Bait & switch at the Fleurie !!

Old Sep 5th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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Havana
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Bait & switch at the Fleurie !!

OK - what's YOUR take on this?

I've been corresponding w/Vanessa @ the Fleurie for a few days. Decided to go with a Family room. Here's her description a few days agoquot; Family room made of 2 connecting rooms: 1 standard room with queen size bed+one smaller room with double bed for 4 pers. maxi and 2 bathrooms (bath and showers)"

I learned thru forum that F.rooms on 5th floor are best & Vanessa kindly said she would definitely reserve a F.room on 5th.

Today I told her I was good to go & requested she send me an "agreement" that included the facts (dates, rate, 5th floor, etc.) so I could look it over & then give her credit card info. She said she'll need credit card info first.(?) OK.

I fax her info (for safety) & include info that I'd like to appear on agreement - just basic data PLUS the critical 5th floor.

I receive agreement with NO MENTION of floor we'll be on, AND, here's the description of our room: "1 Family room made of two connecting rooms with private bathroom." (HUH?) We're down to ONE bathroom now? I have read entries on the forum of people describing the F.r's as being 2 bedrooms with a bathroom in between, but I figured that was how they USED TO BE configured, but that's clearly not how she described the room 2 days prior.

Also, you'll note there's no commitment on bed sizes - could be anything.

In addition, agreement also states, "Buffet breakfast is charged 12 Euros per person." Now maybe that's just a "lost in translation" deal & they don't mean it's mandatory. But the fact is, when we're checking out, it would be very easy for them to tack on breakfast charges & point to the agreement. "Hey - say's right here we're going to charge you..."

Since we were corresponding in real time, I sent quick note thanking Vanessa & stating a few items were not clear to me.

Could she please state room "on 5th floor," & change "private bathroom" to "2 private bathrooms." Lastly, I mentioned that I thought breakfast was optional, but wasn't sure by the wording on the agreement.

I received no response. Niiice.

At this point I am sorry to say I have no faith in this outfit. I'd bet good money that tomorrow she'll respond in a basic message that, yes she'll put us on the 5th floor, and that there will be 2 bathrooms, and you don't have to order breakfast. I predict she will NOT amend the agreement. So that leaves me nowhere. I can't very well show up with a few emails stating one thing, when the signed agreement says something else. Which is the legal document? (duh)

At that point I will (ever so politely) request that she send me a confirmation number & statement that my reservation has been cancelled & my card will not be charged.

For what it's worth, we're talking about a substantial chunk of change here, as we WERE going to stay for 10 nights. Natually, I want to make sure we're in agreement on what I'm buying.

OK - your turn.
 
Old Sep 5th, 2005, 02:16 PM
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Hi Havana, I don't mean to sound ignorant but I have no idea where Fleurie is (France I guess?).

But this I do know from some bad experiences throughout my life.

If I am having a problem with someone I am attempting to do business with before I do business with them the situation is not going to get better after I do business with them.

If I were in your shoes I would call my credit card co. and have the charges cancelled. I would fax this person and advise of the cancellation.

I would find somewhere else to stay.

That is just my humble opinion, again from experiences I have had in life.

Best wishes to you.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 02:18 PM
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I sure understand your fears.
But I'd think if she does indeed send you an email with all those things agreed to, and you print it off to take with you, I don't see a problem when you get there. I can't imagine a place insisting you pay for breakfast for example when you have the email right there from the owner saying you don't have to.

On the other hand if you don't get back the requested "guarantees" I'd give it up and move on. There are too many hotels in Paris to put up with that kind of treatment or lack of it.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 02:19 PM
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Not ignorant at all - I should've mentioned Paris.
I am in complete agreement with you. I, too, have been in similar situations & they never get better. And since I do not trust them at all now, it really doesn't matter what they tell me. Thanks a lot. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't being paranoid.
 
