Hotel Monaco Denver Doesn't Care What Happened, They're Locking You Out Of Your Room, Enjoy Your Business Trip

Rebecca is—as this story is being posted—locked out of her room at the Hotel Monaco in Denver, Colorado, where she’s attending a work related conference. She accidentally left her wallet and cell phone in her husband’s car on the way to the airport, so she’s trying to make do with a passport and debit card that she had on her when she realized what had happened. Hotel Monaco told her she had to have the room paid for by 5pm today, but while she was attending the conference this morning they changed their minds and locked her out at 12 noon.

I’m a longtime reader of consumerist and could definitely use y’alls help in my current situation. I am on a week long trip to Denver for a conference. The conference has been good, but the trip has been plagued with mishaps. I forgot my cell phone and my wallet in my husband’s car when he dropped me off at the airport….Luckily I had my passport and mini-wallet which contained my debit card. By the time I realized my phone and wallet were not with me, my husband was long gone and the verizon payphone at the airport would not allow me to call his verizon cell phone. So, no phone, no credit cards, but I figured I’d be okay for a week with a debit card.

Checked into the Hotel Monaco Denver on 2/29/2008 with no problems. They swiped the debit card and gave me my room key. All was fine until yesterday evening, 3/5/2008 around 5 p.m. Denver time. I get a call from a Lisa at the front desk who states that my card is not authorizing. As I’m not checking out until Friday afternoon, I ask why this is a problem. Apparently, they need authorization or I will just walk out of the hotel without paying. I am stunned that Lisa has just said this, and remark that I do not appreciate being called a thief. She tells me that I can bring a check down to the front desk to cover my expenses, and that is what I do. Face to face, she continues to be rude and insinuate that I am not going to pay. I write a check and explain that I am using my debit card (due to forgetting of the wallet) and that my husband will be depositing money into my account tomorrow to cover my stay. She says that that will be fine as long as the funds are there by 5 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, 3/6/2008). I’m still a bit shell-shocked from being called a deadbeat and a thief, but I had an evening conference to attend.

Fast forward to this morning, where I had a conference from 8 am until noon. Afterwards, I stop and pick up a Arby’s roast beef sandwich to go. I plan to eat in my room before I go to my afternoon and evening appointments. When I get back to the hotel, my key does not work. I go down to the front desk and they call the manager, Tim, who tells me that they still cannot authorize the card. Again, as I explain to him, my husband will be depositing sufficient funds this afternoon because I only have my debit card. I also explain I have no cell phone and no other cards with me. I am then told that until they receive authorization, I will not be allowed in my room. I again state that I was told I had until 5 p.m. and that is also what my husband was made aware of. I am again told that I will not be allowed in my room until they have authorization. Tim also echoes the sentiment of the manager of the previous day and states that he does not believe that I will pay for my room.

At this point I am extremely frustrated, I was told I had until 5 p.m. to have the authorization go through, I have no cell phone, and I WAS NEVER TOLD I WOULD BE LOCKED OUT OF MY ROOM if authorization wasn’t there by noon. I have been accused of being a deadbeat and a thief and treated like trash. To add insult to injury, my sandwich is cold and my monthly girl time just started. So I’m also starving and without feminine hygiene products. It’s also really cold here in Denver and I’m in a skirt and heels.

I’ve emailed the Kimpton hotels customer service and got the standard sorry for your inconvience reply. However, I am absolutely furious at what has occurred and I’m locked out of my room. Any advice or publicity you can give to my plight would help, and the sooner the better. I have access to email at the convention center, but that is my only form of communication.

Our first thought is, can you contact anyone at your company to provide some emergency assistance? Almost every company or department has access to some means of paying for hotel rooms remotely, so it might be time to call in a favor or two. We also want to know if you’ve tried buying a long-distance calling card at a nearby gas station or drugstore and then getting your husband on the phone to make things right.

If this happens again (we know, we know, it won’t), we’d seriously consider FedExing your missing items overnight. Yes, it’s extra money that you probably don’t have, but being stuck by yourself in a strange city without proper access to your accounts is too risky should an emergency occur.

Readers, any suggestions?

Comments

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  1. bsalamon says:

    my in-laws live in denver…
    seriously though, I would try a different hotel. Ask to remove your stuff and take your business to a place that appreciates your business

  2. kbarrett says:

    Always have $500 in your wallet while traveling.

  3. BalknChain says:

    Been there done that at a nightmare hotel in Canada. Can’t the husband do a payment by phone with the credit card? All they should need is the number and maybe a faxed statement from the husband. She should pay her balance and get out of there and into another hotel though.

  4. Black Bellamy says:

    Has Rebecca not stayed in a hotel before? If you’re paying by cash, you need to pay beforehand, and if you’re paying by credit card, the hotel will pre-authorize for the entire amount.

    Where does she get the idea that a cash-paying customer can just run up a bill and “settle” it later?

  5. JustAGuy2 says:

    Now would be the time to call your husband and have him fax you a copy of his signed credit card, along with a written authorization for them to charge it and a phone # where he can be reached.

  6. ohiomensch says:

    Was there a reason why she couldn’t call her husband that morning and have him give the desk a cc number over the phone? Or wouldn’t the hotel believe that either?

  7. woodenturkey says:

    @kbarrett:

    man you travel in fantasy land, $500 cash let me know next time you go on a trip so i can roll your ass

  8. juri squared says:

    FedExing the stuff is a good plan. Something similar happeed to a friend of mine when we went to Vegas, and that worked out pretty well.

  9. taylorich says:

    There are many different options.

    1. Wire transfer funds and get them immediately instead of waiting for your husband to put them in tomorrow?
    2. Call COLLECT to your husband, or anyone else who can help?
    3. Bank branch in Denver to cash a check or go to a check cashing service?
    4. Ask someone from the convention to let you use their phone?
    5. Your hotel room was authorized with a CC number. Can they use that number?
    6. American Express – Don’t leave home without it?

  10. Smitherd says:

    @kbarrett: No offense, but it states in the post that she forgot her wallet and cell phone in her husband’s car. Even if she did have $500 in her wallet, it would do her no good.

  11. humphrmi says:

    I’m with bsalamon. Sure, she forgot her wallet. This happens all the time in hotels and their responsiveness separates the good from the bad. Congratulations, you have found the bad, now go find a hotel that appreciates your business (even with it’s faults).

  12. freshyill says:

    @kbarrett: Great advice for when your wallet gets lost or stolen, or in this case, you forget it. It’s insane to carry that kind of cash around.

  13. dorkins says:

    At least they didn’t ask to see her receipt!

  14. juri squared says:

    Also, in regards to your need for the stuff in your room… maybe they can at least let you in to get your stuff?

  15. ecwis says:

    Find a maid and tell her you locked yourself out of your room, or steal a maids card to get into your own room.

  16. kityglitr says:

    Okay, I am at work at a hotel right now. You would not believe how many people rip off hotels. They leave without paying, they take anything that is not nailed down, etc… However, the Hotel Monaco must have some idiots working for them. You authorize a guests card the moment they give it to you, not some random time later in the day. If they had run the auth at her check-in, then she would have been well aware of the issue and dealt with it faster, making everyone happy. However, at this point, she is dealing with people who just don’t care about her or her problem. I suggest she contact her company (is she self employed?) and have them arrange a third party credit card authorization or payment. If this is not an option, I would suggest having the staff locate the staff member who made the verbal agreement with her regarding the 5pm deadline for authorization. If she can remember EXACTLY who told her 5pm and make them agree to verify that they said 5pm, then she should be fine. But if they are pig headed, and insist that she is a scammer without giving her a chance to rectify the situation, she should just leave and find smaller, friendlier hotel that might be willing to accept her word. It’s not a nice thing, what the Hotel Monaco did to her, but if I were the desk agent and had not been informed by any other staff member of the 5pm agreement, I would be forced by policy to do the same thing. No card, no cash, no check… no room.

