Monday, March 3, 2014

Oh, I'm really sorry, we don't take reservations.

We've been invited to a wedding somewhere in Calisota and I spent today sorting out travel details.  We have airfare and rental car taken care of, now to reserve a hotel room.  The wedding has two hotel blocks, so I assumed this would be the easy part of sorting out travel details.  Here's how the phone conversations went down:

(H=hotel, M=me):

H:  "Thank you for calling Popcopy Hotel, do you mind holding?"
M:  "Sure, that's fine."
H:  "How may I help you?"
M:  "I need to make a reservation in a wedding block in the hotel.  The wedding is near the end of April."
H:  "You need a wedding block of rooms?"
M:  "No, there is a wedding block to which I've been invited and I'd like to reserve a room in it."
H:  "OK, can I have the name?"
M:  "My name or the wedding name?"
H:  "Your name."
M:  "David Cantrell."
H:  "I'm not seeing a reservation under that name."
M:  "I know, that's why I'm calling.  I need to make the reservation."
H:  "Oh, hehehehehee, my mistake."
...CLICK, on hold music...
H:  (new person) "What's the check-in date?"
M:  "Oh, ummm, April 23rd."
H:  "One night?"
M:  "No, I need to check out on April 27th."
H:  "Just you?"
M:  "No, it's my family.  Me, my wife, and my daughter."
H:  "Just a moment."
H:  "OK, the hotel is under a mandatory rate for that time period due to the occupancy."
M:  "Right, so there should be a wedding block under the name Bride & Groom.  That's why we're traveling."
H:  (type type type) "OK, that wedding block does not cover all of the nights you need so we have to charge the full rate for the other nights, is that ok?"
M:  "Sure, that's fine."
H:  "Are you a AAA member?"
M:  "Yes."
H:  "OK, just a moment."
H:  "Yeah, the hotel is under a mandatory rate for that time period due to the occupancy."
(ugh, we already went over this)
M:  "Sure, that's fine.  We can pay full rate for the other nights as long as we can get the wedding rate for the block nights."
H:  "Not a problem.  OK, so I've got you checking in on April 24th and checking out on April 27th."
M:  "We arrive on the 23rd, I need an April 23rd check-in."
H:  "Oh, that's not available for this wedding block.  But if you want to reserve a full rate stay for the 23rd to 27th, that's available."
M:  "What?"
H:  "I can only extend you stay by a specific number of days, but I can't get the 23rd on this reservation."
M:  "So you're telling me there are rooms and the only way to get an extra day on our stay is to not take the wedding block rate at all?"
H:  "That's what the system is making me do.  Do you want me to call other hotels in the area?"
M:  "Is there someone else I can speak with about this reservation?  I don't mind paying the full rate for the extra nights."
H:  "I don't know, you'll have to call the hotel."
M:  "I'm not talking to the hotel?"
H:  "No, this is central reservations and I can only do what the system allows."
M:  "Ugh, ok, I'll call the hotel."
H:  "Do you want keep this reservation?"
M:  "No, go ahead and cancel it."
H:  "But you might not be able to get a room later."
M:  "I can't get a room now apparently."
H:  "But you can cancel up until the 21st with no penalty."
M:  "I'll take my chances."
H:  "Thank you for calling Goliath International Hotel Consortium."

I wait until after dinner and call the hotel back in an attempt to make the reservation.   Here's how that goes.

H:  "Thank you for calling Popcopy Hotel, do you mind holding?"
M:  "Sure, that's fine."
H:  "How may I help you?"
M:  "I called earlier and was transferred to central reservations.  They were unable to help me and told me to speak with someone directly at the hotel."
H:  "OK, do you mind holding for a moment while I help some guests?"
M:  "Sure, that's fine."
H:  "Sir, I don't want you to have to wait for a long time, can I transfer you to the front desk?"
M:  (I wasn't talking to the front desk?) "Sure, that's fine."
H:  "How may I help you?"
M:  "I tried making a reservation with central reservations and they were unable to help.  I need to make a reservation for April 23rd to 27th.  And..."
H:  (interrupts) "OK, just so you know, if this is for business travel you should call during business hours and speak to our business representatives who can make a business reservation for your business travel needs.  Business."
M:  "This isn't business travel.  There's a wedding block and we need a room in that block plus some days."
H:  "OK, well, I can't make a reservation for you now.  Our systems are out of date since reservations happen all the time."
M:  "What?"
H:  "You need to call back during business hours and speak with one of the sales & catering managers who can help you with this reservation."
M:  "But I don't need a block of rooms for a wedding.  I'm just trying to get a reservation in a wedding block.  I'm invited to this wedding."
H:  "I know.  I know.  I know.  This is how it works.  I can't actually make you a reservation, you will need to talk to one of the sales & catering managers tomorrow during business hours."
M:  "Does this seem at all efficient?"
H:  "Oh no, it's a lot of work, but that's how they do it here."
M:  "OK, I guess I will call tomorrow and see what happens."

And that's where I stand.  No room yet.  I wonder if anyone can make a reservation at this hotel.  With these procedures, they should have vacancy all the time.

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