Old Sep 5th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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Hey, thanks Patrick! And guess what - thanks to you, my fine friend, I received an offer for a slightly discounted rate at your much-favored Relais Saint Germain! I wrote to them just prior to deciding on Fleurie, & as luck would have it they responded right after my unfortunate response from the Fleurie.
So I appreciate your input now, as well as your past suggestions.
 
Old Sep 5th, 2005, 02:33 PM
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Ah, I don't know the Fleurie, but I'm sure you'll be happy at Relais St. Germain. Meanwhile, I must admit there has been a change of ownership since I stayed there (twice) but I understand any changes have been for the better. If you are concerned about breakfast, do check that out. When we were there breakfast was required (or included -- however you want to look at it). When we checked out there was quite an argument going on from a couple who wanted credit for it since they never ate breakfast there. It was made very clear to us however.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 02:33 PM
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Hi Havana, you were not paranoid, you were smart!!! I am glad you got your lodgins worked out. We can always count on Patrick for giving good advice!

Have a wonderful trip. Best wishes to you.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 03:01 PM
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That was strange how Vanessa sent you a confirmation stating different information although you were corresponding with her for a few days already. Regarding the breakfast charge my booking confirmations always mention the breakfast charges but it's not mandatory. Come to think of it, the word 'optional' is usually included.

If I were you I would consider the Relais St. Germain instead of the Fleurie. Btw, may I ask how you were able to get a slight discount at the RSG?
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about your experiences with the Fleurie. I'm wondering if some of this is due to inexperienced help or someone who didn't understand English all that well. I guess none of that matters now that you've lost confidence, but I wonder if a phonecall to the manager might have helped? Oh well, too late now. Anyway, enjoy the Relais St. Germaine, and please post about it when you come back!

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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I think it's fine that you changed hotels, but some of what you perceived as bait and switch may simply be 'lost in translation.'

'Two connecting rooms with private bathroom'could easily mean that each room has a bathroom. I wouldn't assume that a bathroom is missing from one of the rooms, I automatically read it as each room having a bathroom. I don't blame you for seeking clarification.

As for the breakfast, if it's optional, it's optional, they may be simply quoting the charge for it.

You also mentioned that a few days had gone by, it's also possible that if the deal had changed, perhaps the other rooms were booked by others.

I think you should get what you want, but I don't necessarily see anything here as shady or misleading.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 05:34 PM
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Hey francophile03 - good question. I simply sent them an email of inquiry stating my intended dates of stay, as well as the fact that I'd be checking in w/my daughter, but the husband would show up at some point. Went into detail to give them the option of offering a double room which was large enough to accomodate a cot, at which point we'd be charged for 3. I began said inquiry with, "Do you have any Promotions in April?" I've asked this of each hotel & some have been willing to cut a small break & others have essentially said, "Go fish." Hey, the worst they can do is say no. And if you don't ask, you'll never know if you could've gotten a better deal.
 
Old Sep 5th, 2005, 05:42 PM
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Hey Elaine - Has anyone ever accused you of having a "Pollyanna Comlex" - always looking for the good in people? I admire you for it & you'll probably live a lot longer than I will with that attitude. Suffice it to say that things of this nature have happened to me many times and I don't recall there ever being a time when they worked out well. Oftentimes people simply refuse to make the MINOR changes in the contract/agreement. It's like - "Hey, don't you trust me?" Well, to be perfectly frank, I need to have this in writing, & let's leave 'trust' out of it. If they refuse - deal-killer.
 
Old Sep 5th, 2005, 05:47 PM
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LoveItaly: I took your advice & called VISA. No charge has been placed, but apparently they cannot block a charge. I have to wait for the charge to show up & then fight it. Now there's something to look forward to - always good for at least 3 or 4 days of irritation.

In addition, I fired off a note to the Fleurie (Paris) & told them I expect a Cancellation Confirmation tomorrow stating specifically that my card will not be charged. I'm sure they'll write back & throw themselves on my mercy. I am confident that they'll make it very difficult. "Zee sharge, eet az gone sruw, Madame..."
 
