(Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie)

Why Do Hotels Give You Free Tiny Soaps, But No Tiny Toothpastes?

Airline security regulations mean that traveling with a big tube of toothpaste in your carry-on is a distant memory. Yet, in their selection of mini toiletries, hotels give us bottles of lotion and bubble bath, but not one thing that just about everyone uses: toothpaste. Why is that? No one expects them to give us toothpaste because they don’t…because no one expects them to. [More]

(joelorama)

How Three People Died Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In The Same Motel Room, Six Weeks Apart

Back in April, an elderly couple died while staying in a Best Western motel in North Carolina. The local medical examiner couldn’t find a clear cause of death. The motel continued renting the room to others until last week, when an 11-year-old boy died and his mother was rushed to the hospital. The cause? Carbon monoxide poisoning from the pool heater. [More]

(giarose)

To Resolve Some Customer Service Problems, Just Call Back

When people submit their complaints to our site after a single interaction with customer service, we often ask, “Did you try calling or e-mailing back to get someone else?” It sounds deceptively simple, so simple that you might not even bother trying it. You should. It happens to work. Sometimes. [More]

(gavdana)

Hotels.com Sends Coupon, Forgets To Mention It Means I Can’t Use Accrued Rewards

I like to filter all of the coupons and sale announcements I get from retailers into a folder, which I peek through when I’m about to buy something to see whether any of them apply to that thing I’m about to buy. That’s what Andrew did when he was about to book his last trip’s lodging through Hotels.com, when it was finally time for him to earn his free hotel stay through that site. When his anticipated reward never came, he learned something terrible. Simply using that coupon in his mailbox had disqualified him from earning any rewards on that hotel stay. Then his rewards expired. It won’t surprise you when you learn that he’s not going back to Hotels.com to earn any more. [More]

When Tropical Storm Threatens Tropical Paradise, Hotel Won't Let Me Cancel

When Tropical Storm Threatens Tropical Paradise, Hotel Won't Let Me Cancel

William’s dilemma with Priceline and Westin is what we’re guessing will be the first of very many travel problems caused by what is now Tropical Storm Isaac. William used to live in New Orleans, and knows better than to be anywhere near the projected path of a hurricane if he doesn’t have to. He had plans to travel to a vacation spot in Florida right in Isaac’s predicted path this weekend, and was probably supposed to be in the air right now. He was able to cancel his normally non-refundable AirTran flight, but the hotel, a Westin, won’t budge. He paid through Priceline, which has a no-refunds policy. That’s common knowledge. The problem is that Westin wouldn’t cancel his reservation anyway until an actual evacuation order is issued for the area. [More]

Holiday Inn Sends Me Wrong Receipt, Reveals How Much Of A Discount It Gives To Travelocity

Holiday Inn Sends Me Wrong Receipt, Reveals How Much Of A Discount It Gives To Travelocity

If you’ve ever booked a room through Travelocity or any other online travel site, you might have wondered how much that company is paying the hotel operator for the room. Without even trying to, one Consumerist reader managed to find out what Travelocity actually paid for a recent stay at a Holiday Inn. [More]

Lawsuit Alleges Price-Fixing By Major Hotel Chains And Online Booking Sites

Lawsuit Alleges Price-Fixing By Major Hotel Chains And Online Booking Sites

A class-action lawsuit filed yesterday in a U.S. District Court in California alleges that the biggest names in online travel — Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com — and some of the world’s largest hotel chains — Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Intercontinental, among others — conspired together so that the “best price guarantee” you often see when booking a room online is in actuality just a number set by the hotel operators. [More]

Vacation Condo Charges Me For Causing Internet Outage, But It Wasn’t Me

Vacation Condo Charges Me For Causing Internet Outage, But It Wasn’t Me

Visiting a beach town on business, Dontel stayed in a condo building that’s oriented more toward tourists. When he checked in, he learned that some guests were having intermittent Internet connection issues, and was told to report any problems he had to the front desk. Okay. He didn’t have any problems. When he returned home, he learned that the condo management had conducted an investigation, and blamed the outage on…Dontel. They claim that he tampered with his unit’s access point, messing up Internet access for that whole part of the building. They’ve billed him $120 for their trouble. He says that he didn’t touch the access point, and didn’t even know that there was one in the room. He asks the Consumerist Hive Mind for help: is there any way that he can prove he’s not behind the fateful hard reset? [More]

