I Got A Free Night In A Hotel: Should I Complain?

Ryan writes that he has a moral dilemma. Traveling for a wedding, he and his wife checked in to their hotel late. Past midnight. Somehow, this resulted in their not being charged for the first night of their stay, even though hotel staff promised to straighten the situation out.

I am trying to figure out how far I should take this.

I went to a wedding just outside of Albany this weekend. On Friday, my wife and I had to work late so I called the hotel and told them I would not be checking in until shortly after midnight, as we would be driving from NH. The person said no problem, they would make a note on the reservation so the night clerk would know not to give the room away.

I arrived at 12:34am Saturday morning. I went to check in and the clerk had some trouble pulling up my reservation. Apparently there was some confusion because it was the next calendar day. Eventually she was able to get me the room, with the wedding block rate. She ran my card for incidentals and handed me a form to sign with the projected costs. It only listed costs for Saturday night and Sunday night, but not for Friday night.

I immediately pointed out to the clerk that it was missing the Friday night costs. She said that it was because I was checking in after midnight she couldn’t get the computer to display the reservation right. She said to sign it and it would be fixed by the time I check out.

Check-out came on Monday and they slipped the express check-out bill under my door, for two nights, not three. I notified them early that I would be late, and pointed it out when I signed the agreement to pay that I would be there three nights. I actually stayed three nights. Should I notify them again? or have I found a loophole where people can check-in after midnight and get a free night’s stay?

Let’s hope not, or the hotel industry would be seriously hurting. What should Ryan do?