I work in accounts payable for a third party travel company. You wanna take a vacation, we set it up, and the hotels call me for help with any issues they have collecting payment. I’ve been in the hospitality industry for almost a decade in some way or another, so if there’s anything I know, it’s how hotels work lol. This guy was having difficulty with a fairly common occurrence for hotels. All names, dates, numbers listed below are obviously changed.
Me: Hello, how can I help you?
Caller: This card keeps declining. Why??
Cool, no account info or card number, I should just already know what the hell he’s referring to, I guess?
Me: I’ll take a look at that for you, I just need some information first. (He gives me what I need.) Okay, I show that we cancelled this reservation.
C: What? Why would you do that?
Me: Why would we cancel? Looks like the guest had a change of plans. We reserved it on the 5th for arrival on the 7th, and on the 6th the guest had us cancel it. We called your property and spoke to Jane and she gave us a cancellation number of CXL12345.
C: But how can you just cancel like that?
Me: Because…. we were asked to? We called you guys and no one said it would be a problem, and it was the day before the guest was supposed to arrive. As far as we’re concerned we’ve done our due diligence in notifying the property and getting approval to cancel so that card is not available to charge anymore. According to all the information we have here this was all in accordance with your cancellation policies. If something has changed, we need you to notify us first.
C: Wow, that’s just not right. When you book a room at my hotel, you’ve booked it as far as I’m concerned. We sell out every night and we held this room!
Me: So no one can change their mind, ever? That seems a little unfair. And as far as continuing to hold the room after we called to cancel, that sounds like something you should discuss with Jane.
C: So from now on can I call the guest as soon as the room is reserved and get their credit card number to guarantee the room since your company won’t pay if they cancel????
Me: …No. If you start collecting credit card numbers from our mutual guests and charging them after they cancel within the timeframe that YOUR PROPERTY gave us to cancel, we’re going to have a problem.
C: FINE! hangs up
Definitely left notes on that one and sent it to my supervisor. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing from him again, lol.