! We will always contact you and talk to you before we do anything so you can decide what you prefer.
2. How safe is it to use my Credit / Debit Card to book online?
a) Check Booking Page Security
Only give payment details, like a credit-card number, on a secure site and never send them in an email. The payment page should have an address beginning with https:// or a lock icon on the browser status bar or a VeriSign or Thawte logo at the bottom of the page to show it’s safe. Go to the Hotelsireland.com Customer Details Payment page to see all of these 3 security signs.
b) Credit Card or Debit Card
In general it is always safer to use your credit card when making a purchase online because then the credit company is liable if anything goes wrong. Many companies charge extra for using a credit card though. On Hotelsireland it is safe to use both Credit- and Debit Cards and we don’t charge extra for credit card use.
c) Can I give away my Security Number?
You will usually be asked for the three-digit security number on the back of your credit card (which is fine), but never for your PIN! Always remember: Never give out your PIN! Soon after making the booking you should receive an email confirming all the details. This may be your only record of your booking, so print it out and keep it safe
3. Watch out for Hidden Fees
Some websites won’t give you the full price of your booking until the last minute. Better book on websites that clearly state the full cost of your booking early in the booking process and don’t add hidden fees. On Hotelsireland.com, for example, the total Booking Price is being displayed from the beginning on – no hidden fees or charges
4. Read the Terms & Conditions
We can’t emphasize it enough: Always read the terms and conditions before making a booking. In most cases there is a box for you to tick to confirm that you have done this with a link underneath that goes to the company’s terms & conditions. It’s tempting to tick without clicking on the link and actually reading the terms and conditions. Don’t! Every website has different T&Cs, so make sure you know what you’re agreeing to. Click here for the Hotelsireland.com Terms & Conditions
6. Make sure the website is genuine
Under EU law, traders must provide an ‘about us’ or ‘contact’ page with a geographical address and email. If you are concerned about any foreign website, try to access it a different way, such as via a tourist board. If you are in any doubt, book elsewhere. You can find the Hotelsireland.com contact information on the bottom of the Terms & Conditions Page.
7. Get Travel Insurance when making an expensive booking
If you’re booking an expensive holiday online, make sure to get travel insurance. Should you not be able to travel at short notice, you might not get all of your money back. Here at Hotelsireland.com our reservations team tries to do everything possible to give the money back to guests that can’t travel due to an emergency or to amend the travel dates or the travelling persons. But sometimes, very rarely, when the hotel charges us, we have to charge the guest, too.
8. More safety tips for online shopping & booking
- Try to make all of your online transactions with one credit card, if you have more than one.
- Keep a record of what you pay for and always check your online purchases off against your statement[s].
- Keep your operating system, anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software up to date.
- Use anti-virus software and/or firewalls on every computer you own/use.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the security of the Hotelsireland.com website, don’t hesitate to contact our Reservations Team on +353 (0)1 293 3040 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.