Five Star Fomo. Black Mirror job.

Your wan had a French name and a place up fairly cheap. Nice pictures, spacious, safe, all that. The site had a big red warning that said: LAST PLACE LEFT for your dates. Nothing like Fomo to get the booking going. Tore open the wallet, fired in the card number, nearly broke the screen trying to get digits in fast, fast, fast, it’ll be gone! Then, sound, said the lively robot, you’re booking is confirmed. Good man yourself, got a good deal, sure thinking like that is how you save big money and no need for them demented hotels at all. Sleep good, pack your suitcase, get ready for the road. But. Somewhere in the ether, a devil began to laugh. At first it was stifled in a vague icy doubt and eventually descended into the falling fog of concern and buyer’s remorse. Had I checked the reviews? Was it refundable? Reliable? Too good to be true? The phone felt heavy and uncertain when I picked it up, like it was biting its lip, saying maybe you don’t want to know? I found the place again, scrolled down, and drank in the truth of the dark premonition.

First lad was straight in with SCAM!

And it got worse from there.  A broken shower, pictures of dirty rotten beds and bare live wires that could jump start an airplane. The nice pictures were of somewhere else, someone else’s house apparently, or maybe this one a long time ago, before it fell into the hole of dire disrepair and was listed for booking on the wild reliable site that caught me with the LAST ONE LEFT trick. I scanned more. No stars, lots of warnings, complaints, warning of danger inside the house due to everything being fucked and outside due to it being a dodgy area. Sure ya wouldn’t know, might be refundable? I checked the site and it was written in big bold thick ignorant letters: Non-Refundable.

But I still had a plan. Time to ring the bank. Lately I told them to stop ringing me every time I buy something, I know what I’m doing, don’t need ye checking my transactions every two minutes. Now here I am, big shtuff himself booking gammy accommodation. Got through after a while, a lovely girl with a soft Munster accent, said: ‘We can’t help you there, it’s gone through.’ She said something about making cases, filling forms, complicated madness. I hung up. Contacted the site, more demonic laughs from the shadows on the wall. It was night, see, and the phone’s screen illuminated the anonymous dark. It was a bit like being on The Matrix, or getting sucked into some virtual video game like something out of Black Mirror. The FAQ put me on to the chat. The chat put me on to the FAQ. It went on like that for a while, the bank card still thrown on the couch, out of breath after such an unprovoked assault, and the money long gone, probably spent on that bitch’s 20 fags in her dodgy bungalow with dirty light bulbs, and her hair frazzled from the last time she got a belt of high voltage trying to turn on the WiFi and see who’s after booking now, who fell for it tonight?

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