Blacklisted From Motel 6 For Complaining About Moldy Shower Curtain

We appreciate your feedback? Not so much. When a man returned to the same Motel 6 where he had complained about a moldy shower curtain, he found himself barred from staying there. Because no other hotels had vacancies, he was forced to sleep in his car.

The man told WPXI that the manager, “…comes out and he says, oh yeah, I remember you, you’re not allowed to stay here. And I say, not allowed to stay? And he said yeah, we don’t want your business anymore.”

Reached for comment, the hotel’s manager, for some reason, acknowledged that the customer had been blacklisted, saying, “His name was on the list. But once I talked to corporate, he’s allowed to come back.”

The man says he will not be staying at Motel 6 again after this experience.

Motel 6 corporate confirmed to WPXI that the man had been placed on a list, but that it was a mistake, and that the list is only supposed to be used for customers who are causing a disturbance.

It’s sad when businesses can’t take a little honest feedback and resort to petty bullying to get revenge on you. But you just have to stick with the impulse that made you file the complaint in the first place, and report any retaliatory action as well. That’ll really get the higher-up’s attention to bring light to bear on the mismanagement. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

Man Put On ‘Do Not Stay List’ After Complaining About Moldy Shower Curtain At Motel 6 [WPXI]


Edit Your Comment

  1. JohnJohnson says:

    If I remember correctly when someone complains to motel 6 corporate corporate charges the property something like $50 to respond to each complaint. Correct me if this has changed.

    • chemmy says:

      That’s interesting. I had a horrible stay at one that had always been pleasant for me. I complained to the front desk and they told me it wasn’t their problem since I’d already paid for the room in full.
      I then emailed the property manager and he told me the same thing.

      I emailed corporate and quickly received an apology letter in the mail, a promise that they would look into the problem and a gift certificate for a free night’s stay anywhere in the US. Better than nothing. I hope they got fined.

    • TheDoctor says:

      It has not changed. They get charged $50 for every complaint, and another $100 if they dont deal with the customer/problem in a timely fashion, then whatever Guest Relations throws on top of that. I am not surprised the man was taken off the list after talking to Corperate. We dont really allow them to do that kind of thing.

    • calchip says:

      If the fine is $50 for handling a corporate complaint, and $100 fro not resolving it promptly, I wonder what the fine is for so bungling a complaint that it ends up all over the blogosphere?

  2. humphrmi says:

    What is it with businesses lately, and seemingly especially hotels, that these businesses think that attacking people who complain is the best course of action? It seems like they just don’t have any business sense at all.

    • Bohemian says:

      I had a Country Inn & Suites do something similar. I think they a franchise where the person running the hotel owns it rather than the corporation owning the whole thing. The place needed some repairs. The hot tub was permanently not working, you could tell it had not been working for a long time and when we asked they seemed to be in no hurry to fix it. The breakfast buffet was some gas station individually packaged danishes and biscuits and gravy. The gravy served out of a home use crock pot that looked like it had not been cleaned in ages. I mentioned this on trip advisor and got a really hostile message back from the hotel owner through trip advisors message system.
      I won’t stay at a Country Inn anywhere ever again if they don’t keep tabs on the owners.

    • tooluser says:

      There are plenty of bad small businesses out there. I always smirk at people who talk up all “Mom ‘n Pop” stores. A far higher percentage of those stores are really bad, compared to the big chains. But you can find abuse anywhere. Or should I say, “the abuse will find you”.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Clearly, the local manager did it as a retaliation, and I would hope corporate reprimand’s that local manager.

  4. DanKelley98 says:

    I guess they didn’t leave the lights on for him.

  5. Limewater says:

    “no other hotels were open”

    I’m unfamiliar with this situation. I’ve checked into hotels as late as 4:30am. Do a lot of hotels really shut close and allow no more check-ins after a certain time?

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      I’ve seen it happen in small towns during busy season.

      • MrEvil says:

        I think you mean off-season. Where my mom lives in Missouri there are a few Mom & Pop lodges that are closed for the winter. Typically its the ones where the owners do all the work and have contractors do maintenance and deep cleanings. The one my sister worked at stayed open year round because it cost more to pay the staff unemployment than it did to cut their hours and stay open.

