My wife and son were travelling yesterday by train from Brussels to Hamburg, where she had booked the accommodation for the night.
The train was severely delayed by a police incident. My wife texted me to ask if I could contact you to advise of their late arrival. She was very limited on her phone’s battery life, did not have free European calls and had been put into a queue when she tried to phone. Your Assistant did not seem to understand that as the train was still standing in the station at Brussels, there was no way of giving an arrival time at that stage. She agreed to advise the hotel of the late arrival.
When the train eventually started, my wife contacted me again with an estimated arrival time. I called the helpline number in Germany – I had to try several times and gave up being in a queue twice. The other number which I was given had an opening message in German which I could not respond to. The person I eventually spoke to assured me that the hotel had been advised of the late arrival following my previous call and that there were no problems.
Later, I received a message from my wife telling me that they were outside the building but there was no way in. Once again, I phoned your helpline, who tried to call the hotel and failed. I was then told that if they couldn’t get anywhere with the hotel within half an hour, they would offer a room in an alternative hotel.
My wife and son were exhausted after a day of very problematic travelling. They were in a strange city in a foreign country at night and did not want to wait outside a locked building for half an hour. They found another hotel nearby and booked themselves in. Sometime later, my wife received a call from your helpdesk, offering them a double room in another hotel. Since a double was hardly appropriate for a mother with a grown-up son and they had already paid for their new accommodation, she declined the offer.
Whilst everyone to whom I spoke were concerned and eager to help, the whole system appeared to be very disjointed: it seemed as though they had never had to deal with anyone who was delayed in arriving at a booking. My wife and son were both very upset about being left stranded outside a locked building and I now have a large phone bill from all my calls to Germany.
I tried sending this to A customer care email address which was bounced back as no longer monitored.
I want an apology and some compensation for my wife and son's bad experience and my wasted foreign phone calls.