I promise I was on my VERY best behaviour on this trip - 8,000 km round trip to present at Aaron Parsons Business Commandos Bootcamp in Brisbane... no tantrums, no loud voices, just the "nice" me...
The red eye from Perth was packed but I slept the whole flight and was refreshed when I made it to Brisbane Airport. Quick "walk up" car hire from Avis and a shinny new Hyundai i30 was my chariot for the day...
Arrived at Mercure Brisbane - had booked and paid for Friday nigh, even though I was arriving 6.30am Saturday and experienced the wonders of a full service carpark [$47 a day] where no-one comes in on a Saturday until late...
But first: on Thursday I searched for Mercure's OWN website to book direct. It has the usual pleasantries about Best Rate etc., and one I haven't seen before - "People like to book various ways... you can Phone, Fax, Email, Web etc..." So, for a room to freshen up the best rate I could find was the Mercure site at $151. Armed with that info, and wanting to be sure I could have a 2pm check out, I rang the Brisbane number for Mercure.
Now this is where I think the Hotels have lost the plot!! Yes I can handle that for you, my best super duper rate is $209. "But," I protest, "YOUR website says $151??" "Yes sir, if you want that rate, you will have to book there... when you have the booking number, ring me back and I will be happy to make the notes about late check out".
Can I suggest you read that again... "I should go back to the website, book at $58 less, then phone her back and she will add notes to my booking??"
As I am sworn off "venting my frustration on people who are just following the rules" I do as told...
Fast forward to Saturday morning, 6.45am book in counter at Mercure Brisbane where no staff offer to assist with 4 pieces of luggage [but that's par for the course..]
"Welcome sir... are you booking in??" Yes and I gave my name.
"The printer is working well this morning, it will take a while to get your check in form" which was duly presented... as I sign, I notice it isn't me... and the ONLY common details is the name started with a M..
I explain the situation... Friday night booked with 6.30 am Saturday check in.. aaahhh the young lady say, now I have it. The printer is quicker this time BUT it isn't my details other than this one had my name but details of someone from far north Queensland... still smiling I fill in the correct details and hand back the form.
Did I mention that I am a A-Club Priority Member, regularly stay at Accor Hotels, and have given them my details hundreds if times... mmmm like I say they have lost the plot.
Check out?? Well I was wondering how a change of shift might cope with what is basically a "day rate" in Hotel terms.
I am checking out of room 1411 and apart from the car parking and some photocoping, I shouldn't have anything to pay... "That will be $249?? for the second night, late check out fee and car parking..."
By now I would be quietly fuming on the inside but the new me the "pleasant suffering travelling customer" gently retells my story... it takes many smiles [from me], much thrashing of computer keys [from her], 25 minutes and an ultimate sigh of relief, and I have a $41 bill to settle.
I really think the hotels have lost the plot!!