It’s that time of year: conference time. I have been going religiously for 14 years, and this year would be no different. Most of the decisions about going are no-brainers. Book my spot for the conference. Check. Book my flight to get there. Check. Book my hotel room for the 6 days . . .
Word amongst my colleagues is we can get the room at a lower rate if we do a pay-in-advance option. I can do that. After all, in 14 years (amidst illness, family, and business commitments), I haven’t missed a single conference. So it’s pretty safe to guess I would be there this year.
I get the details from one of my colleagues. If I book the hotel and pay in advance, my room will be $150 per night versus the regular $279 per night. I’ll save over $600 if I pay in advance. It feels reasonable to pay in full and take the non-refundable risk, so I call the hotel. Caroline answers with her warm southern accent.
I check with her that indeed my colleagues’ pay-in-advance information is accurate. Caroline confirms that they are correct.
Caroline then says, “Would you like to go ahead and book it?”
I respond, “Yes. Let’s make this happen.”
Caroline walks me through the choices. She gets down to the choice of two queens or a king. Caroline says, “The king will be $289 and the two queens will be $279. Which do you prefer, the king or the two queens?” Then she goes oddly quiet.
Caroline just tried to close me on something I don’t want to buy. ...