UPDATE (September 27, 2007): This blog post used to be called “Luxury Link Has a Bogus Auction System”, but I thought that was a bit unfair. I changed the name to what you see now. This change was motivated in part by another good experience I had on their site.
UPDATE: While I’m still unsure about the auction system, some folks have made some good points in the comments below. More importantly, as I outline here, Luxury Link delivered an incredible hotel at a ludicrous price. Hence, I’ll be willing to put up with their dubious auction system in the future.
This week, we decided to use the site to add a short city vacation on to our trip to Edinburgh (I was eventually convinced that walking in Scotland in March was insane).
Being an experienced online auction user, I waited until the last minute to submit a bid. Happily, no one had bid on the particular offer we wanted. As this screenshot shows, I entered a bid at 3:27pm on an auction that was supposed to end at 3:30pm. As the second screenshot shows, when the bid was processed, the site changed the auction’s end time to 3:35pm! What kind of bogosity is that?
It strikes me as extraordinarily manipulative move the advertise end time for an auction after someone bids. It’s obviously designed to foster a bidding war. I did a little investigation, and apparently the bidding extends by five minutes each time a new bid is entered. That, as far as I’m concerned, is absurd.
I’m less irritated than I usually would be, though, because I scored an insanely cheap four night stay at the very fancy-looking Boscolo Hotel Dei Dogi in Venice. What can I tell you? I’m a Taurus, and I love the luxury.