It’s no secret that our trip to Pasadena for the CONCACAF Cup was basically the worst.
Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying match in Columbus was our first foray back into the USMNT game circuit since last October’s Trip From Hell and we are pleased to report that it went well.
Very, very well.
Starting with a disastrous phone call.
We were about 30 miles outside of Columbus when we got a voice mail.
It was the Holiday Inn Express calling. To tell us that our room for that night had been cancelled and given to another customer. They were booked. We were screwed. Call us if you have any questions, have a nice day.
We called because, yes, we had questions. Questions such as HOW COULD YOU JUST GIVE OUR ROOM – THE ROOM WE BOOKED THREE MONTHS AGO – AWAY?
See, just recently, the credit card that the room was reserved with was stolen and had to be replaced. Then the hotel tried to charge the old credit card number and, when it didn’t work, instead of doing some basic customer service such as calling us, they just cancelled our room.
We were 30 minutes from Columbus and had nowhere to sleep.
The front desk agent who we talked to was not helpful. His contribution to the phone call was basically a shrug of his shoulders and a disinterested eye roll. No apology. No offer of any solution whatsoever (including offering to get us booked at another Holiday Inn Express location in Columbus, of which THERE ARE TWO MORE).
After a good bit of back and forth, he finally found the problem solving skills to transfer us to a reservation agent.
(“Our computer system cancels the room automatically, I’m so sorry that happened. Our property is booked for the night but I would be happy to help you find another room in the area.” Is that so hard?)
The front desk guy had insisted that the hotel was sold out that night, but the reservation agent miraculously found an available room. An available room that was identical to the one that had been cancelled.
For an additional $50 a night.
Yeah, no thanks. We’ll pass. You’re a Holiday Inn Express, not the Ritz Carlton, and we were only staying there because we could walk to the stadium from the hotel not because we are passionate about your bland-ass rooms and your stingy breakfast buffet.
Powered by the magic that is Priceline, it took all of 5 minutes to book at a nicer hotel, in a better area, for 35% less.
A nicer, cheaper, better hotel that also turned out to be the team hotel.
But we didn’t know that just yet.