So here’s a fun little story of how companies can alienate customers…
I had made a reservation at the Marriot Hotel in Farmington, CT last week but had to cancel. When I cancelled, I was a little past the "official" cancellation time, but was very polite with everyone I spoke with and customer service for Marriot called the hotel and got a "one-time exception" for me to cancel without penalties or getting charged for the room (it was just one night).
Sound great, right?
Ahh… but of course, the system broke down and I check my bank account yesterday to find that my checking account was overdrawn… I panic a bit since I was quite sure I had several hundred dollars in it. Well gosh darn it, don’t you know that they had taken out the $200 for the room?!!? And of course, I had about another $200 worth of debit card transactions that hit on the same day, which ended up putting me as overdrawn.
Then my loooovely bank, Citizens Bank decides that since I don’t have enough money in my account, the logical thing to do is to charge me $29 for each item that didn’t have insufficient funds. Since this had been going on for almost three days (shouldn’t have my card been turned down at some point!?!?), I now have ANOTHER $200 in fees that this little goof-up from Marriot has resulted in.
So I call the Marriot and they initial say that they can’t find a charge. I assure them that I’m not delusional and sure enough, a few hours later they find it. So they call me back and say that all they need is the cancellation number or the name of the person I spoke with at customer service. Which is SUPER, since I was driving at the time and didn’t exactly have the ability to write any of that down. So now I need to call them and try to track that down.
As of right now, it’ll be a long time before I stay in another Marriot…