  17. hate2brippedoff says:

    Aren’t enough items left behind in rooms without strongarming guests? This is wrong, just wrong.

  18. BlueTraveler says:

    I would definitely try to get your husband to do a credit card over the phone with them. I doubt you could go to a check cashing store, seeing as there is no money in the account for the authorization on the debt card to go through. Credit card over the phone is your best bet.

  19. cmhbob says:

    Umm, I’m thinking that they’re committing a crime by taking her property. That is, by not letting her regain her belongings in the room, they’re technically “taking” it from her, so I’d say they’re committing a theft, says the ex-cop.

  20. Darkwish says:

    Didn’t she say she wrote a check to pay for it? They lock her out of her room the next day after it was paid? If there was a problem with the check they should have at least notified her about it. What the hell is going on with that hotel?

  21. BigBoat says:

    Definitely they have to let you in to get your stuff. Call the police and say you’re being robbed if they give you a hassle. Then take your junk to another hotel and settle in.

  22. jamesdenver says:

    If she’s hungry tell her to go to Sam’s #3. Its a diner at 1500 Curtis – at Curtis and 15th.

    My company does some work with them. I know them and will call in a meal for her.

    Shoot me an e-mail if she wants to take me up on it. I’ll be at work for another hour. Seriously.

    james@futuregringo.com

  23. DCGaymer says:

    Normally A hotel will accept a faxed copy of the credit card front and back along with a copy of the person’s ID. Simply have her husband fax a copy of another CC and then show them your her ID. They can verify the info with her CC company.

  24. picshereplz says:

    I’m in the “has this woman never stayed at a hotel before?” camp. It’s not unusual for them to run a card to make sure you can pay for any charges. Yeah, it’s shitty and rude of them to insinuate that you’d run away without paying, but it happens all the time. And from their perspective, it looks suspicious that you’re staying at a hotel and your card won’t authorize.

  25. Darkwish says:

    @jamesdenver: I salute your generosity.

  26. jamesdenver says:

    uh – yeah why aren’t the police involved? Call them from the lobby, get in there and grab your photo ID.

    Then go over to the Magnolia Hotel a few blocks away.

    [www.magnoliahotels.com]

  27. basket548 says:

    Add me to the choir singing her other options. Call the company, call the husband, call your credit card. Don’t just assume that you can write a check or use a debit card with ‘money that will be deposited later’.

  28. zebra says:

    I couldn’t find contact info for Niki Leondakis, who is the CEO of Kimpton Hotels (who owns the Hotel Monaco), but I didn find this. Hope it helps.

    Kimpton Hotels
    222 Kearny Street, Suite 200
    San Francisco, CA 94108
    Allison Goldstein, Director of Hotel Public Relations
    (415) 955-5407
    Allison.Goldstein@kimptongroup.com

    I’d at least try and call that number.

  29. Hotelfiend says:

    Hotels are not in the business of extending lines of credit. Rooms have to be paid for (or CC authorized) if you want to stay. Most front desk managers (myself included) have been burned by situations like this. The hotel could have stepped up a little though. They could have sent the husband a CC authorization form which is extremly common. I would offer 1 piece of advice. Do not use the debit card. When the hotel gets it they will authorize the card for the room and tax and upwards of $50 per night for incidentals. On check out day they charge the card for the amount but the original hold will not drop off for several days keeping you from getting your money. I’ve seen that happen often.

  30. howie_in_az says:

    Don’t pay the bill. On your way out, say “you guys were TOTALLY RIGHT!”

  31. bohemian says:

    Didn’t she have to reserve the room with something? Like a credit or debit card? Most hotels ask to reswipe when you show up with the card. But couldn’t they possibly just use the info from the reservation? I try to use the same card for the reservation AND the actual room costs and keep my other purchases on a different card. That seems to help avoid any headaches from hotels capturing a bunch of your funds and then being slow to release them back.

    I am still trying to fathom how you lose your cell phone AND wallet on your way out of town. I usually double check for both about ten times and keep both somewhere they are not going to leave me or get dropped. They can lose my luggage for all I care as long as I have money sources and a phone I can figure it out.

  32. sleze69 says:

    The hotel has handled this all wrong. They should have told her right from the beginning that her husband need only fax authorization to bill the proper credit card. That point, in and of itself is the reason I am black listing Hotel Monaco.

    That said, Rebecca seems to be a travel novice. Checks and debit cards are not well received at hotels. Even having money in your account doesn’t impress hotels. They will still usually require a deposit. By not having the money in the account to cover the costs makes her look like a scammer.

    I am still on the fence as to whether or not she actually is a scammer.

  33. kityglitr says:

    @jamesdenver: You are awesome. Awesome!

  34. Whitey Fisk says:

    That’s disgusting. I mean, really, she ate at Arby’s???

  35. Ben Popken says:

    Very simple answer: Western Union. Get all the money for your stay and pay them in full.

  36. valarmorghulis says:

    @Ben Popken: up to this point, and find another hotel who won’t be rude about the situation.

  37. esqdork says:

    If you have an American Express card, phone them and tell them you lost the card and explain the situation. They’ll take care of the hotel (billing it to your account of course) and get a new card issued and delivered.

  38. RStewie says:

    Call any credit card, they’ll give you the number of your account and any other information the hotel needs. But I would personally pay for the previous day’s fees, and find another hotel pronto.

    If they’re like this now, don’t wait for them to screw up your trip even more later.

  39. crimsonwhat says:

    If she’s having trouble with her debit card, why can’t she call her bank and ask what’s going on? Although the hotel was wrong in saying she had until 5 pm and then changed their minds and locked her out at noon, it seems as if it might be her debit card that is causing the problem (since it won’t go through).
    Just a thought. Perhaps I’m wrong though.

  40. Fry says:

    @jamesdenver: Dude, kudos to your generosity. However, in case of spammers, I would’ve typed out the @ and . in your address.

    Did she take you up on it?

  41. EmperorOfCanada says:

    She is taking being locked out of her Hotel room very seriously.

  42. MrEvil says:

    I don’t really have any snarky remark for a woman that leaves her wallet behind.

    After all most female attire does not have much in the way of pockets. Alot of your higher class motels do not like cash and they do not like debit cards. Which is why I stay at cheaper places like Best Western all the time.

    If this is a business trip though, shouldn’t the company be paying for this? Or do you have to expense it later? I wouldn’t know being self employed.

  43. Fry says:

    @MrEvil: It vaires company-to-company, but in most cases it is probably pay now, get your money back later. I haven’t heard about many companies that do this the other way, though they do sometimes.

  44. marsneedsrabbits says:

    The Wyndham in the Denver Tech Centre is very nice and has always gone above and beyond for us.

    I wish I had more specific advice.

  45. jamesdenver says:

    @Fry:

    Nope – I’m sure she’s busy hopefully finding a better hotel.

    If I were her I wouldn’t be hanging around the convention center writing e-mails – I’d be in their face demanding my personal property back – WITH the authorities if needed.

    Also aren’t there CAMERAS there? if she was ALREADY there they could see her enter and exit her room – and verify she was a guest – some some shifty shuyster off the street.

    I’m headed to Europe on Wednesday. I’ve already called my bank to make sure my card isn’t stopped for fraud, and called me three credit cards to make sure I can withdraw cash from THOSE if needed, – should something happen to my debit card.

    And I keep one credit card outside of my wallet in case I lose that. Oh and I have a copy of my drivers licence and pasport on my E-MAIL – so if I lose my photo ID I can go print it out somewhere. That would have helped her.

