When you travel as often as I do, things are bound to go wrong from time to time. I've long since learned to accept this, and find it pointless to get angry or upset when disaster strikes. Today, en-route to Milwaukee, my connection in Detroit was missed due to a severe weather problem. It's unfortunate, but hey, there's not much you can do about it -- so while other people were standing in line bitching and screaming, I just quietly waited my turn to be re-booked.
So now I am flying out of Detroit in the morning and am stuck here for the night with no access to my luggage (fortunately, I always have a pair of clean underwear and assorted toiletries in my carry-on bag for just such an occasion). And, since I obviously won't be needing my reservation at the Holiday Inn at the Milwaukee airport this evening, I called to cancel it along with my rental car. It turns out that canceling the car was no problem at all, but the hotel reservation was another story.
They refused to cancel it because I booked the room over the internet.
It didn't matter that it is not my fault I cannot be at the hotel and have to cancel. It didn't matter that I placed the reservation directly on their web site (instead of some third-party site like Orbitz or Expedia). It didn't matter that I was going to re-book at another Holiday Inn property here in Detroit. It didn't matter that I am a Priority Club member. It didn't matter that I have stayed at this hotel dozens of times before... they "can't cancel or refund my deposit because it is 35 minutes past the cancellation deadline."
What a bunch of dumbasses.
I measure a company not based on things going right... that's what's supposed to happen. Instead, I measure a company by how they help you out when things go wrong. And so now I know. When shit happens, don't expect Holiday Inn Milwaukee Airport to give a crap. And that's fine. Lesson learned. I will never stay at their f#@%ing piece of shit hotel ever again. Furthermore, with the exception of reservations I've already got booked, I am going to start taking my business to other hotel chains (which is kind of sad, because I like Holiday Inn, and many of them are independently owned... meaning a lot of Holiday Inns are losing my business through no fault of their own).
It's tough having to travel all the time. When things go wrong, it's even worse. When companies you like and trust screw you over because of some idiotic technicality, well, you've pretty much reached rock bottom... and you're down there alone and far from home. The last thing you want is for the Holiday Inn Milwaukee Airport to start shitting all over you as you try to climb out of the mess you're in, but they apparently have no problem with it. Thanks so much.
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Sheesh. You know, you hear stories about how companies preach that whole customer service concept…too bad they don’t put it into practice much lately.
The thing that really kills me about this entire situation… the thing that bothers me above anything else is that I am a REGULAR CUSTOMER!! I’ve stayed here numerous times. I know some of the staff by name. I know which rooms get wireless reception and which require their “NetBridge.” I know that their pick-up van was totalled in April and I have to look for a plain white van at the airport. And, JUST THIS ONCE, I ask for help and they shit all over me. Just how am I expected to feel about that?