        • Me - now with more humidity says:

          No, I mean busy season. Every other motel is full, so they close their offices and put up the “no vacancy” sign. Happened to me in Winslow, AZ

    • dgm says:

      RTFA – it explains that no other hotels had rooms available.

    • 44 in a Row says:

      I’m fairly certain that they mean “open” as in, “has open rooms in which he could stay.” The article says, “every hotel in the area was booked,” and besides, this was at Pittsburgh International Airport.

    • nbs2 says:

      I once had to move along down the highway an extra exit because every hotel in town was booked solid except for the Motel 6.

    • PBallRaven says:

      Lodi CA had a local ordinace that all businesses had to be closed after 10PM. I barely made it to the hotel in time to check in. Zeus help you if you needed gasoline or food late at night.

      This was a dozen years or so ago. Things may have changed.

    • Pax says:

      The city I live in, only HAS one hotel. And one seedy, dilapidated, horribly filthy motel (with a reputation of renting rooms out by the hour, if you get my drift).

      So if the local hotel said “get lost”, someone unfamiliar with the area, and the surrounding towns … would pretty much be S.O.L.

      • tooluser says:

        Don’t they have their smart phone? Why not? Isn’t having a smart phone so central to being, that everyone should have one as a right? If not, why not? Various politicians and political organizations have stated that access to broadband is a right. Isn’t it? And if it’s a right, it should be free!

        • Not Given says:

          A smart phone wouldn’t do you any good here. We’re the biggest white spot in the coverage maps, we don’t get 3G , we don’t even get ‘G.’

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i did have an issue on a road trip once where i checked at three motels before i found one with a clerk ‘on duty’ – there was a doorbell that woke up the guy in the back of the office sleeping on a cot. after i rang the bell i watched the light come on and saw this guy get off the cot and come through the door.
      the other two places had ‘office closed’ signs up

  6. chaesar says:

    Motel 6 saved him lots of money

  7. BuddhaLite says:

    How much of a scene did the guy cause if corporate confirmed he was put on a list for causing a disturbance?

  8. redskull says:

    Good to see that business at Motel 6 is so good that they can afford to turn away customers.

  9. The Marionette says:

    “Motel 6 corporate confirmed to WPXI that the man had been placed on a list, but that it was a mistake,”

    So…. that part was completely ignored I take it? Had a consumer done something by “mistake” it would be milked to no end. As soon as a company does it, they’re doing “petty bullying”.

    • MikeF74 says:

      The “mistake” is that the manager of this hotel used this list improperly. As someone else stated, calls to corporate complaint lines can end up costing the hotel on a per-incident basis. The “mistake” was this manager thinking he could game the system by denying rooms based on valid customer complaints. PR calls it a mistake — the rest of the world sees right through the wording and knows that the real mistake is hiring bad managers.

    • Bye says:

      You do realize that the “mistake” was the local owner’s petty bullying? Said mistake was corrected once corporate got wind of the actual facts.

    • coren says:

      Yes, the manager made a mistake when he put the consumer on the list as a revenge tactic. That’s the mistake.

  10. El_Fez says:

    To be fair, Motel 6 has sucked for years. Once upon a time, back when I was a little kid in the 70’s and 80’s I loved staying at Motel 6. Somehow, to my twisted tike brain, it was a treat – swimming pools, cable television with strange and alien stations and beds you could jump on (provided you were on the ground floor) without getting too much stick from mom. In short, it was a comfort food kind of feeling growing up.

    Nowendays? Not so much. Sure they have the lowest prices of the chains*, but they hit you with the Nickel and Dime approach. I had left my Toothbrush in the previous night’s motel by accident, and I had not bothered to pack Shampoo with me, using the courtesy toiletries available along the way. It seems that Motel 6 offers the items – for a price. The front desk couldn’t give me any, but they were more than happy to direct me to a vending machine that had them for three dollars each.

