Reservation Snafu by Agent

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Jan 10, 2020
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#1
I have an agent that is affiliated with the Virtuoso network, referred by my brother and his son-in-law who enjoy fairly frequent luxury travel. I asked for a reservation for a luxury hotel in Maui, deluxe ocean view king bed, and gave them the dates. They came back with prices, and the next day we decided to book one of the choices. The prices had gone up slightly, and after some consideration decided to go ahead with the new price. They secured us reservations after we paid and I thought all was well. We received the confirmation email, and I filed it away. Just because I'm a tad OCD, afterward I went to the hotel website and plugged in our confirmation code. Our room was booked for an ADA-compliant ocean-view room. Not deluxe ocean view. Additionally, we do not need an ADA compliant room. I brought this to their attention, and they said they'd try to get the room we requested for the price they quoted. That price is no longer available and in fact took a substantial jump. That's not a surprise since of course pricing is dynamic. So, for those of you that are more familiar with using travel agents, assuming the prices stay up, I am guessing we are just stuck with paying more? I understand it was an honest mistake, and I'm not casting blame, just disappointed and a little dismayed. We do get certain perks for booking with the agency, which I was looking forward to (free breakfasts, resort credits, possible upgrade). I can go on the hotel website and get a price closer to what was quoted using our AAA membership, but again, not with the perks. Any recommendations or advice?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
20,745
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
What did your confirmation say the room type was? It should have said it on the confirmation you received.
If it did and you had notified the agent when you received it you might have been able to change it at that time for no additional charge.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 10, 2020
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#3
There was a copy of our prior discussion and room type request, and an attached .pdf. The prior discussion clearly said what our request was. I didn't think to look at the .pdf until later that day, at which time they were closed. This was the email quote:

Best Available Rate - Deposit equal to two night's stay required at time of booking; cancel up to 14 days prior to arrival to avoid penalty. Average nightly rates shown below.

819 USD/night - Deluxe Ocean View Room, King Bed

Impresario Amenities:
  • Complimentary breakfast for 2 people
  • 100 USD hotel credit per stay, or local currency equivalent
  • Next category upgrade, subject to availability
  • Double Hilton Honors points awarded for stay
 
Jan 10, 2020
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#4
Here's a copy of what was on the .pfd:
Room Details:
IMPRESARIO PROGRAM -IMPRESARIO
CANCEL 14 DAYS PRIOR TO ARRIVA
OCEAN VIEW - 1 KING -MOBILITY
40 USD RESORT CHRG-OCEAN AND FL

That wasn't clear to me that it was not deluxe ocean view -- the mobility part I didn't really pay attention to and probably wouldn't have mattered. the "ocean and FL" I assumed must mean deluxe ocean view.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#5
It is noble of you, I think, to label this as an honest mistake and to cast no blame. However, the fact remains that this is the agent's duty to resolve, since they quoted a price and booked the room.

You have already accepted prices that had "gone up slightly", and I agree that you should avoid an ADA-compliant room since it may be needed by a handicapped traveler.

Explain to the agent your dilemma and politely state that you expect them to change your reservation to the room type previously agreed upon. If you are feeling generous, you could consider another hotel . . .
 
Jan 10, 2020
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#6
Thanks to you both for your responses. Though I travel a fair amount, I am a very organized person and a good planner, so I usually make all arrangements myself. This is the first time I used a travel agent, and I really didn't know the expectations to place on them. It's very frustrating to me, but I don't want to be unreasonable, either. If you feel it is reasonable to expect that price for that room, then that helps me feel like I can be a little assertive in requesting they produce what they promised and I agreed to. No, I'm really not feeling all that generous that I would be willing to go to a different hotel. We've been planning this trip for a year and researched exactly where we wanted to go.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
20,745
20,324
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Here's a copy of what was on the .pfd:
Room Details:
IMPRESARIO PROGRAM -IMPRESARIO
CANCEL 14 DAYS PRIOR TO ARRIVA
OCEAN VIEW - 1 KING -MOBILITY
40 USD RESORT CHRG-OCEAN AND FL

That wasn't clear to me that it was not deluxe ocean view -- the mobility part I didn't really pay attention to and probably wouldn't have mattered. the "ocean and FL" I assumed must mean deluxe ocean view.
I think there is an error on both your parts- you didn’t question the reservation and if you had called right away the agent might have been able to fix it right away.

I agree with VoR that the agent should fix it at his ir her cost. They should have errors and omissions insurance to cover things like this but there might be partial blame for you not questioning the reservation.

I think you should go back to the agent and ask them to cover the the current cost and move you to the room you requested in writing. If the agent is part of a large agency you should speak to the owner.
 
Jan 10, 2020
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#8
You're correct, Neil. I didn't check the actual hotel website until after I got off work, and by that time they were closed. I did email them as soon as I caught it. Again, the details were on an attached .pdf, and the information therein wasn't clear to me-- plus the body of her email had the original quote with the correct room on it. I am, however, agreeing that I didn't check it more thoroughly right away, which was my mistake.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,949
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#11
So you're already ahead of the game, Cali. You made an error not reading every word of everything you received. Most people like to blame someone else. But the TA made a much larger error by not reviewing the confirmation against your "order". One of the perks of using a travel agent is that they take care of all the details. I would sweetly tell them (in writing) that you expect the room you booked and have no interest in occupying a special room that might be needed by someone with a disability. Be clear, be firm, be polite and tell them you expect them to rectify the situation. You want the room that you booked, and that they confirmed, at the price you agreed to. This may take repeating a couple of times, but they need to make it right. Good luck, and please let us know what transpires.
 