    Anyway she doesn’t sound dumb – just had a string of bad luck. But the little chains I create for backup (extra cards, email copies, extra photos,) can go a long way if needed.

    Thanks for the e-mail alert – that’s my e-mail for my public blog, so I don’t mind it being out. I have a different personal e-mail. but yeah should have wrote AT

  46. Amelia Subverxin says:

    Try calling customer service on one of your credit cards. Let them know that you’ve lost your credit cards and it’s an emergency, then see if the rep can have the room charged to your card.

    I was under the impression that if you’re staying for seven days at a hotel, they put an authorization hold on your card for the full seven days. It sounds more like they were charging her card for each individual days, which doesn’t really make sense.

  47. Steve Trachsel, Ace says:

    @jamesdenver: Cops will laugh at her. She used the hotel the night before and to this point she hasnt paid them, so they are holding her belongings. While the hotel should have worked with her to arrange another payment form, giving a hotel a debit card that has no funds behind it and a post-dated check is tantamount for fraud.

    I second the “western union and get the heck out” crowd.

  48. Steve Trachsel, Ace says:

    *to fraud

  49. docshar says:

    Sure, it sounds like she could have handled things a little better. But that’s no excuse for the hotel staff being rude, treating her like a thief, telling her 5pm and locking her out at noon, etc. I just tried to go to the hotel’s website to send them a note saying I *won’t* be staying there when I’m in Denver later this year (and including a link to this Consumerist story)…apparently I’m not the only one who had that idea. I got an error message, seems like their comment system must be down…

  50. bairdwallace says:

    @kbarrett: You can’t be serious. Are you serious? Yeah, nobody ever has their wallet stolen when they’re traveling, and she *already* left her wallet at home.

  51. ecwis says:

    @Tracy Ham and Eggs: The hotel isn’t entitled to her personal belongings just because she hasn’t paid them.

  52. Quaoar says:

    @BigBoat:

    The Inkeeper Laws in most states permit the inkeeper to keep all personal property pending a bill payment. It’s on that little card on the interior of the door that no one ever reads.

  53. renilyn says:

    @Tracy Ham and Eggs: Your right, the cops will laugh. I live in Colorado Springs-I called here locally to see what they would do in a similar situation. They stated that it was a ‘civil matter’ and basically, since they would be rather sure that the patron didnt have any receipts for the belongings in the room-she couldnt prove that they were hers. Nothing they could do.

    Im with whoever said Windham (however you spell it). A friend of ours is a front desk manager at the Windham here locally and loves to help. Shoot a comment back to me if I can give any help!

    Sorry for your situation.

  54. paradisefound24 says:

    Seriously, they should have done the authorization at check in. That’s irresponsibility on their part. Secondly, the room had to have been held by a Credit Card # – or else she could walk away from the whole situation now without getting slapped with a cancellation fee.

    If this is the case – that it wasn’t held with a CC# – she should cancel the rest of her reservation, and make it only for the night – that way they’ll only need the money for the night to be authorized – which will be much less than for the full seven day stay.

    If it WAS held with a credit card #, there’s no reason why she can’t call the company and have the whole stay authorized through that card. I would throw in a chargeback to any cancellation fees, as they’re technically refusing her service, and she should refuse to pay any fees related to times she wasn’t allowed use of the room.

    She’s probably not vindictive like me, but I would at least consider dripping blood (or ketchup, whatever) everywhere in the lobby and putting up a stink that they won’t let her access any of her belongings.

  55. ecwis says:

    @Quaoar: The “Innkeeper Laws” are not federal laws and therefore vary by state. I looked at the appropriate Colorado statutes and I don’t see anything granting Colorado hotels the right to keep their personal property.

    An innkeeper has the right to refuse or deny accommodations, facilities, and the privileges of a lodging establishment to any person who is not willing or able to pay for such accommodations, facilities, and services. The innkeeper shall have the right to require a prospective guest to demonstrate his or her ability to pay by cash, valid credit card, or a validated check, and if the prospective guest is a minor, the innkeeper may require a parent or legal guardian of such minor or other responsible adult
    (Colorado Revised Statutes 12-44-302)

  56. davidc says:

    I have to say: This person should not be traveling.

    There are a ton of things that can be done, one of which is to have her husband pay for the room via the phone to the front desk! Husband gets on the line and pays for the room … rocket science huh?

    The women has a “debit” card with no money in it, which means a checking account with no money in it? And the hotel tries to get the “check” verified and they see it has not money in the account and she wants them to trust her?

    I am sorry, I have no sympathy for this women.

    Lrn2BeFinanciallyResponsible

  57. henwy says:

    Sounds like her own damn fault. In this day and age, there’s no excuse for this sort of thing. The number of ways to get funds to the hotel are near infinite, many having already been documented by previous comments. If she couldn’t be bothered to persue any of them, then maybe a time out in the cold is what’s warranted.

  58. NightSteel says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the Hotel Monaco series of hotels is pretty upscale, as are most Kimptons. This isn’t some Motel 6. As others have mentioned, the room would have had to be reserved with a credit card number. In addition, they have a debit card number *and* a check from this woman, so they know everything they could possibly need to to recover money from her.

    Given these things, locking her out is inexcusable. It’s reasonable to expect an upscale chain like that to have better customer service. Also, kityglitr is right, the hotel should have authorized her card right up front, before even giving her access to the room. If they had, she might not have a room, but at least she might still have all her things.

    Unfortunately, it seems that the management at this particular hotel is blind to its own mistakes. Also unfortunately, she is pretty much without recourse while on the spot. Until they get their money, she is at their mercy. However, after the fact, I hope she launches an EECB of epic proportions.

  59. Tank says:

    @kbarrett: too late for that this trip.

  60. DCGaymer says:

    @nightSteel Actually most Kimpton hotels are only middling at best. They’re high on the hip factor but not the best customer service I’ve ever had. As for the the hotel rates … they’re usually only about $160.00 a night (SF, DC, Chicago) which can be bargained down with a business discount. The service though varies from city to city. A Monaco/Palomar at a 2nd tier city like Denver ( and Denver, you know it’s true) isn’t going to to be on the cutting edge of guest relations.

  61. kimsama says:

    I also agree there is much she could do — such as call her company, her husband, have money wired, etc. But I do agree that the hotel staff seem inconsistent and incompetent, and to lock her out when they’d said they wouldn’t is underhanded (though, like I said, she does have recourse, she just needs to contact someone with the ability to pay).

    So, I can see it both ways, but I urge the OP to post her experiences on Yelp and Trip Advisor so that other consumers can decide if they want to put up with the obvious staff issues here. I don’t think I’d want to stay at a place like that (and I’ve never had an issue, mostly due to obsessive overplanning ^_^).

  62. AuntieBubbles says:

    That was the best response in this thread……….@howie_in_az:

  63. President Beeblebrox says:

    @NightSteel: Yup. I’ve stayed in Kimpton hotels all over the place. They’re upscale AND very very customer-oriented. Hell, I stayed in the Hotel Vintage Park in Seattle two times over the course of two years, and the bellhop, who took care of me the first time, made sure to greet me by name the second time I stayed there. So, the Monaco’s reaction to this situation is pretty bizarre. I would definitely get the executive office involved ASAP to at least tell them what the hell happened. I think they will take the situation rather seriously.

    For those of you who are playing “blame the victim” – give it up already. You don’t know if the woman is a novice traveler or what her full story is. Travel snafus can and do happen. Would you be blaming her as much if her purse, cell, etc. had been stolen instead of just forgetting it?

