I work at a travel agency call center. Our calls have been increasing due to winter storms and Spring Break trips coming up. A client had booked a hotel through us to get special perks she can’t get booking directly with the hotel. Some of the perks are early check in, which is not guaranteed and subject to availability and room upgrade upon arrival, which is also subject to availability and not guaranteed.
She called in upset because her room was supposed to be guaranteed ready by noon (it’s not) and at the time she called, it was \*just\* after regular check in time at 3 pm local time. She was also upset she didn’t get an upgrade. I’ll just call her “Jill” because I can’t think of any creative name to call her right now (already used “Upset Lady” in another post).
Me: Thank you for calling MyPlaceofWorkAgency, this is emerald-avenger, how can I assist you today?
Jill: Is that emerald-avenger with an E or an A?
Ah, the sign this call wasn’t going to be pleasant.
Me: With an E. How can I assist you?
Jill: Well, emerald-avenger, I’m pretty upset right now. I booked a hotel through you and I expected all these great benefits but I’m not getting any of it! I arrived at the hotel close to noon and it’s now after 3 and my room is still not ready.
Please remember that hotels are understaffed right now and it’s taking hotels longer to get rooms ready for guests.
Me: I’m sorry to hear that, that’s certainly frustrating.
Jill: Yeah, tell me about it, emerald-avenger. My day is wasted, I wanted my room ready and I booked through you so I expected better.
Me: I see from your reservation you booked under the special program rate that includes early noon check-in but that is based on availability and is not guaranteed.
Jill: Not guaranteed?! Okay, then what about my upgrade? I asked and the hotel said they couldn’t upgrade me unless I wanted to pay extra money for a premium suite. It’s supposed to be free!
Me: Complimentary room upgrades are included with your rate for the next category up and that is based on availability. It appears the hotel doesn’t have any availability for the next category up but gave you an option for a paid upgrade.
Jill: Ugh, this is ridiculous. I spent all this money booking this reservation and you’re telling me none of the perks I wanted are guaranteed. This is a shitty start to my trip.
Me: You’ll still have complimentary breakfast and your property credit is included. That is guaranteed.
Jill: Well I still don’t have my room and its five minutes after regular check in time! What are \*you\* going to do about it?
Me: While your room not being ready yet is frustrating, unfortunately, we are not able to expedite the process.
Jill: So I held for 20 minutes for you to tell me you can’t do shit, that’s just great service!
Me: Have you spoken to a property manager about your experience?
Jill: No, I haven’t. Can you call and complain to the property? I’m sure a call from you would be a bigger help.
Me: As I’ve advised, we cannot make expedite the process. I’m sure hotel staff are doing everything they can to get your room available for you as quickly as possible. I would recommend speaking to a property manager.
Jill: …Okay, thanks. This was a waste of time. \*click\*
She booked this hotel last minute and since she didn’t claim we misadvised her, I didn’t offer her a credit to her account. The hotel being understaffed or not having the room ready yet is not our fault.