"Hotels overbook rooms for the same reason airlines do. Frankly, they're greedy," travel expert George Hobica told ABC News. "They want to make sure rooms are full even if they have a nonrefundable room rate."
Holly Parsons booked a condo at an Oregon resort for a three-day family vacation through Expedia.com more than four months in advance.
"I felt having been four months ahead that surely I was ahead of any queue that had formed," she told ABC News.
But just a couple of weeks before her trip, she received a notification from Expedia that her reservation had been canceled due to overbooking. In a statement, Expedia blamed the cancellation on "external factors beyond the direct control of Expedia."
A deeper look at Expedia's liability disclaimer revealed a line stating that "Expedia Companies and the Expedia Partners have no liability and will make no refund in the event of any delay, cancellation or overbooking."
Parsons said she attempted for three days to have Expedia resolve the cancellation, and she was eventually re-booked at a nearby Holiday Inn and offered $500 worth of Expedia coupons after having spent 6.5 hours on the phone.
"The product I had purchased was not delivered and what I received, in turn, was not a refund of cash. It was a refund for an opportunity to do business with them again. I felt that's a rip-off," she said.
MORE TRAVEL: Rules you need to know before boarding your next flight
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