Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Everything gets so hard sometimes!

Am going to London on business next week.  Need to arrange 2 nights accommodation but the cost is on my personal account but I get an allowance for each night away to cover it.

So, I ask the Indian guy in the travel dept to find me a hotel around the St James Park area... and he comes back with a 4 star and a 1 star (yikes!) option but the 4 star is within my allowance so I approve him to book it.

In ALL my trips so far, I turn up at the hotel and give them my card and I pay for the room like any other guest in any other hotel in the world.  When I get back, I apply for the allowance and 2 weeks or so later, I get the allowance.  If the cost is less than the allowance, all good!

But something changed today.  I get offered to have the accommodation arranged and for me to be issued with a "voucher" which I present to the hotel upon my arrival.  I have to however pay for it now and am offered to pay it cash, cheque or card.

I agree to pay via VISA and then am told that it will cost 2% extra in bank charges!  I then tell them to forget it and I will pay at the hotel concierge on the day, I get told that its too late and its done, but if I pay today they can waive the 2% charge.

Confused?  I am!  How can my little Indian travel guy, who is an employee of my company "waive" bank charges?  I am guessing its going into his own pocket more than likely.

So the deal is done, I have a pdf voucher to print and give to the hotel and I said if for whatever reason the hotel rejects the voucher, I will be on the phone to my mate here in Abu Dhabi faster than you can say "dodgy deals".

And all this hassle is apparently better in terms of cost and efficiency than allocating all employees a corporate AMEX card.

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