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Friday, February 13, 2015

Douse the Spark, but let the fire rage on

The Missus and I had big plans.
Fifty Shades of Gray in Austin, followed by a Club, and dinner and whatnot...(limited)shopping in the morning.
Booked a hotel room at a holiday inn in far north Austin 3 days ago.
Kids were due to stay at my Mom's place and eat frog's legs.
This is a rather big deal, for us. We rarely leave the county, save for a monthly grocery run, and the occasional doctor's visit(both are in Fredericksburg, some 38 miles, South).
This afternoon, our eldest kiddo comes down with a's 100.6, at the moment...likely a cold, but perhaps a sinus infection. Irregardless, there's no doctor til Monday.
So the trip is off.
I immediately endeavor to Cancel our hotel reservation.
Even more complexity than the Booking...which was considerable.
I finally managed to wade through all of the nonsense on the website, and got it done.
“Cancellation Email” was forthcoming...wherein I learned that, as Penalty(their word), I would still be charged for the night's stay. A little over a hundred bucks.
I called the front desk, given that theirs was the only actual phone number contained in the email...and asked the lady if I was reading it right.
“yep, they do that...” she told me(I did not jump all over her, as she was merely a manager, and my Ire is directed well above her pay-grade.)
So I called “customer service”...and explained my Ire to that lady...who put me on hold for 20 minutes...then a rather sedate man came on, and after 30 minutes of back and forth(he must be on Xanax), he somehow managed to “exempt” me from the “penalty”.
I told him that I don't have an issue with a “cancellation penalty”, as such...but a penalty that is the same as the cost of the room seemed excessive, if not downright dishonest, to me.
Turns out, that I had booked the room under some “savings” or “smart” something-or-other regime(I had no idea...I had felt lucky just to get into a room, after the hypercomplex shadow-world of the website)...which set me up, somehow, for this very penalty.
I told him that that, right there, is where the rest of my Ire resides...the Corporate Lawyer-ese BullShit that makes it necessary to bring one's legal team and accountancy department along with order to get a cheap hotel room in far north Austin, where one must hike outside to smoke.
The way it works is that the Corporate Overlords know, from focus groups and other research, that only a small percentage of folks will call and bitch about this sort of thing...most folks will just eat the $100...they can either afford such a pittance, or are unaware that they can get an “exemption”.
It's win-win for the Bottom Line(holy, holy).(hence, the title of this post)
I asked if this was the Hotel, itself, or a broader, Corporate Policy...
He first said that the individual hotels(franchises=transferred responsibility, where convenient/profitable) make those policies...and then he let slip that while that was true, it is derived from a Broader Corporate Policy that the individual hotels are encouraged to follow(ass-covering=no-one-is-responsible).
I asked him to further this part of my Beef up the is dishonest and shyster-like.
He agreed(that's the Xanax, again)...and said a bunch of words to the effect of “I'll see that they hear about it”.
All of this, because I deigned to attempt to take my Wife out for a night in the big city, and was unable to follow through.
My next attempt will involve a bed/breakfast...or more likely, one of those Roach Motels on North Lamar...we'll bring bleach and our own sheets and insecticide and fire-arms.
Of course, there's always the pup tent.

{one of the very few jokes I know:”what do ya call 20 layers jumping out of an airplane?” Answer:”Skeet”.}

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