Many years ago while working for an online ski holiday company I was presented with a problem. Two sisters I thought I had booked into a twin room were now told that they would have to share a double bed, as no twin was left. The sisters were not happy at this prospect. So I asked the operator I had booked the holiday with to stand by the confirmation of the twin bed booking. They refused, they said as I had made the booking on the phone rather by the preferred electronic online system (which was down at the time) that they would not honour it & allow amendment.
I asked the company directors for guidance and they were also baffled, suggesting that I might use human rights law with the holiday company to get them to budge. After sleeping on the issue I came back the next morning – and drafted a fax to the company. I asked simply if they therefore regarded the telephone booking and the online booking as two separate distinct systems. A few hours later, they had a ’surprise’ change of mind, and the twin sisters got their hotel room with separate beds.
I still recall today the royal catchphrase from my time there, “we can request, but we can’t guarantee”.