SHE travelled to Adelaide with a colleague recently for business. Needing two accommodation rooms for two nights, SHE searched WOTIF for a 4 or 5 star hotel on North Terrace. SHE often uses this site - if rooms are available, this is where they'll be advertised. The process is straight forward, changes and cancellation policies are fairly flexible and importantly, the price is always competitive. Arriving at the hotel SHE checked in and went to the room. Despite having booked two king or queen rooms (subject to availability of course and this is well understood) SHE found herself in a room with 2 single beds, on the lowest possible floor, facing the carpark, and as it turned out, with disabled facilities in the bathroom. Now there's not one thing wrong with the disabled facilities, it just wasn't what was expected. And of course there was no bath. As it turns out, one of the two booked rooms was a large corner room with a king bed located on a high floor. The two rooms could not have been more different and were clearly not the same room type. After one visit back to Reception and two further phone calls, SHE was finally moved to another room. A bit precious maybe? SHE just likes to get what SHE pays for.
On check out, the Reception staff member asked the question: "Was everything alright with your room?". The answer was an emphatic "no, not really". For a 5 star hotel SHE thought the facilities generally weren't up to scratch. The room certainly did not resemble this lovely shiny photo! And he did ask the question, so he got an answer. He then spent some time explaining that if the booking had been made through the hotel website, a room type would have been guaranteed. Since the booking was made through WOTIF (and quote..."we don't encourage people to book through WOTIF') the room allocated was quite possibly the worst room in the house. After another 10 minutes giving more explanation about the pitfalls of booking through WOTIF, SHE turned on her heel and got out of there pronto.
SHE's in the business of events, hospitality and tourism. SHE's pretty confident that if a booking had been made through a hotel contact dealing in our industry market or indeed the hotel website, that a very different room type would have been allocated to this traveller. The message to the hotel: consider yourself 'mystery shopped' and consider the result a great big 'fail'. And as for the staff member who attempted to explain the situation: I'm sure WOTIF will be interested in knowing how little the hotel values their contribution to filling the rooms and keeping everyone employed as a result. Don't bite the hand the feeds you folks.