    And then there was the wireless internet. *EVERY* single motel I had been in up to that point (save for one, who I could tell was having router issues) – even smallest of the mom-n-pop motels had free wireless internet access. Oh, but not Motel 6. They would be happy to give you all the internet you want – for 4 dollars a night. Shameful!

    * On the other hand, I can usually find a mom-n-pop motel nearby that’ll be cheaper than Motel 6 – and give you free stuff!

    • DarthCoven says:

      I stayed at a Motel 6 in downtown Atlanta this summer for a night. Free internet, working AC, plenty of cable options, free shampoo and soap. My only complaint was the room being too small for the 4 of us, but we had moved over from staying at the Marriott the night before, so the shrinkage was to be expected.

      I guess it varies from property to property.

    • MrEvil says:

      Each property owner is going to handle things differently. Most Motel 6 locations are franchises so you’re at the mercy of the policies of the skinflint owner.

      • El_Fez says:

        I must have bad luck then, since the 3 or 4 Motel Sixes that I’ve stayed at over the last 3 years have been all been like that.

    • Putaro says:

      Funny thing is, those low end motels have free Internet access but the high end hotels will nickel and dime you on it. I also like when they ding you extra for parking. In downtown SF I can understand (and a car can be optional for many tourists) but we had a big extra parking charge in San Diego.

  11. Shmoodog says:

    “Motel 6 corporate confirmed to WPXI that the man had been placed on a list, but that it was a mistake, and that the list is only supposed to be used for customers who are causing a disturbance.”

    Translation: Once the man had made a stink about it, and the media got involved, suddenly a vindictive manager’s revenge became a simple ‘mistake.’

    This is completely unacceptable behavior from a business. A man was made to sleep in his car because he made an honest complaint? That manager should be fined or even fired.

  12. brianisthegreatest says:

    Wait what? Why would he go back? So he could complain again? So he could get that moldy shower curtain experience again? People, come on.

  13. Urgleglurk says:

    Well, that’s what he gets for staying at Motel 666.

  14. benjitek says:

    Who knows who made this change in their system. Could’ve been some vindictive desk clerk fresh out of prison on some return-to-work program — perhaps the manager didn’t even know. Is this a status change made in a computer system? There’s always 2 sides to a story, and only the basics of 1 side are being presented here.

    • Damocles57 says:

      Do you work at this particular Motel 6 or some other cheap motel? Killing time between customer check in/out?

  15. sopmodm14 says:

    i say we all blacklist motel 6

  16. NumberSix says:


    They did him a favor.

  17. kellkell says:

    Years ago we stayed at a Motel 6 in Vegas, the room was filthy, the walls had mold. We moved rooms and the manager on duty told us we should complain to corporate because he had been telling the owner for months. When we called Corporate the next morning they would not take our complaint because we had been blacklisted. We were told that the property reported us for making noise and multiple complaints had come in about us. So apparently they told us to call but had taken appropriate measures to prevent the complaint from being registered.
    That was the last time we stayed at a Motel 6. We did call the health department who did act on the complaint and followed up with us. The room walls had been cleaned and the rug shampooed, so at least they did fix the issue.

  18. SecretAgentWoman says:

    Best Western. The cheapest I’m willing to go.

    • dg says:

      Why not Worst Eastern? Cheaper still!?

    • Not Given says:

      The last Best Western I stayed at, the refrigerator was not only not plugged in, it didn’t come on when we plugged it in. Their so called continental breakfast didn’t include anything I could eat, or even add to my coffee.

  19. lucky13 says:

    This is why Spinal Tap always stays at Motel 8 – it’s 2 better!

  20. skapig says:

    So the man blacklisted Motel 6 as a whole after corporate made things right by forcing that locations manager to follow policy? I get it….

  21. stint7 says:

    I’m sure there is more to it. The guy probably flipped out over the shower curtain, the desk clerk offered him a new room or a discount but he refused to take it and instead called corporate. I work at a hotel and this stuff happens all the time. Someone will complain to the point they get a free room and then come back to redeem the free stay. If it is so bad that you had to fight tooth and nail about it, why do you want to come back? Oh yeah, because you are cheap bastards.