Monday, January 4, 2010

Hiccup at Shangri-La

Four fun days in Bangkok over the New Year holiday were sufficient time for our group of 14 to forget about the woes of the world for a brief moment.

Back in Singapore, however, an online survey from Shangri-La Hotel, the place we stayed in, promptly reminded me of the unnecessary hassle that we were put through before we could have our room reservations confirmed.

As far as I know, it is the practice of international hotels to simply deduct a one- night room charge as deposit to secure room reservation after credit card details and authorisation have been given.

But, strangely, Shangri-La wanted something more -- it asked us to make photo-copies of our credit cards, both front and back, and to have them faxed over. The reason, it explained, was "due to security and make sure that card is same person".

Most of us were not happy, to say the least. One hotelier in our group said that it was not right to do this as we were not involved in any third-party transactions. We were all authorising our own payments and the hotel could have easily checked our credit cards on arrival.

Nevertheless, most of us complied as we did not want to create a fuss, except for one couple, who stood their ground and refused.

The husband emailed the hotel: "I have provided you full details of my credit card with which you can now receive the guaranteed full amount of one day's room rate.

"I fail to understand why you require a copy of my credit card (front and back) as this can serve no further purpose except to expose me to possibility of forgery or other malpractice as advised by American Express office here in Singapore.
They advise that it is not necessary to provide a copy of my credit card to enable you to collect the one day's room rate."

When the hotel did not reply to their objection, the couple wrote another email, this time to ask for confirmation of their reservation. It was duly acknowledged.

For not bending to the unreasonable demand of the hotel, I would award my friends, EC and May, a BOUQUET.

As for the reservation team in Shangri-La, it has to be a BOO-QUET
*** LATEST: To date (Feb 1), Shangri-La has not replied to my email. So I must assume that it will continue with its practice of asking for copies of credit cards to be faxed over before room reservations can be confirmed.

1 comment:

  1. Join again next year so you can see if they still deserve a boo-quet!