"Miscommunication"

#1 Feb 17th, 2011, 06:04
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  • judyb is offline
#1
On a recent trip to India I was often told "madam, there has been a miscommunication" in situations in which I considered there had been blatant misrepresentation/or significant error.

One example was a hotel booking we made. After looking at the hotel's website which had room rates and pictures of 3 classes of rooms: non AC, Deluxe AC and Super Deluxe AC (a much larger room with a sitting area), we emailed the hotel to book. We were offered a Super Deluxe room "at a discount rate" which was indeed a bit lower than the room rate listed on the website for this type of room (but still higher than the Deluxe AC room).

When we arrived at the hotel we were shown our room which looked like the pictures of the Deluxe AC and was not a Super Deluxe AC room at all. It appeared that the Super Deluxe rooms (which DID exist!) were actually booked out for that night but instead of offering us the Deluxe AC at the rate on the website, I was told: "Madam, there has been a miscommunication. We are now calling this our Super Deluxe room"!!!! it took a long and circuitous argument before we ended up with a Deluxe room at an acceptable rate. Normally I would have left and found another hotel but had previously emailed several hotels in the area and they were booked out (New Year).

Interested to hear if other travellers have had similar "miscommunications" ... but also interested to try to understand why Indian hotels take this approach - why not apologise and say: "Madam we made a mistake and double-booked. We will offer you a reduced rate on the Deluxe room as unfortunately there are no Super Deluxe rooms availble". This is what would happen in msot hotels in the West and I do not understand why it doesn't happen in India (nor does my Indian-born husband but he has not lived in for so long that he doesn't really understand Indian thinking either).
#2 Feb 17th, 2011, 06:46
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  • BULLDOG is offline
#2
Its India, be amazed you found a hotel that has rooms that match the website pictures! My view is that in india the workplace (& indeed society) is very hierarchal, any admission by a member of staff that he/she has made a mistake could have dire consequences. Equally, claiming someone higher up the chain made a mistake is an even bigger faux pas.

Miscommunication is a way out of this.

On our first trip to India, we stayed at a few high end hotels & enjoyed a few good meals in the dining rooms there. Once, savouring the ambiance of an old world colonial dining room, we lingered after dinner & asked the bus boy clearing tables if we could be served coffee. Met with the usual extremely polite responses, sometimes shyly. On 3 consecutive days, coffee never arrived. Eventually saw an unrelated verbal exchange between staff in the kitchen (basically "junior" being reprimanded) & then figured out he was too far down the chain of command to take the order or to ask the waiter to bring us coffee without giving offence to his superiors.
#3 Feb 17th, 2011, 06:47
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  • Sama is offline
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by judyb View Post This is what would happen in msot hotels in the West and I do not understand why it doesn't happen in India
everything in India is a what I call a "process." "a long and circuitous argument" is standard operating procedure!

after 5 trips to India I have given up assuming that what is standard operating procedure in any given situation in the West will happen in India because 9 times out of 10 it won't!

don't even try to try to understand it, you'll save yourself a lot of headaches and enjoy India a lot more!
My India Photos, 2005-2015
"...by any means necessary." Malcolm X
#4 Feb 17th, 2011, 06:56
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  • PeakXV is offline
#4
It happens all the time, you just chock it up to the Indian experience. They (front desk employees, assistant mangers) are quite afraid of the potential repercussions & fallout of telling you the truth about any 'snafu' ... both from your side & the upper management side. A potential double-whammy that they don't really need. So if they can manage to bamboozle you with a little bit of Indian english mixed with some itsy-bitsy fibs - they most certainly will! Done deal!!!!

If you don't scream & demand to speak to the hotel owner/manager & get it straightened out from the very top -you'll often have to settle for what these 'song & dances' will give.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

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#5 Feb 17th, 2011, 07:46
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  • arindamdas is offline
#5
Yeah, it has happened to me also. Here's another audacious example of "miscommunication". At 4.30 am in the morning, I went over to an airline counter at Mumbai airport to sort out a few things. An 18-something girl was chatting away on her cellphone at the counter. On seeing me, she pointed to an empty chair next to her and said "She would be able to help you out". And when I asked where she was, "Sir, she will be back in a few minutes. She has gone out for lunch." I couldn't help but laugh ...

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