Acronyms- CD: Complaint Department, GM: General Manager, DM: District Manager, BH: Blowhard, OL: Old Lady
As one might guess from the acronyms, I work in the CD for a hotel chain. We get all sorts of calls, varying from guests who just need their receipts, poor victims who are actually being mistreated by staff and management, and of course Karens who will use any excuse in the book to get a free room. Usually, you can tell right away which was which.
This… is one of those times.
Now, I’m one of those glass-half-full types who knows what the world looks like without them, but still prefers the view from behind rose colored glasses. I don’t blind myself to the evils of this world, but I also believe that everyone has some amount of good in them. Some… keep it a bit more buried than others.
As such, I usually try to give guests the benefit of the doubt when they claim Hotel is stealing from them. I can’t really do much for them aside from document their case and make sure the DM hears about it. Normal policy states that you only escalate a case to DM if GM is part of the problem, or is refusing to fix the issue. I’m not here to judge who’s in the right, and have no power to over-rule a GM or DM. Probably a good thing, because I’m a bit of a bleeding heart.
Me: Thank you for calling CD, my name is Matsuyo. May I have your first and last name please?
BH: Yeah, I’m calling to ask if your policy allows you to keep someone’s money if they check out early?
*sigh* I hate it when they do this. I’m graded on how well I follow my call flow, and when someone won’t answer the questions I’m required to ask, it really throws me off.
Me: Well, I can’t say anything for certain unless I have more information on the situation.
I’m about to ask for more details, but BH interrupts me.
BH: Well, in a hypothetical situation. (what?) Let’s say someone is supposed to stay for a month, but has to check out early. Is the hotel able to keep their money?
I am dumbfounded. Is this what’s happening or what? I decide to go ahead and tell him about our early check out policy.
Me: Well Sir, I do know that we have a few special rates, including (rate 1) and (rate 2) that are non-refundable, but all of our other rates are perfectly refundable if you need to check out early. Unfortunately, I can’t say for sure unless I get more information.
Again, BH doesn’t care about giving me any kind of helpful info.
BH: Well, I’ve got this OL who made a reservation, and they wanted her to pay a whole month up front. She had to check out after a few days, and GM is refusing to give her her money back.
One of the rates I’d mentioned did require guests to pay 30 days at a time. It’s only offered over the phone with our sales team, and guests are warned when they make the reservation that any pre-paid money is non-refundable if you check out early. This rate is usually HALF the normal rate, and only offered to guests who are staying 2 months or longer. We have to have this policy, because otherwise people will take advantage of it, and try to check out early just to save some money. At the same time, we often get guests who make reservations under our normal rates(paid 7 days at a time), who still want to pay monthly because it’s easier. You can pay ahead, but we do try to advise guests that it is up to the discretion of the hotel to let you do so. Had BH let me look up OL’s reservation, I could have checked to see if she was on that special rate, or if she’d just paid several weeks in advance. But no. He went on for so long about how GM just wanted to steal OL’s money, and we were an awful company for allowing it to happen.
BH: … and you can’t even do anything, because your company’s policy says it’s okay to steal guest’s money.
Me: Sir, that’s not what I said. I told you that some of our special rates are non-refundable, but that I couldn’t say for sure if that applies without being able to pull up her reservation.
Cue another 10 minutes about us trying to scam people, and not wanting to help. He also states that if nothing gets done, he will go to the press and have them make a story about us.
Me: Sir, I want to help, but I can’t do anything until I have more information.
BH: Who do I talk to about getting her money back?
Me: Normaly, we have to get the information from the reservation first so that we can make a case. In situations where GM is the one causing issues or won’t fix them, THEN we can escalate to DM. If your case is one that can be escalated, you will get a call back from DM in ___ to ___ hours.
BH interrupts me again, so I don’t get to tell him that the estimated time frame is intended to allow DM to go over the case. He starts to go on about how I need to give him an address so he can go speak to DM himself.
BH: Everyone has a corporate office, and so does he. Tell me where it is so I can talk to him directly.
Me: Sir, even if I had an address, I would not be permitted to give it to you. I can’t even tell you where I’m at other than the fact that I’m in (completely different state than what’s on the caller ID).
BH: I don’t care where you’re at, I want to know where he’s at. GM is stealing people’s money, and it needs to get fixed.
Me: And I want to help you, but-
Que another rant, stopping me from yet again getting any information from him.
This continues for quite a bit longer, before BH tells me that he is going to meet up with OL and call us back. Thank Arceus, because I am so done with his crap. I was fortunate enough not to be the one to have to take his call when he called back. I’m pretty sure he just wanted me to tell him he was right, but I covered my butt the entire time. Every time I stated policy, I always stated that I couldn’t say for sure without more information, just in case he told someone I said anything for sure. Should my call be pulled for any sort of legal reason, he ain’t gettin’ NOTHIN’ outta me!