  64. rjhiggins says:

    @kbarrett: I assume you’re not serious, but just in case:

    1. She forgot her wallet, which presumably is where one would keep a spare $500.

    2. Carrying $500 in cash while traveling is just asking for trouble. Nevermind pickpockets and muggers (very real possibilities around airports and hotels), but suppose you lose your wallet, as she did — only you’re not lucky enough to lose it in your husband’s car? Now you’re not only without a credit card, license, etc. — you’re out $500.

  65. RebeccaS says:

    This is Rebecca. I’m actually FINALLY back in my room, because my authorization finally went through. I did want to clarify a few things, though.

    1. My credit card was pre-authorized when I made the reservation. When I checked in I used my debit card, which authorized at the time. The first time I was ever made aware that there was a problem was yesterday evening, AFTER my bank closed. I live in the country, so for my husband to fax a form would require a fairly decent drive with two children.

    2. I explained the situation and made arrangements yesterday evening with Lisa, the front desk manager. I explained that my husband would be depositing 2k in my bank account today (which was the first time he could because they didn’t tell me there was a problem until last night) and that it would all be taken care of then. She then stated that as long as it was authorized by 5 pm Denver time, I would be fine. There was no mention of being locked out of the room or anything else at that time. I was not even concerned about it, because I knew my husband was going to deposit the money. I did exactly what I told them I was going to do and what was agreed upon yesterday. If they had told me early enough yesterday, as in before the bank closed, it would have been resolved yesterday. Hotel Monaco told me one thing and did another.

    4. No one likes to be treated like a criminal and I absolutely was directly accused of planning to steal from the hotel more than once. The conference I am at is a fairly high profile medical conference. I have a hideous blue nylon lanyard pouch thing and scannable badge for my attendance. My credentials are easily verifiable, not to mention that my career is far more valuable than ripping a hotel off for a weeks stay. The crazy thing is, I was enjoying my stay and planning to book with the kimpton hotel family on a few trips I had coming up. So instead of having a loyal customer, they have a post on the consumerist.

    5. The worst part was realizing I had begun my time of the month, a situation easily rectified if I COULD GET INTO MY ROOM!!! Instead, the walk of shame at walgreens and then I had to find a public bathroom…

    6. I still don’t know what shenanigans the front desk is up to, because when I returned this afternoon, knowing the money was in there, it still wouldn’t authorize. I had them do it piecemeal, first a thousand, then four hundred, then I went to the lobby atm and got 260 in cash and that worked. While I was doing that, another guest came up and said that her card had not authorized last night but it should now, and they re-scanned her card. She didn’t appear to have been locked out of her room like me though. I feel like my room should be pro-rated since I was allowed to use it for almost 10 hours, but they have offered nothing.

    7. Finally, still no apologies for how I was treated and tim the front desk manager was standing right there when my payment went through. He did not say a word or even make eye contact.

  66. ashburnite says:

    I work in a hotel as well, and you wouldn’t believe how many people scam them. And locking you out at noon? Not something they did purposely. If your card wouldn’t authorize, their system probably changed your check-out date to that day. And since check-out time is typically 11 or 12, the system locks out keys around that time. It’s not something they did maliciously.

    Granted, I don’t understand why they didn’t let you back into the room to get your things- there’s no reason to keep your belongings, since (no offense) they’re pretty much worthless to the hotel. And I don’t know why the front desk didn’t have you contact your husband with a credit card authorization form. And unfortunately, almost every hotel has some front desk people who just don’t understand customer service.

    But I believe the people who are saying it’s illegal for the hotel to hold your stuff and you should call the police are wrong. Technically, you left your belongings on their property and the room wasn’t paid for.

  67. RebeccaS says:

    Also, not a novice traveler in any way, however, I am a novice to traveling alone. Husband=wallet=credit cards=no pressure on me to remember. No husband, no phone, and I wind up like this.

  68. Balisong says:

    Very simple solution to this that others have already stated: Have the husband give the credit card number over the phone. Ta-da!

    Ridiculous staff at this hotel though to throw her out before they said they would. AND YET! the lady shouldn’t be so angry that they mentioned she might run off without paying if her card has no funds. This is common sense – sometimes people don’t pay for stuff. Lisa was just explaining this in answer to the question “Why is it a problem that my card isn’t authorizing?” (Even better answer: “Duh.”)

  69. eric_consumer says:

    Per this page:
    [www.kimptonhotels.com]

    The email format is first.last@kimptongroup.com

    And here’s some great candidates for an EECB:
    [www.kimptonhotels.com]

  70. Shevek says:

    I’m a bit confused by the details of this incident, but I’m willing to believe that she isn’t intentionally trying to scam the hotel. Why on earth would she post about if this were a scam?

    I also agree that the hotel doesn’t seem to have tried very hard to help her pay and that it seems she has more options. Hopefully, something will resolve in her favor before the evening!

    That said, I learned something interesting last week that was new to me and may apply in this case. If it is old news to the veterans, I apologize. For my VISA debit card, any money I transfer into my checking account is not ‘seen’ until 24 (or perhaps just one night, I don’t know) after I make the transfer. I transferred funds in order to buy something online, but the transaction couldn’t be authorized. I had to wait until the next day in order to pay using the card.

  71. Cranky Customer says:

    OMG. I work right across the street so I’m going over to give them hell.

  72. brucer_co says:

    I’m in the same boat as the other “is she scamming” people, but let’s assume for argument’s sake she is not.

    What really baffles me is how do all you folks can know the next steps to rectify this issues: i.e. faxing copy of CC, and the hotel manager does not? I find it hard to believe that this is the case, seeing as this is what they do for a living and surely this instance has occured previously.

    So…that leads me to my point. My suspicion is someone started with a poor tone, then it probably escalated to a point where they no longer wanted to help. Bad customer service, or bad customer? Only the manager and her would know.

    Or she’s totally scamming ;).

  73. mikesgrrl says:

    I was in a similar predicament myself once…I was robbed at gunpoint at high noon in the hotel lobby during a business trip. Lost EVERYTHING, including ID. The company wired us cash, and arranged credit card payments with one of our colleague’s credit cards for anything we needed. (Fortunately, after the robbery, the hotel opted not to charge us for the rooms…though the yokel we first were talking to at the front desk was trying to get us to give her another credit card number before the manager stepped in and basically offered us the world for what we’d just been through). It was never a problem. It honestly should have taken all of 10 minutes for her to work out with her husband or company and the front desk.

    As for getting our flight home…we had to have a detective escort us through security to ensure we wouldn’t get hassled.

  74. Trojan69 says:

    As a former hotel desk manager, I am certain the poster left out a few inconvenient facts.

    The first is that I was not in the business of pissing off customers, and I most certainly was not in the business of failing to pursue payment. I worked with people who found themselves out of pocket frequently.

    If they were genuine, there was always a solution – typically involving a CC company’s assistance, but also involving Western Union. As other posters have said, FedEx is a beautiful thing, too.

    However, there were a few thieves. I most certainly appropriated some property in my time under an Innkeeper’s Lien. Sometimes I got cash to cover the bill, other times it was just a loss.

    Something else…if she is at a professional conference, why is it that nobody offered to assist her? There was nobody she knew well enough that would be willing to front the use of a credit card in anticipation that it would never actually be charged?

    I smell shenanigans. I just don’t buy the story as remotely near complete.

  75. Three Word Chant says:

    I am a frequent guest of this chain, and at least nationally and where I’ve stayed, they have great customer service. Its a Kimpton Hotel [kimptonhotels.com] so I would try calling their national desk and go around the local branch – they aren’t as autonomous as some companies so maybe they can help.

