September 20, 2017

getting what you pay for/overcharged for?

Freedom Trail - some kids wanted to break free from it!
Originally I planned for us to stay in Boston for three nights.  It was so expensive, that Coach suggested that we stay out in the suburbs and take a train in each day.  I hated that idea, so I agreed to reserve a room in Lexington for our first night.  With a one night stay in Lexington, we only needed to sleep in Boston for two nights.  Shortening our Boston hotel reservation ended up being a Godsend.

Our agenda for our first day in Boston was simple - walk the freedom trail.  We dropped the car off at our hotel before we set out on foot to explore the trail.  Our room wasn't ready yet, but we were going to pay an additional $40 bucks a night to park the car at the hotel, so we figured it made sense to drop it there instead of paying for another parking garage.  

I actually captured Eddie holding hands with Curly and Reg.
Since it is a family tradition to cram extra bodies into our hotel rooms, it is a little dicey to show up with everyone in the car and act like they don't all belong to us.  We can usually avoid raising hotel staff suspicions by entering the hotel in shifts.  The layout of this hotel failed to cooperate with our usual disown-half-the-kids plan.  

The Holiday Inn was very near the Garden where the Celtics play.  It was an old building.  Tiny.  The lobby was minuscule.  There was no parking lot where we could park far from the building while we re-grouped and mapped out our entry. 

The valet guy was super friendly.  He didn't seem to be taking a head count as we filed out of the Great White.  Still, Coach and I encouraged the kids to disperse a bit on the sidewalk so as not to draw attention as we fumbled around for a few essentials before the car was valeted.  

Beautiful day for a walk thru Boston Commons. 
The weather was perfect for a lengthy hike along the freedom trail.  It was sunny, but breezy.  Despite the fact that we weren't suffering from heat stroke, a few of the kids began moaning about how much longer we needed to follow this annoying little brick sidewalk.  They were officially on history overload.  

When we got back to the hotel, we asked for them to bring the car to us so we could unpack it now that our room was ready.  After waiting for over an hour for our car, we gave up.  We ended up going out to dinner before our car was brought around.  I had hoped to change clothes and fix my hair, but that wasn't happening.

When we returned from dinner, I shared my ID and credit card with the hotel clerk.  She asked me to initial in a few places on a payment form.  I noticed that by initialing I was agreeing to pay $324 the first night and $244 the second night.  This was a surprise to me.  

I spent a considerable amount of time shopping for a hotel in Boston.  I compared rates, location, and complimentary breakfast.  Before I even got that far, I identified hotels that offered two beds plus a pullout.  This would only require us to use two air mattresses.  When I called the hotel, I was given a rate of $244 a night.  There was no mention of $324.  Ever.  

I told the hotel lady this.  She told me that if I pulled up my confirmation and it reflected the rate I was given, then she would honor it.  Well, I should have learned my lesson before now - but I am not a fast learner, apparently.  I do not typically read confirmation emails.  Shock.  Call me crazy, but I tend to expect that what they tell me over the phone is accurate.  The woman said she could adjust my rate for the first night to $284.  I accepted this, although I was still annoyed.  I signed the paper and helped unload the car.    

The kids who had been up to the room with the first load of bags reappeared in the lobby with weird looks on their faces.  They described the room as 'interesting'.  'Small'.  'Odd'.  Uh oh.

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