February 6th, 2007


Shitting bricks

That was very nearly the biggest mistake of my life.

Rewind. I found out earlier today that the hotel reservations for Comic-Con had opened up, but by the time I tried to get one they were all sold out. Shit. I tried a few times, but got nowhere. So when I got home from work, I tried again. Still nothing. I decided to bypass the SDCC booking service entirely and go straight to the hotel websites, because maybe they kept some rooms aside for other guests.

I was batting zero for a while, but then the Holiday Inn On The Bay let me make a reservation. Awesome! I select the cheapest option (about $187/night) and go through the whole thing, give my credit card info and all that, and click confirm.

The total comes to over $7,000.

I had accidentally selected June 25, not July 25, as my arrival date, but correctly entered July 30 as the departure date. I'd just reserved a 2-bed room for 35 days. And to get that lower price, I'd taken the advance payment option, which you still have to pay for even if you cancel.

I tried to correct my reservation on the site, but it wasn't working. So in a panic I tried to call the hotel (nobody there but an answering machine), then Holiday Inn's main reservation line. The woman there tried to shorten my stay to just the 5 days in July I wanted, but it wasn't working. Apparently they're booked for those days (although why it allowed me to reserve a room for those days as part of a longer stay makes no sense), and she insisted that an advance payment reservation couldn't be cancelled. I was on the verge of crying, and getting nowhere. I suggested that she shorten it down to one day, any day,not necessarily in that 5-day range, that I'd just pay for as a stupidity tax. I was really grasping at straws.

She said she'd try something, and then there was silence. A lot of silence. For what seemed like forever. She briefly reappeared to say she was working on it, and then yet another ball-twisting eternity of dead air. Finally, she came back on the line, and told me that she got it cancelled. I confirmed that that meant that I wouldn't be paying for any of it, and she gave me a cancellation number to give to my credit card issuer in case the charge had already been registered. I thanked her profusely.

Afterwards I tried a few more hotels, but that experience had sucked the will out of me, and I gave up pretty quickly. So I'm still without a room for me and my friend. But at least I'm not in massive debt for no good reason.

I need a drink. And a heart transplant.