Best Western Gives My Accessible Room Away To Non-Disabled Person, Shrugs

Best Western Gives My Accessible Room Away To Non-Disabled Person, Shrugs

Britt is a paraplegic. While planning a recent trip, she reserved an accessible room at the Best Western where she and her boyfriend would be staying. A room that she could move around in, and that would not require her boyfriend to lift her into bed and onto the toilet. You know, allow her some independence and dignity. When they actually checked in to the hotel, though, they learned that the accessible room had been assigned to another traveler. Worse: according to staffers, this traveler was a regular guest who wasn’t disabled, but just likes having a bigger room. [More]

Families Displaced By Storm Accuse Hotels Of Gouging

Families Displaced By Storm Accuse Hotels Of Gouging

Over this past weekend, some crazy rains tore a path through a portion of the Mid-Atlantic, leaving entire areas without power or other utilities and forcing some residents to turn to hotels for shelter. But some people in New Jersey have accused local hotel operators of trying to cash in on area residents’ misfortune. [More]

Fairmont Hotel Decides That Handicap Spot Is Really Intended For Taxi Cabs

Fairmont Hotel Decides That Handicap Spot Is Really Intended For Taxi Cabs

Imagine you have a handicap parking placard on your vehicle, but when you pull up to a hotel, the handicap accessible spot is taken by a taxi that is just idling in case someone needs a ride. You’d expect the hotel to ask the cab to move out of the way, yes? Apparenty not at one Fairmont hotel in California. [More]

Hotels.com Books Me Into Non-Existent Hotel, Doesn’t Really See It As A Problem

Hotels.com Books Me Into Non-Existent Hotel, Doesn’t Really See It As A Problem

UPDATE: Matt tells Consumerist that after we put him in contact with a rep for Hotels.com, he was able to get a full refund. What we still don’t know — and can’t get an answer from Hotels.com on — is whether this hotel still exists. [More]

Which Are The Best & Worst U.S. Hotel Chains?

Which Are The Best & Worst U.S. Hotel Chains?

School is almost done and the weather is getting warmer (or at least it’s supposed to be), which can only mean… well, it can actually mean an awful lot of things. But today we’re going to discuss which hotel chains people will look forward to staying in — and which ones they will be dreading — this summer. [More]

There's A Used Condom In My Room. Does The Hotel Owe Me Anything?

There's A Used Condom In My Room. Does The Hotel Owe Me Anything?

David and his wife were staying in a hotel over the weekend, and their lovely room came with a complimentary used condom on the floor. The staff on duty at the time swapped them into a different room, and promised that someone in charge would contact them in the morning. And that was the last they heard about it. He wonders: did they deserve a discount on their bill, a comped night, or anything at all for their trouble? [More]

Canceling Super 8 Reservation Somehow Leads To More Reserved Rooms

Canceling Super 8 Reservation Somehow Leads To More Reserved Rooms

Reserve on the Web, cancel on the Web. Wouldn’t that make sense? Mike thought so, and he didn’t see anything indicating otherwise when he made his Super 8 reservation. But somehow, his reservation for one night turned into a two-night reservation after he canceled it because he was supposed to call the motel directly to cancel. Who knew that canceling a reservation could have the opposite effect? [More]

Days Inn Books Five Extra Rooms, Empties Your Mom's Checking Account

Days Inn Books Five Extra Rooms, Empties Your Mom's Checking Account

Heather’s mom reserved one room at a Days Inn, and received confirmation for three rooms. She canceled the two extra reservations, then had to call and cancel the original one as well, early enough that there was no penalty. But after the date of her scheduled stay, the company billed her for three rooms, draining her checking account. Wait, what? Days Inn had her down for six rooms, and charged her as a no-show for the three she didn’t know about. Now she’s broke, and no one can refund her for the three phantom reservations. [More]

Priceline Upgrades You To Reportedly Bedbug-Infested Hotel

Priceline Upgrades You To Reportedly Bedbug-Infested Hotel

Ordinarily, it would be a good thing if Priceline upgraded your bid for a 3.5-star hotel to a 4-star bid. This sometimes happens when a classier hotel accepts your bid. It wasn’t much of a bonus for Lissa, though. She wanted to avoid a certain 4-star hotel because user reviews in various places complained of bedbug infestations, so she bid only on 3.5-star establishments. Of course, this bid landed her at the allegedly infested hotel. It took her several hours of customer service hell to get out of the situation, which is still better than being chomped on by bedbugs. [More]

16 Tips On How To Be A Better Hotel Guest

16 Tips On How To Be A Better Hotel Guest

While most of the travel horror stories we cover on Consumerist involve airlines, the hotels, bed and breakfasts, inns and flophouses of the world are no stranger to regular readers. But one reader writes in to explain that the best way to get good service from hotel staff is to just be a decent human being. [More]