Unfiltered Story #221259

, , | Unfiltered | December 30, 2020

I am the front desk manager at a hotel that is located across the street from the bus station and train station. I had been gone on maternity for just over a year and during that time we gained a new regular customer. This customer had been staying with us every 6 weeks during our down time (fall, winter, spring) when we have very few bookings and can make special price arrangements to get people in the rooms. We are now in the middle of summer and we are sold out or close to it every night. I take a call from this customer. I will call him John Smith for the purpose of this story. Also note this conversation takes place in french.
Me: Thank you for calling (hotel) this is (name), how can I hep you?
John: Yes, this is mr. John Smith, I’m going to need a room this Friday. Now, I will be arriving around 10am on the bus and will be using the room only until around 10pm when my train comes in. They do this for me all the time and give me a discounted rate.
Me: Ok mr. Smith, that’s not a problem. I can book that for you.
I get the information in the system, thank the customer for his business and send off the confirmation. Now, during our down time we can book a customer for 0 days, which will automatically generate a price of about 50% off the down season rate. (referred to as a day rate) In the summer time our rates are about $20 more per night and the day rate is disabled. If a customer wants a room they have to pay for the whole night regardless what time they leave. Since he was a regular I did give him a significant discount, making the rate about $25 more than he normally would pay, and about $30 less than the normal rate.
Within minutes I get another call. It’s John Smith.
Me: Thank you for calling….
John: It’s Mr.Smith, I just booked a room for the day and the confirmation you sent is for a whole night.
Me: Oh! Mr. Smith, hello! Yes, I apologize for the confusion. It will show in the system that you have the room for the night because during the summer we can’t do day rates. But I have noted that you will be leaving the room by 10pm and you have been booked at a discounted rate…
John: aaarrrgh, I wanted the room for the day and I always pay (price $25 less) AND I WANT A FU**ING MANAGER NOW! MANAGER NOOOOW!
Me: sir, I am a manager and I understand that…
John: (literally screaming into the phone to the point that I can barely understand him) I HAVE A COMPLAINT, I WANT A MANAGER (garbled speech) F***ING RATE(garbled speech) WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU OR YOUR HOTEL (more garbled speech followed by a string of french swear words)
He hangs up.
While he was rambling on and on I had changed the reservation to reflect that he wasn’t staying the night and resent the confirmation. Within about 30 seconds of hanging up he calls again.
John: you just sent me a new confirmation but it’s still the wrong rate and I want NOTHNG to do with your f***ing hotel, Cancel it NOOOW!!!
Then he hangs up again. I decide to give in and manually change the price to LESS than what he expected to pay to try to avoid loosing a regular. I call him back to try to smooth things over.
Me: Hello mr. Smith, this is (my name) calling from (hotel). I just wanted to let you know that I’ve changed the rate to (price lower than he requested) and I will also give you a free upgrade to the jacuzzi suite so you can relax while you wait for your train. Again I apologize for the confusion, our prices and policies are different during the summer and…
John: Aaargh, I want NOTHING to do with you or your f***ing hotel! CANCEL IT YOU B***H! I AM DONE WITH YOU PEOPLE (followed by a string of french swear words and insults and other garbled speech.)
Me: Sir, SIR! I am cancelling your reservation, you are no longer welcome to stay here. Have a good night, I am ending this call now.
I hung up and immediately sent out a note to all the staff filing them in on the situation and advising them not to book him a room.
About an hour later, just as I’m getting ready to leave, my colleague stops me and tells me we’ve gotten an email from our online booking department regarding the customer in question and that I had to see it.
I couldn’t help but laugh as I read it. It should be noted that there are only 4 hotels in out little town and as we are the only hotel within walking distance to the bus and train stations we are also the only hotel to offer day rates for bus and train passengers. This is a special arrangement that is made by the general manager and is only valid during slow times. This rate CANNOT be applied on line and must be done directly through the hotel.
Based on the email, the customer had tried unsuccessfully to book at the 3 other hotels only to find that they not only are fully booked but would charge the full rate which is more than our full rate. He then tried to book online only to find that he would have to pay the full rate. The end of the email reads as follows:
email: The guest would like to apologize for the way he spoke to your staff and would like to know if he can still take the room and will it still be the discounted rate you offered. He said he loves your hotel despite what he said. Can you please contact the client by email or phone?
I laughed, called the customer who didn’t answer and left him voice mail. I told him if he wants the room he would have to call the hotel directly. He never did call and on the day he planned to come stay with us we saw him sitting outside the train station on a bench in the sweltering heat for most of the day. I would have gladly let him come in if only he had asked. I guess he realized what an ass he had been and was too embarrassed to show his face. We never saw him at our hotel again but we have seen him walking around the parking lot of the train station from time to time. Good for him.