Shawn Welch is not happy with Regus
Shawn seems like a reasonable person. When he booked the conference room at his Regus office in Charlotte, North Carolina, there was no indication that the same conference had already been booked. But when he later showed up to the conference to meet with his client at the scheduled time, he found someone else already using the conference room. Both Shawn and the conference room's occupant were confused, because they had each used Regus's booking app to reserve the room at the same time.
There turned out to be some sort of technical glitch in Regus's booking app, which, unfortunately, allowed two different Regus customers to book the same conference room at the same time. As Shawn later recounted, it was, of course, annoying and fairly disruptive to his client meeting that day. But his initial reaction was not to raise hell about it. Instead, he decided that he would conduct the scheduled client meeting as best as he could (in the storage room Regus asked him to use instead) and then bring the issue to the Regus manager's attention later.
That is exactly what Shawn did. He framed it quite graciously to the manager, I think, a la...
- Mistakes happen
- Not a big deal
- But how can we make this right and ensure that it doesn't happen again?
Shawn was surprised, then, when the Regus manager's response was--shall we say--not as gracious, or even empathetic. In fact, rather than acknowledging the error at all--which had clearly been on Regus's part--the manager told Shawn that Regus had the contractual right to make changes to room bookings as Regus wished.
The manager, it seemed, totally missed the point--which was that Regus did in fact make a mistake and that, as a result, Shawn was inconvenienced. (This is great example, by the way, of when a simple validation statement would have likely gone a long way to getting the complaint resolved: I know how you feel; I would feel the same way if that had happened to me; Etc.) For some strange reason, actually, the manager thought that it would be better to assert that Regus had the contractual right to make this kind of mistake, to frame it from Shawn's perspective.
Did the contract Shawn signed say that, though?
Probably not, assuming that the contract Shawn signed contained only Regus's standard contract terms.
For example, in the very first section of Regus' January 2021 version of the so-called "house rules," Regus states that "We shall provide use of meeting rooms and private offices subject to availability and upon reservation only." That sentence seems to clearly state that, under the contract, Regus will (and, therefore, is obligated to) provide the meeting room (a.k.a. conference room) as booked.Sudsd
So, because Regus processed two, duplicate booking for the same room at the same time, and because Regus could not possibly honor both bookings simultaneously, it would seem that the obvious contractual implication of the mistake for Regus would be that Regus breached the contract. The Regus manager with whom Shawn spoke must have missed that.