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"Lost" reservation for Venice B&B - need advice

"Lost" reservation for Venice B&B - need advice

May 4th, 2014, 10:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 429
"Lost" reservation for Venice B&B - need advice

I made a reservation for a highly rated B&B in Venice last September and sent an email to reconfirm it a week ago. The first reply I received said that she did not have the reservation, but when I sent the emails from September showing that I had a conformed reservation, I received an email on May 1st saying that she had mixed up the names and that we DID have a confirmed reservation. I thanked her and asked for directions, which she sent, and then thanked her for sending them and said that we looked forward to staying at the B&B on May 11th.

Yesterday (May 3rd), I received an email saying that we had not responded to her request that we reconfrim! I have sent multiple emails with no response and called at least 25 times. I am certain that I am calling the number correctly (O11 39 then the number listed in the email from a landline; +39 plus the number from a mobile phone). It rings and rings with no answer.

We are leaving for Italy in 3 days and I am very concerned as to whether our reservation will be honored. I will keep emailing and calling but if I don't hear back, I don't know whether to show up and hope that we have a reservation, or reserve another place. She has our credit card number to hold the reservation.

Please help us determine the best course of action. We have been dreaming of visiting italy, and specifically Venice for 25 years and are very distressed.
drchris is offline  
May 4th, 2014, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
"Yesterday (May 3rd), I received an email saying that we had not responded to her request that we reconfirm!"

With communication so scattered and schizophrenic, I, too would be concerned. In fact, the first sign of unprofessional behavior from a service business, I move on to a Plan B. I understand a lot of people plan their trips around very specific hotels and costs, and would be willing to cut some slack for human error. Not me. When things go wrong, especially when they shouldn't, there usually is a good reason for it.

If I were you, I would call every phone number you can find for the business until you get your answer. In the meantime, create a Plan B.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 4th, 2014, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,467
I would also. They sounds nuts, frankly. First, there is no requirement that you HAVE to reconfirm reservations to begin with in any place I've ever stayed. Second, you said the B&B even responded to your query with directions, so what on earth are they talking about. They shouldn't be running a business that way.
Christina is offline  
May 4th, 2014, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 111
Sounds like the double booked and when and if you arrive, be prepared to be turned away. If you don't show up, be prepared to have your card charged. I would take 3 steps:
1. Book elsewhere.
2. Send them an email that puts them on notice that, because of their error, you will not be staying with them (lay it all out in detail as a record of sorts).
3. Call the credit card company and have them set to block any and all charges from this business. (You can always dispute later but it would be easier on the front end).

If you really want to be sneaky in contacting them, use a different email address to make a different inquiry. I suspect they respond much more quickly to the new potential guest.
RoamEurope is offline  
May 4th, 2014, 01:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,122
If you can find a Fax number for the B&B, I'd also send a message that way, either confirming or cancelling, whatever you decide.

But I'm with FoodSnob... At the first sign of unreliability or doubt, I move on.
Jean is offline  
May 4th, 2014, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
RoamEurope assumes crooked or shifty. I almost never think like that. I knew a B&B owner in Italy who grew too old to handle the responsibility, and she was in denial about the messes she caused. It's very difficult to know what you may never know, but I don't think it does any good to assume the worst in people.

Jean's advice about sending a fax is spot on. Many former pensione have a history of reliance on fax for confirmation. Some B&Bs still require it.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 4th, 2014, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,692
A lot of small hotels and B&Bs in Italy are very inconsistent about checking their email. A fax, if they have a fax number, is much more likely to get attention. I suspect that she either got you mixed up with someone else again, or that she accidentally overbooked.
bvlenci is offline  
May 4th, 2014, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 950
We stayed at the Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo and had a great experience. I highly recommend this place:

halfapair is offline  
May 4th, 2014, 03:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,550
"...calling the number listed in the email from a landline..."

Have you checked the number listed in the email to see if it's the same as the one listed on the website?

When making your call allow for timezone differences (they won't answer the call at 2 in the morning ) and busy periods eg. breakfast time, check in and check out times (too busy to answer calls).

Would it help letting us know the name of the B&B?
worldinabag is offline  
May 4th, 2014, 05:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
I think there are just too many risks with these people who are either very confused or tying to hide that they overbooked.

I would send then email, fax and phone call saying that since they have not responded to you - you will be staying elsewhere.

Reserve another place and block the first place from charging to your credit card.
nytraveler is offline  
May 5th, 2014, 03:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 429
Thanks to all. I have been reluctant to put the name out but at this point perhaps I should. It is Aquavenice B&B.

I have taken time zones into account and have called at all hours of the day and evening allowing for Italian time. I woke up at 4 am (11 am in Italy) this morning from the anxiety and began calling - still no answer on either number I have managed to locate. I have sent more emails and texts and will try a fax. Maria always responded to my emails very quickly in the past. Actually, I think there may be sisters with the same name and I wonder if I am getting conflicting emails from two people with the same name. The email address is the same.

