Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


May you live in interesting times.

Whoa boy. We are currently in Western Washington, helping my mom get ready for her wedding today. We came over Thursday afternoon, and I was kind of worried that Friday might drag a bit. Yeah, there were tables to be set up, and ice and kegs to pick up, and out of town family to catch up with, but that was a bunch of small things, with what I felt was sure to be a lot of down time spread through it.  Heck, at one point I even floated the idea of leaving the kids with some relatives, and my wife and I leading a group into Woodinville for wine tasting. 

Ha, ha, ha.  We had plenty to keep us busy...if not physically, then at least emotionally.  And while it wasn't my fault, I was in the thick of it.

We are staying at a hotel, and I'm going to see how the next 36 hours go to decide whether or not to name it...based on yesterday, they are on their way to a HUGE crushing at some point, but I am trying to decide if I was the victim of an individual failure, or an institutional problem.

You might want to get a drink and pull up a chair.

When we checked in Thursday, everything was fine...gave them our car information, got our keys, and I got the girls bags unpacked into drawers since we are here for 3 nights. The room was kind of 'meh', but this hotel was one of the less expensive options in the area.  We then went out to dinner, and in the shuffle of dinner/'bachelorette party' for my mom, my wife ended up with out Mazda, and I ended up with one of my mom's cars. 

Back at the hotel with a different vehicle than we had checked in with, I Did The Right Thing, and I went back to the front desk to say that we had a 2nd vehicle in the parking lot, where the same efficient employee was working who checked us in.  She had another customer at the desk, but he was yelling at his credit card company on his phone, so she asked what we needed, and I explained.  She then passed me a pad of note paper and told me to write down the info for the car, which I did, before heading back to my room, happy, because I had Done The Right Thing.

You can see where this is going, right?

08:40 the next morning, I went to bring a bag out to my moms car...but it was gone.  I went to the front desk where a new employee was working, who told me a 'parking sweep' was done, and 5 cars, including my moms, were towed, because they didn't show up in any registration paperwork.

I told him my story...how I had Done the Right Thing the night before...and instead of saying 'oh, sorry sir, our bad, let's fix that', he told me he would call the night clerk at home to verify my story, and then get back to me.

My wife wanted to go full New England on the guy, but I prevailed upon her to be calm, and give good customer service a chance to come through.

45 minutes later, I went back to the front desk, because I hadn't heard anything.  The guy told me that their night clerk couldn't remember anything, and that he was trying to get the towing company to waive the towing/impound fee for me.  My opinion was that that was between the towing company and the hotel to work out, just get my car released.  HIS opinion was that since his night clerk couldn't remember anything, it wasn't their fault, and he was gracing me with a favor, and that by noon, he might have an answer for me.

Since I wasn't getting anywhere with the local folks, and we had to get to my moms, we left in OUR car, and on the way to my moms I called the customer service line(which I had to get through via the reservation #).  I told my whole story to the customer service lady, stressing the fact that this was ONGOING, and that while I had already pre-paid for two more nights, I was willing to risk eating that if I didn't get some satisfaction. 

She took the whole story down, and says, 'Okay sir...our policy is that you here from someone about this issue within 7-days, so by July 24th'.


When I called back at noon to the hotel, someone on the phone finally accepted some responsibility, saying that the impound yard needed us to pay to get the car released, and that the hotel would then refund us that outlay on my credit card, but that was how it had to work on paper.

Fine. And that part of things wasn't without it's own challenges...and really looking at it, I'm still not sure I'm satisfied.  I know my wife and mom are not.  Like they pointed out, they really didn't do anything for us...they refunded us the cash we had to put out to get the car...but that really doesn't make up for the 6 hours of stress and the running around we had to put up with.  No comped room, no discount, no real official apology. 

Like I said, I haven't named names yet...but the next 36 hours, OR whatever response I do or do not get from the customer service folks could still change that. 

But hey...there is going to be one hum-dinger of a wedding today!

Pictures of celebrations to follow!

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