A Chinese tourist had booked a hotel for three nights in the city of Vladivostock on the Chinese-Russian border through online travel site Mafengwo. Or at least he thought he had.
When he was told that there was no reservation being held for him, he tried to contact the booking site through it’s app but had no luck in getting through to anyone, Inkstone News reported.
A friend back in China looked into the matter and discovered that Mafengwo had made the booking for hotel with a very similar name in Kavos, a seaside village on the Greek resort island of Corfu.
A representative of the booking site gave the tourist two options: he could be given $31 as compensation for the inconvenience, or the company could reimburse him for the cab ride to the hotel they’d booked.
According to Google Maps, the distance between the two cities is 11,830 kilometres and the journey would take over six days of nonstop driving.
No matter how cheap cabs might be, driving non-stop for six days would still set back the company a bit of money. How much? Mafengwo estimated the bill would come to over AU$16,500.
Obviously, the tourist was not happy with either option and took to the Twitter-like social media platform Weibo to complain in a post that soon went viral.
Mafengwo apologised for the mistake via a statement, that said it would make good on its promise, offering $12,000 to reimburse the tourist for a taxi ride from Vladivostok to Greece.
“Although it was a misunderstanding caused by miscommunication, we are willing to show our utmost sincerity,” Mafengwo said.
And somewhat shockingly the tourist plans to take up teh company’s offer of a free road trip.
“Now that everyone wants to see the taxi ride from Vladivostok to Greece, I am happy to become Mafengwo’s ‘chief experience officer’ and take a cab to Greece,” he said on Weibo, promising to broadcast the journey live on social media.