Congratulations! You've been chosen to be the guest speaker at headquarters in Washington to speak to the masses. You've stayed up days on end preparing for this moment.
It's one o'clock in the morning and you've finally reached land from being in the skies for two days straight. Your trek to get there was no easy task; however you still made it through with flying colors in spite of your luggage being lost. Seven hours until show time and all you're looking for is a hassle-free entry into your sweet suite and a good night’s rest.
It's your turn at the counter and the front desk agent informs you that they had to release your room because receipt of the direct bill was never received. You immediately start pulling out the emergency travel phone numbers, struggling to keep your composure, and still maintain your spot in line.
Direct billing is a privilege that companies provides to employees, contractors or even guest speakers, securing that all charges are directed to the company. But this privilege can turn disastrous if not followed through properly.
You found the emergency assistance phone contact number, but the words that proceed from your mouth sounds more like poltergeist than a professional. You're standing there with your hotel confirmation locked in on your iPhone, no credit card of your own, and the hotel is fully booked with no sight of availability anywhere in the city.
What on earth, wind and fire is going on? The emergency consultant contacts the hotel directly for you and makes a plea in your defense. She kindly asks the front desk clerk if there is a manager on duty, but there isn't one. So she now has to discuss a crucial matter to the agent on duty and trust that they are capable of making an executive decision.
First and foremost, always allow cooler heads to prevail. A report from http://consumer.findlaw.com/travel-rules-and-rights/how-to-resolve-disputes-while-traveling, demonstrates how effective a tool to utilize during your travel trauma.
Second, the emergency consultant will request to have the agent verify on their fax machine if such receipt was ever received or maybe even overlooked.
Third, if the receipt was never received, the next approach would be for the consultant to find out if she has approval from your company to send a direct bill authorization form by fax to the hotel. This will have all the credit card information needed to apply the room charges to a corporate card, while miraculously securing the room that you were intended for.
We are a species fortunate enough to learn from things overlooked during our travels. Just because it says "confirmed" doesn't always mean confirmed. Here are a few gifts of wisdom that may prevent future agonies with defeat in mind.
- Contact your travel coordinator to ensure receipt of direct bill was sent and the room is indeed paid for.
- Contact the hotel directly yourself or have your secretary call to ensure this has been fulfilled.
- Always take along with you a credit card of your own just in case.
- Share the knowledge of your experience with other colleagues to prevent a situation turning into a problem.
- Check this out http://consumer.findlaw.com/travel-rules-and-rights/hotel-questions-and-answers.html.
The very things that we teach our children about being proactive we must remember to inculcate these very laws into our lives as well. Remember, it may take a thousand lifetimes to learn one lesson, but once you got it, put it to practice.