Here’s a stupid story that happened to me in 2007-2008. In the summer 2007, I visited San Diego for the annual Comic-Con, the biggest comic book-related convention in the world. At the conference, I received more comics and books than I could carry. As the publisher of a comic book site, that’s one of the perks, I guess. I could not take all the comics. I was probably over my carry-on limit. I couldn’t even lift my bag easily. As I booked my room at the youth hostel I was staying (USA Hostels) for the 2008 Comic-Con, I did something nice. I gave away most of the comics I had received to the desk attendant. Let’s call him Pedro for the rest of the story. There was no point incurring extra fees for the comics, and Pedro was also a comic book fan. I felt good. I had done something nice to another person. But Pedro screwed me in the process.
Pedro booked my name under Luis Hervé... Yeah, Pedro reversed my name on the booking for the next summer. Anyone who is familiar with the San Diego Comic-Con knows that rooms have to be booked a year ahead of time. It’s a popular convention and the facilities in San Diego are not sufficient to accommodate so many visitors. The room I had booked was a private room, so it cost much much more than the regular fee of a dorm bed.
The following summer, I booked my flight for San Diego a few weeks in advance. My arrival date for San Diego differed from the booking from the previous year by one day. When I tried to call to change my booking, they could not find my name at all. I didn’t exist. There was no Hervé St-Louis in their system. At the last minute, I had to book elsewhere and of course, pay a premium on my booking. I tried to get them to cancel the booking afterwards but they claimed that I had never booked, although my credit card had been charged. I tried to get TD Visa to reverse the charge, but they refused saying the charge was legitimate.
It’s only later after much haranguing that they figured out that Pedro, who of course did not work there anymore, had booked me under a different name. USA Hostels, of course, refused to reverse the charges and my bank continued to deny me a chargeback. In the end, Pedro got many free comics from me, including several hardcovers and trade paperbacks. USA Hostels charged me for a room I never used because their employee did not write my reservation properly. Another hotel got me to pay a premium on my room, and TD Visa showed how much they side with their customers when dishonest merchants are screwing them.