  76. Three Word Chant says:

    1-800-KIMPTON (1-800-546-7866)

  77. RebeccaS says:

    @Trojan69:

    No shenanigans here actually. I made arrangements last night with lisa, hotel monaco decided this morning without telling me that they didn’t want to honor the arrangement we had made, namely, that my husband was depositing 2k in cash (for immediate availability) into the account the debit card was linked to.

    So until they pulled the rug out from under me at noon today, I didn’t feel I needed to borrow a credit card or make other arrangements because I knew the money would be there before the time Lisa told me it needed to be there. As of right now, the hotel has received all of their money. I still have no apology and I was charged for a full day today, despite being locked out.

  78. DallasPath says:

    @Trojan69:

    This is Rebecca. Sorry, no shenanigans here. I made arrangements last night with lisa, the front desk clerk, in that my husband would deposit 2k in cash (for immediate access) to the bank account that the debit card was linked to. I also wrote them a personal check as another form of security. I was told that I had until 5 pm today for the authorization to clear and I was fine with that because I knew my husband would transfer the money.

    Again, Hotel Monaco, without informing me, decided at some point that the agreement that we made was no longer good. Then they locked me out of my room. Less than 1 hour after I was humiliated in the lobby and accused of being a thief by Tim, the money was in the account and available.

    So for everyone wondering why I didn’t make other arrangements or borrow a credit card, I knew my husband was depositing the money for me and didn’t have any clue I would be treated like a criminal by Hotel Monaco. The money could have even been available to them yesterday IF they had notified me of the problem during banking hours.

    Hotel Monaco has been paid in full. When I check out tomorrow, I will be more than happy to fax my bill to the consumerist editors to show that I fulfilled my obligation. I was even charged the full days rate for today despite being locked out from 8 am to 4 pm. It is now 8 pm in Denver and I have no apology for how I was treated.

  79. lockdog says:

    Your customers are not your enemy! Policies are good and not getting ripped by scumbags is also good, but if you do it at the expense of an opportunity to help a customer you just shouldn’t be in business. This was a perfect opportunity for for a hotel like this to demonstrate why they are an upscale resort by going out of their way to help a guest. Comp a meal or even a few drinks, sympathize with the situation (no matter how strange), and oh, by the way, do you think your husband could call in that credit card over the phone or by fax?

  80. brent_w says:

    @kbarrett: That way you be the muggers favorite mark of the day!

  81. KogeLiz says:

    Afterwards, I stop and pick up a Arby’s roast beef sandwich to go. I plan to eat in my room before I go to my afternoon and evening appointments.

  82. cmdr.sass says:

    This is pretty stupid. Call your husband and ask him to read your credit card number. The front desk can punch in the numbers manually. Problem solved.

  83. dvsman says:

    This woman must be some kind of noob traveler. When I go out of town for conferences or meetings, the first thing I check is for my wallet, id, etc.

    With e-ticketing – you can’t even get on a plane without a driver’s license.

    I thought the whole advantage women had with carrying a purse was not forgetting crap that guys always forgot!

    I would also agree with the post on carrying AMEX – their customer service is second to none, especially as it regards to travel. Thats the only reason I would keep it over a VISA / MC.

    Her husband must be the suckiest guy around if he didn’t send her some cash or fedex her stuff to her pronto when he found out she left her valuables.

    Dude – your wife is in a “strange to her” town with no wallet – wake the eff up and get your butt in gear and get her some help. Not by 5pm the next day. RIGHT – THE HELL – NOW!

  84. bobpence says:

    Rebecca -

    If you’re still without a cell, go back to Walgreen’s or just about anywhere and pick up a cheap prepaid — a $15 Tracfone is fine, Cingular/AT&T and Virgin Mobile also have sub-$20 units; if your regular cell is AT&T or T-Mobile, it’s a cheap spare that you can put your regular SIM into (I do this for client sites where I am not allowed to carry a camera phone). Since you have Net access, activation should be no problem, and your husband can program your regular cell to forward calls (quick Google search). This will cost about 10 cents per minute (YMMV) on top of the same or more for the prepaid per-minute charges, but I can’t imagine being out of (reliable) touch for so long.

  85. strathmeyer says:

    @kbarrett: “Always have $500 in your wallet while traveling.”

    I wonder why thieves target travelers…

  86. DallasPath says:

    Apparently they can’t use a manual card or take the numbers over the phone. They said they needed a form filled out with all of the information and faxed over. My husband would have had to drive 30-35 minutes one way to a kinkos, wait for the form, fill it out, and send it back. He was very concerned about the possibility of identity theft/credit card by this method.

    As soon as it was brought to my attention that the card was being declined, my husband planned to deposit the money in my account. Like I said, the first contact I had with them regarding this problem was yesterday evening. I even went down and wrote them a check and told them he would deposit the money tomorrow. Lisa, the front desk manager, agreed to that. Suddenly today, someone decided to lock me out of my room. Less than an hour after I was told by Tim that they didn’t think I would pay, the money was in the account. Shortly after that, they were paid.

    Interestingly, while I was paying a woman came up to the desk clerk next to mine and stated that she was told yesterday that her card was declined but that now it should work. As far as I know, she did not get locked out of her room because of it OR get accused of planning to leave without paying.

    I still have no response from them. Apparently, I’m not even worthy of having my issue ‘taken seriously’

  87. whorfin says:

    @Black Bellamy: I do a fair amount of international travel. When I go to Japan, No mention has ever been made of payment until checkout.

    From the sound of things, this hotel is being extremely classless. I’m quite surprised to hear of a Kimpton hotel doing something like this, given their “luxury” branding. That category usually makes ass-kissing a priority, since they’re charging a lot more.

  88. Amelia Subverxin says:

    @DallasPath: I really hope you have somewhere to stay tonight.

    Speaking as someone who takes orders over the phone, you can manually enter a credit card number if you confirm the customer’s billing address with the credit card company. Granted, I don’t know how their point-of-sale systems work, but they usually have that kind of work-around for times that credit cards won’t swipe.

  89. CafeSilver says:

    I am the manager at a Best Western and I can tell you that the person who checked her in obviously did not pre-authorize her debit card for the total amount. Then when they realized their mistake later on and tried to re-authorized it for the correct amount, it would not go through. So instead of letting her know and giving her the benefit of the doubt, they accused her of going to try and steal. Very poor customer service indeed. But what’s worse is that the manager decided to side with his employee’s mistake instead of fix the problem quickly and quietly.

    Hotels thrive on repeat customers. Now not only will Rebecca never stay at that hotel again, but neither will her company, family, and friends (which in this case now includes every Consumerist reader).

  90. Thinkurcool says:

    Wow!!! What lengths people go to. I have worked in hotels for over a decade now and am still surprised by people’s reaction to hotel payment procedures. We hoteliers are suppose to trust our customer’s to stop by at the end of their stay and pay? “Mr. Rental car guy I will stop by at the end of my use and pay without giving you anything to guarantee I will ever even bring the car back”? “United Airlines, I was hpping I could pay you once I got to Hawaii”? It seems to me that in no other business is credit expected so indiscriminately as the hotel business. I personally have been burned by the person who I thought looked trustworthy enough only to findout that they were not as honest as I thought they looked. Hotels have no way of insuring you will ever stop by the front desk again once you are given a room key. You could checkin go to the room and immediately walk out the back door with a Plasma TV (true story, happened to me). I am suppose judge peoples trustworthiness how? Clothing, business card, height, race? It is ridiculous to ask employees to judge. Unfortunately, the scammers who go to incredible lengths to get over on businesses have ruined the “trust me now, I will pay later”

  91. Trojan69 says:

    Thanks for the reply.

    Your husband was more concerned with potential fraud than he was that you were in such horrendous straits? You have my sympathy. Perhaps you may be checking out of more than a room?

