Pay Attention To What You Are Agreeing To Before You Prepay


I received a call from a pissed off lady. She didn’t pay attention to what she agreed to when she made her online reservation. Somehow it magically became my fault “I am going over my credit card statement for last month and it shows I was charged for a room that I didn’t use and I know I canceled it.” She said.

“Let me check the reservation information for you.” I said. “What is your last name and date of the reservation?” She gave me her info and I looked it up. It was as I suspected. She made the reservation on Hotels.com. That was when the conversation started to suck. “Ma’am do you have a cancellation number?” I ask.

“I am trying to find it. All I can find is my print out from the reservation.” She replied.

“Well, according to the reservation on file, you made the reservation on Hotels.com.” I told her.

“Yes” She admitted. That was a step in the right direction. I expected her to deny it being an online reservation.

“When you canceled your reservation who did you talk to?” I asked.

“I don’t remember.” She said. “It was a month ago. I am pretty sure I called your hotel.”

“I see. Online reservations are prepaid, and non-refundable. There isn’t anything that I can do about the reservation.” Obviously, her response to that was…

“No, I canceled the reservation. I shouldn’t have been billed for it.” And my reply was…

“I understand your frustration with this situation, but unfortunately you agreed to prepay for the room when you reserved it. When you agreed to the payment it stated clearly that it is not refundable.”

Then she begged.

“Can’t you make an exception in this case? I don’t want to pay for a room that I canceled.”

“I can’t.” I said. “This is a reservation agreement with Hotels.com. You paid them for the room. Only they can offer you a refund. It is completely out of my control.” I reminded her.

“But I called you guys and said that I wasn’t going to make it. I was told I could cancel.”

“I still understand your frustration, but we are locked out of changing reservations made through a third-party. Think about it this way. When you get your reservation from Hotels.com you are reserving a room from them and not us. You agree to their terms when making the reservation. You can imagine the name of our hotel is removed and replaced with Hotels.com. Only Hotels.com can cancel the reservation and only Hotels.com can refund your money.”

She kept reminding me that she called here.

“I was told by your hotel that I could cancel.”

“Nobody here would have told you this.” I reminded her. “We are locked out when it comes to making changes to the information on the reservation.”

That was when she got pissed.

“Listen you asshole, I canceled the reservation. I spoke to a person who told me….”

That was when I hung up the phone. Oops! We accidentally disconnected, or something. It took about 2 minutes for her to call back.

“Did we get disconnected or did you hang up on me?” She asked in her pissed off voice.

“I think I accidentally bumped my elbow on the keypad when I leaned on the desk. I apologize for that.”

“Listen, I am not paying for a room that I canceled. We need to fix this and it needs to happen now.”

Listen to her talk like a boss! OK boss lady I have your fix right here.

“Let me transfer you to someone more knowledgeable when it comes to resolving these issues. Please wait for me to transfer your call.”

I transferred it to the other desk phone. I answered it with a slightly different voice.

“Thank you for calling customer support. How may I help you?”

“I was talking to that other guy about my bill and he transferred me to you.” She said.

“OK please hold for a moment while I open up my help screen.”

I put her on hold and went to the bathroom. When I came back, the phone was ringing again. I answered in my normal voice. She complained that she was put on hold.

“I am sorry for that inconvenience. Let me transfer you again.”

I transferred her to the other desk phone again. When I answered that phone I tried not to make my voice as deep again.

“Hello thank you for contacting customer service. Your call is important to us. Unfortunately I have a customer on the other line. Please hold and I will get to your call as soon as possible.”

I put her on hold again, and got a bowl of raisin bran. Did you know, as a kid I hated raisin bran? I can’t seem to get enough of it now. I love that stuff. But what is even more funny is, I hate raisins. She never called back after that. Is there anything to learn from this experience? I still hate raisins but if you add bran flakes and some milk I will shovel it in my mouth.

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