Well, fuck you very much Starwood.
Earlier this week, Pando’s membership coordinator, Chris Goscinski wrote a fun post about how Starwood was offering $30-a-night rooms at its high-end St Regis hotel in Washington DC.
Clearly the rate was a screw-up. But, like everyone I’ve ever hired, Chris is chronically overworked and underpaid so he quickly snapped up a well-deserved weekend break for… late 2015. Total cost: around sixty bucks.
This morning, however, Chris received this letter:
Now, for one thing, I’m not convinced “Consumer Affairs Executive Division” is an actual department at Starwood as opposed to, say, a cover name for a group of black-ops assassins. But Chris did book a hotel in DC so maybe Starwood just felt it needs to fit in with the bureaucracy.
That’s not my problem with the letter, though. My problem with the letter is that, when I first insisted that Chris write a post about the ridiculously low rates, he was worried that drawing attention to the error might cause Starwood to “correct” it. The company’s terms and conditions make clear it can pretty much cancel any booking at any time just because it feels like it.
“Don’t worry,” I blithely assured him, “Starwood aren’t total assholes. I’m sure they’ll do the right thing. But, you know what, if they do decide to screw you over, I’ll pay for the room.”
So now, thanks to Starwood’s letter, and my misplaced confidence in their non-assholeness, I — not Chris — am on the hook for close to fifteen hundred dollars.
The question, then, is how to exact my revenge on Starwood. I’m obviously not going to boycott the company: I still practically live in hotels and I’ll probably stay around 120 nights with Starwood this year.
Maybe that’s the solution, then: Starwood has cost me $1500 dollars. Divided over 120 nights, that’s around $12.50 per night — which has to to be around the cost of the little bottles of shampoo and soaps, right? And the free bottled water? Fine. From now on I’m taking it all home with me, whether I need it or not. And don’t think for a moment I’m not raiding the ice machine on my way out. Revenge is sweet, Starwood! (And clean, and refreshing, and heavy.)
Or they could just let Chris keep his damn booking.
Update: Pando’s Michael Carney reminds me that Delta honored bookings after a similar screw-up last year.