I hope you can give me your full attention while I relieve myself of the anger, humiliation and frustration I have endured today as a result of booking through your website.
We booked this room through you on 28/8/19 with a special request notifying the hotel I am in a wheelchair, and to also book dinner for my birthday, asking the owner to advise if all this was ok. Nothing unusual there.
We e mailed the owner yesterday, after not hearing anything from him to the contrary, but just to confirm that all with the booking was ok. No surprises for my birthday thank you, other than ones with ribbons on and smelling of Chanel. But he then advised in his reply the room I had booked was upstairs, and to have their ground floor accessible room would be an extra charge. Not happy but stuck in a car travelling through France we decided we would sleep on it…in a room also booked through you using the same special requests and with no problem.
So having nowhere else to go we arrived at the hotel today, and we were shown an adequate ground floor room. However I said we were not prepared to pay any more money for this ground floor room as the owner should have told us all this upon booking to then give us the chance to book elsewhere had we wanted to.
Upon refusing to pay any extra money he then said he would go and make up the original room I’d booked upstairs (that I can’t get to!) Where’s the compassion there then Monsieur?
The hotel states it has disabled facilities but nowhere did it say you had to book a certain room if you are in a wheelchair.
Upon receiving the original booking he said he assumed I could walk upstairs despite it being very clear I was in a wheelchair. Then he also said he had been busy and had not seen the request so I don’t know which was true.
He said you never get the special requests you ask for using that form. You may want to have a word with him as he’s not towing the booking party line very well.
I said I assumed they were professionals and would confirm and respond to any special requests. He said they are not professional and just a small family house. Amen to that.
He asked me why I was arguing over any extra money as you have turned up in your ‘big car, you can afford it.’
I have a big car because I use a fucking wheelchair? Is that unreasonable. I think not.
We were mis sold the room that I originally booked. The owner never said there was stairs to it. We were never told they only had one accessible room that you had to specifically book. How were we to know this? By Vulcan mind melting telepathically across the English Channel? Why would he assume a person in a wheelchair can walk upstairs? Why was I made to feel very inadequate because I did not meet his lofty expectations of a wheelchair user? Where does he find all these wheelchair users who are happy to do a few flights? I don’t know any. Maybe I need better wheelchair friends who grow more legs back than me.
We were left feeling very unwelcome after this heated exchange with him and most certainly unable to then go into their house for an intimate celebration dinner over a bottle of Chablis.
He maintained the room was non refundable and said he would also be charging us for the dinner, which we have not taken, as indeed for the room we had not used. Apart from a small pee. Does that count? I didn’t dribble, despite being disabled. I can tell you if he’d made me go up all those stairs I would have done more than dribble a bit.
As a long term user of booking.com we have used the special requests form every time to say I need wheelchair accessibility. If there is ever a problem the hotelier has never been confrontational about it, and has always tried to be respectful as I am someone who has no choice over which room I can stay in. It seems very unfair and dare I say discriminatory to want to charge me more money for something I have no choice over.
But please worry not, this event has not ruined my birthday as I am now in La Rochelle eating chips and drinking champagne. It will be a jolly night and I will forever remember turning 52 thanks to this.
Hope to get some cash back to pay for my bed tonight!
See what you can do loves!
Happy birthday to me!