So, Amecon has come and gone (taking parts of the hotel it was in with it, but more about that later).
and I had so much of an... adventure (yeah, we'll call it that) getting there.
So we left London bright and early in the morning, excited about our first class train tickets and the con. We arrived in Nottingham around midday and caught a bus up to where our hotel (the Holiday Inn Express) was to check-in. So following Google Maps, we circled the block twice. Letme tell you, Nottingham is HILLY, and my suitcase was stupid heavy, so it wasn't much fun. We can't find it, so Kani calls up.
The answer? THE HOTEL IS NO LONGER THERE. That's right. The hotel we had booked in September had been sold off to another chain in February, and according to the CS person on the phone (who was horribly unhelpful, sarcastic and just plain nasty), we had been sent a notification. Obviously we hadn't or we wouldn't be stood in the centre of Nottingham, having this conversation in a street. According to the CS, she didn't know why we hadn't received the notification, but it had been sent, so it wasn't their problem. According to this same... person, we hadn't been charged for the room either, because the money went out at some point between booking and checking in. Seeing that it was booked in September, and check-in would have been RIGHT THEN, didn't seem to register with her, and was adamant that no money had been taken.
So, off we trot to the TraveLodge to see if they had rooms (I would like to thank the lovely lady at reception there, who was a perfect ANGEL). They didn't but they let us use their sofas to sit down and make some calls. So we called the bank who tell us the money has DEFINITELY gone out, and has not been refunded. At that point, some amazing peeps offered to let us leave our stuff in their room, and some other people were already offering us a place to stay. The lady at the Travelodge even offered us a room for Friday night, because she had a cancellation.
So, off we trot to the bank to get proof of the transaction, and then went to the Crowne Plaza (also part of the IHG chain). The ladies there at reception were also very helpful, and lent us another sofa to call CS services AGAIN.
Unfortunately, more of the same. It's not their problem, not their responsibility. They can pop us in the Crowne Plaza for double what we paid originally, or put us 7 miles away. And of COURSE they WON'T pay a taxi for us, because poor ickle owner of the hotel they put us in, why should HE have to pay for our taxi because someone else sold their hotel without telling us, would that be fair?
I was ready to bang my head against a wall at this point. I'm going down to the Citizen's Advice Bureau later, to see what are our rights on this because honestly, it was fucking ridiculous how they kept washing their hands of us.
At this point, I mention that I have a loyalty card with them, and suddenly voilá! It's all kittens and rainbows. So I had to use my points to get a free night and they have 'loaned' me a similar amount of points to have a second free night.
So at least we had a place to stay, but I am still not happy about the whole thing (even though everybody at the Crowne Plaza was pretty amazing), because Kani has had to dispute the charge through the bank, and we've basically had to pay for our hotel AGAIN.
Apart from that, Ame was pretty chill. I like to think of it as LazyCon, because most people just sat around and hung out with their friends, playing tabletop games and chatting and stuff.
The parties were really good, and I had a great time at the ball, scarfing down Ferrero Roches and Lindors
And so many awesome people met, both old friends and new. The Pokemon photoshoot was so awesome!