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Anyone else waiting forever for responses to faxes and emails sent to Germany?

Anyone else waiting forever for responses to faxes and emails sent to Germany?

Sep 7th, 2003, 01:05 PM
  #1  
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Anyone else waiting forever for responses to faxes and emails sent to Germany?

It seems that I have completely struck out with faxes. I sent 6 faxes to Hotels or Gasthauses in Germany and not a single one of them replied. I also sent about 8 emails to inquire about vacancies and only two establishments bothered to reply. Plus the faxes and emails were written in GERMAN!
roterbaron is offline  
Sep 7th, 2003, 01:08 PM
  #2  
 
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Two questions:
How long ago did you send them?
When are you inquiring about?

I've learned that many won't answer way ahead of time, so if you are looking at next spring or summer, it is likely you won't get a response.
Patrick is offline  
Sep 7th, 2003, 01:26 PM
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I have also found that some really small B&Bs and Gasthauses sometimes have a friend or realtive with the computer or fax machine - or they pay someone for the service - or they only check their e-mail a few times a week. They usually have either a very small staff or no employees, just family members. Running a B&B is a lot of work and sometimes it take a week or more for them to get to e-mail/faxes.

Larger places are usually faster but as Patrick says - often they won't respond to enquiries about bookings too far ahead. For instance if one is asking about staying next summer - they don't even know what their rates are yet.

BTW - I'm sure you dialed the faxes correctly - but just in case --- did you use the correct international dialing?
janis is offline  
Sep 7th, 2003, 01:32 PM
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I booked a Comfort Hotel in Cologne via website, and that one doesn't involve email, just the online confirmation.

I also have booked at a small hotel in St Goar, and yes, agree that it is a wait for a response. The initial reservation was made a few months ago, and the proprietor mentioned her computer was down once she did email me back a confirmation. But now I am just following up (reconfirming) and have waited several days... most likely, I'll end up calling (that s/b interesting, since I don't understand German - she did answer in short sentences in English so it might be OK)...The other thing is - I think if hotel is full, they may not respond very quickly.
Travelnut is offline  
Sep 7th, 2003, 02:15 PM
  #5  
ira
 
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Dear Roterbaron,

In addition to the above, I don't think that it is unusual for a German to send you a FAX or eml in German.
ira is offline  
Sep 7th, 2003, 02:17 PM
  #6  
 
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Maybe they're on vacation so no answer.

Not sure why they'd reply in German if you inquired in English.
francophile03 is offline  
Sep 7th, 2003, 03:14 PM
  #7  
 
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It's a common phenomenon. Your experience is reflected in the experiences of many, many others on this board and in my own. Germans just do not rely on this technology in the religious way that we do - they prefer the phone.

Call them - you'll get an immediate response - then call once again as your trip approaches to confirm.
Russ is offline  
Sep 7th, 2003, 03:32 PM
  #8  
 
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Roterbaron, your statement 'plus the faxes and emails were written in German' is a little ambiguous. To whose faxes and emails are you referring, yours or the proprietors'? In other words, were you surprised when the replies came written in German, or were you particularly surprised by the long wait for a response, given that your inquiries were written in German?

How far in advance are you attempting to book? Some small places don't bother taking reservations until only a couple of months in advance.

My own inquiries to German establishments (7 of them) were sent out about 3-4 months in advance, and I got responses within about 3 days. (I do remember a Swiss place or two that took a couple of weeks to respond, but my inquiries came when they were at the height of the winter ski season.) My faxes and emails were written in as simple English as I could devise, with what I hoped were acceptable German translations in parentheses. The replies always came in English. (I always began an email by acknowledging I don't speak German.)

Hope your luck improves.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Sep 7th, 2003, 07:12 PM
  #9  
 
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I thought it was clear that roterbaron meant he wrote in German (implying there would not be a communication issue), since he said no one had responded at all to the FAXes and few emails.
Christina is offline  
Sep 7th, 2003, 08:47 PM
  #10  
 
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On Friday I sent an e-mail requesting a reservation at a hotel in Regensberg, Germany. I received a very gracious reply confirming my reservation within the hour even though it was 8:00 p.m. German time.

Last month, the same thing happened with an e-mail I sent to an inn in Berchestgaden (spelling?). Also got an immediate reply from the Schloss Durnstein in Austria.

I agree with Sue that I always start by saying that I speak only a few words in German and try to write as simply and clearly as I can. The replies have all been in very good, and often charming, English.
gualalalisa is offline  
Sep 8th, 2003, 04:14 AM
  #11  
 
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Christina

It seems some respondents were confused, and so it seems fair enough to give roterbaron a chance to clarify.

With a handle like 'roterbaron' it would appear likely he/she can speak German. (I wonder if poster 'Snoopy' has met Roterbaron? )
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Sep 8th, 2003, 04:24 AM
  #12  
ira
 
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Please disregard my previous post. I misread yours.
ira is offline  
Sep 8th, 2003, 07:38 AM
  #13  
abp
 
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I have found calling so easy and than they e-mail a confirmation. I signed for ATT monthly German plan for a month for two dollars a month and .15cents per minute and will cancel when we get back next month. The reg long distance price was about 1.75 per minute. I keep my questions simple and I have had no problems.
abp is offline  
Sep 8th, 2003, 11:13 AM
  #14  
 
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I e-mailed our little hotel in Beilstein last week and asked for driving directions from Frankfurt airport to the hotel. Within 48 hours they not only e-mailed directions but the km mileage for every change of road number. Quite nice.
maitaitom is offline  
Sep 8th, 2003, 12:15 PM
  #15  
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Clarification:
My inquiries were sent approx. 3 weeks in advance of the requirements for accomodation.
roterbaron is offline  
Sep 8th, 2003, 12:21 PM
  #16  
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To ira and francophile:
I think you missed my point completely: I sent the faxes and emails in GERMAN - I am bilingual as doubtful as that may seem. So a German business should be even more inclined to answer a fax or email within a reasonable time - say 5 business days.
roterbaron is offline  
Sep 9th, 2003, 10:35 AM
  #17  
 
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Don't know about the emails, unless the places you're sending emails to are small and don't check them that often, as another poster said. It does cost money to send a fax, and if there's no availability, I can see why it might be cost prohibitive for a smaller hotel/B&B not to respond to overseas inquiries.
Marge is offline  
Sep 10th, 2003, 04:53 PM
  #18  
 
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I emailed several "Gasthausen"/B&Bs and were able to get responses from them the next day. These were places in Bayern (Bavaria), Munchen, and Berlin.

Most of them responded in German, unless it's a very touristy area. You could try going to Babelfish for translating the information.
provence97 is offline  

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