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Warning. Orbitz hotel booking. Listed hotels may not be actual hotels.

Warning. Orbitz hotel booking. Listed hotels may not be actual hotels.

Old Apr 1st, 2012, 12:30 AM
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Warning. Orbitz hotel booking. Listed hotels may not be actual hotels.

Orbitz books me in a private apartment masquerading as a hotel.

My recent experience with a hotel reservation on the Orbitz web site is so absurd it is almost unbelievable. But as you can see from the following email thread with Orbitz customer service this really happened.

I used Orbitz hotel reservation system. I found this hotel closest to my destination : BOQ-Veridian, 1133A East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910

I booked a two night stay.

I arrived there by taxi at 11 pm. There was no hotel at this location. I look up my reservation printout to double check. I am at the right address but I now notice that my reservation does not include a hotel phone number (which is very unusual).

I looked it up on my smartphone Google map. The map does not show any hotels in this location but does show a luxury apartment building called Veridian at this exact same address and gave a phone number which I called. A night clerk or guard at this number answered. I asked about the BOQ-Veridian hotel. He said there is no hotel here and this was a building of private apartments. I mentioned I had a Orbitz reservation for a hotel in this building. He said he could not help me further.

So I used my phone again to find another hotel. I ended up staying at the Marriot Courtyard nearby.

Later I contacted Orbitz to get my deposit at BOQ-Veridian 'hotel' refunded. I reasoned that since there was no real hotel at this location I should not have to pay.
I also double checked Internet resources. The BOQ-Veridian 'hotel' has no web site, does not appear on maps with a search on hotel in the area. It is offered on other hotel booking services, such as hotels.com.

Orbitz denied me a refund. They responded with the following logic (or is it illogic) thinking.

· I should have called the 'hotel' to ask for directions. They ignored the fact that I said I called the phone listed for the building and spoke with night staff and told there was no hotel.
· Orbitz staff confirmed that a Google map does not show a hotel at this location, but insisted I should have called for directions.
· Orbitz pointed out that the small print 'hotel' description says it is an apartment
· I point out that I found this hotel using their hotel search button. Their answer: they don't have a separate button or tab for apartments.
· I also pointed out that hotel has a specific legal and generally accepted meaning. BOQ-Veridian does not come close to what a customer would think is a hotel.

Where it stands now? Well Orbitz customer service insists the misunderstanding is my fault and I am on the hook for one night stay at a hotel I could not find and did not stay at.

Following is the email thread where I tried to explain the problem to Orbitz Customer Service.


Booked at hotel that was not there

Discussion Thread

Response Via Email (Roxanne)

03/31/2012 07:19 PM

Dear Ron,

On behalf of my colleagues at Orbitz, I sincerely apologize you had this experience.

The word hotel is just an indicator that the reservation you are booking is under the hotel category regardless if this is a hotel, motel or an apartment. It all goes down to the room description as well as the details.

If you check on the Web site, there is no tab for an apartment since it is categorized under the hotel tab.

If you wish to speak with our Senior Manager, please contact our Customer Support at 1-888-656-4546 and they will be the one who will transfer the call to our Senior Manager.

We do value your business and hope to have a future opportunity to serve you with your travel planning needs.


Orbitz Customer Service

Customer By Email (Ron Abileah)

03/31/2012 01:56 AM

Please look at the screenshot you sent me. The Orbitz listing top-left
clearly says in bold HOTEL. Below that it says "more hotel details."
On the upper right there is again the word hotel. The listing was found
by doing a hotel search in the Orbitz web site. No reasonable person
would think that booking a hotel through Orbitz would result in booking
an apartment in a private apartment complex.
Orbitz is being very unreasonable and irresponsible. You booked me into
a private apartment masquerading as a hotel. You should know that the
term hotel has specific legal meaning. You can not represent an
apartment as a hotel.
I expect the following from you. (1) A senior manager at Orbitz should
contact me to settle this matter in the next few days. (2) A refund
of my deposit. The charges on my credit card will be put in dispute
with the credit card company. Orbitz has misrepresented this
property. There are legal consequences.
Ron Abileah

On 3/30/2012 4:11 PM, Orbitz - RRD Escalations wrote:

Response Via Email (Roxanne)

03/30/2012 06:11 PM

Dear Ron,

Thank you for contacting Orbitz.

We're sorry for the inconvenience. However, BOQ-Veridian is not a hotel and it's indeed an apartment.

I tried to mocked bock the same BOQ-Veridian reservation and I attached a screen shot wherein it stated the information encircled/underlined in red.

Please be advised that we are unable to obtain approval from BOQ-Veridian to refund the requested amount/imposed fee.

