We booked this hotel through Booking.com on 7th September 2011 to stay the night of 10th March 2012, on our way back from a skiing trip. The location of the hotel opposite the main train station was a key point so that we could arrive by train and depart to the airport the following morning without any bother with taxis etc. We had also previously stayed at this hotel.The rate was 210 CHF which seemed good compared to others in that location.
There is also a very good Pub/Restaurant called Les Brasseurs nearby which has very good food and its own micro brewery on site.
On the morning of 10th March I checked our emails before we left our Zermatt hotel at 9.15am to go skiing all day and then took the 4.13pm train to Geneva.There is no WiFi connection on that train
We arrived at the Hotel Warwick at 8.15pm and after a 15 minute wait whilst the solitary receptionist dealt with an Italian family whose booking the hotel had cancelled, we were told that our room had also been cancelled, as that morning they had done a pre authorisation on my card and it was declined. They said that Booking.com would have contacted me.
As you can imagine we were very upset and annoyed as we had not received any email before going skiing, that day although later that evening we found an email timed at 1314 hrs saying the card used to make the booking had been declined and I had until 6pm that day to enter a new card details - on a ski slope and train without WiFi ?
In any case the email from Booking.com said that I still had a reservation at that hotel unless I received a cancellation email.
I never did receive such a cancellation email and have taken this up with Booking.com
I then remembered that I had had a replacement card issued in November 2011 due to cloning, and completely forgot to see what ramifications that had on anything I had used my card for. The Booking.com confirmation which I had with me did not give any clues as to which card I had used, so that was no help.
To pre authorise a card for somebody on the day or arrival when they are most likely travelling seems unreasonable, especially as they had had since September to do a check on it.
We arrived with a different card and with more than sufficient funds.
I can only assume that they were wanting to sell the room at a higher rate to somebody else. When questioned about this the clerk denied it but I did not believe her, as they would have received the full amount from us, and the only reason to cancel our booking was to get a higher room rate from somebody else ! They said they were very busy as it was the Geneva Motor Show and this will have meant that they could have charged full rate of up to 400 CHF, and made an extra profit of 190 CHF by cancelling our booking.
The desk clerk was not very helpful to start with. Then she said that she would try and book us a room at another hotel. We had to insist on having written confirmation of the same rate at the other Hotel. Initially she was also not prepared to pay our taxi fare to the other Hotel, but eventually agreed, and we had to make sure that she handed over the 20 CHF to the taxi driver. Also eventually she agreed that we could have a free drink whilst we waited for confirmation from the other hotel that they had a room at the same rate of our original booking.
When we asked to see the Hotel Manager we were told that she "was the Manager" - I think she had visions above her position here.
Eventually we arrived at the other Hotel an hour later. Frustrated and even more annoyed, but not sure who we should be most annoyed at. - Booking.com or the Warwick.
The Warwick did not agree to pay our taxi fare back to the train station the following morning when we needed to catch our train to the airport, so were 20 CHF out of pocket . We also had to pay an extra 40CHF for our dinner that night compared to what we would have paid at Les Brasseurs. It was a very nice dinner in the Epsom Hotel restaurant, but more fine dining than we required that evening.By the time we had had a shower etc is was nearly 10pm.
I sent the full story to Booking.com and they contacted the Warwick and their reply was that they understood our frustration and felt sorry for any inconvenience caused. However they thought that I would understand that during one of their busiest weeks of the year that their Hotel had to be less flexible at busy times of year. They also said that they looked forward to welcoming us back to the hotel !!
On our return home Bookings.com contacted me by phone and apologised for everything that had happened and said that the Warwick had infringed the agreement it had with hotels, by not following correct procedures in such instances. Especially the fact that the Warwick had not told Bookings.com that they had cancelled the room and that they could not then tell us - albeit that it would have been too late by then as we were on the train etc. Bookings.com said that they were going to take the matter up with the Warwick to see if they could obtain any compensation, although I said that it did not matter if they could not.
So there you have it !
Decide for yourself what you would think if it happened to you and whether you would stay at the Warwick ever again.
On the way out to Zermatt we had stayed at another hotel opposite the station, using the same credit card for the initial booking, and had no problems on arrival.
The good news is that the hotel they booked us into, the EPSOM, was a total class ahead of the Warwick with very professional and helpful staff.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dear John B,
Report response as inappropriate
Your feedback is important to us in order to maintain and improve our level of services and standards.
All of us at the Hotel Warwick Geneva strive to provide an enjoyable and relaxing guest experience and we were disappointed to learn that you encountered many shortcomings. This is certainly not the type of service upon which we base our reputation, and we apologize for any inconvenience or frustration this invalid credit card may have caused you.
On the other hand, I am sure you can imagine also from your own experience with cloned credit card how many false reservations or fraudulent credit cards we are receiving.
As clearly mentioned on booking.com: “The hotel reserves the right to pre-authorize credit cards prior to arrival”and in your specific case on the day of your arrival the credit given was declared as INVALID. As a last opportunity to solve this situation, we have declared your credit card as invalid to booking.com in order for them to send you an email for a new payment method request. Since we were on one of the busiest week of the year, due to the Geneva Motorshow, as soon as your room has been cancelled, it has been rebooked right away.
Later on that day, when you and your family tried to check in, our team did the best to ease the relocation in another hotel of equal quality and in the same area, although the relocation was not planned by us since your booking was considered as not guaranteed.
We do realize of course the unpleasant situation, and again we apologize for this annoying experience. Nevertheless I am sure your feeling towards the hotel would have been much different if this booking had been made with a cloned credit card.
We look forward to your return so that you might give us the opportunity to prove our commitment to you and our value.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC