THE EXPEDIA APP SAVED THE DAY
I’m a fan of Expedia and have always done most of my booking with them, but on this trip they made me angry. Thankfully, I had added the Expedia app to my phone for this trip, but I was surprised when I got a notification that I was supposed to check-in to The Sportsman Lodge, when I knew I was spending the night in Cambria.
Long story short, I made a mistake. In my defense, trying to coordinate with so many people in so many cities was quite a challenge, but I can’t blame Expedia for my own mistake. I can blame them for having an idiot working for them. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Another part of the ooops had to do with the fact that I was trying something new. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’ve started using Trip Advisor for my research. I’m all about giving credit where credit is due. Since Trip Advisor was the primary reason I chose the Fireside Inn, I wanted them to get credit for it. So I booked the hotel through Booking.com who had the lowest price with a link right from Trip Advisor. I saved a few dollars, but not enough to cover booking an extra night in LA.
Had I booked it all at Expedia, I might have seen pretty quickly what I was doing. In fact, I think I have actually gotten a warning before when I tried to double book myself, but there’s no way for Expedia to know what I did on Booking – and if they did, it would be pretty creepy if they told me about it.
THE SHORT STORY LONG
As soon as I realized why I was notified, I immediately started making calls. I didn’t expect anyone to give me a refund. I know what non-refundable means. I mean a refund would have been nice. I’ve been booking with Expedia for years and this was my first ooops, but I know non-refundable means you can’t get a refund.
However, having dumped several hundred dollars into my multi-night stay in LA, I didn’t want the hotel to think I was a no-show and give my room to someone else. I tried calling The Sportsman Lodge first, but they said I had to discuss it with Expedia.
So I called Expedia. Of course, I was on Highway One in the middle of nowhere when I got the notification, so phone reception was spotty at best. With Miss English-Is-Not-My-First Language, communication was impossible. I explained my problem to her and when she tried to confirm what was wrong, it sounded like “mmmnnnttptpsnviwpjer.” I said, “I’m having trouble understanding you. I just want to confirm that my room will be available when I get there tomorrow.” She told me to hold.
After a while the lady gets back on the phone and suddenly I could understand her completely. She started explaining to me what “non-refundable” means. OK, so I’m already mad at myself, Bill is fit to be tied at the unnecessary expense and I’m not a happy camper. What part of “I don’t expect a refund” did the lady miss out on? She gave me an ultimatum – “Either get to LA tonight or lose your room.”
I tried to reason with her. I reminded her that I didn’t want a refund. I just wanted to be sure the rest of my reservation, which I’d already paid for, would stand. I distinctly remember her telling me (in a very ticked off manner) that the room would be empty for a night. Well, DUH! Of course it would – but I’d rather pay for one night with an empty bed than lose the rest of my money.
My blood pressure was through the roof! I wanted to reach out and strangle someone. And then the call dropped. And for once, I was thrilled.
I TRIED AGAIN
I called again and got what I considered to be a real person. I even apologized for how angry I had been at the other lady. I told the real person the whole sordid tale. She asked me to hold and then lickety split, she had not only confirmed everything was copacetic, she told me who to talk to at The Sportsman’s Lodge if I ran into any problems.
SO WHAT WILL I DO IN THE FUTURE?
I’m a little torn. I admit, I’m falling in love Trip Advisor, but I’ve always done my booking with Expedia. I’m the loyal sort, but I’m not sure who to be loyal to. Am I loyal to Trip Advisor, where I have contributed many reviews and earned tons of badges or should I be loyal to Expedia, which is no longer my first love, in spite of the years of traveling we’ve done together.
Obviously, I haven’t figured out the answer yet. Any suggestions from my friends in the blogosphere? Putting all that drama aside, come back next week and I’ll tell you how much I liked The Sportsman’s Lodge…when I finally got there.