Fixing a mistaken non-refundable reservation

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by Steven Schwartz, Feb 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    We were planning a trip to Europe traveling from Geneva to Paris. It included a stay for two nights at a Hilton in Strasbourg. I made the reservation - there was a good AAA rate and I took it (or so I thought).

    We had to cancel the trip and when I went to the Hilton site to cancel, I discovered that the reservation was for a non-refundable Advance Purchase. And sure enough, I checked and saw my credit card had been charged. Called the Diamond Line and they transfered me to another department. There I was told they would contact the hotel but it was at the hotel's disgression.

    Now I have not mentioned that this happened at the end of January for a mid-September stay. Got an email from the manager of the hotel who basically said - too bad. I wrote but a strong, firm letter (not offensive or insulting) that basically said that I made a mistake, thought I had signed up for a different rate, it was seven months away, cost the hotel nothing and that I was offended to think this is how they would treat any customer, much less a Diamond! Got a letter back saying I was right and that my credit card had already been credited.

    Wow - that was easy. While I was pleased that the hotel relented and understood that is was a simple mistake, I was disappointed that the Diamond department wanted no part of my problem or was not willing to help in any way.
     
  2. servus
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    servus Silver Member

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    First of all, I'm glad you could work this out. The canned replies you get from DD is usually worthless, this is why I stopped dealing whith them and always deal with one very special employee who's knowledgable, willing and almost always able to get things solved a.s.a.p. However, on the bottom line, it is indeed the individual hotels disgression if they allow you to change and / or even cancel your reservation. I was very lucky to get this done three out of four times within the last 12 years.
     
  3. bluesky
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    bluesky Gold Member

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    I've had success in getting them changed too. Once I booked Dallas Park Cities for a month in the future - I thought - when I actually booked it for the current day! I only noticed when the charge hit my credit card as a no-show.

    They were really understanding, and the amount was refunded within 24 hours!
     
  4. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    I booked the wrong date (by one day) at the Embassy Suites at DTW on a non-refundable rate. Hilton Diamond told me that correcting it would be completely at the hotel's discretion.

    I called the hotel's general manager, who is a really nice guy by the way, and he fixed the problem for me in a minute.

    Bottom line: satisfied customer, repeat visitor.
     
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  5. servus
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    servus Silver Member

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    You are absolutely right! Steven's story was one reason why we booked three rooms at the Hilton Strasbourg today, instead staying at another property. Beeing an HHonors member since 1999 I learned the hard way, it's no use to complain about anything. The only language Hilton corporate will understand is if to "speak" with your wallet.
     
  6. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    I think the Hilton hotels are owned by other people/companies, not by Hilton. Hilton has a marketing agreement which allows the hotel to use the Hilton name and book customers at the hotel, and covers a myriad of other details. It appears that under that agreement, Hilton does not have the right to refund a non-refundable rate, no matter who is asking for that refund or how far away it is. Often the first contact to the hotel is to some low-level functionary, but if you can get to someone with decision-making authority, they can make it right. Glad to see it worked out for you and Steven Schwartz.
     
  7. servus
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    servus Silver Member

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    @gemac You're right about most you said, however, Hilton corporate can make decissions if they want to. The problem is, the usuall customer is 1 in a million, so who cares! I do "know" someone who's just in the right place and has "the power" to make decisions. Most of the time not on the spot but after one, two, three days all my problems got solved perfectely. This person 1) has the authority and most important 2) is willing to help you and this is what I highly appreciate.
     
  8. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    One of the nice things about the Starwood FT board is the Starwood Lurkers who give the sense they will step up to bat for you with problems like this. Hint-hint! ;)
     
  9. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    In situations where a reservation was made in error, or a change needs to be made and it was booked at a special rate or is non-refundable, I always call the hotel first thing. Not just for Hilton properties, but in general. These situations do arise from time to time, and in my experience, calling the hotel and asking for a duty manager almost always works. For example, I've had cases where I booked for a conference and then discovered I needed to add or day or that I was arriving a day later. If I tried to go through corporate, there's nothing they can do, but a simple call to the hotel fixes it. Likewise for adjustments to non-changeable/non-cancelable rates.
     
  10. ark
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    ark Silver Member

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    Once I accidentally booked a room for "today" instead of "tomorrow". Although I realized my error within a few minutes, it was past the cancellation deadline. I called the Hilton Gold line and explained my error. They changed my reservation with no hassles. However, the rate wasn't non-refundable.
     
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  11. straitman
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    straitman Silver Member

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    I have had a 100% success rate at changing prepaid bookings within the Hilton Chain. I simply ring up the Hotel, apologise for annoying them and VERY politely ask if it can be changed.

    This weekend coming we are staying at the Brisbane Hilton on a prepaid booking made during the January sale last year and which was originally for somewhere around October last year.
     
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  12. JDiver
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    JDiver Silver Member

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    Glad the OP worked it out - it is indeed up to the property management's discretion as to whether one can get a refund or not, and it is my experience a weather-caused flight cancellation, etc. is easier than stuff well within one's control, as it may be if one asks to change the booking to another day. Moral of the story - check for rates that are refundable - MVP and similar discounts can offer lower than refundable rates with full cancellability at many properties.
     
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  13. AHarvey

    AHarvey New Member

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    Signed up to say thanks! Booked a non-refundable advance purchase Hilton hotel earlier today, realised I booked the wrong date a few hours later and tried to cancel. Hilton booking line said no, and my booking was non-refundable or possible to change. However, I called the hotel direct - asked to change and no problem, the lady even stated the new date was more expensive, but she'd overridden the charge and sent a confirmation email. Brilliant result.
     
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  14. NYCAdventurer

    NYCAdventurer Gold Member

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    Happy to see the success correcting mistakes!
     
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  15. theyoungone162

    theyoungone162 New Member

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    Next time try to sell your reservation in Hall St. They work fine!
     
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