September 15, 2015 11:30pm
The hotel sold out tonight. I only had 4 rooms left to check in. Thirty minutes into my shift the woman staying in room 303 called the desk.
“When I turn the lights off by the door, is it supposed to turn off all the lights in the room like this?” She asked. I have never heard of this kind of issue before in the rooms.
“To the best of my knowledge, the bed lamps should still work.” I replied.
“Well, when I turn the light switch off, the only lamp that stays on is the one on the desk.” She told me.
“So when you turn off the light switch by the door, you are saying that the lights next to the bed don’t work?” I asked. I had a feeling she was up to something.
“Now, I have to plug-in my phone to charge it, but there is no power to the outlet next to the bed.” She said.
“I have to admit, I am a bit confused why that is happening, but I can walk to your room and check to see if I can fix it for you.” I politely offered. Have you ever spoken to a person, and no matter how legit their complaint might sound, they still sound like they are bullshitting you?
“Can you please find me another room?” She asked. That was a legit request, but there is one problem.
“Unfortunately, we are sold out tonight. I don’t have an available room to move you to, but I can walk to your room and see if I can fix the lamps for you.” I said. She was avoiding my offer to help. People usually don’t want to switch rooms if they don’t have to. The offer to help fix the problem is usually more welcomed by the average guest. Moving is usually inconvenient for them.
“You don’t have another room at all? Well then I am going to have to check for other hotels to switch to. I made my reservation on Hotels.com. I have had issues with bad service before. If I have to change hotels, they will call to make sure that you refund my money since you are not able to fulfill your responsibility to accommodate me.” She said. I wonder if the crap is flying out of her mouth as smooth as her words. She has clearly pulled this in the past. She sounded too well rehearsed.
“I understand your frustration with the lights. I have offered to try to fix them. I also cannot do anything about the hotel being sold out. My offer to help fix the lights does not mean we are unable to fulfill our responsibility.” The phone started ringing. “I will head on up to your room to fix the lights right after I take this call.” I said.
“Okay…” That was all that I allowed her to say before I hung up her call to answer the incoming call. The new call was a man who mistook this hotel for a different location. That was easy to handle.
“I have a reservation for tomorrow night. I just want to make sure that your hot tub and pool work.” He said.
“We don’t have a hot tub, but our pool is working just fine.” I told him.
“My information here says that you have a hot tub. Isn’t this the airport hotel?” He asked.
“No sir, this is not the airport hotel. You must have dialed the wrong number. I can give you the phone number for that location if you want.” I said.
“No, that’s okay, I am sure it is one of the other numbers that I see here.” He politely said, and then he disconnected the call. That went well. I was about to run up to room 303 when she called again.
“Guest services, how can I help you?” I said with my standard professional voice. What nonsense do you have for me now?
“Hi again.” She said. I interrupted her.
“Hello! I was just on my way to see you.” I pretended to sound like I care.
“Yes, well, I just plugged my phone into the outlet that the lights are plugged into, and the phone is charging properly, but the lights are still not working with the switch turned off.” She said. To me, that means that the outlet is wired differently between the top and bottom outlets. Clearly the one that the lamps are plugged into are connected to the light switch, while the other one is independent from the switch.
“Okay, I see what the issue is. The outlet that you plugged your phone into is receiving power with the switch turned off, and the outlet that the lamp in plugged into is connected to the light switch. I am happy to go upstairs and fix that if you are uncomfortable with changing the plugs around.” I politely offered.
“No, I don’t need you to do that for me as long as I am able to charge my phone. I will contact Hotels.com to find me a new hotel. And have them contact you about my refund.” She said. That woman has no actual problem with her room. I told her how to fix her issue, and even offered to correct the problem myself. She just wants to complain and get a free stay. This is probably the first time I don’t hate Hotels.com. This time I get to tell her, tough shit lady.
“Ma’am, you can choose to take this up with them if you wish, but we cannot refund your stay. Only Hotels.com can do that.” I reminded her, but she clearly already knew that.
“Listen, I have gone through shit like this before. You cannot fulfill your responsibility to accommodate me, and they will be contacting you about my refund, plus they will charge you a fee for not doing what you are supposed to do. I know how this works.” You are trying to scam this hotel, and I am not going to let you. You are messing with the wrong hippie, lady. I don’t scare that easily. Ain’t nobody got time for that. “You are going to pay for my stay.” She said in a way that was meant to have authority. I am going to jump you like a tribe of spider monkeys, you are going down, bitch. I will wreck you.
“I just offered to fix your issue. In fact, I offered to help at least three times. How am I not fulfilling my responsibility to accommodate you?” I spoke politely.
“Oh no sir, I know what I am doing.” Scamming the hotel. “I have stayed at hotels with problems before. I will get my problem taken care of one way or another. I promise you that.” She scolded me. Because you are a professional scam artist, and now you are pissed because I have offered you proper help that will prevent your scam from working? Try me.
