Does not mean you should, I. România: 2021-07-13 20:00
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Probably things like such have been inevitable to reoccur, especially if you're on the road for already more than a month.

I was browsing the accommodation possibilities in Cluj-Napoca around the 2nd of July, and found a nice looking apartment on booking.com. Everything went fine with the booking, and the property also even confirmed that I can arrive earlier, along with using the underground garage. Superb.

I left Turda in somewhat rain, and — as usual — the heavenly bathtub water hit me the hardest on the last 2 km.

So far, my record is the last 50 meters, so can't complain about this one.

Since then I again had such record, got wet down to pants on the last 1 km.

This is why I don't do group rides.

You see that guy? That raincloud has been following us for miles because of him!

Now I'm either not joking or yes.

So I arrived to the scene in heavy rain, and called the contact. The check-in process went forward by phone instructions, I had to pick up the entry card from a laughable stupid…hidden location at the building, and I was told it will be good for all the doors.

Well, it wasn't so: the garage entrance door just beeped and flashed in red. The building entrance did the same. One more long waiting ringing, and finally I was told to pick up the master card, and just use that.

No complaints about this since it was written on the listing, but even if it sounds impossible, the answer is still yes: yes, there are newly built apartments with storeys without an elevator. I have a life to spend and muscles to exercise, so I carried up all the luggage. After I put down the last one in the room and looked around — something was just not right: this is a simple double room with a WC. And I did not book and pay that.

For the second time, trying to call the contact, no answer. Sending a message to the contact, no answer. Sending a message on booking.com, no answer.

Finally the person picked up the phone again. Long story short, his repeated stance was:

Now.

Such stance may be played upon an average traveller, but not an international world traveller inclined to thinking. Especially not an experienced touring rider, who just by looking at the weight of the dirty clothes bag does the next booking: the next accommodation has to have a washing machine, and he is quite certain.

Therefore while something was indeed wrong, I was totally confident that I was out for a room with kitchen and washing machine. So I went up to the room (as there was phone signal only outside of the building…in a newly built flat of papers walls), turned on the laptop and violá: the room I booked looked like this and enlisted the wished amenities.

If you can find any of them in this actual double room, or see any resemblance — the only thing will be the style of the bedding.

So yes: I indeed booked a double room, but the listing had the pictures copied over from the better apartments along with the list of amenities.

By the way, someone should explain to them: just because a room/apartment has a door — it doesn't mean that it has a Private entrance.

You will decide
Whether the accommodation did an honest mistake, or not. Whether they accidentally uploaded the better looking pictures and details to a worse room to trick a booking, or not.

Personally I'm quite certain of the or not.

A minimally skilled, business-aware person would handle this situation as: Apologies. We did a mistake with the booking advertisement. If you choose to stay, you are welcome for a free coffee and a mineral water tomorrow, and we will give you a free company pen. If you choose to not, we understand it, please leave the card at the reception and ask for a refund in the booking system. Have a nice day.

This guy — obviously did not introduce himself but sounded like the owner — did not choose this path, and rather went into customer blaming, that you made a wrong booking. Which means he was fully aware of the scam, and since it failed — it was the thing to do, to pass the responsibility. Also his attitude clearly showed that he didn't care. The guest's lost time, energy, money and inconveniences to find a sudden other accommodation — not my problem, booking.com will take care of it.

Strangely, on Monday this mystique double room disappeared from the property's listing.

On the lighter note
While I'm still at loss with various booking.com user features, I appreciate that they handled the complaint quickly and well. They asked the pictures of the actual room as proof, and since it was obviously different than the listing, offered the refund. Or they would refund some sum of the difference of a new booking, while staying at this place for now. I did not choose this second option for clear reasons.

I don't know about you
But I will avoid the Ozone Aparthotel in Cluj-Napoca, at Nicolae Tonitza Street 25.

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