Sometimes I Wonder Why I Ever Go Out...

16 replies [Last post]
Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

As some of you know, last weekend I closed up for a few days (long weekend) off. Booked a room via my CC miles and went away 400km to the South East.

Well, the hotel managed to make me realize that a lot of my policies and practices are 100% correct.

I called the night before to reconfirm my reservation because we were arriving after 6PM. We had booked a suite, they had us in a room. I have to call up my CC miles department who calls up Expedia who calls up the hotel to verify and the hotel has it wrong (even though I have confirmations). So, Expedia calls up my CC miles company to get them to fax a copy of the confirmation, so they can fax a copy to the hotel so they can fix it. (I send out confirmations to each guest after a reservation so they know that I have them covered.... this is what happens when you don't do that.)

We get into the hotel and they put a "hold" on my CC for $100 plus a night. I get a text message from my bank, go down to talk to them, they confirm that it is just a hold. Okay, just a hold, no problem, it will disappear.

Yesterday I check out. They hand me a copy of a receipt.... they aren't supposed to, because it's prepaid. Amounts look screwy with a negative total at the bottom. I question it, they confirm it's a $0 balance and I go. I get a text message at 4:02AM with a charge of some $370... now remember that I'm not in the US, this is in my currency. I check the bank, there is a pending charge for this amount. I'm NOT happy. I ended up calling the hotel, they tell me that they want to refund me the $290 (their currency) to my account. But.... you see, I'm not in their currency, my bank charges me 3% extra on the exchange rate, so while it's $370+ in charge the refund will only net me $350 or so, I'm out of pocket $20 on their error. It's not just a standard error, it's an error on a foreign card. (And frankly, to me this isn't an error, this is THEFT, because they didn't have a right to charge me and my CC miles... I'm paying TWICE!)

And this is why I always run the card for any amount owing with the guest there and they can put in their PIN or sign and then they get a receipt. No running cards behind their back.

So now I need for them to either fix it and give me back the missing exchange or I'm going to have to go and do a dispute and chargeback to get my full refund. I talked to HO today and they say that I should have a solution within 72 hours. But they have ruined my vacation time. They have given me aggravation. And so I regret having chosen this hotel.... and gone away for the weekend. Instead of making a great impression, they have left me with a very sour taste on my tongue.

 

__________________

Permission to quote in whole or in part, other than usage on this forum, is entirely forbidden.

 

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Just to give an update. I'm still waiting for the CC company. But the HO of this multinational corporation assigned an IDIOT to reply who suggested that I should be satisfied that they refunded my money, even if it left me in the hole $20. I suggested she personally send me a cheque, so it's her money that's lost, not mine. But she hopes that I will stay again with them in the future. I suggest that HO retrain her to have more empathy with an innocent client who's left with a bill because of a hotel's error. One HO rep suggested sending me a gift card in lieu of my money... for a hotel chain that I never want to stay at? What is wrong with people. This is how you end up with bad reviews.

The point is that they weren't authorized to do the charge and should have taken control of the situation and responsibility. The manager of the hotel is anxious to settle this, so am I. Only waiting on CC company.

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Finally... the bank wrote off the difference (just under $20) because the amounts cross (in USD) and they think that client relationships are more important than leaving us with a bill for the merchant's error.

So basically, the bank fix it on their side, so it cost me nothing but days of aggravation.

The hotel could have avoided ALL of this by processing the virtual card on arrival and by processing any balance on departure, rather than without a signature in the back.

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Generic wrote:

The hotel could have avoided ALL of this by processing the virtual card on arrival and by processing any balance on departure, rather than without a signature in the back.

They thought they were making it easy on themselves by doing it that way. They don't know you very well Smiling

__________________

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Generic wrote:

I suggested she personally send me a cheque, so it's her money that's lost, not mine.

Good one!

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Arks wrote:

Generic wrote:

I suggested she personally send me a cheque, so it's her money that's lost, not mine.

Good one!

It is a good answer!

__________________

Never judge a person's story by the chapter you walked in on.

 

Silverspoon's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/16/2011

That’s why I book a B&B when we travel...much better service!  I have only used Exp once and it was for a last minute reservation because of a cancelled flight to the U.K. and they totally screwed it up, sending me a confirmation for a reservation that  was not valid.  If you want peace of mind call an inn. Talk to a real person. It’s totally worth the $!

__________________

Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful" and sitting in the shade.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

 

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

I'll be honest, when I go south, I'm sometimes afraid of staying at a B&B because of some of the stories I have heard and not wanting to be uncomfortable or worse, turned away at the door because the can refuse service to us.

But as I said, this was with points, so I was sort of forced to book this way. But you would think a hotel would do almost anything not to have a story about double charging, not to mention that the $20 difference is likely less than their chargeback fee.

