Back on our screens as soon as politics returned was the trilling, self-promoting and appallingly tedious Julia Hartley Brewer, inexplicably allowed once more to pretend she knew what she was talking about on The Andy Marr Show (tm) yesterday. But all work and no play makes viewers even more prone to switch off, and so she also has one eye on the next holiday. Where the booking process is giving her problems.
We know who you are, thanks
But problems are no big deal when you’re shameless. “Advice please!! Just booked a hotel through @Agoda & got a website msg & email from their fraud dept requiring scanned copies of my payment card & passport/ID to confirm. It *looks* legit but surely this is a fraud? No one answering their customer line. Any thoughts?” Thoughts? How does she function when they turn off the rabbit autopilot?
The ridicule was not long in arriving. “Agoda means Agoda and we're going to make a success of it … I'm all for a hard Agoda … There is no downside, only considerable upsides to hard Agoda” were opening shots. Then the gunners found their range.
“Scaremongering. You decided to stay in the hotel, now you must go ahead with it, come what may. Changing of mind is not allowed in this country. Fraud is fine as long, as you do it as well. Just get on with the booking. It'll all be fine on the day. Or if not, after 50 years … I agree. I mean what’s the worst that can happen? They might get hold of your credit card but the bank will stop any payments above £39bn”. There was more.
“Never mind. A decision has been made that cannot be reversed, so it's time for you to get behind your hotel reservation and make a success of it. #Bookingmeansbooking Oh, and don't forget to also give them your security code and PIN … The will of the hotel. Suggest you get behind it. Or walk away with no deal. Do they need you more than you need them? (clue: no they don’t)”. Was she that clueless? Er, you’ve seen her in action. Next!
Andy Ballingall laid it on the line. “So they convinced you to book, but now you're having second thoughts as you find out nothing is true and it's sounds like a con. No. You should go through with the booking and give them everything they demand of you. No second chance. You booked. Stop talking it down”. Wonder what she talks about on the TV?
“A reservation is a reservation. Just because you're now being told to comply with some conditions of which you were unaware prior to the booking doesn't give you the right to query or cancel the transaction. That'd be stupid … Who cares about a bit of fraud between friends. You made a decision and it would be a complete betrayal of that decision to back out just because it’s a con”. Not much sympathy. And rightly so.
On it went: “You made your decision Julia. You can't go back on that now, if it means you lose all your money to fraud that's just how it is. You knew what booking meant. Agoda means Agoda”. But Mark Bartlam had the real reason for the iffy email.
“They probably want to make sure it’s really you so that they can warn the other guests”. Well, quite. Fancy having her turn up at the breakfast buffet shooting off her North And South when you’re feeling a little tender from a late night?
And that’s who they let on telly to do punditry. Can’t blame viewers for switching off.
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