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.
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.
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.
Hey, busy travelers: If you’re tired of toggling back and forth between your Google calendar and the website you use for booking your flights, the folks at Hipmunk have come up with a way to integrate your schedule into your flight and hotel searches.
When Rosalie and her husband reserved a room at a Hyatt Place hotel, they thought that by requesting two queen-size beds, they were reserving two queen-size beds. This is not so: they were requesting two queen-size beds, and the couple learned this the hard way. This wasn’t just a case of travel preferences and first world problems: Rosalie suffers from severe back problems, and needs a nice, immobile bed to herself in order to prevent Even More Pain.
For all the confirmation e-mails and reservation numbers you receive when booking a room through Hotels.com — and most third-party discount reservation sites — there is still a slim chance that you’ll arrive at your destination only to find out your room has been sold off to someone willing to pay more.
A man has decided to turn a minor annoyance, getting a newspaper at your hotel room door and getting charged for it, into a class action lawsuit.
In the five years I’ve been writing for Consumerist, I’ve read plenty of hotel horror stories and complaints, but this is a new one. Using the “Favorites” option on his HolidayInn.com account, reader Andy booked a stay at a Holiday Inn Express that he had gone to before and enjoyed. When he arrived at the same location, it was now a “Mission Inn.” They told him the Holiday Inn had moved down the road. The new facility was sub-par compared to what it had been previously and he complained to Holiday Inn corporate, they basically said “tough noogies.” Which is how Holiday Inn just lost a life-long customer.
While the FDA has decided to go for the ick-factor in trying to curb smoking, the folks at Travelodge are combating in-room tobacco use in an interesting way… with ashtrays.
Dylan traveled to China a few months ago. His consumer complaint doesn’t directly involve any company in that country, though: his issue is with the company that was supposed to provide him with a place to stay in Beijing, Hotels.com. Miscommunication ensued when Hotels.com first had the wrong address for the hotel, then failed to actually reserve a room for Dylan. When he called the company for help, he learned that while they help customers book rooms in foreign countries, they don’t necessarily have anyone on staff who speaks the language of those countries to smooth over issues.
David had this crazy, completely irrational idea in his head. He thought that just because he had a confirmed ten-night Candlewood Suites stay, made through the InterContinental Hotels web site, there might be a room waiting for him. The reservation went through just fine, and was in the system. The problem was that the grand opening of this new hotel in El Paso, Texas had been pushed back to a few months after David’s planned stay. His reservation was now invalid, but no one at the hotel chain bothered to notify him. Are other guests due for a rude surprise when they check in or call to confirm their reservations?
Wynn could use the services of a Priceline negotiator. He booked a stay at a Marriott through Priceline, but due to some confusion, the hotel put the price of the entire stay on his credit card. The hotel promised Wynn a refund of the incorrect charge, and didn’t end up charging Priceline for the hotel stay, either. That was incredibly nice of them, but leaves Wynn with a problem: Priceline still charged him, and simply kept all of the money.
A couple weeks ago, we told you about how the MGM Grand Las Vegas had begun charging $20 per night to guarantee non-smoking rooms to guests. That didn’t go over well with the general public and now the resort tells Consumerist that it’s rescinded the policy.
You can almost imagine the moment when some executive at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas was walking by the check-in counter and heard an employee ask a guest, “Will that be smoking or non-smoking?” And in that moment, yet another idea for a tack-on fee was born.
If you’re allergic to down and stay at a Quality Inn, you should probably check ahead of time to see whether there is any down-free bedding available in the entire building. Jason is allergic to down, and this was the first hotel he had ever encountered that couldn’t provide him with feather-free bedding to accommodate his allergy. His complaints to corporate were met with more or less a shrug.
No person in their right mind should ever long for the ’70s. In case, they do, however, we offer as counter-argument this incredibly weird Hilton ad, which features a magician, a Scott Bakula impersonator, and a bunch of hotel maids dressed in what later became the Munchkin costumes for a community theater production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
You may remember the story from just after Christmas of the two Consumerist readers who weren’t told their reservation on Hotels.com was non-refundable until after they’d requested a refund. After the story appeared here, it looks like the site saw the error of its ways and has refunded the money.