I am an avid traveller in Asia, both for business and leisure purposes. This is compounded by the fact that I work for DestinAsian, an Asian luxury travel magazine that would usually recommend hotels such as this in our magazine. However I must share the appaling treatment and apparent arrogance/disregard that I received from the room reservations when I booked a room for my recent trip.
In short, 10 days prior to my arrival in beijing I booked the room via email with a pending confirmation as my business meetings were not confirmed yet. I tried to speak with the room reservation to get more details of the room and facilities but they did not allow me to speak to anyone and insisted that I communicate via email only.
8 days prior I receive a short email saying that there is a one week cancellation policy as they are running full. Since my meetings still werent confirmed I asked for an extension, to which they agreed for one day only. After this had elapsed they notified me that they have charged the full two nights stay AND the 15% service and tax fee. I emailed (still no phone conversation allowed) them to say that since my meetings werent confirmed I would like to cancel to be on the safe side.
They refused and mentioned the one week cancellation policy to which I responded that standard cancellation policy is 24 to 48 hours and only then it is 50% cancellation fee unless cancelled on the same day of check-in. They insisted that they had communicated this to me repeatedly (even though they never mentioned the 100% cancellation fee).
When I checked, the transaction had already been charged to my card despite the fact that I havent even flown to China yet!
I have since called my credit card provider to block the transaction, submit a dispute form and forwarded all email correspondence as evidence. I have notified the hotel of my actions but they still refuse to cancel the transaction and will not cooperate with AMEX on the investigation.
I am shocked and appalled that a hotel with such credentials, and even rare reviews from concierge.com could treat a customer this way. I had offered to bear 50% of the charge as I understand I have some blame to share, but again, they REFUSED and insisted to charge 100%.
The investigation is still underway but no matter what the outcome there is certainly no chance that I will ever stay at this hotel and will warn all of my friends and business colleagues of my experience. If they cant get it right even in the booking process, not to mention the rude emails and arrogant manner they displayed, then don't bother on the pleasant stay that they promise.
Director of Business Development
DestinAsian Luxury Travel magazine