I learned a lesson a while back. There are times when you just do what the guests wants, even if what they are asking for isn’t going to work out.
A man called and told me he wanted me to add his member number to the reservation. When I opened the reservation, I saw that it was made through Expedia. “I found your reservation. I see you booked through Expedia, and you will be staying with us for four nights. I can add your member number, but I think it is important for me to mention that when you book through a 3rd party, it disqualifies you from earning your rewards points.”
“I didn’t book through Expedia.” He said.
“I am looking at your reservation, and it is showing me that your reservation was booked through Expedia.”
“I didn’t book through Expedia. There’s a mistake. I called my companies travel people.”
“I don’t know who made the reservation on your behalf, but this reservation is definitely an Expedia reservation.”
“I’m telling you, I don’t use Expedia to make reservations.”
“I believe you, and I am sorry if I gave you the impression that I didn’t. I can only tell you what I am looking at. Your reservation says Expedia. Whoever it was that made these arrangements for you went through Expedia.”
“Well, I need you to change it.”
“I would like to help you with that, but I cannot cancel, or change 3rd party reservations.”
“You’re making a mistake.” When he said that, it didn’t sound like he was implying a mistake was made on our end. He seemed like a mob boss, and what he really meant was… You’re going to do what I say, or else…
“I can assure you, sir, I am not mistaken. I suggest that you contact whoever you spoke to when you made these arrangements. If you want me to add your member number, I can do that.”
“Can you tell me where I can find better customer service?”
“If good customer service is important to you, I suggest you don’t book through 3rd parties. They limit how much help I can be.”
“Will I still get my points if I keep this reservation?”
“Well, then what the hell was the point of you adding my number?”
“You asked me to, and I find it’s less stress for everyone if I just do what I’m asked. If you contact the agency that you used, I am sure they can help you clear this up. Since you are a member of our rewards program, why don’t you just download our app? You can use it to book online, you will get all of your points for being a member, and we won’t have any limits when it comes to how much we can help you after you’ve made the reservation.”
“I don’t believe you. I think you can help me, but you just don’t want to.”
“I certainly want to be able to help you. Unfortunately, you booked through Expedia…”
“I did not book through Expedia…”
“Unfortunately, someone booked your room through Expedia, and as a result, I cannot make any changes to your reservation. You can have that person contact me, and I will be happy to give that person a piece of my mind.” I said, shaking my fist “I find 3rd party reservations to be irritating, and with you being a member, the company would rather you book your stays directly through us.”
“How do I get my points?”
“As far as this reservation is concerned, you won’t get those points, but I can see this is important to you.” Usually, that would be followed by a possible resolution. I didn’t have one.
“And?” I was going to offer some extra points for the sake of getting him out of my hair, but I realized I can’t, because of Expedia… I hate them.
“How about an upgrade?”
“That’s a start.” It’s also the end.
I couldn’t give him points, but an upgrade costs the hotel nothing, and I wanted him off the phone.
“I still want my points.”
“I completely understand.”
“And you aren’t going to do anything about it?”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t. I want to, but it’s out of my hands. As long as your company books through a 3rd party, you won’t qualify for any points.”
“I still think you’re just refusing to help me.”
“If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that in situations like this, I would be able to retire.” I called the hotel from my personal phone so he could hear ringing. “Pardon me while I put this incoming call on hold. I’ll be right back.” I put him on hold. He didn’t wait. I watched the light on his hold button go dark.