Today I booked a room for the night at the last minute at the Piano Inn in Port Perry. It seemed from the minute I called that something was amiss with the service. The person who answered my phone call told me I should reserve online, but when I went to the website, there was a notice saying that the website would not accept bookings made less than 24 hours in advance. When I called back, this person answering the phone apologized for not knowing this and took my reservation. I gave her my credit card number to hold the room, but when she asked for the CVV number on the back of the card, I told her I was not comfortable giving that out over the phone. It's a security number.
I arrived at the Piano Inn around 3:00 pm to check in. The staff person in the restaurant asked me to pay fully for room in advance. This isn't a usual procedure at hotels or B and Bs. You usually pay when checking out. I asked if I could at least see the room before paying so I would know what I was paying for. The staff person wasn't too happy about this request, however, she did take me to see the room, which was very comfortable, bright and clean, so I decided it would be ok to pay in advance, although I do think it's unusual to pay in advance at a B and B. I gave my credit card, entered the PIN in the machine, signed and we completed the transaction. The staff person wished me a nice stay and I left to take a walk and get some late lunch.
As I was walking down the street she came running out and came up to me and asked again for the CVV number from my credit card, now for a mandatory $100 security deposit, which had never been mentioned before. I had already paid in full in advance for the room, without giving this CVV number, which I have read should only be used on the internet, not in person when you have the credit card with you. Again, I politely explained to the staffer that I was not comfortable giving this number, and I didn't understand why they needed it. I had already paid for the room and the chip machine had accepted my PIN, so they knew it was me with my card.
The staffer returned to the Inn, and after a couple of minutes the owner came out and came after me as I was walking to have lunch. She said I had to give them the CVV number on my credit card. I didn't want to do that, as this number is supposed to be for extra verification on Internet transactions, but you don't have to give it in person. The owner insisted I had to give it for the mandatory $100 security deposit. When I told her I was not comfortable with this, she told me I couldn't stay there and to collect my things and leave the Inn. She said they would cancel the transaction and I could just leave right away. No mention of a receipt for the cancelled transaction though. I asked for a receipt, which she and her husband thought was an inconvenience, but they did agree to give me a receipt. I left, never having stayed at the Piano Inn.
When I returned home this evening, I scoured their website and their policies, and there is absolutely no mention of any mandatory $100 security deposit anywhere on their website.
I still can't figure out what all this what about, but it was the most abysmal customer relations situation I have ever come across at a hotel, B and B or inn in Canada.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Superb Location in the heart of downtown Port Perry. The Piano Inn 1884 offers five private upscale suites with the convenience of being steps away from downtown boutiques, fabulous dining and Lake Scugog Marina. Please check our website for online reservations. Ignore TripAdvisors incorrect average pricing below. Actual price ranges from $120-$140 per night dependent on choice of suite. We offer discount for two or more consecutive nights. ... more less