We have started looking for another place to stay but it will be difficult to find anything as nice and as reasonably priced at this late date. I have been planning this trip since last July and hoped everything would go smoothly as we are celebrating our 45th anniversary!

I had checked Al Ponte Mocenigo when I was looking for a room and it was booked then as it is now.

Thank you again for your advice and encouragement.
drchris is offline  
May 5th, 2014, 03:45 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,692
Maybe they just use the name Maria.

When I was a young starving proofreader, I worked for a short time in a customer service center. There were five young women answering the phone there, and we were told that if anyone asked our name, we were to give the name "Kathy". Then if someone called and asked for Kathy, we would say, "Speaking!"
bvlenci is offline  
May 5th, 2014, 04:01 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,904
In a very quick Google search, I am finding two phone numbers for this B&B. Have you tried both?

Residenza Cannaregio, 30100 Venezia, Italy
+39 041 244 0026

Telefono/Fax +39 041 52 89 705
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 5th, 2014, 04:17 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
4 AM (from U.S. East Coast) is a good time to call. Very strange that you are receiving no answer, and not a good sign. I see their phone number and fax number are the same, which seems unusual to me. Their website is terrible (typically generic and prefab), so first impressions are not good.

Looks to me like you based your hopes on cost and the Trip Advisor reviews, and both can be very problematic.

There are tons of inexpensive hotels near the Aquavenice, and the quality is about the same. At rock-bottom prices, even with a host's welcoming smile, we're not talking shangri-la. You may have to accept a smaller room size at this late date, but how much time and activity do you have planned for your room? May is so gorgeous outside, I doubt you'll want to stay in much.

May is a popular month, but I'd be surprised if everything near the train station is booked.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 5th, 2014, 05:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,960

You might want to do the following for some peace of mind:

If you end up booking another B&B or a hotel in Venice because you still can't get through to Aquavenice in these last hours before you fly to Italy, you might want to call the company whose credit card you used to book your stay at the Aquavenice. MasterCard? Visa? Amex? Tell them that you canceled your reservation at the Aquavenice and that you will not pay any charges from the Aquavenice if they should show up on your credit card. Your situation seems maddening enough that you might be charged by the Aquavenice for not showing up even though the B&B is clearly at fault and you sensibly had to book elsewhere.

Before calling the credit card company, you should send Aquavenice an e-mail clearly canceling that reservation. Keep that e-mail as evidence. Maybe Aquavenice will respond to your cancellation, but it doesn't look as if they will.
wanderful is offline  
May 5th, 2014, 06:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 429
Good news - I hope! After sending another email and text this morning, I received an email response that our reservation is confirmed. As I work in a "people profession," I will assume that they made an honest mistake and perhaps were away or had a family "situation" or health issue over the weekend. Just in case, however, I will have a back up list of other places to stay. I am loathe to make a reservation elsewhere and have to cancel it at the last minute (assuming our reservation at Aquavenice will be honored) as that seems unfair to the other property owner. I will, however, alert the credit card company of the situation just in case something goes awry.

ekscrunchy - I have called both phone numbers - the one on the website and the one in the emails. Thanks!

NYCFoodSnob - Perhaps we have found different web sites as the one I looked at was pretty elaborate, with lots of photos, a video with music in the background, etc. Before booking, I read many reviews on several sites and all were positive. When I am researching, as soon as I read about a problem (especially if mentioned by more than one person), I stop reading and look elsewhere.

Thanks to everyone for your investment of time and thought. What would I do without faithful Fodorites?
drchris is offline  
May 5th, 2014, 07:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,467
I thought the website looked okay http://www.aquavenice.com/

It's not my style at all, that fusty old stuff (the furniture), but the website looks okay. The woman who owns it appears to be named Maria, it's at the top of the website.

If you now got a reply saying you have a confirmation, it's probably ok. I don't excuse what they said, though, I don't care if they were away or not, makes no sense. And if two people are using the same name, they should be sharing the same email messages they are responding to, not each making up their own account. Maybe they are just not good with emails or something, I have an older relative like that, she is always getting confused about emails.
Christina is offline  
May 5th, 2014, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 625
drchris: hope you have a wonderful trip, and that Venice treats you with all her famous charm!
kovsie is offline  
May 5th, 2014, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
"Perhaps we have found different web sites as the one I looked at was pretty elaborate, with lots of photos, a video with music in the background, etc."

There is only one aquavenice.com. The site does not work properly in Firefox. Perhaps you don't know how to tell the difference between a custom web design and a prefab template. Mercurio Servizi is a hosting service that provides additional web design services to customers who know nothing about web design but need a website. Your sense of elaborate, IMO, is a dupe. I work in professional, custom code design, so I know what I'm talking about.

I'm glad you got a response. I hope you're not met with unpleasant surprise.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 5th, 2014, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,444
dchris - I hope that the latest news is a good omen, and that it all works out well, but I agree that having a back-up plan is a good idea.

dare I ask what time you arrive in Venice? I hope that it is early enough for you to be enjoying a spritz and some cicchetti to celebrate your anniversary wherever you end up!
annhig is offline  

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