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Sheraton Midwest CityReed Conference Center - Don't!!

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Archer City, Texas
posts: 3
reviews: 14
Sheraton Midwest CityReed Conference Center - Don't!!

I booked and prepaid this property via Priceline on July 3 for arrival on July 6 after The Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert in Norman, Oklahoma. After the concert I tried to check in and was told they didn't have a reservation for me even though I had my printed receipt and itinerary from Priceline.com. After another front desk employee also "researched" their "system" and denied having a reservation in mine or my friend's name, I called Priceline Customer Service who was completely and totally useless - that young lady didn't know her rear from a hole in the ground and refused to transfer me to a manager. I spent more than 30 minutes talking with the Sheraton front desk staff in an effort to discover who was at fault before becoming so upset I left the hotel enroute home. My cell phone battery died during this fiasco, so after charging it and maneuvering through the traffic on I-35 to get over to I-44, I called Priceline again. This time I was successfully transferred to a "manager" who put me on hold to contact the property and then the hotel "found" my reservation. The Priceline employee informed me I could go back to the property and check in. By this time I was 1 1/2 hours south of the Oklahoma City area and advised the Priceline employee of such. I asked her why she thought I'd turn around, drive back to this property, and risk being told upon arrival I didn't have a room - she didn't answer me so I requested a refund. She stated Priceline couldn't and wouldn't refund my money per their policy but I could contact the hotel. For what?? To ask for a refund from a hotel who repeatedly denied they had a booking in my name?? I thanked the Priceline employee and advised her I'd file a claim with my bank for the charge before hanging up. I called Wells Fargo today, explained what happened, and had the claim filed. Please note I've used Priceline many times and been completely satisfied with their service, and I don't fault them for this error - I blame Sheraton - but Priceline needs to get a big dose of reality and treat their longtime, repeat customers better. As for Sheraton, this hotel chain is a joke. Spend your hard-earned money elsewhere.

4 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
posts: 11,803
reviews: 30
1. Re: Sheraton Midwest CityReed Conference Center - Don't!!

>>> I blame Sheraton - but Priceline needs to get a big dose of reality and treat their longtime, repeat customers better. As for Sheraton, this hotel chain is a joke. Spend your hard-earned money elsewhere<<<

Sorry to hear of your ordeal.

I too believe the likelihood is that it's the fault of the hotel. With a great number of websites, once the reservation is confirmed, an automated reservation email is sent to the hotel (some have a fax back up). This is where it gets tricky. If they use an updated or newer PMS system, the reservation is self loading - no need for manual handling and mimises error. If they use an older computer system, the reservation document is printed off, and manually entered into the hotel system. Should the hotel have any delays/issues with their Outlook, or a serious oversight occurred by their reservation staff and your reservation was filed without it being actioned. Don't blame the front desk staff though, if its not in the system, they may not have access to the reservation email system.

Having said all the above, I have known colleagues who have experienced issues with large OTAs like Priceline and Expedia, and after investigation, it transpired that there was indeed a technical hitch. So there no guarantees that it was definitely the hotel. Merely a higher likelihood.

Whilst it was a most unfortunate situation, I hardly think an isolated incident with one property is a reflection on the entire Sheraton brand. Starwood actually have a great track record with their guest service responses, so why not drop them an email? You'll stand to gain more from communicating with them, than posting about the mishap on a public forum.

Archer City, Texas
posts: 3
reviews: 14
2. Re: Sheraton Midwest CityReed Conference Center - Don't!!

I appreciate your input. I called the hotel on Thursday, two daysbefore arrival date, and spoke with a nice lady named Martha. Giving her my confirmation number, she found my reservation without any problem and confirmed all the details. If she could locate it then, it should've been there Saturday night.

Edited: 11:33 am, July 17, 2013
Sydney, Australia
posts: 11,803
reviews: 30
3. Re: Sheraton Midwest CityReed Conference Center - Don't!!

>>>I appreciate your input. I called the hotel on Thursday, two daysbefore arrival date, and spoke with a nice lady named Martha. Giving her my confirmation number, she found my reservation without any problem and confirmed all the details. If she could locate it then, it should've been there Saturday night<<<

My absolute pleasure.

From what you've mentioned in your second post, it sounds without a doubt that it was the fault of the hotel. In specific, staff error. Many hotel systems have now become 'accounting' friendly, but less and less user friendly. With one of the most commonly used system such as Opera, even a space before entering the surname, and case sensitivity can cause the user to not find a reservation.

Having stated this, there are multiple methods which are and should be used to find your reservation, by surname, arrival date, confirmation number. A common mistake is the desk agent trying to enter the full name and misspelling this. It's always a safer practice only using the first three letters, rather trying to enter a whole name - even for common names such as 'Smith'. This can only be put down to inexperience.

Whilst I entire agree with your sentiments, writing off the entire chain maybe detrimental to your future choices, as they do have some nice properties around the world.

And just for integrity sake, I have no vested interest in them, as I work for a rival international group.

I hope you have a better experience next time, whether it is with them or another hotel group.

tucson, az
posts: 1,602
reviews: 5
4. Re: Sheraton Midwest CityReed Conference Center - Don't!!

I find it odd that they wouldn't take a copy of your receipt and check you in and then research it; we've done that. (For the record we've found errors on both ends- the third party and inhouse reservations.) One time it was our wake-up call that there was an issue with the server.

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