We’ve heard this story many times before. Game players who decide to play a scratch off game, thinking they won soon after looking at the card, only to find out that instead of striking it rich, they have gained nothing other than disappointment due to “a glitch in the system” or “human error”. (One story comes to mind–the Daily News had a glitch in its Scratch n’ Match contest that led hundreds of people to believe that they won $100,000, but of course, they didn’t).
But finally, I heard about a positive ending to a situation similar to a failed sweepstakes. If you were looking for an inexpensive hotel rate at the Crowne Plaza in Quarto D’Altino (located just a little over 15 miles outside of Venice), then you may have found the deal of a lifetime–a two-night stay for just a penny! Yes, a penny. In minutes 1,400 room nights were booked and suspicions first led to a website hacker. As it turns out, it was human error. The deal was originally for a two-night stay at half the price (usually the hotel room rates run between $128 and $214 a night).
Now as I heard this story, I would have bet any amount of money that the ending was going to turn out just like any other–the hotel was not going to honor these reservations, when in fact, it was the hotel’s fault. People were going to threaten to throw lawsuits around. An apology would be issued by the hotel. So when I heard the outcome, I was speechless (that doesn’t happen often). InterContinental Hotels Group announced that it would be honoring all confirmations for this “weekend-for-a-penny offer”. Wow. Just when I thought customer service and honesty were ideals of the past, IHG gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, there are still companies out there that value customer satisfaction. I’m singing your praises.