Last week we visited Guruvayooor in Kerala. This is one of the holiest places for Lord Krishna. I have no idea which hotel to book for staying. I surfed the web and booked a hotel through Kerala.com Travel Division. I have no idea if they are affiliated with Kerala Government or a private travel consultant. Anyhow I booked in a hotel in Guruvayoor.
We had a good darshan of Lord Guruvayoorappan.
It is time to check out. The time was 7 PM. It was pouring cats and dogs. We have to catch the train at Thrissur, which is about a 35 minute drive from Guruvayoor.
We go to the reception desk and I give my Visa credit card. He took my card and looked at it for almost 2 minutes. (To us, it looked like 2 hours.) Then he asked me if I can pay in cash. I told him I don’t have that kind of cash with me. I asked him what is the problem in accepting my credit card. I pointed out at the big sign at the reception that says they will accept Visa and Mastercard.
He then threw me a curve ball. He said his card swipe machine is not working. I told him there is nothing I can do about it. He than asked me if I have any debit card. I asked him back: “will that “swipe machine” work on a debit card and not on my visa credit card?” I also told him I don’t have any debit card but I have a mastercard if he wants to use that. He never replied.
He picked up the phone, dialed someone, and had a serious conversation with someone for 5 minutes in Malayalam. I did not understand a thing of what he was saying. One English word I picked up was “commission”. He used that word 3 times.
After hanging up the phone, he swiped my Visa credit card in his machine. It was accepted. He gave me the small print out to sign. I did and he gave me my credit card back.
Something bizarre happened then. I asked for a copy of the detailed statement of account for which I was charged. Usually, in hotels, during check out time, you do not have to “ask” for it. They themselves will give you. That will show all charges – room charges, tax, bar charges, food charges, and others in detail.
He said I have to get that from Kerala.com Travel Division from whom I booked my reservation. Now I have no way to verify if those charges are correct/legit or not. I have stayed in hundreds of hotels in many countries including
. This is the first time a hotel will not give
a statement of account and ask me to get it from the organization through which
I booked my reservations. India
We had to catch the train. We did not have time. So we left.
During our car ride from Guruvayoor to Thrissur, I was telling my wife I would like to call our Visa card company in USA and make a stop payment on this until the hotel send us the statement of account to our home. My wife being a Goody Two-shoes convinced me not to do it.