Update: Westin Casuarina Refunds Extra Charges, Apologizes To Customers

Last week’s news that the Westin Casuarina hotel in Las Vegas was surreptitiously charging conference attendees for the organizer’s unpaid bill generated enough bad press that the Westin did an about-face this week, and sent out letters on Tuesday telling affected customers it is reversing the extra charges. A Westin spokesman said, “We’ve decided as a matter of customer relations to issue the refunds while continuing to pursue payment from The Coaching Center” in Austin, Texas. The Westin also says the refunds are an “effort to show our good faith,” which we assume means “please don’t sue us.”

This is great news for the customers who were surprised to find charges from $600 to $1200 on their credit cards after they’d already paid to attend the conference back in October, but the customer who first brought it to the media’s attention thinks Westin should do more:

Dible, however, is not totally satisfied with the hotel’s solution and said the company should provide some extra compensation for attendees who had to deal with the hassle of The Westin’s decision.

Dible, who first alerted the media to the dispute and has been in contact with many of the other attendees, said some people thought they were victims of identity theft and canceled credit cards or disputed charges.

“When you look at how many people were involved, hundreds of hours have been expended needlessly as a result of the unilateral actions of The Westin,” Dible said.

Of course, the Coaching Center should also be apologizing for putting its customers in this position in the first place. “I had part of the money saved and thought I would have the rest, but then the market got the best of me,” the president of the event organizing company told the Review-Journal.

“Hotel plans to issue refunds” [ReviewJournal] (Thanks to Kelly!)
(Photo: Starwood Hotels)