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I think I offended Julie... :( (a little long)

I think I offended Julie... :( (a little long)

Apr 28th, 2003, 10:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 234
I think I offended Julie... :( (a little long)

I was trying to make a reservation at Hotel Monge, but I wanted to find out the cancellation policy before I sent my credit card number. Here is a transcript of our correspondence. Julie did not reply to my last email. Anyone have any suggestions? What did I do wrong? Thanks.
Comments (this was on the original request on the Paris Hotels site):
Bonjour Madame ou Monsieur,
We would like to reserve 2 quiet double rooms on the Arena side of the
hotel. Thank you very much.

Dear sir / madam,
Thank you for your e-mail. We are pleased to inform you that we have
availability for:
*two double rooms (with shower, street view and one large bed in each) at
95 Euro/night for each room
Breakfast (continental): 6,10 Euro / person (optional)
City Tax : 1 Euro / person / night
All our rooms are with private bathroom (with toilet and hairdryer), TV, telephone, mini bar.
If you want to reserve could you please confirm (by e-mail or fax ONLY)
with your credit card Visa, Mastercard or Amex (NAME, NUMBER AND EXPIRY
Dear Julie,
Thank you very much for your prompt reply. I have one question before I confirm our reservation. What is your cancellation policy? If I send you my credit card number, am I committed to paying for a certain number of nights? Or can I cancel the entire reservation until a certain date? (The reason I ask is that one of our party is ill, and we are not entirely certain at this time that she will be able to make the trip in October.) Thank you again.
Best regards,
Dear madam,
Could you please contact us as soon as you ensure your trip in october.

Best Regards,
Dear Julie,
Again, I thank you for your prompt reply. Perhaps I was not clear in my previous email. We would like to make reservations now. I just want to know what your cancellation policy is in case we are forced to cancel in a month or two. We do not plan to cancel; we very much want to come to Paris. Can you please describe the cancellation policy for me? I will then email back my credit card number.
Merci beaucoup and best regards,
QueenMab is offline  
Apr 28th, 2003, 10:59 AM
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I ask about cancellation policies if they aren't listed, have never "ofended" anyone.

Might I suggest that you were too wordy for a non-english speaker? You don't need to explain WHY your want their policy, it is something they should be happy to provide for clarity.

Or, maybe they will get back to you went they have time.
elberko is online now  
Apr 28th, 2003, 11:00 AM
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Hi Barbara,

I think we have a failure to communicate.

It is possible that Julie's English is not sufficient to comprehend your questions.

Perhaps if you ran your last eml through a text translator it would help.

came up with

Cher Julie,
Encore, je merci pour votre réponse prompte.
Peut-être je n'étais pas clair dans mon e-mail précédent.
Nous aimerions faire des réservations maintenant.
Je viens de vouloir savoir que votre politique d'annulation est au cas où nous sommes forcés à annuler dans un mois ou deux.
Nous n'avons pas l'intention d'annuler; nous beaucoup le besoin pour venir à Paris.
Vous pouvez plaire décrivez la politique d'annulation pour moi? J'alors enverrai un e-mail à de retour mon numéro de carte de crédit.

I put in the paragraphs. It looks OK, but my French is limited.
ira is offline  
Apr 28th, 2003, 11:04 AM
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I think now would be the time to pick up the phone. Surely it is worth a couple of bucks to get the info you need. At the same time, you can provide your credit card number and secure your reservation.

International phone: +331 43 26 87 90
International fax: +331 43 54 47 25
Lesli is offline  
Apr 28th, 2003, 11:13 AM
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I agree with the above note that you should not have said why you want to know the policy. You just as much said to them "we will probably cancel." Why should they accept your reservation when you've given them that message? If they aren't going to have trouble filling their rooms, they would be silly to commit a room to someone who has already told them they might cancel.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Apr 28th, 2003, 11:14 AM
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Forgot to add, so you haven't offended Julie, Julie is just making the logical business decision under the circumstances you presented her with.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Apr 28th, 2003, 11:19 AM
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Just realized I missed Julie's "final" reply.

I agree with the previous reply's take on the situation.
elberko is online now  
Apr 28th, 2003, 11:22 AM
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I doubt if you've offended her but your message is too long and complicated, idiomatic, etc. It's hard to understand for a non-native speaker. it's just not clearly written. I imagine that's the problem, she doesn't understand what you're going on about.

I think you should have asked that in your first email, not after you've already had her reply and do work. It gets too complicated to expect a hotel clerk to answer so many different emails. Also, I note that it doesn't sound like they had a room like you wanted, anyway -- if street view is not the same as arena view.

