Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hotels and Credit Cards

I have missed my little blog. Haven't been working that much lately, so no new stories, but I always have tons of stuff saved up that I never post. This one is about hotels and credit/debit cards.

So, let me tell you all how it works. You check into the hotel. I swipe your credit card. And no, I can't use the one on file, because we need to swipe a credit card to show you were actually here in case the charges are disputed. So, anyway, I swipe the CC and a hold is placed on it. The hold will be for the full amount of your stay, plus extra for incidentals (you break something, you buy from the hotel store, you eat in the hotel restaurant). If someone's rate is $150, the hold will probably be a little over $200. This is the way it is. If you don't like it, don't stay in hotels.

This is just a hold. The actual amount will not be charged to your account until you check out. This is why you can change credit cards before you leave. Upon check out, the amount will be charged to your credit card and the remainder of the hold released, in three to five business days. Debit cards can take longer.

Unfortunately, because people have no money, they often want us to change this. And we can. It's just a pain in the ass. We need a bank fax number to send a letter authorizing the release of the hold. And some banks won't take that, so then we have to call and listen to elevator music for a half hour to get your hold released. It's not a fun process.

I once had this woman come to check in. A Hispanic woman. She did speak English, though with a thick accent. I asked for a credit card and she told me her mother, who would be arriving in about an hour, would be paying for her room. Well, that's great, but I need a credit card to check you in. She hands over her credit card, and I TELL HER A HOLD WILL BE PLACED ON IT. She says that's fine.

An hour later, I'm taking my break, and my supervisor, who's covering the desk, comes and asks me about this woman. I go back out, and the woman is now there with her husband.

"That's her!" she points at me accusingly.

It turns out the credit card hold means the woman now has no money to spend on this weekend. I say to her that I did tell her a hold would be placed.

"I didn't realize it would be on my credit card!" Her husband chimes in further to back her up, she didn't understand, blah blah blah. "And now what are we supposed to do? We're going to have to go home! We have no money to spend this weekend!"

Where else did she think the hold would be? I mean, I'm sorry if she didn't understand me, but I told her something and she said it was fine. When a customer says that yes, it's fine to place a hold, I take it to mean that it actually is fine. And if you don't understand what I'm saying, ASK. I'm not a fucking mind reader.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Today at work, we had several groups holding meetings. The largest meeting was run by a pain-in-the-ass, high-maintenance, man. Holy crap, was he annoying.

I met him for the first time on Monday, when he wanted to start setting up his stuff in the meeting room immediately after the group that day departed. I said, sure, no problem, that I would call with an estimated time of when banquets would finish cleaning the room, and asked for a phone number. He tried giving me his foreign cell phone to call. Hell no.

Then today, he comes down and asks for copies to be made of several sheets of paper. Just one copy, he said. My co-worker goes to the back to make the copies, and comes back with his one. But now he's changed his mind. He needs more than one. Okay, fine. She notices that there are a few back pages, and asks if he wants those copied as well. Yes, he does. Except we don't have a two-sided copier, so it's going to take a little while.

She goes into the back to make his copies, and he stands there waiting. After a few minutes he's starting to get antsy, and asks me to go into the back to check on his copies. I go into the back and check, and my co-worker is standing at a desk, putting his papers in order for him. I come out and tell him "it'll be just a few more minutes". So we're standing, waiting, and this guy must be off his meds or something, because he's getting seriously agitated. He says to me, and I quote, "I'm getting really stressed about this. Can I go and check on her myself?"

"," I say quickly. I give him a brief, fake smile. "We can't let you go in the back office." So we're standing, waiting, and I'm trying to hold back my laughter, and sort of succeeding. The huge smile on my face the entire time he was standing there might have given me away.