DANCING PANDAS

Journaling The Journey

Fixing My Hotel Booking Mistake

Grr! I hate making mistakes. This post should be a ‘Grr!’ running series because even though I’ve learned a lot over the years about booking travel, I still seem to make mistakes. Not usually big ones but ones that make me go,, ‘Why the heck did I,,,?’ So I may as well post them out. This is a post about how I screwed up and booked a 4 night, non-refundable rate for the wrong date and eventually found a way of fixing my hotel booking mistake.

A few months ago I was sitting in our hotel room reflecting on how we got there. Exactly a year prior I had woken up sick. I didn’t feel like going out anywhere so I decided to at least be productive and knock off some future bookings. For an upcoming stay in Singapore I had chosen a hotel and called the booking concierge from the # on the back of our Citi Prestige credit card. I was using the 25% discount off a minimum 4 night consecutive stay. This perk was unlimited. Now it’s only twice per membership(not calendar) year, and can only be booked online. After hanging up the phone, I realized immediately I had booked a month too early.

Citi Concierge Logo

Grr! Call back. The next agent reminded me I booked a non-refundable rate but will try to call the hotel and fix it. After waiting on hold, I got the ‘Sorry’ I was regretting. She seemed sincere but said there was nothing she could do. So I asked to speak to the supervisor. Same story. At this point I knew it was in the hands of the hotel directly. But hey, with this hotel I have Platinum status. Surely they will do some thing for me? I called the Platinum member direct # and spoke with an agent and was told they would reach out to the hotel directly on my behalf. But ultimately it’s up to the hotel to help me out.

Well surely if a ‘Platinum’ member who:

  1. makes a booking mistake
  2. reports the problem immediately
  3. still wants the reservation(the business$) but simply have it moved to another available date for the same rate
  4. has head office make the request on the members behalf?

Surely, right!? Feeling confident, I hung up and left it at that. After a few days I thought I would check online the progress of my account.

Grr, no change. I called back to the Platinum member desk. Again, I’m reminded it is up to the hotel directly and they have done all they can do. I hung up and called the hotel directly. The front desk easily finds my reservation and assures me they will forward my concerns to the appropriate person and that they will respond to me via email. Sounds legit. OK, I hang up. A few days later I decide to log in to my account.

Grr, no change. Feeling defeat I thought I need to hit this with another shot and email the reservations department myself. I carefully put together an email with my request and sent it to the hotels online contact information. A few days later I get a response from the ‘Senior Duty Manager’. Basically, Nope, go pound sand!

Grr. I mean really! An advance purchase of a 4 night stay with 25% discount? Only a few hundred dollars, right? Take the loss and move on, right? Nope. At this point I don’t even care about the prize. I just want to win the battle. I never thought fixing my hotel booking mistake would be such a challenge. The next day I finally get an email from the ‘Reservation Officer’ from my prior phone inquiry. Basically, nope, go pound you know what.

Grr. OK, time to roll up the sleeves here. I searched the hotels website for the GM’s contact info but couldn’t find anything but his name. So I Googled it to try and find a contact email. Nothing. So I phoned and was put through to his voice mail. Response? Nothing.

Grr. Alright,,It’s go time!! So I gathered the prior 2 contact emails and pulled a few more emails from their website and group cc’d all 5 people. I restated my wishes AND asked to have this forwarded to the GM. The next day I found this in my inbox from the ‘Assistant Reservation Manager’.

Dear Mr Glanville,

Thank you for your email reply,

We are pleased to inform you that on goodwill gesture, we will revise to new check in date on **-**/*/2019 and no amendment is allow. Appreciate for your kind understanding and looking forward to your stay with us at ********.

Should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Cheers,

*****

Assistant Reservation Manager

Victory is mine!

Fixing my hotel booking mistake complete! So by including others in the email I guess the odds of someone doing something instead of ignore it are higher. Doesn’t hurt to include the boss as well ;o)

Ok, so at that point we had to come back to Singapore a year later. Thanks OK. It’s such a great city and hub for the rest of Southern Asia, that we didn’t mind. Plus, later while searching for the flights I found some Saver Award availability in business class on the ‘Worlds Longest Flight’. Singapore-Newark on Singapore Air. 18 hours baby! I’ll post about that later.

Wrap Up

  • Do not book stuff while sick.
  • CC others on email when trying to get results.
  • Use social media as a resource. Most hotel chains have dedicated agents to respond on Twitter and Facebook, etc.

If you haven’t yet, check out my post on saving 25% with Hotels.com

Have you ever been successful on getting any reimbursement for a mistake booking?

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4 Comments

  1. If you don’t ask, you will not get! You might still not get even if you ask BUT you will definitely not get IF you don’t ask. Persistence is the other important component of getting what you need.

    Rob – you spelled it out perfectly in your article. Keep up the great reporting!

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