Problems in Paris
Help Me Hank: Problems in Paris
It was au revoir Attleboro and bonjour Paris, as drama teacher Anthony Stirpe began his European vacation.
"I thought I was all set and ready to go and there would be no problems."
For three days--he did the tourist thing--the Eiffel Tower sidewalk cafes--he lived la vie parisienne--until he hit le hotel checkout. Quel le désastre.
"They were like time to pay and I as like no time to pay, I paid."
Now Anthony knew he had confirmed his reservations online and had paperwork showing the charge went through. Nevertheless--the clerk said excuse' moi, pay us s'il vous plaît.
Anthony, who does not speak French, spoke English.
"And I was like no..no..no."
So while le tout Paris was reveling in the city of light, the hotel called Les Gendarmes.
"You know, here I am with the French police office breathing down my throat and saying you have to pay."
Anthony threw down his credit card and paid again. For this high school drama teacher, this was a scene he didn’t want to play.
"Actually it was high crime drama I was being robbed."
He had to finish his European vacation $300 short-how do you say "budget" in French?
"That's the last thing someone wants when they're trying to relax and unwind."
But when his tour de France was fini, Anthony flew home to l'amerique with but one thought:
"I want my money back."
At home--Anthony fought an international email and fax and telephone battle for his refund -- but neither reservation company not the hotel would budge.
"They weren't listening to a word I was saying."
That's when he called "Help Me Hank".
"You were in touch with me in an hour and it was great."
We were also in touch with the online reservation company, reminding them Anthony had a receipt proving he'd paid, and that it was their responsibility to get that money to the hotel.
Soon after, the company told us the whole thing had been a "clerical error" and Anthony's money was credited to his account.
And now, this world traveler is ready to say bon voyage again, but his time, he'll be speaking a new language.
"I am going with a friend to Iceland."
So international travelers, if you make arrangements online, it’s a good idea just to print out your proof of payment--and take it with you.