Grenoble Hotel Fiasco

I mentioned the snafu with our hotel in Grenoble in my last post, but I thought I’d expand on things. First, for some background:

Yahoo! has a new internal travel system, in order to reduce the volume of people booking with the travel agents at the travel desk. I figured I’d give it a try for this trip. Man, did it suck. It’s outsourced to KDS International, and internally re-branded as “Yahoo! U-Book”. It takes hours to do the simplest of things. I booked a single hotel from my trip with it before giving up and using Expedia, Orbitz, and HRS. I kept my sanity.

The hotel that I booked on U-Book was for Grenoble, France. We arrived into Paris on Saturday, and took the SNCF TGV train to Grenoble on Sunday afternoon. When we arrived at the Grenoble train station, I checked the map, but couldn’t find the address of the hotel on it. I asked the person at the information desk, and after some scratching his head, all he could initially tell me was: “far, very far”. Not good. I asked if I could take the tram or bus there; “No, only taxi, very far” was his response.

The hotel was in Saint Rambert d’Albon, which is really far from Grenoble. He knew that initially from the postal code—the hotel’s postal code is 26140, while central Grenoble is 38000. He was willing to figure out how I could get there, but I told him, no, if it’s really that far, I need a different hotel. He pointed me to the IBIS Grenoble Gare hotel, right down the road. The guy at the front desk of the hotel spoke excellent English and helped me cancel the other hotel without penalty and rebook there.

I got back in the office today, so I checked the U-Book system to make sure that I’m not crazy, and that it really isn’t my fault. I was right. Here’s a screen shot of the U-Book’s map of hotels, with my mouse over where it thinks the hotel I booked is:

You can see Kelkoo on there, which is the Yahoo! office I was headed to. Nice and close, right?

And now, where it really is, courtesy of Mappy. The hotel is on the left, Grenoble on the right, and the driving directions between. Click to get a bigger version. It’s 138km to drive this route:

I reported the problem to KDS today, by phone, so hopefully they’ll fix it.

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