You Get What You Ask For

October 15, 2015 12:37am

The people who own this hotel also own several other area hotels. There are four hotels in this general area with the same brand name as this hotel, and just like the hotel I work in, there is another hotel with the same name that is also located near the airport, and they both have the local airport in their online descriptions. People often contact me at this location thinking that they are actually contacting the other airport location. It is not often an issue, but people can get easily confused. The other location just says Airport in its title, and my location says Airport North. People will see an advertisement for the other location, then Google the directions. What they end up seeing is two options that both say airport in them, and they randomly choose my location without really inspecting the detailed information, and they show up to the wrong hotel.

There was a group of four guys in their 20’s who walked into the hotel. I politely greeted them, and they all stood at the desk in front of me. I know this might sound like a non-issue, but I found it frustrating when they crowded the desk like that. Only one of them needed to go over the details, and clearly, they did not recognize that even though there was a tall counter between us, It felt like an invasion of my personal space. Adding to that sense of irritation, they were all staring at me. I wanted to ask them to back up from the desk, but that would have been considered rude, and they weren’t actually doing anything wrong. The guy standing directly in front of me spoke up.
“We need a two queen room, please.” He said.
I opened up the reservation screen, and checked for availability. The hotel was not sold out, but all the standard rooms were taken. There were only suites available. People never want to pay for a suite when they are just looking for a place to sleep for a few hours while traveling.
“I have a two queen suite available at a rate of $164.00.” I said.
All four guys looked confused. They exchanged quick glances at each other, then went back to staring at me. I could feel a tense energy in the air. All four of them were resisting speaking at once, but they all clearly wanted to voice an issue with what I had just told them. The guy standing in front of me spoke up.
“We saw online that you had something for $109.00.” He said.
There is no chance we will advertise a suite for $109.00. This hotel is not hurting for business, and many of our guests are staying in rooms that are paid for by their employers, so there is little argument over cost, because many employers will pay whatever we charge, and the prices tend to fit within their budgets.
“I don’t have any standard rooms available, and if there were any available, they would be closer to $120.00.” I said.
“We were just looking at your hotel online, and it said that you have a two queen room for $109.00.” He reminded me.
“I can’t find any available rooms like that on my list. If you are talking about a third-party advertisement, then those prices were set by that company, and you would have to reserve your room through them and pay online. Like I said, there are only suites available.” I said.
The guy standing to his left spoke up with that assertive tone that men often use when trying to take control of a situation.
“Dude, just show him what you saw online. He will have to give us that offer if we can prove it to him.” Said Dude Guy. No, I don’t, but just go ahead and shove that smartphone in my face so I can go on with thinking that you are all a bunch of assholes.
All four guys grabbed their phones at once, and started tapping their fingers against their screens. The guy in front of me found the page that he was looking for first, and he held it in front of me. Within seconds the guys on either side of him did the exact same thing. Since they were all holding their phone inches from my face, I chose the guy to my left, and I took his phone right out of his hand to get a closer look at the advertisement. They were all a bit shocked that I took the phone without asking, based on their expressions.
“Hey, you just yanked my phone out of my hand.” The guy said.
“You were offering it to me.” I told him as I looked over the information on the screen. I immediately saw the issue. They were just at the wrong location. “This advertisement is from a different location. I can give you directions there if you would like.” I handed back the phone. The guy in front of me spoke up.
“This is where the directions sent us for that hotel. Said the guy in front of me.”
“Dude, we are already here so just give us the same deal.” The Dude Guy said.
“Sorry dude, I can’t.” I said. Dude Guy was not okay with that.
“This is the same company right?” He said. Dude Guy was about to try to school me. I could tell from his body language, and his know-it-all tone of voice.
“Yes, it is.” I admitted.
“Then there is no reason for you to not give us the same deal, dude. Sometime I feel like people forget the saying, The customer is always right.” He said. I am pretty sure that stopped being a regular saying a few years before you were born.
All four guys looked at each other with mutual agreement in proper ‘Bro’ style. I was surprised they didn’t start giving each other high-fives.
“The reason that I can’t do that is because that location is independently managed just like this one is. They might be the same brand, but they run as independent businesses. We all set different rates depending on the locations and management decisions. I also have to remind you that we do not have any of that room type available.” I said.
“Dude, you are full of shit.” Dude Guy said to me. I had three cups of coffee before work. I also ate a large bowl of steel-cut oatmeal. That cleared me out pretty well. If only Dude Guy knew just how wrong he was.
I really didn’t want to deal with them anymore. I opened up my web browser and looked up the hotel in the advertisement. I found exactly what they were looking for at the other location, so I smiled at them.
“Okay guys, it looks like I can get you the room and rate that you are looking for.” I said. They all smiled.
“Hell yes, you will.” Said Dude Guy with victory in his voice.
“I assume you will be putting this on a credit card?” I asked the guy in front of me.
“Yeah, I can use my card.” He said as he pulled his wallet out of his pocket.
“Great. I just need that credit card, and your driver’s license.” I said. The guy gave me what I asked for.
“See? You just gotta know how to deal with people, and shit gets done.” Said Dude Guy. I hear that. Sometimes you just gotta be smarter than the other guy.
The fourth guy who remained silent that whole time finally said something.
“So you do have the room that we wanted?” He asked
“No.” I said while I used the driver’s license to fill in the reservation information directly on the other hotel’s website, and I punched in his credit card information to reserve the room for them, then printed the confirmation information. The four of them looked a bit confused again. Once I had that finished, I printed the directions to the hotel, and began highlighting the route that they will have to take to get there. With everything in order, I gave back his cards, and slapped the papers on the counter. “Okay, so I got you the room that you were looking for. It is a standard two queen room at a rate of $109.00 which includes a hot breakfast, and access to the heated pool, and fitness center.” I pointed out the paper with their confirmation number on it. “Here is the confirmation number for your reservation.” I said, then I pointed at the paper with the directions. “This is the quickest route to your room. There is no traffic at this hour, so you should be there in less than ten minutes.”
Full blown confusion finally set in, and they all had the same stupid expression on their faces.
“Wait, what? Dude, what is this?” Said Dude Guy.
“That is the room you insisted that I get you. Drive safe, dude.”
I walked into the office and shut the door behind me. I could hear them all standing there trying to make sense of what just happened. It took them a couple of minutes to leave. I know how to deal with people too.


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