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Feb 5, 2013 07:27 AM

Opentable reserving for the wrong time? [moved from San Francisco board]

Last night I had reservations for 8pm, but for some reason Opentable registered it to their computer as 6.30. So when we showed up, there was no table available. I definitely made a reso for 8, because they sent me a confirmation email with that time. The hostess explained that this had happened before, when Opentable inexplicably used a different time than the one it showed on the screen. Luckily they had room at 8:30, so the damage was minimal, but if I had reserved for a Friday night, our evening probably would have been ruined. One of my dining companions last night said that this had happened to him before as well -- Opentable assigned him a completely different evening.

What the heck is going on? How often does this happen, and how long as this been going on? That's bad enough to make me reserve on the phone, every single time.

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  1. Computerized systems make mistakes, simple as that. Most restaurants I book call a day or two ahead to confirm a reservation; if there is a mistake I iron it out then. Or call ahead of time yourself to ensure the date and time of your reservation is correct. "Back in the day" a person on the other end of the phone could have easily made the same mistake taking your reservation with paper and pen. No system is a perfect one.

    1. I've used Opentable a lot (almost always through the links on restaurants' own sites) and have never had that experience.

      It would be a pretty serious bug for the system to send a confirmation email that didn't match the actual reservation.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Yah I was shocked, quite frankly. Until now I've never had a problem either (actually there was an incident at Boulud Sud a few months ago in which I was down for the wrong day, but I'm not sure that it wasn't human error on my part), but then the hostess and my friend both nodded knowingly.

        Either way I will definitely be heeding ttoommyy's advice from now on.

      2. Fortunately, this has not happened to me but it is discouraging. Did you complain to Opentable?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ceekskat

          In fact I was planning to send them an email (that is literally the last thing that should be broken on that website), but there wasn't an obvious "contact us" link. I will search harder later.

        2. I had an issue last week with AQ which uses Urbanspoon. I had a reservation - then they sent an email two days before asking me to re-confirm. But when I clicked on the link, there was no reservation to re-confirm.

          I then called AQ - no answer so I left a message. They never called me back. Because the reservation was a special occasion, I had to cancel because I had no confidence that the reservation was ever actually made.

          1. Contact open table.

            At the host stand you can always ask for them to clock on your history and select the reservation. This will show any changes made to your reservation and if they were made online or by the host. I know this does not help you at this point. but for the future.