Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A little aside on hotels....

Last night was hard.

We booked a room through Priceline as we usually do on road trips but somehow, we ended up completing the booking just as we crossed from one time zone to another and it changed from 11pm to 12pm. This caused the Priceline website to bump our reservation to the next day while we were completing it. So when we got the confirmation, we found that we were booked for a hotel on the night of the 4th when we meant to get one for the night of the 3rd.

After about an hour on the phone with various people at Priceline who kept repeating company policies and didn't seem to be listening to what I was saying, it was LATE and I was pretty frustrated. They said they could make an exception and allow us to cancel our reservation but they'd only partially refund the money and our partial refund could only be applied to a hotel reservation made that night. But the website wouldn't allow us to make a reservation for the night we needed to make the reservation for since it was already past midnight. Aaaarrrrggggg! I was polite as I talked to different people but I was pretty frustrated. Their policies just didn't make sense given our particular circumstances and apparently since it was the middle of the night, there weren't any decision-makers I could talk to. I ultimately felt pretty bad for the guys I was talking to (who sounded like they were in India perhaps) and moved on to talking with the hotel where we'd been inadvertently booked for the wrong night so see if they could help.

I spent the next 1/2 hour or so talking with a very nice guy named Alan at Country Inn and Suites and he was much more helpful. He had a hard time working with Priceline as they hadn't sent over my payment at all - not even for the date for which I ended up having a room booked. But ultimately, it all worked out and I led a bunch of half-asleep kids into a hotel room at about 2am.

I'm so sad because I've previously had such great luck with finding excellent prices on nice hotels with Priceline but wow, I'm pretty wary of them now. Hotwire seems to have much better customer service. We do the thing where you get to see the amenties and star rating and area of a hotel as well as a special discount price but don't get to see the actual name of the hotel until after booking. We've always been pleased with the steep discounts we get and the nice places we stay. We've found that the 2.5 star hotels are the best for us - nice places, generally new, comfy beds, nice pillows (pillows matter to me quite a bit), free internet usually and almost always free breakfast which is a huge hit with the kids. The three star hotels are not much nicer and they don't usually have free breakfast or free internet and sometimes charge for parking. Weird that cheaper and less stars is a bit better but I think it is.


Eyrealm said...

Shucks Saren! Reminds me of the night we were driving around Itahly ? after midnight trying to find a place to stay and they finally let us stay with "the baby" (Charity). That was getting scary!

So sorry that especially because you needed your sleep for the long day ahead. Life is real!

Camile said...

How frustrating! (Thanks for the good info. and recommendations though)


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