My husband & I were very disappointed with the level of service we received and the lack of understanding of their business from the Inn on Poplar Hill.
Due to employment issues with this economy, my husband and I are living 4 hours apart from each other. We thought for our 10 year wedding anniversary that we would go somewhere special and meet in between. We had $300 in Bed & Breakfast Gift Certificates so we thought we should meet halfway in Orange, stay at a B&B & spend a romantic weekend wine hopping.
Now we are aware that these certificates have some criteria to them. It specifically says that we MUST go ONLINE at Bed & Breakfast website to use them. The Inn on Poplar Hill does have a website connection with B&B.com and it does say on there that they do take gift certificates them, however, there is not "Book it Now" button link to use the gift certificate on the site.
I emailed the Inn on Poplar Hill from the B&B website & Victoria answered saying, 'We do accept gift certificates from Bed and Breakfast.com. We just don't use their on line booking link. you can make reservations online at our website or by calling.'
So I called. I mentioned that these gift certificates say they are online only and she said it is ok, that they take the gift certificates. I felt concerned that she did not understand me fully and called again. This time Marty answered the phone. I explained that these certificates say they are online booking only, that it is $300 and I am worried you won't take them. He assured me that they do this ALL the time. He explained the process that he goes online, types in the GC# and then the money goes to their account. OK then. Well, I talk to my husband and there still is a fear in our stomach that they won't take them when we get there. So, this time my husband calls (I didn't want to annoy again) and READS the entire terms & conditions to Marty and we are again assured that there is NO PROBLEM. Fantastic! We book! We arrive & hand them the gift certificates and pay the balance with our credit card.
After finishing breakfast, Marty comes to the table to tell us that WHOOPS! We do not accept these gift certificates and we will need to pay it all off with another form of payment. WHAT? My husband and I step outside to discuss what just happened. This is now NOT in our budget! Well, we have to go! When we went back to them to tell them we were leaving, we spoke with Victoria. We told her that this place was NOT our first choice, if we were to pay in FULL we would have gone somewhere else. She said she was UNAWARE that there were different types of gift certificates. My husband told her that as a business owner working with a third party to promote your B&B, you should be AWARE. Especially after us calling 3 times to make sure! Now the rest of the weekend is ruined because we have to drive separately to all the wineries and then we ended up at my husband's home 2 hours away which defeated the purpose of the weekend.
So, are we partially to blame? Yes, of course. But we were assured that this would be no problem and they would accept the gift certificates. Not once did we check, but via email and THREE phone calls and even reading the entire terms and conditions to them. We felt safe because they assured us!
Now throwing salt on our wounds, they still needed to collect a remaining balance from us that the gift certificates would have covered for the one night. The least they could have done for the mistake of not knowing all about who they are partnering their business with is to have not collected the balance of $63 remaining after handing my cards back to me. They could have said, "Sorry for the mistake, we will not collect the remaining balance of $63. We are sorry you cannot stay the entire weekend with us, we would have loved having you here longer." THAT would have been a better service. It was very inconsiderate. I was in tears.
So Marty & Victoria, please educate yourselves on everything about your business and your third party partners and please actually listen to the questions and concerns that a future vacationer has. You should also know that if you love your job, it should not be just all about the money.
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