Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Really, New York Hilton?

Anyone that knows me knows how excited I've been to attend my first BlogHer conference in two days. I bought my conference pass a year ago and have been excitedly planning for this ever since, including booking a room at the conference hotel (the NY Hilton) so that I would be right where the action was for the duration of the conference and would not have to worry about any logistics once I got to New York City.

And guess what? I found out TODAY that my Hilton reservation (which has been booked since and was prepaid in April) was cancelled. I booked through 1800 Hotels, which just filed for bankruptcy, so even though the Hilton confirmed my reservation (both electronically and verbally) through Thursday of last week, they let me know today that it is now cancelled and that basically, I'm outta luck. (When I say "they let me know", I mean that 1 800 Hotels let me know via an e-mail, and I had to call the Hilton to receive confirmation of this. The Hilton did not contact me.)

I was hoping that at the very minimum they would offer me another room at the BlogHer rate ($229/night), but the best they are offering me is a standard rate of $359/night, which I don't want to shell out after (likely) losing more than $800 in the prepayment of my hotel room initially.* (I am filing a claim to be reimbursed, but knowing how bankruptcies work...I'm not holding my breath.)

I escalated this from reservations to Hilton management who was completely unsympathetic (even though I have been a Hilton Honors member for years and was exceedingly polite). Their response was that "I should have booked at the conference rate through the conference initially." Umm...when I tried to do that in April, I was told that the conference block of rooms was already sold out and the best rate they could offer me was $359 a night. Hence, my Internet sleuthing to find a rate of $229/night through 1800 Hotels.

To say that I am bummed and that this puts a serious damper on my whole BlogHer experience is probably the understatement of the century.

Also...where the hell are we going to stay? Anyone know a better hotel in the area that might be happy to have my business?

*For the record, this is a HUGE amount of money to me, and I was going to split the cost with a friend who is also attending the conference.

UPDATE 8/4: Thanks to the good people of BlogHer who responded to my pleas for help immediately, and to the Hilton, who worked with me to get the conference rate (after likely being terrified by my manifesto-style eight-page fax with supporting documentation) and to the community of bloggers who let me know that I should contact the BlogHer folk right away...it looks like I will not be homeless in New York City after all. I'll update again when I get to NYC tomorrow...and in the meantime, wish me luck on getting reimbursed by 1800Hotels...

UPDATE 2: Thanks to DC Blogs for the link today.

30 comments:

lacochran's evil twin said...

That sucks.

Try Hotels.com. Unless that's just a pseudonym for 1-800-HOTELS. Then, you may wind up in New Jersey. *shudder*

Or call Paris Hilton and see if she'll do something for you. What? It would make a great blog post.

dilettante07 said...

I checked hotels.com. It was $369/night, so even more expensive. You think when this bankruptcy happened, Hilton would have been proactive about this--just plain good customer service. Buttholes.

Dilettard07 said...

Y'know, if Hilton Hotels is not happy about people booking their rooms through brokers such as 1-800 Hotels, then they should not list with them. Plain and simple. Otherwise, don't be snarky when people have problems like what you are having.

I urge you to contact someone else within Hilton. There has got to be a sane person who can help.

Otherwise, let's do the blog equivalent of torches and pitchforks!

Ms. Givens said...

I have no helpful words except that "That sucks". I hope it turns out for the best and you still get to go.

Straight Guy said...

NY is a crazy hotel market, you never know what's going on. Somehow, I always end up there during fashion week (not participating, don't worry), and rooms just shoot up about 300%.

Geez, in midtown try the Grand Hyatt or any of those monster hotels in Times Square. If you are looking for character, try the Algonquin or Iroquois, or if you looking for edge, try the Hudson or Paramount.

That does suck. I'm sorry.

kath said...

First of all, Jersey is not that bad.

Second, my Hilton boycott starts now.

Third, I just emailed you some thoughts on hotels.

Fourth, could you contact BlogHer? They are paying mega buckaroos to the Hilton for their event and if the Hilton is gonna treat the Funniest Female Blogger in the US like DIRT, well then... Seems like you wouldn't want to piss off a bunch of women who have blogs.

Ann Imig said...

Terrible! Just saw a tweet from Elisa telling you to contact lori@blogher.com to help you.

Also, saw this tweet earlier:
T @ShoreBookworm: #BlogHer10 Need roommate! Our 3rd ditched us YESTERDAY! Hilton, t, f & s, contact mlcooper at optonline dot net.

Hope this helps! Looking forward to meeting you.

Ann

Moooooog35 said...

You could stay at my place but it's a Hell of a commute.

Sarah Lindahl said...

