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?