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Friday, November 29, 2013

Rashes Are Easy


Some hotels visits are hard; some are easy. I love the easy ones.

A lady at a Sunset Strip hotel had seen a doctor for an allergic rash, and now she wasn’t feeling right. Rashes are easy, and her symptoms were probably medication side-effects, so I expected no problem. That seemed to be the case. Her rash was improving, and she agreed to stop the medicine.

She handed me her Visa card. I took out my cell phone, dialed the credit card company’s computer, and entered a series of numbers at its request. It denied approval. This often means a typing error, so I entered the numbers again. Another denial.

In the distant past, guests would apologize profusely and promise to send a check once they returned home. Some kept the promise, but I quickly decided this was not the way to go.

This guest seemed genuinely puzzled. She wondered if the hotel was responsible. At check-in, a hotel often places a hold on a large sum from the guest’s credit card to ensure it gets paid. She wondered if this exceeded her limit. She phoned the front desk and confirmed this. There followed a long series of calls, referrals, consultations, and arguments before the hotel agreed to remove the hold. It worked. The computer reversed itself and approved.

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