Unhappy Upon Check In? Don’t Let Buyer’s Remorse Sink In

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Buyer’s Remorse is part of the TPOL in Shanghai Trip Report.


The Airbnb in Shanghai was awful (see Airbnb Long-Term? Never Again: My Shanghai Experience). The U Hotel was acceptable. Thanks to Citi’s 4th Night Free (now expired), I was able to book the Renaissance Yu Garden for a great rate and receive my Bonvoy benefits.

As a Titanium Elite I usually receive an upgrade, and the Renaissance’s website boasts about the great view. When I walked into my room and saw I had received neither, I was disappointed. I was also unimpressed by how dated the room was. The carpet was no longer attached to the floor.

Tired of changing hotels, I decided to accept my fate and not complain. I lay on the bed and tried to relax. I started messing with Marriott’s mobile app and saw that I could’ve stayed at the newer, nicer Marriott for the same rate. I got out of the bed to looked out the window searching for a rationale to stay. I could not find one.

This wasn’t going to cut it.

I went down to the front desk and told them I wanted to check out. Bewildered, they said I could not leave because I had already been in my room for three hours. I explained that I was dissatisfied with the view and how dated the room was. They replied that they would’ve canceled my reservation had I informed them promptly.

For one hour, I attempted to arrange a buyout. They proposed letting me check out the next day with no penalty. But for the Citi Prestige perk, I would have done so. They proposed that I could pay $70, and then I could leave. I rejected both offers. After a lot of back and forth with me repeating my side and the employee repeating hers, we both started to laugh at the situation. Ultimately, she agreed to discount my first night stay and move me to a suite with a view the next day.

Before the blog trolls say I don’t deserve it and call me entitled, be warned you will be on the Festivus 2019 list (see past Festivus celebrations here). For everyone else, the lesson is two-fold: 1) If you don’t like the room, don’t let buyer’s remorse sink in. Here, the hotel pointed out the divets in the bed to show that I had used the room and that they would have to clean it before offering it to another guest. That’s a fair point minus the cheap cost of labor. 2) If you literally sleep on your rights to complain, recognize that a little charm, a little insistence, and mild indignation can get you what you want.

When I saw the view from my room the next day, I had no regrets about my temper trantrum (see Renaissance Yu Garden: Now That’s A View!).

10 COMMENTS

  1. Deservedly or not, as a Titanium Elite, you are entitled to an upgrade including suite upgrade depending on availability.

    Blog trolls can eat cake …

    Enhanced Room Upgrade
    We’ll do our best to upgrade your room (including Select Suites), based on availability at check-in. Upgrades are subject to availability identified by each hotel and limited to your personal guest room.

  2. It’s tough finding the right balance between being a doormat and being That Guy. Nobody wants to be taken advantage of but I’ve seen so many times where some self-important douchebag (it’s almost always men) abuses the staff at check in because he’s not getting what he thinks he deserves. Given a choice, in most circumstances I’ll choose being taken advantage of rather than being a detestable human being. Not always, though.

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