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Satisfactorily resolved: accidentally booked - cancellation penalty

Satisfactorily resolved: accidentally booked - cancellation penalty

 
Old Mar 26, 08, 9:52 pm
  #1  
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Satisfactorily resolved: accidentally booked - cancellation penalty

I was looking for hotels for my May trip to Ireland. I didn't enter a date during my search, so by default, it entered tomorrow's date. Being slightly jetlagged, for some reason I thought I entered the date I wanted and booked for a night.
RIGHT after I booked it, I realized my mistake and immediately cancelled it (less than 2 mins after). I was then informed that I will incur a cancellation penalty because it's passed the cancellation time for not being penalize (previous day @ noon).
I immediately called the SPG customer service and asked if there's any way they could not charge me the penalty because it was a true accident and I reliazed it less than 5 mins later. So it's not like they missed out on someone else booking the room because of me. The agent was quite rude (took her name) and said that there's absolutely no way to do that, gave me a lecture on internet booking and how it's always prepaid and can never be refunded. I tried to explain to her while there are some rate that are fully prepaid, there are some that aren't when booking through the website. And this one wasn't the prepaid kind. But she would hear nothing of it and finally hung up on me after I asked what her full name was.

Anyways, am I basically SOL here?
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Old Mar 26, 08, 11:02 pm
  #2  
 
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I've done this a few times myself. It's not a big problem. All you have to do is contact the hotel directly and ask for the accounting department. Explain that you booked by accident and they won't charge your card. Especially if you are going to book a room at that hotel on a later date.

FYI, it's not *wood that charges your card when booking a room, it's the hotel you are staying with that charges the card.

Just as an insurance policy, book the room on the date you wanted to stay BEFORE you call. That way they are more forgiving seeing that you have already booked your new reservation.
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Old Mar 27, 08, 7:12 am
  #3  
 
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socalplat is right that most hotels will usually do this. There could be some that make it difficult, but I would think that most are understanding.

This problem seems to come up too often. Why can't Starwood implement a system that allows "nonrefundable" rates to be refundable for the first X hours after booking? Even some of the airlines offer something like that.
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Old Mar 27, 08, 7:34 am
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I hope it works out for you, that is

"....gave me a lecture on internet booking and how it's always prepaid and can never be refunded".

I am currently holding about 10 SPG reservations (at Sheraton, LM, Westin & Four Points) and they are ALL refundable, covering coast to coast USA, and SYD. I would not have booked otherwise, so that CS person doesnt know what she is talking about. Report her, she had no reason to be so rude to you .
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Old Mar 27, 08, 9:04 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Downunder girl View Post
I hope it works out for you, that is

"....gave me a lecture on internet booking and how it's always prepaid and can never be refunded".

I am currently holding about 10 SPG reservations (at Sheraton, LM, Westin & Four Points) and they are ALL refundable, covering coast to coast USA, and SYD. I would not have booked otherwise, so that CS person doesnt know what she is talking about. Report her, she had no reason to be so rude to you .
The rate the OP booked was probably a non refundable/prepaid rate. He used tomorrow (today) so the first rate to appear was most like an refundable/prepaid rate.

So based on what the OP wrote, the CS agent is correct. Downunder, putting aside the fact the CS agent was rude, why report her for stating the facts??

I would just call customer service to see if they can intervene.
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Old Mar 27, 08, 9:20 am
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Based on what the OP posted Downunder girl is right.
The agent told the OP that internet booked rates are always non-refundable; Downunder girl holds ten internet booked rates that are refundable.
Ergo, the agent was wrong.
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Old Mar 27, 08, 9:28 am
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The above suggestions are good. The hotel accounting department should refund you the charges. Another way is to call your credit card company immediately and block any incoming charges.
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Old Mar 27, 08, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by 3544quebec View Post
Based on what the OP posted Downunder girl is right.
The agent told the OP that internet booked rates are always non-refundable; Downunder girl holds ten internet booked rates that are refundable.
Ergo, the agent was wrong.

You're missing the "prepaid" word.
From the OP post

...Internet booking and how it's always prepaid and can never be refunded.....
That leads me to believe that the OP, booked a Internet Only Rates - Fully Prepaid, Cancel Rules Apply, No Changes Allowed rate which would be NON REFUNDABLE.