“You absolutely can take this issue to Hotels.com. I will not try to stop you. That is your prerogative, and if you are unhappy with our service, then you have every right to make a complaint.” Just remember that I keep good notes. This entire conversation is getting logged in my book, as well as being recorded. I win.
“I am going to call them right now. You will see. They are gonna make you pay.” She said just before hanging up on me.
My phone rang. It was Hotels.com calling. Let’s do this!
“Hello sir, I am calling on behalf of your guest staying in room 303. She tells me that there is a problem with her room. Are you able to offer her a different room?” He asked.
“I cannot switch her room, because the hotel is sold out. There are no other rooms available. I did offer to help her with her issue.” I informed him.
“She is telling me that the lights in her room don’t work, and she has to sit in the dark. She also told me that you refused to relocate her to a different room.” He said.
“Like I just said, the hotel is sold out. I did not refuse anything. You do understand that if all of our rooms are occupied, then that means we cannot move her. I also just said that I offered to correct her issue.” I reminded him.
“Yes, I understand that you said that. I have been told that you were not able to fix the issue, and now she needs to find a new hotel. Since you are unable to fulfill your responsibility to accommodate her, we will have to find a new location for her, and we will also have to charge you a fee for our having to relocate her, as well as a full refund for the purchase of the room. Do you understand?”
“I understand that is your policy. I assure you that I did offer to fix her problem, and she is refusing to allow me into her room to fix her lights. This hotel is not unable to accommodate her. The lights in her room work just fine. She is refusing to allow me to do my job. If she would allow me access to her room, then I would have this issue corrected in a matter of moments. In fact, I could have had this issue corrected almost an hour ago, but she refused to let me fix the lights.” I informed him.
“Sir, are you saying that there is no issue with her room?” He asked.
“Yes, sir, she has no reason to claim that we are not fulfilling our responsibility. I will also say that we have no reason to find her a new room, and I will not authorize any reimbursements, and this hotel will not be paying any fees if she insists on relocating. I should also mention that there are no available hotels in this area. Everything is sold out. If you choose to find her a new hotel, then that will be between you and her. This hotel is not obligated to reimburse you for her stay, and we will not pay your fee. Do you understand what I am saying, sir?”
“I see…” He was not sure what exactly to say to me. He was pausing, and trying to figure out how to respond. “I am afraid it is our policy to charge you a fee for having to find her a new hotel.” He reminded me.
“Yes, I have read your policy. I know it well. I want you to understand that this hotel does not have an obligation to reimburse a guest for a room when they prepay for a room through a third-party. She should know that her payment ahead of time is not refundable. Your website clearly states that there are no refunds, and since there are no actual problems with the room, I will not authorize any repayments, or pay any fees. She can stay, or she can leave. If you choose to give her money back, then that is solely your decision, and not the responsibility of this hotel.” I said like a boss. Like a King spider monkey with the reflexes of a ninja.
“You are able to fix the issue with the lights in her room?” He asked.
“I will gladly fix the lights in her room. I cannot make her allow me access to her room though. I would also like to add that while she complained to me about not having power to her outlet, she also admitted that she successfully plugged in her phone charger into the same outlet, and that her phone is charging without a problem. Does that sound like the power is not working?” I said.
“I see, this is a contradiction in her story. I have her on the other line. I will ask her about this.” He said.
“You should do that. Keep in mind, sir, I offered to correct her issue, and she refused my help. Her refusal to accept my help does not mean we cannot fulfill our obligations. I suggest that you tell her to allow me to fix her lights. She can fix them herself if she doesn’t want me to enter the room. All she has to do is move the cord from the lamp to the other plug option. One is connected to the light switch, and the other works without the light switch. The lamp is simply plugged into the wrong place. Switching that will take seconds and her issue will be fixed.” I informed him.
“Okay. I will give her those instructions. If she insists on relocating, I will have to do so. I need you to understand this.” He reminded me.
“I do understand. I also understand that she agreed to no refunds when she paid for her room. Since this hotel is fully capable of accommodating her, we are not responsible for any reimbursements or fees. If you have any further questions about this, I will be happy to transfer you to the sales office where you can leave a message. The sales manager will call you back during business hours.”
“Thank you for your time, sir. May I please have your name?” He asked politely.
“Yes, my name is Michael. I am still happy to fix her lights. Is there anything else that I can help you with?” I said.
“No, thank you, sir.” He said.
“Then this concludes our conversation. I am happy to help in any way that I am able. Thank you for contacting me, and have a nice day, sir.” I hung up.
Nothing happened for the rest of my shift as far as that room was concerned. The woman never called me back, and I honestly could care less if she complains. She was clearly trying to pull a scam on the hotel. This is one of those times where her scam backfired.