Silverspoon's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/16/2011

Well if you ever get down to this area you will be welcomed with open arms!  To tell you the truth, with the political climate as it is at the moment,  we might get turned away if we went south. LOL

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

I don't think they pay chargeback fees any longer. We started getting statements from our processor showing a $7.50 fee every month for 'chargeback'. We had never had one. Called the processor and they said instead of charging individual accounts the fee, they were 'spreading the fees out over all their accounts'. So we were paying for someone else's problems. 

I'm sure big accounts forced this.

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Two days later still no resolution or proper offer to fix this mess.

And this is why I process the charge with the guest in front of me. So I can't be accused of anything untoward.

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Generic wrote:

Two days later still no resolution or proper offer to fix this mess.

And this is why I process the charge with the guest in front of me. So I can't be accused of anything untoward.

We've had guests argue with us that they paid in full in advance. Or refuse to sign the deposit receipt because, 'that's already cleared!' Right, and if you decide to do a chargeback, I want your signature on this. With square we don't have anything to sign for deposits, so waiting to see how that goes.

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

They handed me a receipt showing it was PAID!

We keep everything on account and can show them. One of the reasons I dislike the OTAs is that they don't always properly explain taxes. While we add taxes in North America, many countries have prices including taxes. But I have no problem with showing the guests each and every part of the transaction and I send a receipt when I take a deposit that shows the amount owing at the bottom.

I had one this year who claimed that he had a different amount than what we said. I showed him a copy of each email that we sent and a copy of the reservation from X. And we even called and spoke to X which confirmed my amount. He paid, I provided him with both an emailed and written receipt so that he could call X and ask for the difference, if he found his email. Best I could do. But the fact that I sent out emails and had copies made it easier.

My guess is that he tries this everywhere. He also tried to cancel an extra day and other games. He ended his stay with a DNR. (Do Not Reserve). So, I won't have to see him again and others have been warned about his games.

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Could you have used your miles and booked direct? I find the most mistakes are made when the guest uses an OTA. The hotel just doesn't care at that point.

Book direct = room with view of Strip. Use OTA = view of condenser. Book direct = ocean view. Use OTA = view of empty pool.

My brother also got a receipt when he booked thru Expedia. It showed him he paid $100 more going thru them than if he had called the hotel. (I make sure all the receipts the guest gets show the rate they were charged.)

However, I've also had hotels mess up direct bookings. Gomez had to call one place 3 times to have them get it right. They kept sending the confirmation and it was wrong each time.

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Unfortunately not. Like a lot of the loyalty programs in this country are administrated by two large loyalty management companies, like Alliance Data which runs it for Air Miles, Victoria's Secret, JCPenney, Doubleclick etc. And they in turn have a deal where they book via X (or it could be Egencia, which is X's travel agency.) In any case there is no way around it when using points. And we've accumulated almost $3K in credit... So, I figured I would use some of it on ourselves. But that's the deal, I had to book via their website (which really isn't great). But I was careful, checked the description, checked the pictures, matched to their own website (they only have 4 types of room at this "Suite" hotel, 2Q, 2QS, K, KS. I booked the KS and expected a KS.

And it was a good thing that I checked, because having to get this fixed as I checked in, would have been a royal pain.

But the point here is, had the first person that I spoke to simply said "I'll reverse the transaction and add 10% to make up for any exchange differences".... that would have been the end of it. No, instead they suggested ways that made it easier for them, but still left me with an exchange difference or difficulty dealing with it. I'm not a local... I'm an international client.

And that you don't think about your reputation at all. How is it going to look if I post a review warning about double charges? Going to cost them more in bookings that the $30 that they could have spent to fix this? Or are we at the point at where HO has to throw me a night's stay to make up for this one's stupidity. At what point do you realize that having a great process ensures that this doesn't go down in a review?

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

No, they don't think it thru. There are so many transactions/day that they never expect, or try, or demand that 100% of them are done correctly.

I see what you mean about the rewards. I never thought to use mine to get hotel rooms. I just send away for the cash. (Which I am using next week to go to VT.) Maybe I will see if I can book a room with the remaining points. I'm going to use up my free rooms thru west bestern for some of the stay.

Let's see if I can get thru that week with no complaints about photocopying driver's licenses and credit cards! (I refuse to stay at that place again.)

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Until the 15th of January it's changing, but for the moment, I can get cash back, but I get double back if I take travel instead. In fact the travel benefits is the reason we have this card (though it doesn't hurt that my banks rebates me back the $150 fee). I get 4 lounge visits per year, trip cancellation/interruption, trip medical, etc. 

I think the new version I get triple the rewards when I purchase travel, dining and entertainment rather than double the value. But instead of 100 points=$1 it's now 140=$1, so for $100 I used to get $2 in travel. With the new scheme I think I get 1.43% on everything but 2.14% on travel, dining and entertainment. It's confusing... but I actually have it for the trip cancellation/interruption and medical.

I know it's not as big, where you are, but the trip interruption has saved me an enormous amount... paid for 2 hotels stays when AA and US both left me stranded after cancellations.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.