Dear booking.com,* *I want to express my extreme displeasure with one of your customer support representatives, Zafeer.* *As you can likely see from my history, I am a new booking.com customer. I primarily travel for work and use a travel agent provided by my company. My father recommended I use booking.com for my leisure travel as he has been a happy customer of yours for years and has used your service for dozens of hotel stays. I started planning my September **** trip to Switzerland in December **** so I could have peace of mind that everything was arranged and to secure good prices on accommodations.* *Throughout the planning process I was pleasantly surprised to see how booking.com laid out all of my reservations. I appreciated the ease and convenience of using such a service that could manage all of my hotel stays across multiple Swiss cities. I considered booking directly with the property for one of my stays but decided it would be better for me to manage the trip from one app. Your service allows me to find nice rooms at my preferred price point, filtering by options important to me, so I can find exactly what I’m looking for.* *On Tuesday, September **, my younger sister and I arrived in Lucerne and checked in to Altstadt Hotel Le Stelle around * pm. It was a short walk from the harbor*train station where we arrived just before and where we would depart the following day—an intentional choice as we were not renting a car nor budgeted for taxis. We had been on a train and boat for five hours and decided to have a brief rest in our room before exploring the city. Right before we planned to head out, someone opened the door to our room and left it open. By the time I got up to see who was there, they were gone. (The hotel is small and primarily vertical—just two rooms per floor, so it’s not like someone ran down a hallway* they went to a different floor.) Suddenly I felt very unsafe. I called the front desk to ask what happened but received no answers. The woman at the front desk suggested it was either housekeeping or a technician, but I had made no requests. She thought maybe the technician mistakenly went to the wrong room, but why would they leave the door open and leave the area for a simple mistake instead of apologizing? I asked her to look into the situation and she said she would get back to me.* *My sister and I nervously sat in our room, unsure about what happened and what we would be risking by continuing to stay there. About fifteen minutes later, I had not heard anything from the woman at the front desk and called back to see if what she speculated had been true, that housekeeping or a technician had come by and made a rude disturbance but nothing nefarious was going on. She said she had been receiving too many calls to be able to address my concern. Finding this unacceptable and fearing my own safety, I called booking.com to see what other arrangements there would be. The representative I spoke with was able to secure a free cancellation of the room. I was very happy and satisfied with her service. She offered to help us find something comparable, but I would have to book the new hotel myself. Figuring it would take less time if I handled it all myself, I declined her offer and immediately opened the booking.com app to find a new spot for my sister and me.* *Within five minutes, I found an open room at The Tourist River & City Hotel. My first choice, a double room, was unavailable—someone else booked it right before me, as I could see in the app. I saw a triple room was also available, and although ** CHF more than what was originally listed for The Tourist, it was still within my budget and I figured my sister and I would appreciate the extra space. I booked it and received the confirmation, and my sister and I got ready to walk to the new hotel after checking out of the original hotel.* *We arrive about ten minutes later. The woman at the front desk is distraught and says there’s been some issue with booking.comand THREE people booked the same last room. I obviously have no idea what’s going on there but got the gist: there was no room for us there. I clearly made some sort of mistake in declining booking.com’s offer of help to find a new hotel so I call again to see what my options are.* *This is when I began my interaction with Zafeer. I explained my situation and asked him to help find us a new accommodation, because there seemed to be a major issue with booking.com's reservation system.* *I wanted something comparable and had a few requirements I asked him to meet:*- two beds*- private bathroom*- city center (we were on foot and transit can be unpredictable in the later hours of the day)*- *.* or greater (my threshold for all bookings)* *He called back half an hour later and said he had found two properties:*- The Tourist River & City Hotel*- Hotel Barabas Luzern* *Obviously the first hotel was all booked, hence my outreach to booking.com. I explained the Hotel Barabas was not comparable* I had considered and even booked this property for our trip and then realized it was unsuitable and canceled the reservation. The “private bathroom” had a translucent door and, I’m sorry, my sister and I do not need to see each other showering. Many of the beds were bunk beds so again, it was not comparable.* *I tried to see if there was anything further booking.comcould do for my sister and me, like paying the difference for a more expensive hotel that would suit our needs. Zafeer suggested I look on Airbnb. I told him if I wanted to stay in an Airbnb, I would have booked with Airbnb initially. He seemed to think there were NO other hotels in Lucerne and I told him there were, they were just more expensive. He instructed me to email in the names or screenshots of the hotels and then he could inquire with them about their true availability prior to booking.* *Within a few minutes I found two hotels on the booking.com app. I followed Zafeer’s instructions and emailed in screenshots. After half an hour I emailed asking for an update. I kept looking to see if any of the hotels outside the city center would be accessible by transit and sent in screenshots when I found two others. Still no response. It was now an hour after I emailed and two hours after I first called in. My evening had been wasted waiting for Zafeer to help me.* *I called in again and spoke to a different representative. I was getting desperate and said I did not need to stay in the city center but if the hotels were inaccessible by public transit, I hoped to receive some sort of compensation for taxi fares. The representative made a suggestion and triggered an email so I could review the property, with everyone being very careful to say that they would do their best in refunding me the difference in price.* *Ultimately, my sister and I wound up in a safe hotel and we did not have to spend our money on cabs. But I cannot wrap my head around the ordeal Zafeer put us through. Our resolution took over two hours and I have no idea what Zafeer was doing. The other representative even suggested he may have left for the day! If he was unwilling to help us, I would have asked to speak with someone else instead of waiting around for over an hour hoping for a call back. I tried to get updates using the communication method suggested to me, but I never received any response. I merely sat there, wasting my time, unable to enjoy my vacation. My sister and I could not enjoy the city while we were waiting for a response. We did not spend any of our day sightseeing as we had planned. While it may have been that hotel’s fault for overselling their rooms, it was booking.com that made me wait hours for a resolution to my issue. I had to take it upon myself to call back booking.com. Zafeer never got back in touch with me. What was taking so long? Is that really what you expect your customers to do? The service I received from Zafeer was completely unacceptable.* *Thank you for your time.
GetHuman3593722 did not yet indicate what Booking.com should do to make this right.