    The clerk who originally checked you in should be fired. She failed to capture enough to cover your stay. No excuse.

    Now, does or does not that place use a check acceptance firm like “Check-Free?” If they do, and I bet they do as a condition of franchise operation, they would have their authorization OR you would have been rejected. Was anything mentioned? Bad on them if it wasn’t. Be sure to include this in any communication you may have with this firm.

    Was there no bank you could have gone to for a wire transfer from your husband? Why not?

    I will be most appreciative if you will do a follow-up as to what, if anything, you hear from this company.

    You owe neither me, nor anyone else, an apology. Best of luck to you.

  92. FishtownYo says:

    @renilyn: Do cops in Colorado Springs have nothing else to do than answer hypothetical questions? In Philly, the cops would have arrested me for wasting their time.

    As for the woman with the hotel, this was a work conference, why the heck are you paying for the hotel? Couldn’t your husband just give the clerks yor cc number over the phone in the very least?

    Did you go to a conference for idiots?

  93. dweebster says:

    Sounds like the whole problem is that this “Hotel Monaco” dump has a crew that doesn’t communicate with each other. Although many people here seem to like “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” what she “should have” done, the Hotel people screwed up royally. Losing stuff happens to people travelling – add to the mix the TSA gauntlet and silly arbitrary airline times to be at the gate (to watch your plane get delayed a couple hours…) and basically shit happens.

    Decent customer service, if not human respect ought to have the counter-monkeys working for a solution instead of screwing with this lady. Call her husband, get a CC number, problem solved. Duh.

    Surely a “mid” -scale or “upper” -scale hotel has a pen and a paper somewhere on the grounds where this manager “Lisa’s” arrangement could have been written down and communicated to the day shift. Probably the day shift manager has access to Lisa’s number and can verify the arrangement. The last thing they should be aiming for is to create a problem instead of a solution. I wonder if Rebecca’s skin color is black? I’ve had some pretty odd treatment at hotels, but nothing like Rebecca’s describing. It seems they really didn’t want to resolve this.

    OK Rebecca, good you got back in your room and can sleep. When convenient, get your story summarized and begin your complaint to Kimpton Corporate. Here’s a place to start: [www.hoovers.com]

    Write a detailed review on Yelp, don’t hold back: [www.yelp.com] Currently they show 4.5/5 stars, amazing from your description of the asshat service you’ve received.

    I can understand them wanting to be paid for the room, that’s to be expected. But the way that Rebbecca describes being treated is inexcusable at ANY business, much less a hotel holding itself up as a class organization.

    Enjoy the rest of your conference, and know that people have and will further be warned about this hotel through the magic of the interweb tubes.

  94. FishtownYo says:

    Didn’t you ever see that movie Best In Show? Just ask to be put in the storage room!

  95. arilvdc says:

    I don’t know about everyone else here, but I’m LOST without my cell. I have maybe 2 numbers memorized, and if I had left it I couldn’t even have called my own house. So I can understand why she didn’t call the company, etc.

  96. gea3 says:

    Love the web-site. I have never commented before but just received this explanation from the hotel in question. I wrote them, linking this article, and expressing some surprise at their ‘high quality’ customer service. Here is their side:

    “Thank you for your comments regarding your most recent experience with the Hotel Monaco Denver. The guest in question that you refer to provided us with a credit card that declined. The guest then provided a personal check that declined and had insufficient funds. We worked with this guest diligently and with care to help her resolve this issue! Thank you for your concern.

    Sincerely,

    Allen Paty

    Hotel Monaco Denver”

  97. brennie says:

    @woodenturkey: Please. a cat named ‘wooden turkey’ is going to ‘roll’ me! heehee!

  98. bigvicproton says:

    hi rebecca,

    next time i stay there, i will seal a catfish carcass deep into the wall for you.

    best wishes!

  99. DeltaPurser says:

    You crazy?! If you don’t have money in your account you can’t expect the hotel to let you stay there. Don’t be pissed off at them, but rather be angry at your husband for waiting until the last possible moment to wire the money into the account.

  100. DeltaPurser says:

    @gea3: This is a joke, right? Can’t believe they would provide such details to just anybody…

  101. ashburnite says:

    it’s not the hotel’s responsibility to take care of you. you are an adult. And so what if your husband would have to drive 30 minutes to a Kinko’s to fax the credit card authorization? you are the one who forgot your credit cards. A hotel is a business, and they need to get paid for the room. you already stayed one night and since your card wouldn’t authorize for the full amount, they didn’t get paid for that night.

    I sympathize with forgetting your wallet, but seriously, you need to take responsibility. The hotel isn’t at fault here.

  102. NoWin says:

    @DallasPath: “My husband would have had to drive 30-35 minutes one way to a kinkos, wait for the form, fill it out, and send it back. He was very concerned about the possibility of identity theft/credit card by this method.”

    …as compared to your immediate safety and security?

    You two need to reassess your priorities.

    And whats his issue with a 30 minute drive; many of us wish we had THAT short a daily one-way commute.

  103. Jim says:

    @kbarrett: I’m not going to pile on with the thievery response, but I will say, $500 at a medical conference will last you about 2 hours.

    @RebeccaS: What a drag! I feel for you, I really do. I hate conference travel anyway, and never had a “bad” trip really. Best of luck, I hope your return trip is awesome!

    Like other posters have said, there were other ways to resolve it and get your bill paid. Take the lesson and enjoy the rest of your trip!

    @jamesdenver: Oh and I have a copy of my drivers licence and pasport on my E-MAIL – so if I lose my photo ID I can go print it out somewhere.

    Have you used the copies? I’m wondering if that would be accepted. At first I thought that was a pretty great idea, but now I’m thinking it might be futile.

  104. MrMold says:

    Funny how her version seems to have the “ring of scamming”. No money in the accounts and she expects the hotel to cover her. Duhhh. Even here in the “country” no pay, no room. Oh, she should be happy the county didn’t pick up her bill….:)

  105. DeeJayQueue says:

    @Black Bellamy: I think you’re on the wrong site. After reading the past few of your comments from other posts, You must not have noticed that this site is called “The Consumerist.” Not the Companyist, or the Corporate Apologist.

  106. Jim says:

    @ashburnite: Wow! Ease up! Yes, she shot herself in the foot by forgetting her stuff, but the hotel told her it was cool until 5 – then locked her out before noon! That’s the issue! There’s no problem here if the hotel had just done what they said they would do – let her have until 5 to fix it!

  107. DallasPath says:

    Actually, I explained to them on Wednesday evening that until my husband deposited the money into the account, both the card and check would be declined. Lisa was fully aware of that and told me I had until 5 pm for the funds to be authorized.

    For everyone bashing my husband, we decided to transfer the money and pay in cash (essentially) after my initial encounter on Wednesday evening. At NO TIME was it mentioned that I would be locked out of my room and I was under the impression that I had until 5 pm BECAUSE I WAS TOLD THAT BY LISA.

    I’m quite glad that Alan Paty feels that they worked with me diligently and with care. Accusing me of being a thief and deadbeat, not letting me in my room when I had begun my period, and changing the terms of an agreement to my detriment without any notice are SO DEFINITELY considered WITH CARE. And Alan can so nicely respond to an email from someone else, but not come to apologize to me? That’s some service there.

    In my opinion, which has been said before by others on this thread…someone screwed up when I checked in. If there was a problem with authorization, I should have never been allowed to check in. It is when they realized their mistake, namely after banking hours on Wednesday, that they really dropped the ball.

  108. DallasPath says:

    @Jim:

    Thank you for recognizing my exact complaint! An agreement was made, they decided to change the agreement and did not even give me chance to follow through on our agreement. Instead, door locked and additional accusations of theft.

