Category Archives: Office

Beware of The Bait & Switch On-Line!

In keeping with my theme of how to protect the ones we love, I wanted to share a recent experience. I typically write about home environmental issues but this is about protecting yourself financially when planning a trip.

Don’t Be Mislead By On Line Reservation Sites 

imgres Beware of The Bait & Switch On Line!

The hotel reservation agent is trained to assist you.

Ever try to book a hotel reservation on line?  Years ago when you wanted to make a reservation, you called the hotel directly, the 800# for the hotel company or your travel agent. Today it’s far more confusing with many listings of hotels on the Internet and many services claiming to offer the best deal to book your room. Last May I searched the Internet for a Marriott Courtyard near Westchester, PA. I was attending a training class and needed one overnight stay. I went on-line for the hotel phone # and called directly since I had several questions. When I searched for the hotel many hotels popped up in Philly and Exton, PA, and many listings, making this simple task very confusing. I tried to carefully look for the Marriott name in the URL, which is the search name or store sign that would lead me to the correct place. It was late, 6pm already and a person answered, quickly put me on hold, and then my call was rolled over to a reservation center. I thought perhaps the hotel was too busy to take my call and automatically connected me to the Marriott reservation center.  The agent answered the phone “Reservations, can I help you?” I told her I wanted to book the Marriott Courtyard in Westchester, PA and asked if this was Marriott. She replied, “I can book your Marriott room for you.” Then I was told she had a Marriott in Exton, PA and could go ahead and book it. I told her I saw a Fairfield Inn by Marriott listed in Exton but I only wanted a Courtyard by Marriott.

I asked a few questions regarding the distance to my meeting etc. and then told her I may wait and book it after dinner. It was late, I was debating to leave very early in the morning or drive the 2 ½ hours that night. I still wanted to have dinner with my kids and then I would decide if I still had the strength, I was exhausted. The agent became aggressive and explained there must be something going on in the area because there were only 3 rooms left. I should really book the room now.  It all went down hill from there.

  1. images Beware of The Bait & Switch On Line!

    Hotels.com is eager to take your money and has little regard for how and where you sleep.

    The reservation agent was not Marriott Worldwide reservations but Hotels.com. The bait and switch.

  2. The agent was persuasive and pushed me into making the reservation making me feel I may not get a room and I should book it now. There were in fact many rooms available that night.
  3. Although the room was being booked after 6pm and I called 1 ½ hours later to cancel, it was considered non-refundable since any reservation cancelled after 6pm would be charged.
  4. When the email confirmation showed up on my cell phone it was a Fairfield Inn by Marriott not a Marriott Courtyard.

I did go ahead and have dinner with my kids and realized as I was driving up the highway, I was too tired. I pulled over and called the Fairfield Inn of Exton, PA direct. The hotel explained that it was booked by a 3rd party reservation company and they couldn’t do anything about it. They are charged by Hotel.com and can’t refund the money. When I contacted Hotel.com they directed me to an email address where I could send my complaint. Hotels.com responded by telling me it was cancelled after 6pm and I would have to contact the hotel to have my money refunded.  Each of them pointed a finger at the other.

After almost an entire year, I forwarded this NY Times article to both Hotel.com and the hotel management company where my room was booked. The hotel manager called to apologize giving me a refund on my credit card for the one night stay plus tax and offered me 20,000 points on my Marriott rewards program.  Hotels.com did nothing. I am now aware that the third-party booking sites often give consumers confusing and inadequate

information about rates and restrictions. It may not be fraud, but it’s absolutely consumer deception. In the future when you book reservations be sure you know who you are talking to and it’s always safer to book with the hotel company directly.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Spring into Success – Clean Office Tips

 Spring into Success   Clean Office Tips

Coming Soon to an Office Near You

It’s official – Spring is here! Many families are going through the process of spring cleaning their homes, a yearly practice that is refreshing and good for our health. Why not apply the same idea to the office? Spring clean your way to a clean office to recharge and boost your health, productivity and happiness at work!

 

Healthy Home Mom’s Office Cleaning Tips

  • Make a good first impression at the front door & entryway.  Put your best foot forward and give it a thorough cleaning.  Use non-toxic eco-friendly cleaners.  Open windows when you clean, let the office breath.  Be sure to use a vacuum with a new bag and clean the head of vacuum before you begin to prevent contamination.
  • Ceiling Fans and light fixtures – Start at the top and work your way down.  Unplug the fixture and wipe blades, change bulbs (begin a shopping list for supplies).
  • Clean Electronics – Wipe down electronics from top to bottom, paying close attention to areas that are touched frequently like keyboards, phones and buttons.  Remove all items from the desks, wash and dry all counters and desks. (use cloth cotton diapers to reduce dust, purchase a pack of 10).  Check for battery replacement.

    keyboardresized 300x225 Spring into Success   Clean Office Tips

    Germs at your fingertips!

  • Deep Clean Office Furniture – Take the opportunity to give office chairs and other furniture a thorough cleaning using a steam cleaner with attachements. Do it on a Friday to allow everything to dry over the weekend.
  • Sanitize Germ “Hot Spots” – Doorkobs, cabinet handles, drawer pulls, light switches and desk tops are all germ magnets. Sanitize them thoroughly to curb germs.
  • Wash Windows – Inside and Out – Give the windows a good shining with a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water.
  • Supply Room/ Copy Center/ Shipping Station – Clean it out and consolidate.  Wash all shelves, counters and add needed supplies to shopping list.
  • Steam Clean Carpets – Last thing is steam cleaning those carpets, paying close attention to high traffic areas. No carpets? Great wash the floors.  Last step, place Dr. Doormat at entryways to trap dirt and dust, controlling the growth of microorganisms.

Add Inspiring Touches

The way you decorate your office has a profound impact on daily productivity and your mood as you work. Add inspiring and motivating elements to your surrounding to make the most impact.

  • Encouraging Wall Art – Hang inspiring quotes & images to encourage productivity & creativity.
  • Color Choices Matter – Choose colors according to the impact you want to have. Blue is the most productive color, while purple encourages creativity. Calming colors include Green and Blue which are tied to nature.
  • Curb Clutter – Select organizers that help minimize the clutter.  Clutter is overwhelming and stressful – not conducive to a productive environment!  Set up systems and rules that you can live with to maintain order and rid yourself of those little pieces of paper and piles.  A favorite trick is a shoe bag hidden on the inside of a closet door which makes great compartments for little things.

Spring into success by maximizing your productivity in a fresh, clean office.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.