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To expect Premier Inn to be honest about prices?

(43 Posts)
KellyMarieTunstall Sun 20-Jan-13 12:37:21

I booked a room a couple of weeks ago for 3 of us , 2 adults +1 child .

I booked online and got a confirmation email . It was a non refundable booking but as it was £10 cheaper it was a chance worth taking .Unfortunately we were prevented from going due to the snow. I sucked up the loss as it was a chance I took when I booked .

However today I got an invoice for a lot more than the original price with no indication of why. It cant be non attendance as that was already included and as we didnt actually stay there were no possible room additions.

I cant check with the bank until I can get out during the week and the help lines are only open Monday to Friday.

This is a copy of confirmation email and receipt(identifying details removed obviously)

Can anyone see what the extra is for ? The 20.00 refers to Vat rate . I dont know why it says Advance deposit matured as ( I thought) I paid for the room in full at time of booking.

Confirmation email day of booking.

Guest name: removed
Type of room: Family room, non-smoking
Guests: 2 Adults,1 Child
Room cost: £39.00
Total room cost:£39.00

This rate attracts a £2.00 processing fee if you choose to pay by Credit Card. Debit and Business Account Cards do not attract a processing fee.
Your total
Payment details
You have secured your reservation by deposit number **. For our cancellation policy please see Further Information below.

Total amount :

Invoice received day after stay.

Date Time Description VAT% . Debit . Credit
19/01/13 01:45 Advance Deposit Matured (****) 20.00 39.00
Reference *
Charge For 19/01/13
19/01/13 01:45 Accommodation 20.00 61.00
19/01/13 01:45 Payment 22.00
Paid by Visa Debit
GBP --- ---
61.00 61.00

KellyMarieTunstall Thu 31-Jan-13 17:27:41

spatsky this is an excerpt from the email . Explains it so well I cant better it.

{I understand that the £22.00 charge resulted from an amendment made to your booking on the day of arrival, when the team were allocating rooms to arriving guests' reservations. Unfortunately, a less experienced member of the team processed the amendment in a way that resulted in the booking picking up the available room rate on the day, which was £61.00. As such, when the team attempted to process the non arrival charge for your booking, the system showed an outstanding balance of £22.00 and thus the charge. Please be assured that I have instigated full protocol retraining with the front desk team to ensure this error is not repeated}

So human error by a (presumeably) office junior by the sound of it. Im pretty happy with this and am just glad I check everything and make a habit of complaining-although I have never had such a good result.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Thu 31-Jan-13 16:38:01

people travelling usually who can;t keep on going as they originally thought they would.

londonchick Thu 31-Jan-13 16:32:12

We were told by a receptionist at Premier Inn that they release vacant rooms but not until around 2am on the night it is vacant for. Makes you wonder who is desperate for a cheap Premier Inn room at 2am...

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Thu 31-Jan-13 16:22:50

good result, I thought that paying in advance for a non cancellable room meant that if you did cancel they still charged you, whereas the slightly higher rate is only charged when you use the room so allowing you to cancel freely up until a certain time on the arrival date, but charged if you dont cancel. also thought that if you did not show without even telling them (which would have been polite) then you were charged full rate. Mainly because they would have to hold the room for you so had no chance of offering it to anyone else and the 'drop in' rates are always higher so they would lose money from you not telling them you would not need it.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 31-Jan-13 15:44:40

I imagine different hotel chains make that call at different times. Also, 100% occupancy is pretty rare and they will have a good view of this ahead of time - I was put into an oversold hotel, they sent me to a sister
Hotel for free which was 5 star and they were v apologetic - but easier to move me, single person, one night only than other guests, I expect - and a nice bonus for me.

amicissimma Thu 31-Jan-13 15:41:17

But when do they decide that you're a no show?

Specially with PI and TL I book somewhere when I'm travelling and won't arrive till late. Should I expect my paid-for room to be occupied when I turn up exhausted and miles from any possible alternative? Maybe at midnight or 2 am?

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 31-Jan-13 15:40:19

Fine, but if you do that, prices will rise.

13Iggis Thu 31-Jan-13 15:39:12

So basically they want the chance to receive two lots of money for the same room?
I think when yoy have a "no refunds/no ammendments" style booking, you are both locked in to that deal.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 31-Jan-13 15:38:39

It's not cheating. It's the pricing model and fewer cheap rooms would be available without it.

13Iggis Thu 31-Jan-13 15:35:51

Thedoctrine - all that jargon just sounds like cheating to me.
Is it similar to the lovely practice of over-booking rooms, which we encountered in a hotel in Paris once?

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 31-Jan-13 15:35:25

.. I mean, the hotel "checked him out" in the middle of the period.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 31-Jan-13 15:34:23

But it is. If you don't check in, the hotelier reserves the right to resell the room. The price of the room can only be that low if there are a proportion of no-shows (which will be calculated by analysis of past data for the hotel chain) that can be resold at a higher price.

