Just wondering if anyone had ever experienced bad customer service or been abused by a hotel for booking a cheap rate online through a 3rd party site (hotelclub, agoda, expedia etc)? I can now officially say that I have experienced it. This morning I experienced some of the worst treatment I have ever had to deal with.
I had been looking to book a hotel online for a destination in Australia for 4 people for 2 nights over NYE. This destination doesn't have a huge amount of hotels and they are filling up quite quickly for the period. Anyway I researched online like the good saver I am and found that I could achieve a much cheaper rate booking via www.hotelclub.com than booking via the hotel directly. The rate was also cheaper on zuji.com. Normally in these instances I ring the hotel directly and see if they are able to match the price, most often they do.
In this instance the lady that answered was very abrupt and said "No we have a 3 night minimum then and the rate will be at full price". I advised her I could book it elsewhere for much cheaper and with no minimum night requirement. To which she replied that she was meant to have taken the 3rd party sites down. At this point I said thank you for your help and hung up.
I decided that I had nothing to lose booking with hotelclub before I assume she would advise them to no longer sell rooms, I made a booking. Hotelclub confirmed the booking had 100% gone through and that there was no minimum night requirement and it is up to the hotel to correctly advise them if they no longer have any rooms available for 3rd parties to sell. Form this point I assumed everything was fine and that I am sure I had frustrated the manager but I had done nothing wrong. I was not expecting to be treated amazingly at check in or the best room but I wasn't expecting anything bad as a result. In fact I had possibly done her a favour by making her aware of the mistake before other potential customers went ahead and made a booking via 3rd party sites.
Fast forward to this morning:
1 week after the booking was confirmed I today received a phone call at 6:10am, we are in the same state as the hotel so it was also that time for them. At this time the phone woke my partner and I up and I proceded to answer the call. What I received was the same lady on the other end of the phone verbally abusing me for booking the room via hotelclub when she said she had a 3 night minimum. I calmly in my sleepy state responded that I was sorry but I had done nothing wrong other than book a hotel room online for an advertised rate, if I had never even called you I would have been totally unaware that you wanted a 3 night minimum. After several more minutes of abuse from the women she proceded to hang up on me.
Fast forward to 9:30am this morning:
Called the hotel back and spoke to the lady again. Calmly stated that I did not appreciate being woken and spoken to like that at 6:10am. She advised that she didn't appreciate me booking a room when I knew she wanted a 3 night minimum direct from the hotel. I again said I'm sorry but I did nothing wrong, I would never have known that if I hadn't called you to offer you to match the rate, perhaps it was not morally perfect but I am a customer trying to spend as little possible. She then advised she is sorting it out with hotelclub via email and hung up on me.
Wow. I had never encountered something like this before and was a little shook up to be honest. I know what I did was probably not morally impecable, but I literally would have had no idea about her 3 night minimum requirement if I had just proceded to book with hotelclub like I initially did. The 3 night minimum was not mentioned on the hotel's own personal website, it just said to call them for bookings over the christmas/nye period. Now I have no idea what is going on with my booking and where to go from here. I assume she is doing everything she can to get hotelclub to cancel the booking. I am now in linbo and have been charged the full amount for our stay. There are minimal hotels left for the 2 nights we need and to have any chance to book another one, I need this resolved ASAP.
Has anyone else experienced this before and can offer any advise? This appears to be the only person I can speak to at the hotel, she answers the phone every time someone calls and will not put me through to anyone else.