From this blog post we know I had the free housing provider for my group headed to Trinidad Carnival cancel on us at what, for carnival housing purposes, might as well be called the last minute. We also know I searched high and low to find the most affordable alternative located in the same location (Woodbrook) close to all the carnival activities and the all-important Savannah. Next we learned that the rate was apparently mis-quoted by the desk clerk, and was a little over $100 per person higher according to the manager.
I wasn't happy about the price changing after two days of several calls between myself and the clerk, but what I am happy about is:
1. It still works out, even with the increase, to only about $30 per night, per person. That is just unbeatable. I know, I tried! lol!
2. With true YUMA Vibe a fellow YUMA volunteered to go check out the place in person for me (great, because the place has no website and no camera readily available for the pictures I requested). She finds the building too old for her liking, and the rooms way too small for her liking, but she did confirm the place is clean! That's all we needed to hear baby! *does the jiggy dance* All the affordable places were completely booked; she tried to look around for us today to see if she could find us something nicer but everything was very expensive. Which I had a feeling was going to be the case, having looked high and low on my own already. I am happy to have current confirmation on the cleanliness though because that is the main factor. It is, according to her, in a "damn good" location. So that is the second requirement met!
3. The manager, perhaps sensing how wrong it is for me to swallow their error, insisted on calling me back to speak to me in person after we had already spoken today to confirm this new price and the payment details... even though I said I just wanted to give her my email address(es) to be sure she could reach me and I her WITHOUT the phone calls (calling Trinidad is not on my monthly package, lol!) And what puts this little feat on my list? After all the rude money-hungry behaviour from many of the trini guesthouse managers and lack of phone etiquette to boot, she actually did call back, and after 8pm or 9pm at that, when I was sure she got busy and forgot me! She talked, she thanked me/apologized for the runaround I got earlier today (took several calls to catch up with her)...and was even flexible on payment arrangements, which I think was her way of making up for us having to swallow their error.
4. Did I mention that even before this, she had been willing to go pick up the Western Union deposit payment herself and not force me to depend on what would be our third middleman for this year's carnival?
Customer service when I am spending my hardearned money IS one of those things I will pay a little more for...and show some loyalty for too! When I saw the name of the guesthouse light up on my phone so LATE, I decided then and there that just for her giving a d-mn and keeping her word, she WILL be seeing our money for Carnival 2011! And if that service and MANNERS keeps up while we are there I don't mind being a repeat customer, 'cause I do not go on vacations (of this kind) to park up in a fancy hotel and be spoiled to death!
If i want a hotel-focused getaway, it will be at a time where I have no intention of sweating or lifting a finger. Or when I have LINKS. And watch me have some before I leave Trinidad AND Tobago! ROFL