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Old 28th March 2008, 22:39   #1
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Default Sorry Sir, your hotel booking has been cancelled.

This experience goes back a few years in time. But perhaps this still has value.

I was working at Indore/Pithampur and had to travel to Delhi for a week of Solaris training. It was going to be my first visit to the capital. I would be in the company of my boss but he was going to reach Delhi ahead of me. So I was traveling alone. And my Hindi was just tolerable at that time. Mobiles were a new technology then and very pricey and very few people had them.

I had heard stories of how some of my colleagues who had traveled to Delhi for the Auto Expo that year had been conned by autowallahs into believing that their hotel bookings had been cancelled. They were then taken to some dingy hotels by the autowallahs. They had to pay through their noses for those cheap hotels.

I reach New Delhi railway station and walk out. "Where is the pre-paid booth?" I look around but somehow could not locate it.

I am approached by a couple of auto guys, all offering to take me to my destination and enquiring if I had a hotel accommodation. I avoid all of them.

Then an autowallah comes and offers to take me to my destination. I breathe a sigh of relief. There had been no question about my hotel booking. We start on our journey. A little ahead the auto stops in front of a travel agent's office.

Autowallah "Sir, Do you have any hotel booking"

Me "Yes, let's go"

Autowallah "Sir you have to confirm the booking again. Come inside and talk to the hotel. Many hotels have cancelled bookings"

Now that didn't seem so tricky. So I said OK.

We enter the office. Travel agent asks for the phone number of the hotel. He dials and hands over the receiver to me.

Me "Hello, my name is Biju. Is this Hotel ....?"

Telephone voice "Yes."

Me "I have a room booked in the hotel. In fact my boss, Mr. ...., must already be there"

Telephone voice "Sorry sir, we cancelled your booking since you did not come in the morning"

I am a little confused and then suddenly my brain starts functioning.

Me "Oh... OK. So you have my booking confirmed. Room number 201? Alright, I will be there in 30 minutes. Thank you" I could hear "No.. No..no booking" from the other end.

I hang up.

I tell the agent and the auto guy "See my booking is there, the guy just confirmed it again. No problems. Let us go"

Now it was their turn to get confused. So the auto guy was left with no option but to take me to my hotel.

I knew the hotel booking could not have been cancelled since an entire floor in that hotel was always booked by our company, sort of like a guest house. And the travel agent had dialed to one of his buddies in crime. A lot of naive people had fallen for their tricks, especially those that had booked normal hotels.

Last edited by pjbiju : 28th March 2008 at 22:40.
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Old 28th March 2008, 22:58   #2
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How old is this story...
why call from someone else's office..why not use PCO?
Why not dial the number urself?

But neverthless...good presence of mind

Regards,
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Old 28th March 2008, 23:10   #3
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I think the most gullible people were those who were young, who were new to the place, who were not very good in the local language and who were still naive enough to trust the autowallahs and other human beings in general. This must have happened in 1998 (quite old). Now we have mobile phones, many hotel bookings are done online etc. In general people are more informed and sharp
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Old 29th March 2008, 00:13   #4
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Gosh!! Wonder to what extent people can go,all to make a fast buck. Its quite a scary world anyway,and to top it off,every great human being comes up with a new way to cause problems.
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Old 29th March 2008, 00:39   #5
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tell this to a cop and he will make his quick buck.

This apathy is the EXACT reason why lawlessness prevails in india.
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Old 29th March 2008, 10:58   #6
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Exact same situation happened to one of my friend who travelled to Delhi few years back.He was with his parents and some relatives.After alighting from the train these touts come and talked to them and even offered to carry their baggage.When they said they have booking he said "Pehle confirm toh kar lijiye"[confirm it first]. My friend was like no need of all this but by the time the guy started carrying some of their baggage and they had no choice but to follow him.
Then on reaching his office he asked them the number of the Hotel and as usual their brother in crime picked up the phone on the other side.What my friend did is that he gave a wrong name and a wrong room no just to check because he had hunch that these are trying to make fool of them. And that guy on the line told "sorry sir, aapka booking tha lekin cancel kar diya hai kyunki aapne kaal confirm nahi kiya" [Your booking got canceled as you've not confirmed yesterday]. My friend just took the luggage,given them a cold stare and left.
This also happened sometime during 1998-99 only and they were traveling to delhi for the first time, but luckily saved from being doped. But with wide availability of Cellphone these touts now will have tough time to find their targets.
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Old 29th March 2008, 11:26   #7
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Feel so sad and sorry for this beautiful city where I've lived since 1971..
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Old 29th March 2008, 12:25   #8
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That's the way life is in India. People always want to make that extra buck by conning tourists & foreigners. I feel sad when I see a foreigner walking on our roads & streets and is being followed by endless number of rickshaw's, autos and ware sellers. Why don't you just leave the poor guy alone and let him do what he wants to do.

But then in a country of more than a Billion - you get all sorts
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Old 3rd April 2008, 12:46   #9
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This post brings back sweet old memories of my favourite place - Delhi. We were on our honeymoon and we alighted at New Delhi station from the Rajadhani from Mumbai. We were mobbed by Autoguys offering us all sorts of accommodation and one guy even offered us a sight seeing trip in his auto!!!

I had made a booking in a hotel and had emailed them about my arrival details. They assured me that we would be picked up from the station. But I did not see any placard with my name on it and we decided not to wait anymore and to take an auto to the hotel.

I hailed an auto from outside the station and asked him to take me to that particular hotel. His immediate reaction was " Sir, that hotel is closed and under repair. And also that hotel is known for other businesses. Don't go there. I will take you to a better hotel at half the price".

I was taken aback, but decided to play safe and strict, especially since my better half started shivering hearing about the locked hotel!!! I asked for the rate to take me to that particular hotel itself. He argued for 10 minutes. Then when we started to walk away, he agreed to take me there and said the fare would be "pachiis" rupaye(Rs. 25). I agreed and he took us to the hotel. I was shocked to see that the hotel was working and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. I questioned him about his earlier comments and he said that his friend had told him!!!

I gave him Rs. 25 and then he immediately started arguing. He was telling me that he had told "Pachaas" rupaye (Rs. 50). We argued for another half an hour, and finally I paid him Rs. 50 out of disgust and told him spend it ito Daaru (liquor)!

Team, beware of Pachaas and Pachiis in Delhi!!
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