Altona Hotel, Paris Complaint - Dishonest hotel operators

Review by Vgg on 2007-07-19
PARIS -- We reserved and prepaid a room for two nights at the Altona Hotel, Paris (25 and 26 June 2007). The prepaid accommodation voucher stated that rooms will be kept until 7:00 the day after the scheduled arrival. However, because we would arrive at Altona hotel late, I took the precaution of making an international telephone call to the Altona Hotel, to warn them of our late arrival.

A lady answered. I explained that we had a prepaid reservation, but that we would arrive late. She knew about our reservation and asked for the prepaid accommodation confirmation number. She confirmed that Altona was keeping a room for us.

Late that evening, at about 23:30, when we learned that we would arrive even later than expected, we telephoned the Altona Hotel again. This time the night watchman answered and informed us that the hotel was full.

We arrived at the Altona Hotel at about 01:00, well before the 7:00 cutoff time as per the prepaid voucher. The night watchman again said that there was not a room for us, despite our explanations about prepayment and having telephoned that morning. He suggested that we should settle the dispute with the Altona Hotel the next morning and assisted us in obtaining a room for the rest of the night at a hotel close by.

The replacement hotel was not up to the standard we had made a reservation for. That night I had a cold water shower at 01:30 and slept in a bed that hurt my back. We would never willingly have stayed in this replacement hotel.

The next morning (26 June), we went back to the Altona Hotel. After he had heard our complaint, one of the two gentlemen at reception remarked that we "were not good" and gave the impression that Altona would not help us at all. Later he acknowledged that we had reserved and paid for a room, and that we could book in at 15:00 that afternoon. So again we were without a room, even though we had paid in full, in advance. Eventually he apologized for the inconvenience. The other gentleman at reception eventually also apologized, several times, for what had happened.

We returned at about 17:00 and were allowed to check into our room. Later that evening, we found an apology note, a bottle of wine and a slab of chocolate inside our room. Because we were involved in an unsettled dispute, we did not accept these tokens, but left them in the hotel room.

The room was of good quality--the standard that we had expected when we made the reservation. A room that we had already paid for, for two nights.

By chance we learned that an identical incident had occurred the previous evening, to another hotel guest. They had also made a reservation and had prepaid for their room. When they arrived at Altona, they were also moved to an inferior hotel for the night.

We have sound recordings and photographs to substantiate these events.
Comments:4 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-07-20
Posted by FoggyOne on 2007-07-20:
Let me get this straight. The hotel evidently made an error (maybe intentional) by overbooking, they apologized multiple times to you, gave you a bottle of wine, gave you a slab of chocolate, AND gave you an apology note. What do you want?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-07-20:
Wee Wee!
Posted by FoggyOne on 2007-07-20:
Oui oui...
Posted by mangomaiden on 2007-07-20:
I'm with Foggy on this one. I don't know if the OP is American, but Parisian standards of customer service are much different than what one would expect in the US. You were treated probably even better than any Parisian would've been treated. You advised them of your progressively late arrival, and they assisted you in finding last-minute accomodations, offered you tokens of their regret.... plus, a Frenchman actually apologized! This alone is a tiny miracle in itself. This place actually sounds better than any non-franchise hotel I've stayed in while in Paris.

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