In any event, I hope the OP contacts customer service or the hotel directly and is able to get a refund for this error.
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Old Mar 27, 08, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by 3544quebec View Post
Based on what the OP posted Downunder girl is right.
The agent told the OP that internet booked rates are always non-refundable; Downunder girl holds ten internet booked rates that are refundable.
Ergo, the agent was wrong.
Thank you for saying what I was about to say to Cheap Elite . Its the ALWAYS non-refundable part that I was highlighting, as per OPs post. Clearly not all internet bookings are non refundable, or I will be in a lot of trouble .

....."gave me a lecture on internet booking and how it's always prepaid and can never be refunded. I tried to explain to her while there are some rate that are fully prepaid, there are some that aren't when booking through the website. And this one wasn't the prepaid kind" (my bolding added).

With regard to reporting the agent, I was referring to the fact that she was rude to OP and HUNG UP ON HIM .


Glad we cleared that up

Last edited by Downunder girl; Mar 27, 08 at 9:58 am Reason: Ok well its 3am in the morning here, so I made some typos!
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Old Mar 27, 08, 12:12 pm
  #10  
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I would try to call and move the dates of the booking. You aren't canceling, just asking them to adjust the dates to the dates that you wanted. I would start with SPG CS and if they can't do it the hotel probably will do it with no hassle.
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Old Mar 27, 08, 12:27 pm
  #11  
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a way I've used when making this mistake is to call to move the reservation out to a day beyond the CX period which is seldom a hassle; then do an online cx
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Old Mar 27, 08, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Cheap Elite View Post

You're missing the "prepaid" word.
From the OP post



That leads me to believe that the OP, booked a Internet Only Rates - Fully Prepaid, Cancel Rules Apply, No Changes Allowed rate which would be NON REFUNDABLE.

In any event, I hope the OP contacts customer service or the hotel directly and is able to get a refund for this error.
I've noticed a lot of SPG properties have a 6PM cancellation the night BEFORE check-in. If the OP booked for the next day after 6PM, he would've gotten a warning saying that the cancellation time has passed. It's easy to blow right through that if you're in a hurry or a bit tired.
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Old Mar 27, 08, 1:47 pm
  #13  
 
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A week ago I mistakenly booked three prepaid nights ($90!) at the Santiago Four Points under my name and SPG account, rather than my wife's (she's PLAT now and I'm not anymore). (I thought I was logged in as her to the SPG site, but I was actually logged in as me.) Starwood's 888 number couldn't fix it (or, as they put it, they couldn't "touch" the reservation). Called Santiago and spoke with the property manager (or someone who said he was the equivalent). All three reservations were transferred to my wife while I was on the phone. Going back to the OP--the best idea would seem to be to ask the hotel to just switch the dates in their system. Booking a new reservation and then asking them to cancel the old as was suggested above seems unduly complicated. But that's just speculation on my part...
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Old Mar 27, 08, 3:02 pm
  #14  
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys (and gals)!

I did call the hotel directly this morning and they were really nice and said that no charges has been made - it would've been only charge when I arrive anyways, she said (which is contrary to what the website says when I cancelled).

But to clear things up, I did NOT book the "Internet Only Rates - Fully Prepaid, Cancel Rules Apply, No Changes Allowed" rate. That was the one thing I did check before I submitted. Right after I submitted, I cancelled the reservation online. THEN I called the 888#. First I asked her if I could get out of the cancellation penalty because it was an accident, she said no. I asked if I could move the reservation to the date I actually wanted, and she proceeded to try to book me a NEW reservation. When I was confused when she asked whether I want to use points or pay - I asked her again if this is for moving the reservation and if so, I should just pay the difference. She rudely cut me off and said that that old reservation is history and there's nothing she could do for it.
If she just told me to call the hotel directly, it would've been sufficient for me, rather than the attitude that she gave me.

You guys are a much better CS agent..
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Old Mar 27, 08, 5:35 pm
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Just jumping on this a bit late, but glad to see it is all sorted.

The Irish properties (Dublin and Cork) from past experience are fantastic and very customer friendly, so I'm not surprised you had no problem. Hopefully the new property in Athlone will be as good as their counterparts.
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