Jan 10, 2020
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#12
Yep, I do like to own my own mistakes. It would be nice if everything went as it was supposed to, and it was my expectation that the reservation would be done correctly. I hold myself to the standard of confirming and re-confirming details at work, but not everyone does, and of course, at times things still slip through the cracks. You gave me good tactical information, and I'll do exactly that, thank you!

I promise I will let everyone know the final resolution. I always get frustrated on forums when others take time out of their own lives to assist, and then there's no follow-up for their efforts.
 
May 7, 2019
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#14
So you're already ahead of the game, Cali. You made an error not reading every word of everything you received. Most people like to blame someone else. But the TA made a much larger error by not reviewing the confirmation against your "order". One of the perks of using a travel agent is that they take care of all the details. I would sweetly tell them (in writing) that you expect the room you booked and have no interest in occupying a special room that might be needed by someone with a disability. Be clear, be firm, be polite and tell them you expect them to rectify the situation. You want the room that you booked, and that they confirmed, at the price you agreed to. This may take repeating a couple of times, but they need to make it right. Good luck, and please let us know what transpires.
Exactly: We pay travel agents to cover the details so that we don’t have to do that.

CaliTraveler, you shouldn’t have had to read the .pdf to double-check the arrangements, because you were paying a travel agent to do that for you. It’s good practice for you to do that, but the travel agent’s job was to make the booking you asked for. She didn’t do that, and now has to.
 
Jan 10, 2020
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#15
Thank you all. I wanted to give an update. I haven't heard back from my travel agent, but I decided to review my reservation on the hotel website. As of today, it indicates confirmation of a deluxe ocean view king! So, of course, I'm very pleased!

Now, this was the first time I personally have used a travel agent; I have always done all the planning and organizing of our vacations - flights, accommodations, activities, cars, etc. Although I was eager to let go of that "honor", this was more stressful than doing it myself. I am such a detail-oriented person that messing up what to me should have been a very straight-forward and simple reservation was perturbing.

Another quick note: VoR61 made a comment about me accepting the rate that had gone up slightly. I asked my brother about that, and he was surprised that the agent hadn't locked the rate on the first day. That was frustrating to hear. I was a new client, so perhaps she was unsure of my intent? I don't know. I do know the agency has an excellent reputation -- I'm just disappointed that my first time using them was not an excellent experience.
 
Jan 10, 2020
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#16
Shoot, please forgive my vent up there-- I came back to edit my reply and can't. I'm sure I'll have a more positive attitude in a day or two. Where are the rainbow and flower emoticons??
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
20,745
20,324
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#18
Thank you all. I wanted to give an update. I haven't heard back from my travel agent, but I decided to review my reservation on the hotel website. As of today, it indicates confirmation of a deluxe ocean view king! So, of course, I'm very pleased!

Now, this was the first time I personally have used a travel agent; I have always done all the planning and organizing of our vacations - flights, accommodations, activities, cars, etc. Although I was eager to let go of that "honor", this was more stressful than doing it myself. I am such a detail-oriented person that messing up what to me should have been a very straight-forward and simple reservation was perturbing.

Another quick note: VoR61 made a comment about me accepting the rate that had gone up slightly. I asked my brother about that, and he was surprised that the agent hadn't locked the rate on the first day. That was frustrating to hear. I was a new client, so perhaps she was unsure of my intent? I don't know. I do know the agency has an excellent reputation -- I'm just disappointed that my first time using them was not an excellent experience.
Prices are never guaranteed when quoting and we have seen quoted prices change within minutes and that could have happened with your reservation. You said in your original email “ and the next day we decided to book one of the choices.” You waited a day and just like an airline ticket, prices can change as rooms book, especially if you are booking a special rate or a room that comes with perks the agent can get that you wouldn’t get on your own. Was air included in your package or was it room only? Did the agents quote say that prices are not guaranteed until a deposit is made? If not, that should be in every quote they send. This also could have happen if you had priced it yourself and booked the next day.

“I brought this to their attention, and they said they'd try to get the room we requested for the price they quoted.” Well, they agent did it and for that to happen, I’m willing to bet the supplier made the error but the agent still should have caught it right away. And the agent should have at least emailed you and sent a new confirmation.

I’m sorry you had a bad experience - but enjoy those perks you are getting that you wouldn’t have received if you booked on your own.
 
Jan 6, 2015
3,397
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#19
I identify with your reluctance to cede control of my travel plans to an agent. To date, we have been able to make reservations ourselves without a backfire.

But as the years have rolled by, I have adapted to the idea that I am really ceding control anyway. Once I leave home, I'm totally dependent upon each provider. And it is scary at times. What I have learned in my time here is that I simply need to make the most informed decision possible, and then remain flexible to change. Otherwise, misery will be my company as I nervously approach each step.

That approach has led to many pleasant experiences which would have been otherwise. We have hiked in the rain, and laughed when we missed a museum because we didn't check the hours. My wife had the idea of a schedule that permits stops to be done any of the days we were there (for weather purposes), and it has played out wonderfully. We began flying by preferring non-stop, and then adapted to 1 stop itineraries where we could stretch our legs and get a bite to eat.

And there are so many more. The bottom line for me is to sit back and enjoy everything, even when a challenge such as yours arises. And, by the way, there are good travel agents to be found, ones who love their work and do it well. Sounds like you have one . . .
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,949
9,564
113
San Francisco
#20
"Thank you all. I wanted to give an update. I haven't heard back from my travel agent, but I decided to review my reservation on the hotel website. As of today, it indicates confirmation of a deluxe ocean view king! So, of course, I'm very pleased! I'm delighted that the room got straightened out. But if the TA did so and didn't inform you ... very worrisome. Along with today's excess noise everywhere, lack of communication ranks right up there on my list of unacceptable.
 
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