An online service that uses artificial intelligence to rebook rooms at a lower price and calls itself the ‘Robin Hood of the hotel industry’ has launched in the UK.
Israeli firm Pruvo works by customers emailing their reference numbers and waiting for a response to say whether their bookings can be made for a cheaper price.
The free, AI-led service tracks the price 24/7 and alerts the customer if the same room on the same dates becomes available for cheaper. It only works on bookings made with free cancellation.
It constantly scours OTAs such as Booking.com, Expedia and Hotels.com for its information as prices alter due to supply and demand. If a customer chooses to rebook, they keep all the savings. Pruvo takes its commission from the OTAs as an affiliate as long as the customer rebooks through Pruvo’s system.
Pruvo says that around 40% of hotel reservations drop in price after being booked and that those drops can leave the price as 67% cheaper than when it was booked.
Pruvo, which launched in 2016, claims to have saved its customers £335,000 by the end of November.
A spokesman for the company, which expanded into Latin America in May 2017, said: “Although price drops do not occur all of the time (but they do occur 40% of the time), if they do occur, we will find them. The customer is in control at all times. Pruvo does not make any changes to the customers´ reservations, we simply alert the customer once a better price was found and direct them to that better offer.
“Since we refer the customer to well-known websites like Booking, Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz etc, the customer has confidence paying with a credit card on these sites. The customer does not have to make the reservation on Pruvo´s website, rather on websites that they are already familiar with.
“If we don’t find a better price, great, the customer managed to book the best available price. But if we do, then they save money by making a new, cheaper reservation and then cancelling the original one. Pruvo should become one more step in the trip planning process of every traveller, just like buying travellers insurance or telling their banks they’ll be using their credit card abroad. They should always send their reservation to Pruvo to see if they can get a better price for the exact same hotel.
“Now that we have proven our success in saving people money on their hotel reservations, we are ready to enter the highly competitive UK market with a proven track record. We believe that success is also about timing. We believe that now, not only do we have a great service, but it is the perfect time to enter the UK market.”
Similar technology is being used by other websites, including DreamCheaper.