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.