A woman we knew had to cancel her hotel reservation because she found out she was pregnant…and had pneumonia? As if she didn’t have enough problems, when she tried to cancel, she was told she missed the penalty free cancellation date, which was a stringent sixteen days prior to arrival! Some are actually longer.
She made a fuss, going up the chain, but when finally confronted, the hotel brass didn’t budge. They said guests are advised of specific cancellation policies when they make their reservations…or in follow up letters of confirmation. Our traveler never received the cancellation information, but was still out very big bucks. Or so she thought.
Because she Twitters and Texts and Facebooks, she suggested to the Customer Relations Department that within a half hour of hanging up the phone, she would be Texting and Twittering her social network letting them know how un-cooperative and unhelpful the hotel was. And, her circle of friends aka/Circle of Influence would get the message and forward it to their social networking groups… and, well, the hotel got the message and the full refund was posted to her credit card within the hour.
We don’t recommend using today’s incredible communications technology to bully people or be unfair. BUT, the communications tools we all have at our disposal make us, the travel consumer (or just “consumer”) a very powerful player on the economic stage. Used wisely, the instant ability to communicate/Twitter/IM/Text our opinions and responses to an experience gives us new clout.
PS: Be certain to get the hotels’ cancellation policy… in writing. And remember, Internet reservations may have a different cancellation policy than those made by phone. In the wacky world of travel, the best policy is still Buyer Beware!