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  • Never Too Late (Or Early) To Apologize
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    Category: Hotels & Lodging

    A good hotel prides itself on providing a decent service to all its guests. But when its guests are our stupid customers, there is very little they can do to remedy the situation except pray they’re fully booked the next time they come around!

    Plenty Of (Full) Room To Hone Your Skills

    | USA | Crazy Requests, Hotels & Lodging, Politics

    (I enter the lobby of a hotel I’m staying at to find the receptionist face to face with a very red-faced woman.)

    Woman: “Look, stop with the bull about being full! I KNOW you always have a few rooms that you keep open for emergencies!”

    Receptionist: “Ma’am, while I am sincerely sorry, we are located at the hub of a major metropolitan area that draws over three million tourists per year. Typically we get reservations non-stop from Memorial Day to Labor Day. If we were to examine this from a logical and an economic perspective, wouldn’t it make more sense to give every room we have to those who wish to reserve them, rather than keep one or two open and thus deny ourselves the profit from them?”

    (The lady gawks and sputters, turning redder by the second.)

    Woman: “Well… what if President Obama came in and asked for a room, huh? What if one of his family came in? Would you turn them away?”

    Receptionist: “Yes, we would.”

    Woman: “Exactly! So why can’t you… wait… what?”

    Receptionist: “With all due respect, Ma’am, the President would have the sense to plan ahead so neither he nor his family would need to ask for a room. What’s more he doesn’t stay at this hotel when he comes to the area; he stays at [other hotel].”

    Woman: “But…”

    Receptionist: “FURTHERMORE, I don’t think the President would want the bad publicity from asking us to throw someone out of their room so he could take it. Therefore, why should we do that for you?”

    (The woman sputters some more, then finally just screams, loud enough that I have to cover my ears, and runs out the door to her car.)

    Receptionist: “I apologize that you had to be witness to that, sir.”

    Me: “I… uh… no, I think the apologies should go to you, as well as the congratulations for the way you handled that. Never seen someone get driven away by the force of logic.”

    Receptionist: “Yeah, well, don’t be too impressed. I’m only able to do that because I’ve had plenty of customers just like her to hone my skills on.”

    Getting The Booking Is A Bumpy Ride

    | ME, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Hotels & Lodging

    (I work as a front desk agent at a hotel near very upper crust college. Parents’ weekend comes by, and all area hotels are long sold out. A man approaches my desk:)

    Guest: “Hi, I have a reservation for Mr. and Mrs. [Name].”

    Me: “Yes, you do.” *though I burn inside because this guest has used his Diamond status to bump another guest reservation out so he could get a room* “Let me check you in.”

    Guest: “Thank you. And I also have a room for my parents, Mr. and Mrs. [Other Name].”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but there is no reservation. And all area hotels are sold out.”

    Guest: “What? This is not right. Let me see your computer.”

    Me: “I cannot do that but I assure you there is no reservation.”

    Guest: “D*** IT! WHAT IN THE H***!? I CAN NOT HAVE MY EIGHTY YEAR OLD PARENTS MISS THIS WEEKEND! GET THAT ROOM FOR ME!”

    (Our manager arrives, and using his skill and access calls the Diamond Guest Service Number. He then turns back to the guest and tries to suppress a smile.)

    Manager: “It seems you did make a reservation here for your parents.”

    Guest: “Thank you! Finally, some intelligence.”

    Manager: “However, per the agreed on policy for Diamond guests, you are only allowed one room reservation where you bump a previously reserved guest. Since you made your reservation after you made your parents’, you bumped them out.”

    Guest: “Fine! I’ll take my business elsewhere.”

    Manager: “Of course. But we will charge you for your room anyway as you did not cancel in the allotted time.”

    Doubly Impressive

    | UK | Family & Kids, Hotels & Lodging

    (My parents are the customers in this story. They are staying at a very charming B&B in Britain.)

    Mum: “I can’t believe how well the owner looks after this place, especially considering that he’s on his own.”

    Dad: “I know! Everything’s spotless. He must work terribly hard; it seems that every time I turn around I see him busy doing something.”

    Mum: “Hey, there’s the owner over there. Let’s go tell him what a great job he’s doing.”

