Hyatt Charges Asthmatic Woman $250 For Smoking, Says It Has Secret Photos

A woman who stayed at a Hyatt in Milwaukee last month was hit with an extra $250 charge for smoking in her room. The problem, she says, is that she has severe asthma–she offered to show Hyatt her prescriptions–and is not a smoker. When she complained to Hyatt, the hotel’s director of operations told her “the Hyatt had photographic evidence of smoking in the room and would absolutely not refund her money.”

The director of operations told the Journal Sentinel’s “Public Investigator” column that he stands behind the charge, but that the charge is a mistake, or something like that:

“We told her we had pictures and evidence that she was smoking in her room. And we do. I don’t know if we made a mistake. So we’re going to assume that we did make a mistake because it’s our job to make the guests satisfied when they leave and to make sure we treat them fairly and they leave happy.”

I’m not sure how secret photos–of your guests? of their rooms when they’re not in them?–contributes to customer satisfaction and happiness, but at least the woman got the $250 refunded.

“Hotel guest fumes over smoking bill” [Journal Sentinel] (Thanks to Alice!)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.