Answer: Talk about getting a runaround. Accor should have offered a way to report your double booking through its website and given you a prompt refund when you pointed out the problem.
It’s not entirely clear how you ended up with two pre-paid rooms. Maybe you accidentally clicked “buy” twice or refreshed your Web browser, triggering the extra purchase. Accor took the money out of your credit card account almost immediately, and it should have figured out a way to return it quickly, too.
What makes this even more maddening is that you are a frequent guest. The A-Club should have been empowered to fix this problem on your behalf instead of passing you off to the main help line. But even when it did send you to another department, the reservationists with whom you spoke should have been able to see your status and to fix the problem — even if it meant they would have to place several calls to the hotel.
Incidentally, none of this would have happened if you’d booked through a travel agent. Even if a travel professional had mistakenly bought two rooms, you’d have someone to turn to for getting this error corrected.
I believe part of your problem is European bureaucracy, under which everyone has a carefully defined role to play. The loyalty desk couldn’t help you because they can only help with award redemption. Accor’s help desk must defer to the hotel because it’s a nonrefundable, pre-paid rate — and so forth.
Having spent the first 16 years of my life in Europe, I can certainly understand the hotel’s point of view. But it makes no sense for the customer.
I would have advised you to appeal to an executive, but a review of your correspondence shows you tried that, too. So I contacted Accor on your behalf. You received a call from the hotel, which promised to refunded the balance of your money and deposit 40 euro worth of loyalty points into your A-Club account to make up for the trouble.