Have you ever booked a car, a room, an event, maybe a flight and then in a quick moment realized that you had booked it on the wrong date or the wrong plane, or maybe even the wrong event? Did you try to call them back quickly, say within a few minutes only to be told that it was nonrefundable, that you were just out of luck?
Let’s face it! We live in a world that is sailing past us at a ridiculous rate, and no one, “I repeat,” no one can ever make another mistake. You will be penalized.
It has happened to me. For example, every year we save our pennies and splurge for a weekend at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta. I always contact their website usually just after the new year and book our reservation, because the hotel fills up so quickly for Homecoming.
In the years past, I went online to book the room on the hotel site. I pulled up the page and went through the motions of booking the room. I input my credit card and clicked the final sale. The minute I got the confirmation page, I realized I had made a mistake. I thought had the wrong date for Homecoming.
But It Is Worse Than That
I looked for a cancellation policy or place to click. I found none, and then I realized I wasn’t even on the website for the hotel. I was on a website called Reservations.com. They were a google ad that was listed before the Tech hotel site.
I unknowingly booked through a third party, and worse, I booked a nonrefundable hotel room. I couldn’t even find a number to call until I went back to the first page and found one there.
I called the company immediately, literally within ten minutes of booking the room; and I got a young lady that refused to do anything except remain perfectly nice on the phone but always telling me I was out of luck—that I had clicked and that was like signing a contract. She all but said, “sorry Honey but we got you and your hundreds of dollars.” Of course, she didn’t say it, but that is how I felt.
What has our world come to when people cannot make a mistake. Personally, I have never had it happen before. Oh, I have made mistakes very similar to this one, but the person on the phone always helped me change the order and get it right or reverse the charges.
But not this company. Reservations.com did not care. They just wanted the money. Customer satisfaction is something they do not believe they need, and they may be right. A sucker is born every minute, and the internet gives them a broad field from which to glean. They got me once, and they don’t care if they get me again. There are so many from which to choose.
It did me no good to even try, but that poor girl whose initials are RK (that was all she would give me) got an earful. I maintained calm and calmly let her know that she and her company should be ashamed of themselves and that I called immediately after realizing my mistake. I did not wait an hour or a day to call back.
I also told her that what they were doing to me and my husband was simply another way of stealing. They were taking hard-earned cash and keeping it even though they knew we could not partake of the product. She just quietly listened and calmly from time to time reminded me I clicked, and they had a contract.
I asked to talk to her supervisor, and I waited several weeks for that call. I called the Georgia Tech Hotel and related my dilemma to them. The front desk manager gave me his name and asked if I would call the Reservations.com person I talked to and ask her to call him. The Tech Hotel was willing to reverse the charges, but Reservations.com, when they called me back, would not let me out of the contract.
I also asked what time it was where the girl was from. It was 2 a.m. there while it was 11 p.m. EST here. I asked where the headquarters for the company was located, and she gave me an address in Orlando, Florida. I’m ashamed to say that the headquarters for this shyster company is in my own home state.
So we were stuck with a room for two nights in Atlanta that we thought we did not need. We have a daughter that lives there, and we always have a room at her home. But Chuck loves to go to Homecoming and fraternize with his old college friends, so we make reservations downtown for this one weekend.
In the end, we were fortunate, though. Homecoming was the weekend we booked. Chuck had the wrong dates. We just got very lucky! I just lost a lot of time and the whole situation stressed me out.
It just seems that there should be a law that requires at least an hour where people can break just such a contract. It gives both sides time to make sure everything is correct. We do it to purchase other items. Why not this type of contract? You have time to back out of a contract on a car within three days, I believe.
Frankly, I never thought we would need such a law because 99% of people understood and helped you correct the situation, even if it was offering an alternative or a gift card. This company, Reservations.com, though, seemed to delight in being greedy and unsympathetic.
The other part is that we are elderly. Chuck and I are in our 70s and 60s, respectively. Older people don’t always get it right the first time. I went back and looked at their Reservations.com/Georgia Tech Hotel website, and it looks just like the Tech Hotel website. There’s no doubt in my mind that they want you to think you are dealing with the hotel itself.
This is the reason I no longer click on ads. When you search for something, notice that Google marks the first few sites in the list on your browser as “Ads”. Always scroll past these and go directly to the place of business. It will help you steer clear of the shysters in the marketplace.
It is sad that companies like this are allowed to take advantage.