Saturday 28 April 2007

Making do with an executive suite

Almost why me

I could almost declare it official; I seem to attract situations of unsatisfactory service.

Before that, at the airport, I finally found value with my frequent flyer card, I can now jump queues at boarding regardless of the looks I receive has I halt to the air steward.

However, I cannot seem to understand the glum idiot chairman of our apartment owners collective, we were on the same flight, he simply looked through me as I acknowledged him, the same has happened even when we have been in the same lift in our apartment block - such self-importance of peasant-made-good people is always amusing.

Lest I forget, someone at the airport must have read my blog, I wish, or some more perturbed English passenger must have complained, the signs have changed from "Please keep your passport ready" to "Please have your passport ready".

No room at the inn

Anyway, I finally got to my hotel in Berlin and was met with a rather interesting but inconvenient situation, the hotel was fully booked. I did not walk to the door looking for room in the inn; I had booked this room a good 11 days before.

I sniggered and listened as the excuse of problems with the reservation system got me quite incensed, well, I was too tired to muster anger, which was good.

What do you mean the hotel is fully booked? It was booked 11 days ago, I have stayed here at least 6 times before, it had to have been obvious that a regular customer should not be faced with this kind of shoddy arrangement. Besides, I have an Accor Favourite Guest Card which guarantees my booking, so quit messing about.

In the ensuing discourse, the receptionist had offered free drinks, a night in a hotel I suspected was not worthy of my custom and a free taxi ride to and from that hotel when I returned on the morrow.

As usual they were trying to make it appear as if they were doing me a favour, I was having none of it, and I was trying to make them realise I would brook no participation in covering their mistake.

I am no tramp

So, out came the manager, as if that matters to me, the core principle still is; I am not a vexatious customer, I am just one with a requirement which I generally expect to be met.

He introduced himself and was about to go through the sorry story I had already gotten enough of again, I could not bear to hear it twice, so I told him so.

Switching to mildly aggressive negotiation mode, I told them, I would not be sleep round Berlin hotels like some tramp, I had come on holiday for four nights and I expect to spend four nights in one hotel in a very accessible part of Berlin; fix that, and peace will come upon ye all.

I advised the manager to do what he had to do and reconciled myself to the bar drowning my displeasure with a glass of orange juice - never do alcohol when you are fuming. Well, in fact, my card entitles me to a free complimentary drink anyhow.

That would do nicely

He probably had to phone round Berlin to all the hotels in the Accor group - he took his time and it was coming to 23:00 - I keep myself to Sofitel, Dorint, Novotel and Mercure preferring 4-stars or better - from my reckoning it means they bend over backwards to sort out your every issue without you having to go down to the reception desk.

He finally came up with a Dorint Novotel in the centre not far from the zoo; see, I knew these people were capable with properly persuaded and given the chance after a discussion.

I acquiesced and ended up in an executive suite for the same price, much as I could have exacted more, suffice it to say that the manager would be getting a severe reprimand from his superiors and more so, if I am of the inclination to make a complaint about how my card privileges were invalidated because of incompetence in the hotel chain.

Remember, I once had my room triple booked and one guest walked into my room as I pranced around in indecent poise.

Sometimes things just crawl

As the taxi driver opined through a journey that felt like I was riding in Fred Flintstone's car, the hotel was useless with over-bookings; since it was my first bad experience, I did not say much since I am not averse to opulence as barely acceptable compensation. The final insult was when the bell-boy gave me some discount voucher for another stay, I would get it for cheaper - I told him as I threw the voucher in the bin, I book hotels for convenience not for cheapness.

Roll over - sleep, dream and snore - zzz ZZZ!

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