My trip last year to NYC with my wife on our 10th anniversary was memorable–the horse and carriage ride in Central Park, the swim on the 42nd floor of Le Parker Meridien were two highlights. We’d never been in a fancy hotel (well it used to be fancy at one time–it’s in dire need of a reno but is still pretty cool) and we enjoyed it, but to me, the deal that I fought for was the best part.
It started with a hotel deal I found online and put on SD (Steve’s Deals) for $60 for a one night stay on limited dates thru Booking.com for Le Parker Meridien in NYC, including a breakfast.
Booking.com ended up cancelling it on me 9 days after I booked it, after I’d already made airline reservations using my points. Cancellation fees on Avios tickets, which is next to nothing within the US, is more costly if the flight originates in Canada (YYZ-LGA return ticket cancellation was around $130CDN each).
I got on the phone with Booking.com. Got me no where at first–then I had to wait for a call back for a supervisor within a couple of days. I explained how unfair this was–a $60 deal cancelled on me, and how the email they sent me was adding salt to the wound–they would be so kind as to cancel and give a full refund for my reservation due to the accidental low price at no cost to me. Wow. Thanks for nothing. I also explained I had bought the tickets to the flight and that I would have to pay for the cancelled tickets. They got back to me eventually with an offer to cover the costs of other hotels in the area–but those hotels were not even close in amenities to Le Parker Meridien (LPM). They also offered to cover the cost of my airline cancellation charges if I wasn’t satisfied.
I decided to play the hotel side of the story after some good advice from my friend, Brad. Then I got in touch with the hotel. I spoke to the revenue manager there, mentioned how it was our 10th anniversary getaway and she offered me the same suite at a “friends and family” discount price. It did not include breakfast though. I went back to Booking.com with the offer and they accepted not only paying for the room (other than $60 plus taxes and extras), but including a breakfast at a restaurant outside the hotel as the hotel’s breakfast was not kosher. At first they only offered $10 per person, but when I explained to them how much a breakfast cost at LPM that would have been covered by the original deal, they agreed to pay up to $27USD each for a breakfast. That became a late brunch for us that we enjoyed.
The hotel room’s shower area was built on a stall system that used gravity with a decline towards the drain to catch water–it didn’t work. After I noticed my wife’s shower causing a total flood in the washroom, I called room service which took too long, and by then, I’d cleaned it up using a towel, acting as a mop, squeezing it out every time it got soppy wet. I called off the room service but they came anyways eventually. I told them it was dealt with (as I was afraid to leave it ’til they showed as it may have caused damage if it had found its way down to the level below us and we may have been held responsible).
When checking out, I mentioned the problem and they had not been made aware of it. In compensation for the incident, I received 3K Starwood points and an email that followed that gave me an upgrade to a Jr. suite on my next stay with them.
So, at the end, I got:
- A Jr. suite at the original deal price of $60 (+taxes and extras)
- A free breakfast for 2 at a kosher restaurant of our choice
- 3K SPG points for the incident
- I paid for the ticket on a credit card that it helped me to achieve meeting a spending threshold to receive welcome bonus points
- An upgrade the next time we come to NYC to a Jr. Suite
- Credit for the airline cancellation was never needed as the flight got cancelled and I asked for a refund instead of a different flight.
- A date of my choice (any weekend in the summer) instead of the original date that would have meant a day of work’s pay lost
Fight, fight, fight!!! Use kind words mixed with some understandable frustration and try to get them to empathize. Much success to you! Please email me when you have a story to share!