Booking.com: how the app tries to force your hand

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Manuel Moreno Molina
@manuelmorenomolina
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If you regularly use Booking or if you plan to do so, it is important to be aware of the many tricks deployed by the site to encourage you to book as soon as possible. As you will quickly notice during a short stroll on the platform, Booking seeks to put pressure on you and to provoke an artificial sense of urgency. How to use the site without being constantly manipulated and parasitized?

Far be it from us to deny the usefulness of Booking, the application is also part of our top 12 best Android applications for booking a hotel and our top 10 best applications to download before going on vacation. However, despite the qualities and interest of the site, it has the annoying tendency of trying to put pressure on its users. The goal? That you book your hotel room as soon as possible!



How does Booking put pressure on its users?

The site The Next Web just published a compilation of the worst methods used by Booking to force your hand. First method used to create a sense of urgency: the red badge. This scarlet banner warns you that someone has just booked the hotel you want or that the last reservation was made only a few seconds ago. In order to drive the point home, Booking also specifies that “this hotel is in high demand on the selected date” or that “several other people are currently consulting this hotel”.

You would have understood it : Booking seeks by all means to accelerate your decision-making. There is no doubt that without these emergency messages, you would sometimes take more time to read the opinions of other travellers, to weigh the pros and cons, to consult the status of your bank account, etc. The other usefulness of this particularly oppressive system is paradoxical. It serves to reassure you: if another person has already booked the hotel in question, I can go there with my eyes closed. Booking actually uses the biggest tricks of consumer psychology and the most overused marketing tactics. And it works !



In order to manipulate its users, Booking uses various other tactics. The site has become accustomed to make the prices and discounts displayed lie : the app indeed compares the offer that appears with the most expensive simulations and not with the average. Booking even goes up to sort the opinions of other travelers and highlight the most positive feedback. To discover negative comments concerning certain low-end hotels, you can access the total list of opinions and not those displayed on the main page or during your reservation.


As stated in the introduction, Booking.com remains a great online tool for booking your hotel rooms. However, it is important to be aware of the efforts made by the platform to ensure that you book as soon as possible. If you want to be sure to make the right choice and choose the hotel of your dreams, do not hesitate to spend a little more time on the site and do not act in a hurry.


 




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