i attempted to make an hotel reservation in a four-star hotel in central; Christchurch, from the 27th February to the 2nd of March, via the internet, on the 12th of December 2013.
Amongst the various offers available was one from the Hotwire New Zealand site, offering an un-named four-star hotel for NZ$ 244. 90. However, for this very tempting price I would not be informed of the name of the hotel and thus its exact location, until after I had paid for the reservation by credit card. As I have been very pleased with this type of reservation in the UK, especially for those hotels near Heathrow airport, which include car-parking, I was not overly concerned, as long as I would be getting a 4-star hotel in central Christchurch, as I have never been there before and have no knowledge of the hotels available in this city.
However, when I received the confirmation details, Reservation No. 114986847151, I was both amazed and shocked, to find that they had given me a reservation at the Novohotel, Grey Friar's Road, Ipswich, in the UK., when I was trying to book an hotel on the other side of the world, and paying in New Zealand dollars.
I immediately contacted the Hotwire helpline, to inform them of their mistake, which, once they had checked the details, they readily acknowledged their mistake, but rather than an apology and a promise to refund the payment as quickly as possible, leaving me free to select an hotel of my choice, I was informed that it was "not company policy" to refund payment for such bookings, despite the fact that it was clearly their error,and I was told that they would only refund my payment, AFTER I had paid for alternative accommodation, and that I would have to pay NZ$ 345.65 to obtain 4-star accommodation in Christchurch.
Feeling that I had little option but to comply with their wishes if I wanted to recover my original payment, and thereby obtain what I believed would be a 4-star hotel in the centre of Christchurch
When I received the confirmation of that booking, I found that I had been given a reservation in the Southwark Appartments, in Southwark Street.
While I have no idea of what level of services will be available to me at Couthwark Appartments, I am certain that it will not be what I would imagine I could expect from a 4-star hotel.
Hopefully, the remainder of our stay in New Zealand will be less problematic, but I am reminded of the old adage, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Len Powell.