Unless you intend to cancel at the very last minute, I really wouldn't worry about it. I've never heard of a Parisian hotel that had a cancellation policy more stringent than 3 days, and most are 24-48 hours. The only exceptions I've seen to that are more in resort areas or areas that really depend heavily on seasonal business, like Provence, and they make that very clear in their replies.
Christina is online now  
Apr 28th, 2003, 11:26 AM
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I think now is the time to use the phone. Call to book, starting anew (don't reference any of this email) and do not disclose the health situation of anyone in your party. Inquire *very simply* as to the cancellation policy (ie What is your cancellation policy?). Nothing more. If need be, send your credit card via fax or email if they request. I would not get into the specifics of the circumstances because you are only confusing matters.

I think your emails were just too wordy and confused Julie.
amyb is offline  
Apr 28th, 2003, 11:26 AM
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oh, I can understand the intent, but I really would not send an email using an automatic translator for your letter, such as the above example. It has a lot of mistakes in it. It will be more confusing to be corresponding in machine French than in English, your sentences and thoughts were just too complicated and unstructured.
Christina is online now  
Apr 28th, 2003, 11:28 AM
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Is it possible that Julie has gone home for the day? Remembeer they are 6 hours ahead of east coast time. What time was your last message sent?
jsmith is offline  
Apr 28th, 2003, 11:36 AM
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Thanks for all your responses. I thought I kept my messages simple, but I guess not simple enough. And I agree it was a mistake to mention my friend's illness. I sent the last email on Friday, so I'm sure she's gotten it by now. I will either call when I get home or have my husband make the reservation through his email. I still wish I knew for sure what their cancellation policy is, though.
QueenMab is offline  
Apr 28th, 2003, 01:54 PM
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Ira, the French of that translation is so atrocious that it might be best to stick to English. Feeble linguistic attempts done orally are accepted with good grace by most people, but many would reject similarly written attempts; at least you would have them LOL. Thanks for the sample, it tells me not to use such a translation system should I ever need a translation into a language I do not know.
Michael is offline  
Apr 29th, 2003, 06:37 AM
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First of all, the hotel shouldn't be having "Julie" responding to possible revenue generating situations..in other words SALES, unless her English is good. My experience in dealing with hotels via e-mail, and I've had a LOT of experience, is that they sometimes include their cancellation policy in the initial e-mail, sometimes they don't. Unless you are absolutely dying to stay in this particular establishment and decide to call them their lack of response may be indicative of their overall service level and you might consider an alternative accommodation.
Apr 29th, 2003, 07:42 AM
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I had a very pleasant, though brief, stay at the Hotel Monge last August. I just looked up my e-mail exchanges with Julie (nice person, if a bit slow to warm up - I think she's just a bit shy).
When I received my confirmation, it included the following paragraph.

Veuillez noter que toute annulation doit être effectuee au maximum 15 jours avant la date d'arrivee. Au cas où l'annulation ne serait pas effectuee dans les delais indiques ci-dessus, la charge d'annulation serait equivalente au coût de la première nuit du sejour pour chaque chambre reservee.

Loose translation: If you cancel you must do so no less than 2 weeks in advance. Otherwise you will be charged the equivalent of one night's stay for each room reserved.

I suppose the policy might have changed since then, but I doubt it. I agree with others that it would be best to call, though you might need to speak to someone other than Julie. I don't think her English is all that good. Hope this helps.
Betty1 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2003, 07:47 AM
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did you solve your problem ?
I don't think that calling would be a good idea, it's too difficult to understand spoken english if you already have problem writting it.

if you decide to send an email in French here is the correction at the bottom of this message. I think the quality of teh automatic one is quite good.

You can ask her if you would have to pay for the nights if you can't come to Paris. Can you tell them the day before that you are not coming and in that case what will you have to pay.


Chere Julie,
Encore merci pour votre ryponse rapide.
Peut-ytre que je n'ytais pas claire dans mon e-mail prycydent.
Nous aimerions faire les ryservations maintenant.
Je voudrais savoir AVANT quelle est votre politique d'annulation au cas ou nous serions forcys d'annuler notre voyage. Nous n'avons pas l'intention d'annuler : nous avons vraiment besoin de venir y Paris.

Merci, salutations

Vous pouvez plaire dycrivez la politique d'annulation pour moi? J'alors enverrai un e-mail y de retour mon numyro de carte de crydit.
Celine_fyly is offline  
Apr 29th, 2003, 07:48 AM
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ooops, all the accented word became Y. Queen Mab if you still need help, just email me celine-AT-cs.cmu.edu

Celine_fyly is offline  
Apr 29th, 2003, 08:29 AM
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Celine, IRA posted practically the same automatic translation with almost the same mistakes.

I?m interested, however, why IRA?s accented letters appeared correctly but not Celine?s. I had the same problem.
hike is offline  
Apr 29th, 2003, 08:30 AM
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And I am having it now !
hike is offline  
Apr 29th, 2003, 08:51 AM
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Hike, my text was actually a corrected translation for the automatic one. I just paraphrased the automatic translation.

Celine_fyly is offline  

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