A Chinese travel site has offered to compensate 80,000 yuan ($11,750) to a tourist after a booking mistake left him stuck in Russia with a reservation in Greece. Customer service then told him to "take a taxi" to the right hotel, media reported.
In a now viral Sina Weibo post, user "ercunbuting" said he had booked three nights at the Barbados Hostel - near the balmy shores of Vladivostok, Russia - through travel site Mafengwo.
He arrived late on August 15 to no reservation. Calling customer service from Russia, "ercunbuting" said a representative gave a slew of excuses, which included blaming a third-party agency and saying it was "too early to check in."
It was only after a friend contacted Mafengwo in China that the real reason emerged - they had booked a hostel of the same name in Greece.
According to Weibo posts, the company initially offered the stranded traveler 200 yuan for the error and advised him to "take a taxi to the correct hotel" - a nearly 12,000-kilometer, six-day ride.
In a statement on Sunday, Mafengwo apologized for the error and offered the traveler compensation in the form of "taxi fare."
"Because of the difficulties we caused on this trip, we've decided to make good on our promise to reimburse taxi fare (estimated to be 80,000 yuan)," read the statement released online.
"Although it was a huge misunderstanding, we are sincerely willing to completely pay for it."