Old Sep 5th, 2005, 05:49 PM
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I agree with Elaine, I don't really "read" their response the way you do. I have stayed at the Fleurie (as mentioned in your other post) and the people are lovely. I'd call them directly and discuss your specific requirements with them and then ask for written confirmation. Most reviews here are very positive so it seems strange that there'd be a bait and switch.

Good luck.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 05:54 PM
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mvor - I left out a critical piece of data. I spoke briefly with Vanessa on the phone this morning. In my original message, you'll see I said, "Today I told her.." Well, I meant that literally. I told her on the phone. I wanted to give her my card info by phone instead of email but she said they don't take card numbers over the phone.(?)
At that point I quickly touched on what I needed to have in the Reservation. I mentioned: 2 bedrooms/2 bathrooms ("Of course, Madame"), a room on the 5th floor ("it would be my pleasure.") "Great, if you could please include that in the Contract, we'll be all set." The faulty contract arrived 30 minutes later.
 
Old Sep 5th, 2005, 05:59 PM
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I don't suppose it really matters at this point, but I don't find the correspondence very unusual for a hotel nor justifying any charge of "bait and switch". It sounds to me like they have a rather standard form that they use for confirmations, and that's all. I agree with Elaine on your interpretation of the bathroom thing. I think virtually always when hotels have two connecting rooms, they are just putting together two doubles and they would have a bathroom in each. It could easily be interpreted as Elaine says, there is a bathroom with each room, in fact, that is what I would normally interpret that phrase as meaning.

There isn't anything about the form they mailed that claimed breakfast was mandartory, they just gave you the price. By law, it is not mandatory. That phrasing that breakfast is charged at a certain price is nothing unusual, either.

I don't know why you got so bent out of shape about that, I think you are being a little too picky. The only thing I would have liked differently was that the room was on a certain floor, but a lot of hotels won't guarantee things like that. Maybe some will. I don't even require that of the hotels I know and stay at frequently in Paris -- I give them a couple of my favorite room numbers, and ask for a room reservation for a room similar to those in size and position, and that is what they put on the confirmation. Even though my favorite hotel always gives me almost the exact room I request, and I've been going there about 10-12 years, they won't put in writing that they guarantee a specific floor.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 06:25 PM
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It looks to me like you won't be happy if you stay at the Fleurie and I think that's a shame since it would meet your needs. I reread your initial post and I still read the bathroom info the same as Elaine and Christine:

....two connecting rooms with private bathroom...

To me if it said private bathroom(S), I'd assume there were more than one for each room. And regarding the breakfast price that they're quoting, I read that as an FYI not that you must take it (although it's good according to my husband; I'm more of lingerer (sp?) in the am and would rather soak in the tub than eat).

Lastly, asking for the CC ino in writing doesn't raise any alarms for me but I can understand that you want your trip to be perfect for you so good luck.

I look forward to your hotel (and trip) review upon your return.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 06:31 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Great you got a small discount at the RSG especially as April is not low season. The hotel will send you a cancellation confirmation eventually. I never thought that the hotels put holds on credit cards when they make the reservations. But maybe some do and some don't. As to the specific rooms it's true not many hotels can guarantee that. I know that one hotel I booked was the only one that would guarantee a specific room number. Others could only say they would try their best to give me the room I requested.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 06:42 PM
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LOL, that elaine, always such a Pollyanna
Havana, elaine has been to Paris many many times, I think she was speaking from experience .. If you spoke to Vanessa before the contract, did you speak to her after? or just assume that the "faulty contract" was faulty?
I have heard so many good things about the Fleurie, I am sorry you decided against them, but I do hope you enjoy the Relais St Germain.
Most of the hotels we stay in have optional breakfast charges on their rate sheets, but no one has ever been made to pay for a breakfast that they did not eat.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 06:43 PM
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P.S. sorry for the typos above.

P.P.S. Are you booking 2 rooms at RSG or 1 room and a cot? Will a cot work for your 12 year old? Sorry if I have the details confused; it's been a long week. Again, good luck.
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