The internet is a jungle that’s full of scams and cheats, and often, when you find a great deal, you find it hard to believe. One site that poses this problem is Traveluro, so to help you decide if you want to book through them, here we answer the question, is Traveluro legit?
What is Traveluro?
When searching for cheap online travel deals, you may have come across this website – but for those who have never heard of it, what exactly is Traveluro?
Traveluro is a site that claims to offer discount rates for hotel rooms as well as for flights and even car rental.
What’s interesting about this site, though, is that some of the deals they offer are seemingly too good to be true – more on that later.
It’s quite hard to find out much about this site and who it belongs to, but a little digging reveals that it’s part of a larger Israeli-owned company that is also responsible for Splitty Travel, another site offering similar cheap rates that doesn’t have an unblemished reputation.
Of course, when you find unbelievable rates online, your first reaction is to, well, not believe them. If Traveluro is legit, how can they offer such amazing deals? Let’s consider the possibilities now.
What is Traveluro supposed business model?
Let’s assume for a moment that Traveluro is not just a scam site that takes your money and offers nothing in return. So what are the possible ways they could operate?
There are two main ways that could theoretically allow them to provide these kinds of low rates.
Buying rooms in bulk
The first is that they could operate by buying large numbers of rooms from hotels and by doing so, obtain larger discounts on the rooms they buy. They could then pass these savings on to their customers, allowing them to make money while offering savings to their customers.
However, there are a couple of problems with this model.
For a company to operate like this, it would need to buy extremely large numbers of rooms to secure such big discounts from the hotels.
This means it’s unlikely that a small and relatively unknown company would be able to buy up enough rooms to be granted the kinds of discounts they offer.
Furthermore, the big discounts offered on the site – sometimes as much as 80% off – are too large to be accounted for in this way. No hotel would sell rooms at 80% off, even if a company offered to buy all their rooms for the rest of the year.
So this business model is unlikely to account for how Traveluro can offer such big discounts – although let’s give them the benefit of the doubt for now and imagine they might be able to make it work.
Using a merchant model
Another possible way for a booking agent to sell discounted rooms and still make a profit would be to adopt a merchant model.
Usually, if you reserve rooms (or flights) ahead of time, the rates are much lower. However, as the date approaches, the rates go up.
This means if a company bought rooms in advance at the lowest rate, for $100 let’s say, and then waited till the price went up to $200, they could sell them on to customers for $150. They would then make $50 profit on each room while also allowing customers to save money.
It’s doubtful whether this method could account for the kind of discounts the offer – but again, for now let’s accept a theoretical possibility that this model might work.
So are there any other signs that this company is not quite what it seems? Let’s have a look.
Is there anything else that suggests Traveluro is not what it seems?
Big, reputable companies operate in ways that build trust with their customers – so how does Traveluro compare with some of their major competitors?
Very basic website
The Traveluro website is extremely basic and has limited functionality. When compared to a slick and user-friendly website such as booking.com, this is something of a red flag.
If a website is a scam, they are unlikely to invest the resources into putting together a website as professional – and expensive – as something like booking.com, although this doesn’t automatically mean the site is not legit.
No cancelation or refund policies
If you book on most well-known sites, the cancelation and refund policies are clearly indicated, and the procedure for cancelations or changes is usually easy to follow.
This is not the case with Traveluro, and it seems as though once you’ve booked, it’s impossible to cancel or change your booking – or at least to do so without contacting the website and speaking with an agent. This is something else that should make customers think twice.
Deals that are too good to be true
Here’s a big one – and something we’ve already touched on. There’s a well-known saying that if something’s too good to be true, it usually is – and this is especially the case online.
If you see a $100 room going for $20 a night, it isn’t necessarily a scam. However, you need to think very carefully about how a company can offer such amazing rates and whether you can trust them before handing over your money.
Difficult to contact
Most hotel booking companies make it easy to find ways to get in touch with them – not least in case they need to intervene in any disputes or resolve any booking issues.
However, this is not the case with Traveluro, who are very hard to contact – which is something else to be concerned about.
No “about us” section
Almost every reputable company online has an “about us” section on their website so that potential customers know who they’re dealing with, so they can give a summary of their history and successes and generally make themselves as transparent as possible.
However, this section is conspicuously missing from the Traveluro site, which should also put potential customers on alert.
Finally, much of the internet nowadays relies on reviews so potential customers can read about the experiences of previous customers before buying a product or service.
Reputable companies are proud of their positive reviews and post them prominently on their sites, something else that is conspicuously absent on Traveluro – even though they’re exactly the kind of company that should be posting lots of testimonials from satisfied customers.
What experience have people online had for Traveluro?
Thankfully, nowadays there are several well-known sites online where you can leave comments and reviews of companies you’ve dealt with – so how does Traveluro fare? The answer is, not very well.
According to Trustpilot, Traveluro has a score of 1.9 from 732 reviews, giving it a rating of “poor”.
Reviews include comments saying that hotel reservations were not honored (or didn’t exist) and also that the company is very difficult to contact when problems arise.
That’s not to say that all of the reviews were bad, and 20% of reviewers gave five-star reviews.
Interestingly, there are very few two-, three- or four-star reviews – suggesting that customers using Traveluro tend to be either completely satisfied or extremely unsatisfied – with the majority in the latter category.
Another review site, Sitejabber, gives comparable results. This site gives Traveluro a rating of 1.33 stars from 267 reviews, and many of the comments are similar, most commonly complaining about customer service issues and reservation problems.
Threads on TripAdvisor also paint a similar picture – many people claim that either their hotel booking didn’t exist or that they were put in a hotel that was of a much lower standard than the one they’d booked.
However, Trustindex gives Traveluro a more favorable score of 3.9 stars from 211 reviews. Interestingly again, most reviews give either five stars or one star – there’s not much in between.
So is the Traveluro legit?
Perhaps asking whether Traveluro is legit is the wrong question since it’s too vague.
Since we’ve found plenty of examples of satisfied customers online, it would seem that Traveluro is a real company rather than a complete scam, and they do provide the services they claim.
However, they seem to have lots of issues with unsatisfied customers – many bookings seem to be canceled and lots of people end up in different hotels to the ones they booked.
Poor or even non-existent customer service also seems to be a recurring problem, and they can be very difficult to get hold of when you have a problem or a complaint.
So perhaps better questions would be, is Traveluro a reputable company? Can you trust them with your booking? And should you use them?
The answers to these questions are that, according to many reviews, they are not nearly as trustworthy as established companies such as booking.com, Agoda or Expedia, and they offer minimal help when things go wrong.
We aren’t going to say that nobody should book with this company because, unless they have posted a large number of fake reviews, the company does seem to have some satisfied customers too.
However, if you book with them, you need to understand the risks involved – and you are recommended to follow up with your hotel after booking to confirm that the reservation has been made.
Alternatively, you could book with a better-known company because although the discounts might not be as big, at least you know there won’t be any problems – or that the company will help you if there are.
Beware of offers that are too good to be true
So is Traveluro legit? At least we can say that it’s a company that exists rather than being a flat-out scam. But do they always deliver what they promise? According to the reviews online, the answer has to be that sometimes they do – but often they don’t.
Our final word is this – if you want to book through Traveluro, just be aware of the risks and the problems that other customers have experienced. And always remember that if something seems too good to be true, it usually is – however much you want to believe the contrary.