Third-party reservations are a pain in my ass. People never pay attention to what they are agreeing to when they finalize their reservations. Often, people call the third-party to complain. Instead of owning their own rules, they pass the responsibility of being the bad guy on to the hotel.
There were no expected arrivals when I clocked in. Things were smooth, until 1:30 when I received a call from someone working for a third-party travel agent. “I’m calling because you were unable to accommodate a guest who recently booked a room at your hotel.” He said. I cut him off.
“When did this happen?” I asked.
“This occurred tonight, sir. If you are unable to accommodate the guest, we have to charge you a relocation fee.” I opened the arrivals list. There was a new reservation that wasn’t there earlier.
“I see an expected arrival on my list. Can you please tell me the name of the guest who made this complaint?” I asked. The man gave me the same name that appeared on my arrivals list. “You’re telling me that this man told you I can’t give him a room?”
“Yes, are you unable to accommodate him?” Asked the man.
“I have lots of rooms to sell. The person who made this reservation hasn’t been here yet. I know this because I have been sitting at this desk for two and a half hours, and not one single person has walked through those doors. I see the reservation was made after I arrived. This person never called me, and since he hasn’t arrived yet, there is no way I told him anything because we never spoke.”
“You do have rooms?” He asked
“You can look for yourself. You know I have rooms. In fact, I’m going to go ahead and take the deposit right now. If he arrives, I’ll ask for his identification, and give him a key. If he doesn’t arrive, then, sorry, no refunds, and no cancellations. You know the drill. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“I have the gentleman on-hold. If you will give me a moment, I can tell him…” I cut him off again.
“No worries! You can let him know that I have his room waiting for him, and I look forward to meeting him. You have a great day!” I hung up the phone.
The person never arrived. Shortly after the call, the same travel agent called back. “I’m calling because I have to cancel a reservation for Mr. Liar. He won’t be able to arrive tonight, and he needs to cancel his reservation. Is it alright to waive the cancellation fees?”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. You have a strict no cancellation policy that I must abide by. I won’t be able to waive any cancellation fees.”
“With it being so late at night, I’m sure you can find it in you to understand his situation…”
“I understand that this person contacted you, and lied to you when he claimed I wouldn’t give him a room. The fact is, he never arrived, and we’ve never spoken to each other. I have his room available for him, and I’ve already taken the deposit.”
“I won’t be able to get you to waive the fees?”
“Rules are rules. It’s unfortunate he can’t join us here tonight. Is there anything else I can help you with?”
“No, thank you.” He said. We went our separate ways.
I dislike third-party reservations so much that I always enjoy conversations where I get to tell the person on the phone that there is nothing I can do to help them.