    Dad: “…that’s strange. I saw him only a few minutes ago, and I could have sworn he was wearing a different shirt.”

    Owner: *overhearing* “You do realize that I have a twin brother, right?”

    A Sky High Request

    | USA | Crazy Requests, Hotels & Lodging

    Customer: “Come quick! There’s a weird loud noise!”

    Me: “Is it the air conditioner? Is it another guest?”

    Customer: “No, it’s neither of those! I don’t know what it is but it’s keeping me up!”

    (I go to see.)

    Customer: “You hear it? It’s here.”

    (I hear a faint thud thud thud noise.)

    Me: “Sir, I think that’s a helicopter outside.”

    Customer: “It keeps coming back. What are you go to do about it?”

    Me: “Sir that’s probably a government helicopter. I can’t call the government and tell it not to go.”

    Customer: “Stupid government!”

    Can’t Keep Account Of The Year

    | NB, Canada | Crazy Requests, Hotels & Lodging, Time

    (I work at the front desk of a hotel and I take a call.)

    Customer: “Yes, I’d like to make a reservation for this Monday for three rooms.”

    Me: “Absolutely! Have you stayed with us before?”

    Customer: “Yes, I have, and I am set up with a direct billing account as well. It’s under [Company Name].”

    (I search but find nothing in the system for this company.)

    Me: “Hmm, I can’t seem to find you here. Have you stayed with us recently? As in, the last 12 months?”

    Customer: “Ugh, YES! Why does this happen every time I make a reservation with you all?! We were here a couple months ago and we went through this same ordeal and I’m not re-sending any information!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I’ve probably just spelled it wrong. [Company Name] is an acronym, yes? I’ll find it one way or another.”

    Customer: “You’d better!”

    (I look under every possible spelling of the name and find nothing. I attempt to find her most recent reservation, hoping that the company profile info is attached to it but find nothing at all. The entire time she is sighing heavily and telling me how angry she is with our company for never having her account on file.)

    Customer: “This is unacceptable! Every time I call you guys I have to re-send all the information! I keep telling your manager to keep my account open until further notice. Yet you people keep closing my account. This is unbelievable!”

    (I know for a fact this is not the case. Our system is set up to automatically delete any profile or account after 12 months of inactivity due to the large volume of company accounts we have being created all the time. Also, we can only access accounts created at our own hotel, not others within our chain. I try gently to explain all this but she insists none of this applies to her situation.)

    Customer: “Ugh, fine. Just make sure I have three rooms, all under [Customer] for Monday at the corporate rate. I should get them free though for all this trouble! Is your pool actually working this time?”

    Me: “Um… yes, of course. Everything here is always in good working order.”

    Customer: “Well, it wasn’t the last time! The pool was out of order the entire four days we were there. My employees asked me to make sure it was working this time. Also the time before that the restaurant was closed for renovations. You guys just don’t seem to be with it, EVER!”

    Me: “Are you absolutely certain that the last time you stayed here the pool was out of order?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “You never stayed here after that time, and the restaurant was definitely closed the time before that?”

    Customer: “Yes, why? Am I being compensated now?”

    Me: “Okay… Ma’am, I think I see the problem here and I know why you’ve had to reopen your account with us. Our pool was out of order two and a half years ago. We did some major renovations to prepare for the summer season. That is nearly 30 months ago which is much more than 12 so the system definitely would have deleted your AR account and company profile.”

    Customer: “Well, I didn’t realize it was so long ago. Well, fine! But the time before that was just a couple months…”

    Me: “Also, we don’t have a restaurant. The only hotel in the our chain in this province that has a restaurant is in [Major City Four Hours Away]. I remember they had a kitchen fire around Halloween 2011 and had to close for a few weeks for repairs. We wouldn’t have been able to access your profile or account at your next visit. ”

    Customer: “Uh…”

    Me: “Hey, at least we know this wasn’t the result of our employees incompetence though, right? Would you like our fax number so you can forward us your information to set up an account and profile?”

    Customer: “Yes. Yes, but you should have been clearer! It felt like we were just there, and how should I know 12 months is less than two years?”

    Me: “There are 12 months in a year—”

    Customer: “YOU SHOULD HAVE A RESTAURANT!” *click*

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