It was midnight on a wintery June night in, New Zealand, when I arrived at my hotel. I had flown from Australia which is not a long trip but it sill involves several hours of travel. It was late and I was tired.
There was one guest in front of me. The guy said to him: “you are lucky I have one room left“. Hearing that, I was so glad I had my printed confirmed booking.
I stepped up to the counter and introduced myself to the pleasant reception guy. He tapped on his computer, frowned, tapped again, frowned again and then disappeared momentarily. He came back with a very worried expression on his face and a sheet of paper. He did some more tapping and then said: “your hotelclub booking didnt come through”
I said: “I have a confirmed booking”
“not at our end” he said and I have just given our last room away”
I said “yes I heard you. That was my room”
“whats worse”, he continued, “there is a convention, an arts festival and a rugby game in the same week as Parliament is sitting. There are no rooms in Wellington”
I then telephoned Hotelclub.com. So did the desk clerk. The long and short of it was that Hotelclub blamed the hotel and the hotel blamed Hotelclub.com. They both rang hotels around Wellington looking for a room. The hotel got me one in the end in a sister property in a grotty single bed room. Ugh. My hotel didn’t charge me for that night and upgraded me on the next.
I passed this as an isolated incident until it happened again last week in the US. This time Hotel.club found me another room 50km (31 miles away). When I asked how I could get there, he suggested (seriously) walking. Again, the hotel blamed hotelclub and vice versa. Again, the hotel rescued me booking me at another hotel and absorbing what was a higher cost.
I have used Hotel Club 43 times since 2005. Seeing I also use Wotif (NIL problems), Priceline (nil problems) and Expedia (nil problems), I am less likely to use hotelclub and if I do, I will now directly confirm with any hotel that I do book through hotelclub.com.
Anyone else used hotelclub.com or ratestogo.com to book accommodation? They are officially part of Orbitz who I thought were better organised than this.