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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

A Portsmouth Hotel


Imagine you surf the web pages, wanting to reserve a hotel room in Portsmouth, UK, and later on, you confirm and pay a Portsmouth hotel that you like; but only on the check-in date in UK do you realize that the hotel is actually in US. Would you panic? Apart from questioning yourself how can this happen and why, what would you do next?

Anxiety and mental struggle aside, you might try to solve the problem on the spot by surfing the web pages, reserving and confirming a room in a Portsmouth hotel, UK. You would pay more attention on the exact location of the hotel, preventing a repeat of the mistake, and the consequential loss and pain. That however is a gain process as our minds continue to grow, learning from the mistake that we make.

Having settled and calmed down, you might try to salvage the operation by letting the US hotel proprietor know that you are definitely not checking in there, hoping that the room occupancy would not be wasted since UK time is well ahead of US time. Although the confusion is largely due to your gross negligence, you hope you, the US hotel and the intermediaries can be put back to the position as if the contract has not existed. Whether you succeed or not would depend, not on the law, but the goodwill of the other side.

The above in fact is a true story happened to my family in late August 2017. Instead of focusing on the negative outcome, we looked at the matter positively - the emotion that "as soon as one door is shut, another opens", was invaluable to us. I further believe that we have yet to realize the full impact of the mistake on us, and those who put themselves in our shoes!

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