    Like I said, they were paid in the timeline and manner which was agreed upon when I was first made aware of the problem. I feel I held up my end of the bargain. I feel they failed miserably and are continuing to do so.

  109. DallasPath says:

    To the person who asked if I was black: No, I’m actually white, late 20′s and very conservative/clean cut. Think j.crew/banana republic. I’ve been dressed professionally my entire stay. I’m here until 5 today, so any Denver Consumerites are more than welcome to meet with me to verify that I am who I say I am.

    Another point I would like to make to reiterate my perception of the honesty and forthrightness of the Hotel Monaco Denver: Lisa said they were not going to run the check I gave them. They were going to wait until 5 pm for my husband to transfer the funds. As is obviously evidenced by the email response in these comments from ALAN, the check was indeed run. So again, thanks for keeping your word Hotel Monaco!

  110. crackers says:

    I think most of these comments are missing the entire point; she did NOT naively expect them to give her a room without a deposit. Because of her extenuating circumstances, THEY agreed to accept payment at 5pm the following day, and then THEY changed the terms and locked her out without warning. Completely unacceptable.

  111. rochec says:

    Get your stuff.

    Go to a nicer hotel than that dump. It is a dump.

    Check in eat your disgusting sandwich.

    Get a thingie for your woman parts (try not to do it while eating)

    Success?

    Why would you want to fight to stay at a hotel that is treating you like that. I know they are in the wrong and you’d like them to admit it, but your comfort isn’t worth it. Do it on the phone or something.

  112. Tom Servo says:

    Well, I now know what hotel to avoid when I’m in the Denver area.

    I’m glad to see things worked out in the end.

  113. Blioni says:

    It doesn’t sound like anyone came even close to calling her a deadbeat or a thief. They simply wanted to make sure that she could pay for her room. All hotels run a prior authorization. It doesn’t sound like she is really as worldly as she thinks she is if she doesn’t even know that. Also, I have stayed at this hotel multiple times, and have never seen those front desk people even hint at a bit of rudeness, even when dealing with annoying people. Either she is exaggerating her treatment, or she was so horrible that even the most seasoned professional could not deal with her. Then she says, “To add insult to injury, my sandwich was cold and my monthly girl time just started.” What a whiner. A total victim. I imagine that things similar to this happen to her all of the time, but of course it is always someone else’s fault. And why does she not have any money in her bank account? I would think that any hotel would be skeptical of her ability to pay if she is staying in a $300+ per night room, and doesn’t have any money in her bank account.

  114. armyourself says:

    I work in the hotel industry and you would be surpirised the amount of loss (theft of services)we deal with. As consumers you need to arm yourself with information on travel policies. Generally speaking, higher end hotels will authorize full room & tax plus a deposit for incidentals per night. If you don’t have sufficient funds we have the right to deny you entry or lock you out during your stay. Its the only option we have to ensuring that the guest comes to the desk to discuss their lack of funds. Most hotels will also allow a third party to provide payment. What the guest should have done was upon arrival asked to have them send her husband a third party authorization form, borrowed the phone from the hotel to call her husband to alert him to the fact that he will need to complete and send the form back to the hotel. As simple as that. She makes no mention of any attempt made to secure funds at the beginning of her stay (the authorization on a debit card holds those funds and makes them unavailable until post departure). She may not have been able to buy her Arby’s because of the hold on her funds. I’m not excusing the poor customer service the front desk agent provided. But educate yourself, ask questions, explore options.

  115. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @All Companies Who Pull Crap Like This:

    Please do everyone, yourselves included, a favor and stop making promises/arrangements you have no intention of honoring.

    If you don’t want to wait until 5pm to be paid then don’t tell the customer they have until 5pm to pay you. If you don’t want to be paid by check then don’t take it. It’s just that simple.

  116. themidget says:

    @Jim: You probably wouldn’t be able to use a photocopy for aiport security, but if you’re traveling abroad this is essential, it will speed things up immensely at the embassy if you and your passport have parted ways.

  117. Mina_da_mad_child says:

    I have worked as travel coordinator on several large productions and know that each hotel acts differently with regards to credit authorizations. If the hotel manager didn’t bother to charge pre-authorize her card at the time of check-in, then there is no guarantee that they would have done a credit authorization correctly. To lock her out of the room when they have her information on file is reprehensible.

  118. jamesdenver says:

    @themidget:

    That’s the reason I have my DL and passport scanned and stored in my email.

    I doubt I could use it to pass through security – but should some horrible event happen like ALL my belongings get ripped off at a hotel or something its a good start.

    And your credit card 800#s too. domestic and toll-free intl.

  119. themidget says:

    @jamesdenver: Me too on both! I also include all ititneraries, plane tickets, and the phone numbers of American embassies wherever I’m going if it’s out of the country. And I email the whole package to someone not traveling with me in case I don’t have access to internet, they can print and fax it if absolutely necessary.

    I agree that having a printout would go far in getting help with airlines, etc.

  120. bvita says:

    Just a quick note for the armchair lawyers in this group. – Next time you go into a hotel, read the legal notice posted on the back of the door. Not only does it list the maximum rate for the room, it generally also quotes the innkeeper’s laws in whatever state you’re in.

    In most states the law provides for an “innkeeper’s lien” that allows an innkeeper to retain a customer’s belongings as a security for getting paid. They would be within their rights to do so. Your threats to call the police would likely result in a tresspass charge against you.

    As for the folks who suggested that she bail on the bill, that’s theft. She’ll get arrested.

    As for her writing a check prior to the funds being deposited, that’s also criminal (larceny by check).

    The most logical thing for her to do would be to have hubby call in with the CC and if necessary, fax a copy of the card with a release. I’ve had to do that to bail out my employees before.

    She could try to call her CC co. Depending on the card, they might help.

    If the hotel is an O&O and not a franchise, they might let the husband pay at a local O&O location.

    Fedex, DHL and UPS both could have her info their the next AM. UPS has an 8:30 AM option.

    Having said all this, by her account, the hotel handled it badly. She should take it up with corporate. Of course, we don’t know the other side of the story. Was she screaming and abusive at the desk clerk?

    Just a few thoughts. I’m not an attorney but I’ve been in my own businesses for 25 years.

  121. DallasPath says:

    @bvita:

    I’m a long time consumerist reader…I know how to behave to clerks. I was calm and just kept asking for an explanation of why they were refusing to honor the agreement we had made the night before. I also asked why I had not been told that they would lock me out of my room and I was told that that was ‘implied’

    If the agreement that was made between Lisa and I was not satisfactory to the hotel, then Lisa acting as an agent of the hotel should have never told me I had until 5 pm. They knew that the debit card would not authorize and that the check would not clear UNTIL my husband deposited the funds. They also told me they would not run the check….they did actually run the check, so score one for being able to believe them about anything.

    As I have said in prior comments, I am in the medical profession. Theft or any other crime WOULD lose me my license. I have a great deal to lose and absolutely nothing to gain from skipping out on my hotel bill.

    By the theory of the Hotel Monaco Denver, I reserved a room, joined their InTouch loyalty program prior to my stay, registered for an expensive conference, and attended said conference ALL AS A RUSE TO RIP THEM OFF. They had my debit card info AND a check. They had more than sufficient personal identification on me. They did NOT have to treat me like this. And to have two ‘front desk managers’ make unfounded accusations against me goes against everything I have ever heard about customer service.

    To not receive an apology is actually the most insulting part. To read that email from the hotel manager that was posted earlier was also extremely insulting. This whole thing has been one huge debacle and I am just happy I am getting the heck out of here.