Oh, that sucks so incredibly bad. I'm sorry that happened to you! I'm kind of jealous that you're going to Blogher. I am a Blogher member, but not much of a traveler or socializer, but now that I'm hearing all the hoopla, I kind of want to go. I hope you get your room situation figured out. I read some good suggestions in the comments. Go over somebody's head. If they don't fix this for you I'll write a post about how much Hilton sucks ass.

Brutalism said...

Thanks you guys. Ann -- trying Lori now...thanks for the info. Hopefully will all work out. Really, really appreciate it.

Brutalism said...

Also, especially frustrating since I called Hilton THREE times to confirm this reservation after making it through 1800Hotels just to make sure. Three times they confirmed that the room was reserved and paid for (I had heard rumblings of the impending bankruptcy and called to make sure it did not affect my reservation) -- most recently, on Thursday of last week. Then today they cancelled without even contacting me.

Brutalism said...

Moooooog - Thanks for the offer...but you have a pink bathroom...

Merujo said...

This likely doesn't resolve your immediate problem (although it might) - but you should share this story with Consumerist.com -- they might pop this on their page, and you might get a decent response from Hilton.

Shame on them for not honoring this reservation!! I would be horrified to show up in NYC and find myself in your position.

ShutUpandRun said...

That sucks the big one. I would be screaming at anyone and everyone. Be sure to write up a huge review and complaint on tripadvisor.com. I can't believe they're not even helping you out.

Dilettard07 said...

Moooooog35 has a "pink bathroom," Does he?

I thought that had to be some euphemism. Right?

But not according to Urban Dictionary. It would fall right between "pink bat" and "pink BBQ" and yet no such luck. I guess he really does have a pink bathroom.

dilettante07 said...

Dear god 'tard. Now I have to poke these scissors through my brain...again.

Brutalism said...

Tard - vomit.

dilettante07 said...

Also--let's hope this Hilton thing works out. I was very concerned for you and your friend. Mostly for your friend.

Brutalism said...

Tante - My friend and I thank you for your concern. Now my only concern is that she remembers to pack underpants.

Dilettard07 said...

Hey Brutalism, that is what you get for blithely throwing around terms that should be euphemisms but are not. Of course I had to look on Urban Dictionary to see if you were secretly throwing out some new term that the kids are using.

Urban Dictionary is like a game of Russian Roulette. And this time there was a large-caliber bullet in the chamber. Not my fault. Did you want me to shoulder that kind of pain silently? Of course not. It had to be shared in this forum of group therapy.

One day at a time, one day at a time.

dilettante07 said...

Underpants were washed last night. So if they make it into the steamer trunk, they will be clean. At least, this is what your friend tells me. She's very open about the status of her undergarments.

Ed said...

That is such bullshit.

I hate fucking Hilton!

Except for Paris. I rather enjoyed that.

The that CEO of 1800 HOTELS had to have made out with some cash upon his exit.

Assholes.

Dan Pearce said...

Man, that really does suck. I have absolutely no help for you, which kind of makes me suck. Oh well. I have never once booked something WAY in advance and have it work out perfectly for me. I have, however, pre-ordered movies on Amazon, and they deliver right on schedule.

Single Dad Laughing

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Jason the Absurdist said...

I can't believe Hilton would take the risk of scorning a bunch of women who are known the publish their thoughts. What was that expression about hell again? Maybe that's why they figured it all out. So all's well that ends with a crapload of stress.

As for getting your money back from the bankruptcy if you haven't already you should contact the credit card you used to book the room. The money is long-since out of their hands but they tend to be fierce advocates for their customers and I've generally had really good luck in similar situations. Last year a travel vendor went tango-uniform and AmEx did me right by refunding my most recent yearly renewal.

And it goes without saying (so I'll say it anyway being the obviousness-lover that I am) please keep us updated here.

You know, maybe the Hilton was just looking out for you. Think of all the easy blogfodder this will provide.

Brutalism said...

Hey, Jason - I did that right away and it looks like AmEx has my back on this one. (They did a few years ago for a similar incident, too.) I cannot say enough good things about AmEx. Will post an update soon.

dilettante07 said...

By "similar incident", you mean your "segway demolition"?

Brutalism said...

Tante - That is totally similar. I need a helmet sponsor.

dilettante07 said...

Do you know of any good ones?

Snarkier Than You said...

Glad you got it sorted out! Or at least hope it all got taken care of??? It's SUCH a pita dealing with crap like this... I had an issue or three with the hotel but when it was all said and done I thought most of the staff there were pretty gracious. OK the front desk people seemed a little bedraggled but it must have been a rough weekend - lol!

: )