I had a rather interesting argument today.

I had booked a double bed in Best western hotel in Nottingham. I had 6 nights booked. I realised that when I started settling into the room, that the double bed is, in fact, two beds joined together.

Normally, I would just accept it. I am not the guy who rock the boat usually. I am too chill sometimes. This time, I was furious. I had paid about £500 for 6 nights and I had booked a double room.

I went down and talked to the receptionists there. I told them it is deception (scam was the word that I wanted to use) that they put double room on the listing and then give me two single beds joined. They said ‘all the beds’ are like that. I argued, you should not put it as a double room then. To which she said, it is the size of the double room that is why it is double room.

According to her logic, if she had put a single bed in a double room, that is also okay to be listed as a double room, I pointed out.

She just said, she can’t do anything. Well, is this what customer service is? Not taking any responsibility? She said, there is no manager even if she wanted to refund the money or anything. So, who is the duty manager? To which she said, it is only those two receptionists. I doubt highly that is the case, here we are, with two receptionists who run a 4-star hotel all by themselves. It was an obviously lie.

How can someone say lie knowing it is a lie, we both know it, and have a straight face?

I confronted, she revealed the general manager is there. 

But I had to wait until the next day to sort out the issue. I asked them to put me in a double room, to which she said only superior rooms have double beds.

So, now you know the difference between two single beds and a double bed. I see.

She said, all the superior rooms are full. I asked for a refund, she said I had to wait till the next day. That is not acceptable.

I was prepared to draw a line, if she was going to give me a refund, I am out of there to another hotel. I was not going to stay there, even if that would be a huge inconvenience for me. Which I would normally take, the convenient route.

I asked why do I have to wait till the next day?

She said she does not have any power to make that call, only the manager has. But, the manager is there. I asked why, she started the explaining about saying because I booked using booking.com and then she had to speak to another manager (a reservation manager) and then call booking to sort out the issue, which will be the next day.

I said all these explanations don’t mean anything to me. Here she is explaining how the hotels booking systems run, which has no meaning. I simply said, it does not mean anything to me. She said, she is explaining to me so that I understand the problem. I said understanding the problem is not enough, the solution, and only the solution has any meaning.

She started getting red. I was uncomfortable. All my nice guy fears are kicking in now, not wanting to make anyone angry.

I simply explained, look. If I book a train to London, I don’t ask how trains work. I just simply board the train. And similarly, I don’t need hear the logistics behind why they can’t do something. Here I am, not getting what I purchased and simply that is not okay.

She said, okay she will cancel the that night, which will mean that all the subsequent nights will be cancelled. At this point she is just saying things.

I asked, a minute ago you said you did not have the power to do anything, suddenly how is she able to?

This will be on me, I will be held responsible if the manager does not like my decision tomorrow, she says.

So, she does have the power, but she does not want to be responsible. I see.

I said, that would be what someone who takes their job seriously would do. That is the responsibility of who is sitting at the reception to get resourceful, call their manager etc.

Long story short, she put me in the superior double room.

The appalling lies that people say to do the minimal amount of work. Clearly only someone who resent their job will do this, who does not have any kind of accountability to what they do. I understand it is not much of a job, being a receptionist, you are not going to make a career out of it. But still whatever you do, even if you don’t like it, if you are doing it, do it whole heartedly.

Don’t half ass it.

Well, there is lesson for me here too. To ask for what I want, and argue and ask questions and challenge even if it uncomfortable, makes me angry etc.

The key takeaway for me is

  1. Telling exactly what I think, which is real questions that I want to ask, without the fear of offending someone.
  2. Why do you say the things you say? Saying what does not make sense.
  3. Repeating what someone says to me back at them so they will realise the foolishness of what they are saying.
  4. Drawing a line and stating what will happen if they don’t do something and be prepared to do that if they don’t conform
  5. Asking for specificity in their statements, rather than accepting the generic responses usually the other person in an argument gives.
  6. Putting them on the spot.