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Hostel say I cancelled my room - I didn't. What should I do

Mandalay, Myanmar
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Hostel say I cancelled my room - I didn't. What should I do

I'd like some advice on where I stand on this matter, please. It is really long, so I do apologise in advance for this. I just want to give as much information as possible.

A couple of months ago, I booked a room in a hostel in London through hostel bookers. I arrived, met my mother there, and then paid the full amount. I was not yet able to check-in as the room was not ready. I have a receipt stating that I have paid for one night's accommodation. I then went to visit some friends who live just outside London.

I returned to the hostel at about 8pm. The receptionist (a different one that I had met in the morning) informed me that I had cancelled the room. I told her that I hadn't, and showed her the receipt. She said she was sure that I had and the hostel was full. I asked her for help in finding another room. She shrugged her shoulders and said "you have a phone don't you? Look it up". She refused to contact a manager.

I will admit I was frustrated with her behaviour, so I went outside to calm down and when I returned, I insisted that she look up and get me a hostel. She went online, and showed me some hostels. She refused to call any of them but assured me that one hostel around the corner had beds.

It didn't. I called a few other hostels, bit nowhere had rooms. I decided to head to Victoria, which i know has a number of cheap hotels nearby. Not a single one had rooms. By this time, it was dark, and close to midnight. I had all my belongings with me, so I went to a hotel booking place at the station and they told me that the cheapest hotel was £500. In the end, i went to the airport and slept there.

The next day, I had to travel onwards, but my mother called the hotel. I was fully expecting them to apologise for the error, refund the money etc. Instead the manager (who I have never met) said that I was rude to her staff, and she believed them when they told her I had cancelled the room.

I have never been informed of what form this rude behaviour took, just know that I am rude. What I will admit is that when the receptionist informed me that the room was cancelled, I did get frustrated, exacerbated by her lack of concern, but as I said earlier, I went outside to calm down. I am not aware that I was being rude at any point.

After a month or so of travelling, I took up the matter myself. I received an email from the Regional Manager, this morning and I quote: "I have explained everything that needs to be explained, and I do not see why now, months later we receive the same complaint" adding that once again "we are not happy with your rude behaviour". This guy has never met me or had any contact with me until today! How can he be happy or sad with behaviour he has never encountered?

I am not sure what is happening. My complaint is that they cancelled the room without my consent, causing extra costs and stress. They respond by saying I am rude. Are they implying that they cancelled the room because I was rude? if so, I should have been told about it at some point. But then, this goes against what they are saying in that I cancelled the room myself.

As far as I am concerned, I paid for the room, left my luggage and showed up later in the day expecting to be checked in. This is not the behaviour of someone who believes they have cancelled their room. As I have said previously, I wasn't acting in any way rude, although I will admit the receptionist frustrated me, and I did have to insist that she try and find some alternative accommodation for me. I'm not sure why they are not addressing the issue. I am quite sure that someone at the hostel made an error, which does happen from time to time.

So, to the point :-) After a battle, they did refund the room fees. However, I feel that they should give something to cover the costs of me having to call other hostels, travel around London looking for somewhere to sleep, and something to address the inconvenience that I suffered. Would this be something that I could take to a small claims court? What is my legal situation in this case? Had the hostel apologised initially, I probably would not feel so strongly on this, and I am not sure if I am letting my emotions get in the way, or if I should be entitled to compensation for their error.

Thanks so much for reading.

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London
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840 posts
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1. Re: Hostel say I cancelled my room - I didn't. What should I do

If you finally received a refund I think you should leave it at that, as you will only be creating more hassle for yourself if you pursue for compensation, which is not likely to be very much even if you succeeded in getting it. One thing you could do is name the hostel here!

Southampton, UK
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1,704 posts
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2. Re: Hostel say I cancelled my room - I didn't. What should I do

A agree with post 1. You will not get much in compensation and you could even end up out of pocket if you lose the case. Forget about it and move on.

UK
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49,560 posts
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3. Re: Hostel say I cancelled my room - I didn't. What should I do

I would leave a review along the lines of what you posted here.

Ipswich, United...
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for Ipswich
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4. Re: Hostel say I cancelled my room - I didn't. What should I do

Sefina did leave a review.

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g186338-d6…

I must say, the management response is very brief. This would have been their chance to give their side, if they had one.

Edited: 21 August 2014, 20:47
Bodmin, United...
Destination Expert
for Cornwall
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5. Re: Hostel say I cancelled my room - I didn't. What should I do

well the review gave a bit more information about what happened when she arrived there, in that she asked to have a shower before check in was available, and then when she was refused she used the disabled washroom and then took offence when she was told it wasn't allowed. She then talked about cancelling her room and was advised she would have to pay for one night anyway, which she did, but did not intend to cancel. I wonder if this is where the confusion arose?

Mandalay, Myanmar
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7 posts
31 reviews
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6. Re: Hostel say I cancelled my room - I didn't. What should I do

Thanks for your feedback guys. Wansteader is right - I have already left a review. I was a bit perplexed by the manager's response, as I did not contact the company personally until yesterday, and even then, i went directly to the Regional Manager, rather than Ms Holfert (the manager of the hostel itself), so I am not quite sure what she means by "a number of emails". I've had no personal contact with her at all.

The costs I incurred as a result was about £50 - including calling other hotels (I was using roaming as I didn't have a UK sim card at that point), getting to the airport etc, buying tube tickets etc. It's a lot of money to me, as I left my job in May, but I appreciate that it is not a lot to go to court for, and I understand what you're saying with your replies. I'm not au fait with the English legal system, and didn't know if they broke a contract or something like that. it does annoy me as I am completely frustrated by their responses but I take it all on board :-)

I really don't understand their response at all - they really do not seem to care less that they left a customer out on the streets. I've worked as a receptionist in hostels myself before, in the US, and I would have lost my job if I'd have behaved like the evening receptionist I encountered. Fair play that they want to protect their staff, but they are potentially creating an environment where staff can behave and say what they like, knowing that there is no consequence. I jwould have expected a manager to be objective, listen to both sides and make a measured response. Instead, they've resorted to name calling and calling their customers liars. It's a shame.

Mandalay, Myanmar
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7 posts
31 reviews
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7. Re: Hostel say I cancelled my room - I didn't. What should I do

Annabelle - to address what you say about the check-in. I asked about cancelling, as I absolutely stank to high heaven at that point, although I did wash in the disabled bathroom.

It's true that I did ask about cancelling, but in my conversation with the receptionist, I made it clear that I was staying, and she continued to give me information about the hostel as she prepared my receipt. She then told me that once I arrived back and saw my room, I'd be sure that I'd made the right decision. She knew I wasn't cancelling.

Edited: 21 August 2014, 21:13
London, United...
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8. Re: Hostel say I cancelled my room - I didn't. What should I do

In the OP:- "In the end, i went to the airport and slept there."

But in the review that Wansteader found:- "I ended up sleeping on the street."

Mandalay, Myanmar
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7 posts
31 reviews
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9. Re: Hostel say I cancelled my room - I didn't. What should I do

Sorry, It's a turn of phrase - I use it to mean that I had no accommodation. English is my third language.

Bodmin, United...
Destination Expert
for Cornwall
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10. Re: Hostel say I cancelled my room - I didn't. What should I do

The hotel wasn't responsible for you arriving "stinking to high heaven", perhaps you could have washed at the airport before you arrived? They had no obligation to even let you use the facilities before check in time, but in fact they did, although not the facilities you expected.

I think you need to let this one go now. You have had a refund.