  122. corvina says:

    Ok, I’m a road warrior. My experience is that to stay in a hotel, you have to authorize the entire cost of the hotel room *and* incidentals when you check in. This has been my experience at every hotel in which I’ve stayed for the past three years. (And no, I really don’t recommend traveling with $500 in your wallet.)

    Having said that, there is a lot to be said for a little customer service. I walk by that hotel every day on the way to the office; the service that I see provided by the valet staff makes me think that they have a culture of customer service there. If they offered points (and I didn’t live in Denver) I thought it might be a good hotel to stay in.

    I don’t think that they handled your situation appropriately, mostly because they sound like they were insulting instead of helpful (not that I haven’t encountered that, too). Of all the advice given here (and no I haven’t read all the comments) there were a lot of options that they might have offered if they were really interested.

    I do know that hotels are very rigid about pre-paying stays; we expense everything and sometimes don’t get the reimbursement in time to re-fund our cards. In this case, I have to be able to have another solution. Sometimes it’s splitting the reservation into two parts – the part before the reimbursement date and the part after. Sometimes it’s a debit cards but they’re problematic because they can tie up unused funds for up to a week after authorization.

    Even when I’m staying in hotels of points, most require a credit card authorization to cover incidentals.

    Now, as for surviving in downtown Denver with limited means: There is a US bank across the street from the hotel for getting cash with your debit card. The Walgreen’s on 16th (you’re between 18th and 17th) has a good selection of stuff, because it’s the closest thing to a grocery store for a couple of miles. It’s being re-modeled, so it’s not as great as it could be, but still… If you can swing it (and I’ve had to do this when luggage was lost – at midnight in Columbia, SC) there are myriad clothing stores to pick up a change on 16th street, not to mention many good places to dine or just to grab a snack. There’s a food court at both ends of the mall with a variety. I highly recommend the Peruvian and Indian buffets on Champa, the other side of 16th St.

    If you want to change hotels (not that the requirements will necessarily be different) there is a Marriott RI just to the east of you, and a Marriott Courtyard a block west and a block north on 16th St. There’s a Hyatt south on 16th St, too.

    Good luck!

  123. ecwis says:

    @bvita: I don’t believe Colorado has an “Innkeeper’s Lien”. Several states have gotten rid of them as they the state supreme courts ruled them unconstitutional.

  124. Trojan69 says:

    Miss Rebecca – up to the point you were locked out, you are blameless. Anyone who suggests otherwise is wrong. OK?

    But….once you were locked out, the ONLY priority was for you to get back in that room. Your husband’s inconvenience or discomfort pales in comparison. Given that VISA?MC each completely, and I mean completely, absolve consumers from ALL liability for fraudulent usage of their cards, this issue is a strawman. Even if I accept that the hotel personnel behaved as absolute trolls, they would have lost their jobs if they wouldn’t have accepted a faxed authorization for payment capture.

    Did you or your husband contact your CC customer service department in the hopes of achieving a resolution? I have had excellent responses from my CC companies when something unusual left me in a tight spot.

    Why wasn’t a wire transfer possible from the time you were locked out, and the EOB on the day in question?

    While I do accept that the hotel should have behaved better, it is difficult for me to believe that a professional such as yourself, was seemingly wholly ignorant of some basic remedies.

    By the way, when I said I was certain some important details had been left out in your original post? The fact that your check was processed and rejected is precisely the type of thing to which I was referring. Convenient how you left out the fact that they had reason to be suspicious. And now for the coup de grace…

    If your DEBIT card was tied to THAT checking account, how/why on earth would you have expected the hotel to be able to perform ANY payment capture? You knowingly presented a card that had no funds backing it, didn’t you? Why, when you first arrived and you knew you were forced to use that card, didn’t you tell your husband to march down to the bank and make sure that the checking account tied to your debit card had the funds to pay for your stay? You had days to do this. DAYS.

    I am perfectly willing to accept that you had no illicit intent. Perfectly. But, the hotel had more than enough evidence to treat you as someone with less than stellar character.

  125. TxanGoddess says:

    I think that it might be worth stating, as another hotel worker who knows how these things go … I really don’t think it was a matter of the hotel not keeping their word nearly as much as it was Lisa overextending her empowerment.

    I seriously doubt she was authorized to excuse a checked in guest from having any effective MOP. So, she did the wrong thing, and unfortunately, especially when you’re into the possibility of loss recovery, the mistake has to stop sometime and somebody has to say, “Well, sorry but what Lisa did and told you was wrong…” That doesn’t excuse being treated as a thief though …

    Rebecca, my guess at what happened, if you’re curious, is that you got a really super customer service oriented person who hasn’t quite figured out what their real job is. We get told all the time that we’re supposed to do what it takes to make the guests happy la la la–especially by guests requesting low rates lol–but our real job at front desk is to make a profit and collect on it for the owners of the hotel.

    Customer Service is super important to our job, but it’s just means of doing so [making profit]; if being rude made more money, they’d have us do that, make no doubt.

    So you get a front desk agent now and then that meets someone like you, hears their story about the wallet loss, and tries to be nice in a way that just isn’t feasible because it doesn’t ensure collection.

    It’s really too bad too, because they always get in trouble for it (I always did before I learned too) and regardless of how anyone else at the hotel acted after Lisa, this is all going to be Lisa’s fault in the morning, and no one else will ever take a share of the fault since hers was the obvious and glaring problem. Again, she fails to ensure collection=Lisa the only/main agent in trouble. Agent/Manager who insulted you=probably just going to say they were cleaning up Lisa’s mess and not get in trouble. It’s about customer service, but it’s also about earning in a much bigger way.

    But anyway, just my guess … Lisa thought she was being nice and serving the guest, and overextended her empowerment. Hopefully, she’ll learn that trying to help and failing is a lot worse than sticking to policy.

  126. merlinjb says:

    Just to shed some light on the subject. I imagine that the desk agent that checked her in actaually did run the authorization. At that time she probably had sufficient funds to cover her stay. She probably used some of the services at the hotel and charged them to her room. When she utilized these services the hotel system probably sent out an authorization to ensure collection of these funds. For those of you that say that you are in the industry, it surprises me that this ommission would elude you.

    Seriously, she was in the hotel for 6 days. She was knowingly ringing up charges on her room that she knew that she could not cover with her checking account. I am not saying that she intended to steal, but when was she going to figure out how to pay her bill if the agent “Lisa” did not call her down the previous day? When she checked out? And if she did not have the funds to settle up, was she just going to leave and figure it out later.

    Hum, it seems to me that there may be another side to this.

  127. cackle says:

    I have been in the hotel business for over ten years and believe me, this sort of thing happens every day. You are not special and you are not being singled out, you are being treated in a way that is in accordance to an industry standard: you don’t have money to pay for your room, you can’t stay. It’s no different than anything else- same as the gas station. If you don’t pay, you don’t pump. Twisting this to mean that you are being called a thief or a deadbeat is a quantum leap- that is neither implied nor inferred anywhere in your scenario.

    I will also advocate the two-way customer service channel. You have to understand that Lisa’s entire shift work must be accounted for. If you aren’t paying up your bill and are taking offense to a common business practice, she is probably going to have a difficult time arriving at an acceptable solution for both of you.

    By the way, your “agreement” with Lisa is not a binding hotel contract. If you didn’t get it in writing and signed by a manager, then there was no agreement.

    You are correct in assuming that they don’t care. They really don’t. John and Jane Does check in all the time and you are nobody special. They will not make an exception for you and they do not care if you will never return and if you tell everybody that you know never to go there. They will still make millions in room sales this year regardless of whether or not you can get your act together and pay for your room on time or not, and regardless of your “agreement” with Lisa. Get over yourself.