It's similar to overselling flights - if an airline doesn't oversell flights, it doesn't maximise the income from each plane, thereby giving it less margin with which to make discounts in the first place.

If you check in for five minutes, they shouldn't resell the room, unless you've checked back out (although this has happened to DH when he had a several night stay booked but only needed the room at the beginning and end of the period)

amicissimma Thu 31-Jan-13 15:25:32

TheDoctrine..., I don 't understand. You contract to have the room available to you for that night at that price.

If you decide to 'house your collection of air'(great expression!) or put you body in it for 5 minutes, or put your body in it for 9 hours, nothing has changed for the hotellier: they have the agreed price, you have the room at your disposal. The reselling isn't an option in any of the three scenarios.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 31-Jan-13 15:18:24

Not really, 13 - the low level of the price is predicated on an occupancy model and if they had no hope if reselling such rooms at a high price, they wouldn't offer such large discounts.

13Iggis Wed 30-Jan-13 21:23:12

It's not a risk for them though, they got money for the room - surely if I want to book a room to house my collection of air for the night then that's up to me!

CarlingBlackMabel Wed 30-Jan-13 21:07:27

Glad you got a good result, OP. Phew! Well done PI.

I was going to say though, in answer to your question "I dont see why it costs more to not stay than stay? " in marketing terms they offer low rates on or for certain dates, low enough that sometimes people might book on spec and then just not bother turning up. Maybe book several options 'just in case' with little intention of showing up. Had you actually cancelled, they could probably have re-marketed your room at a top dollar last minute rate to people who were trapped ther by the snow. So as part of the risk they take in selling you a room at cheap rates, they demand that you cancel if you don't use it so they can make up some of that risk by re-marketing it at a higher rate.

Anyway, glad it worked out well for you in the end.

Spatsky Wed 30-Jan-13 21:00:10

How did the charge end up on there then <noses and curious>

13Iggis Wed 30-Jan-13 20:56:45

I would say thumbs up to them, but a) shouldn't have happened at all, and b) they should have fixed it when you complained via the website.
Glad you've got a good resolution in the end, but it shouldn't have to be such hard work!!

knackeredmother Wed 30-Jan-13 20:55:22

This happened to me, couldn't make a booking, phoned to cancel and sucked up the £39 loss. Then they took a further £59 from my card.
I got a refund but sadly no vouchers!

threepiecesuite Wed 30-Jan-13 20:49:41

Christ, wow, that's bloody amazing and often unheard of customer service. Massive thumbs up to them, and what a bonus for you!

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Wed 30-Jan-13 20:43:11

Blimey what a result!

KellyMarieTunstall Wed 30-Jan-13 17:59:15


Having checked through this thread that it wasn't something I had stupidly missed when booking I invoked the Power of Mumsnet .grin

I emailed a complaint through the Premier Inn website but received no reply. I then put on a bad trip advisor review expressly for the reason of highlighting the extra charge and got a reply that had little to do with the content of the review.I was frustrated and no further to getting my £22.00 back.

So... I used the fantastic CEO email list to contact the ceo of Premier Inns

I explained what exactly I was annoyed about and asked for an explanation as to how this payment was attributed to an empty room.

I was pleased to get a reply the next working day. This was from the customer relations manager who promised an investigation by the end of the next working day.

I got an immediate refund of the £22.00 which was great but no explanation.

However,today I got a full and detailed explanation as to what investigation had been undertaken ,how the amount had been attributed to my booking and why the mistake had not been realised earlier plus what training would now be undertaken by relevant staff.

Impressive .

To put the icing on the cake ,as a token of apology ,an offer of £100 in vouchers has been made too grin

I didnt ask for any compensation as I didnt suffer any loss (in the end) and apart from being annoyed no damage was suffered by me. So this is a fantastic bonus.

I am very impressed at the speed at which this was resolved and with the detail in the email from the customer services manager. They have more than resolved the issue and its all down to you .

Without the Ceo email list I would still be wrestling with a denial that the charge was placed incorrectly. thanksthanksthanks

rainbowsparkles Sun 20-Jan-13 18:20:31

unless it states in the t&c's that they will charge rack rate if cancelled/no show then they can only charge the amount quoted, Vat is included in the £39. I suspect the person taking the payment didn't look at the rate or is trying to pull a fast one.

13Iggis Sun 20-Jan-13 17:50:45

I have not used a pre-paid room (with Travelodge though) and was not charged any extra. I think it looks like a mistake.

nannynick Sun 20-Jan-13 17:47:10

YANBU to expect the deposit confirmation email to state on it the full value of the room before discounts.

I've just checked one of mine and it does not say what the value of the room is, it just says that if it is cancelled or amended, I would be charged the full value.

Try calling the hotel directly to ask about why you have been charged £61 and not the lower price. If they can not tell you, then complete the feedback form on the premier inn website to see if head office can tell you.

I suspect this has something to do with the fact you did not inform them at any stage that you would not be turning up, either by cancelling online, calling central reservations or by calling the hotel directly. Thus the hotel had allocated you the room and were not given the opportunity to resell it.

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