Flash back to earlier tonight... I see a text ad on some web site that says, and I am copying and pasting PRECISELY here, "Last-minute Las Vegas deals: 4-star hotels from only $39!"
Hmm... $39 is actually cheap enough for me to take my (girl)friend on a surprise "last-minute" getaway to a hotel in Vegas. And a 4-star hotel, no less. She will love me, forever.
I am totally stoked when I click on the ad. Insanely stoked.
The landing page I come to at Expedia.com shows the following (red paint mine):
I immediately note two things: a) these hotels are 3 and 2.5 stars, respectively, not 4 stars and b) the $39 promised in the text ad has already mysteriously jumped to $87. No big deal, I figure. I can still afford $87. I can still be a hero.
So I fill out the form (2 adults, no I am not a senior citizen, 1 hotel room, flying out of LGA/New York to Vegas)... And I get this screen as a result (angry and emotionally deflated red paint mine):
They have quite the nerve shoving a Citi credit card offer in my face as they unveil a price tag that is about 57 times greater than what the ad I clicked on promised.
Get your shit together, Expedia. What you did to me and thousands of other Web surfers tonight was either a) intentionally devious b) rather incompetent or c) a bit of both.
If an offer is too good to be true, it probably is. Hell, if you're allowed to say whatever the f*** you want in your ads, maybe you should just go balls to the wall with your next ad campaign: Book any flight and hotel on Expedia and we will give you $1,000,000, guaranteed*
*less applicable $999,999 service charge.