Sunday, 15 November 2009

On how to prevent two coffees from being purchased at the Park Inn, Nottingham

On a recent business trip I had to stay overnight in Nottingham at the Park Inn. I've stayed before and it's not a bad place. But this stay may well be my last. I booked on-line through and got a decent rate. When I checked in I was given my key-card and room key - as usual - and my credit card was details were taken. However in the evening, after a meal out, I returned with a work colleague to the bar and ordered two coffees. When I offered my room card to charge the coffees to my room, I was told this wasn't possible as I had not registered in such a way that additional items could not be charged to my room. When I had check-in, I wasn't asked if I would be making additional charges. But as my credit card was swiped I, wrongly, assumed this was possible. So, I gave them a debit card I had on me to pay for the coffees. This was declined as the coffees cam eto £4.50 and debit cards could only be used on transactions of £5.00 or over.

After a long pause, when no other suggestions were made by the bar staff, the only option seemed to be to go back to reception and get my card swiped again and my key-card recreated.

No one was at reception. I did wait a while, but no one turned up. So I had to go back to the bar to get them to find someone. I went back to reception and waited. Eventually someone came and the key-card was re-issued.

I returned to the bar to my patient colleague and two tepid cups of coffee. I then ordered two more cups of coffee and proferred my recently printed key-card. "What about these coffees that you haven't paid for" enquired the bar lady "do you want these added to your bill with the additional coffees?".

I explained that the reason the coffee was getting cold was no fault of mine, rather the inadequacies of the hotel administration system. This fell on deaf ears and a bit of an en passe ensued. Eventually, and reluctantly, fresh coffee was made. I didn't see here make them. It may be she served the same coffees again (as they weren't ver hot) or maybe she used tedid water the 2nd time around. I was basically too tired to argue any more.

So, be warned fellow travellers when booking in to the Park Inn in Nottingham. If your charge key-card has a big red dot on it - you can't add anything to you bill. You have been warned.

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