Interesting use of channels by Travelodge. Encouraging use of web chat in “contact us” – but not available all hours. Sort of replacing phone with chat. But since booking problem occurred at weekend, I couldnt use it. So emailed. By noon today nothing back and so tried chat. Felt like talking to a very ordinary call centre. (“Hi?” meant I’d been waiting a while).

New channels, old practices don’t help. New channels, new practices still required. Old channels, new practices are fine too!

Or better still avoid the problem in the first place.

Chat went as follows:

Gary: Hello Peter Massey, my name is Gary. How can I help you today?

Peter Massey: Your reference #15071-670798

Peter Massey: booked a room at Kings Cross London yesterday but when it came up after credit card taken it showed 2 rooms and insurance, I only want one room

Peter Massey: hi?

Gary: Ok, please bear with me while I check our system.

Gary: Please could you provide your confirmation numbers and I will look into this for you?

Peter Massey: see earlier ref – didnt get confirmation email, hence I queried. If nothings booked let me know and I’ll rebook

Peter Massey: have just looked and its now showing £97 rather than £77 yesteday

Peter Massey: hi?

Gary: Please could you confirm the following: Hotel, date of stay and guests full name?

Peter Massey: London Kings Cross, tomorrow night Tuesday, Peter Massey

Gary: Unfortunately I have been unable to locate a booking matching those details It would appear your booking attempt was unsuccessful, I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Gary: I regret that we are unable to guarantee any previously displayed rates.

Peter Massey: then I suggest some feedback….. to your web developers. Take payment details after basket displayed, not before. Dont put things in baskets without saying so and displaying clearly. I’m off to Premier Inn

Gary: Please assured I will pass your feedback along

Gary: Thank you for contacting us today and I am sorry that we could not resolve this for you.

Chat has ended (he hung up).

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