We regret our response cannot be more favorable. We do value your business and hope to have a future opportunity to serve you with your travel planning needs.


Orbitz Customer Service

Customer (Entered by Operations)

03/30/2012 04:25 PM

Please look at my report again.

The hotel you booked me into does not appear on any Google map. This hotel does not exist. I spoke with the building manager at the location of this hotel and was told there is NO HOTEL AT THIS LOCATION.

Look this hotel up on Google Map. Or see attached screen snapshot. The building at this address is a luxury apartment building, not a hotel.

Please have a senior manager at Orbitz get in touch with me.

That Orbitz is making reservations at this location in unpardonable.


Response Via Email (E-mail Customer Service)

03/30/2012 02:45 PM

Dear Orbitz Customer,

Thank you for contacting Orbitz.

I understand that you'd like to get a refund of your hotel reservation. It is very disappointing to learn of the situation you encountered and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced.

After reviewing the account, I do see your reservation at 'BOQ-Veridian' for check-in on March 26, 2012. We have coordinated with our hotel supplier on your behalf. We regret to inform that despite the circumstances, the hotel will not give a refund.

If you're having difficulty locating the hotel property, you should have contacted us or the hotel directly for assistance.

We appreciate your business and hope you will provide us with a future opportunity to fully restore your confidence in our products and services.

We value you as a customer and look forward to serving you again in the future.


Calvin Smith
Orbitz Email Service Team

When you Orbitz, you know!


03/30/2012 06:15 AM

Thank you for contacting Orbitz.

Customer By Web Form (Ron Abileah)

03/30/2012 06:15 AM

Email to Orbitz

Re: Orbitz record locator: PBORB0028933164

I request a full refund for the deposit on booking the March 26-27 stay at BOQ-Veridian 1133 E West Hwy , Silver Spring, MD.

I already made two phone calls to Orbitz customer service. Both agents verified that the problem and information was correct but could not resolve the matter of refund. They transferred me to another office for resolution. The transfer put me on long holding. I can't spend so much time on the phone with this matter so please read the following explanation and help me get my deposit refunded.

I arrived by taxi at the above address at 11 PM on March 26. There was a building there exactly as described in Orbitz web site. However, that building is apartments, not a hotel. I then looked up hotels in smart phone map. It showed a Veridian Equity Apartments at this location. I called the phone number for the building management given for Veridian. Night staff answered that there was no hotel in this building. This was luxury apartments. They knew nothing about a hotel in the building.

I then found another hotel in the area for duration of my stay.

Later I checked Google maps for hotels in this location. There are no hotels here. There is no BOQ-Veridian anywhere in Silver Springs. Again, all I found for this address is EquityApartments.com with a complex know as Veridian.

I feel that Orbitz owes me a refund on the booking for a hotel I could not find and is not even to be found on the web or on web and phone maps.

Ron Abileah
abileah is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2012, 01:30 AM
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The description of the property does state that it is an apartment. I don't see what is odd about that, if an online booking is made it is very important to read the description of the property, if anything for the cancellation/payment policy, before proceeding with the booking. This property is offered on several other booking sites too, with same description ie a place suitable for extended stays. A little research before hitting the purchase button would have saved alot of trouble.
Odin is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2012, 02:52 AM
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Common practice on all booking sites not "absurd" at all GREAT personal experience with Orbitz here is a similar listing as a Hotel on another booking engine auper nice property.

www.hotels.com › ... › Maryland Hotels › Silver Spring Hotels
Mar 20, 2012 – BOQ VERIDIAN - Silver Spring. 38.98934, -77.02838. Star rating not available. 1133 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD, 20910 United States

The fault is clearly yours for not finding the place and violating your contract by not showing up for your booking.

Sorry for your negative experience.
qwovadis is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2012, 07:38 AM
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Didn't you check on the "hotel" before booking? I just checked tripadvisor, and it's not listed, which would be a big red flag that something is unusual. And don't you check contact info and location if you won't turn up until 11:00 at night? I've been very careful to book a full-service hotel for my upcoming stay in San Francisco, and not a B&B or similar, in case my train gets in very late.

Sometimes an apartment is a good place to stay - I have one booked for Chicago, also through a booking site, but I know up-front that's what it is.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2012, 09:37 AM
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The Orbitz web site lists the property as a hotel. The word HOTEL appears prominently in several places on their web page, from the start of the search through the description of the property. An apartment should not be listed under a HOTEL label.

Yes, the small print mentions an apartment, but that is no excuse for misleading the Orbitz customer that this is a hotel.

When you book a hotel you expect to arrive at a establishment with a door leading to a lobby with a hotel clerk. In this case the 'hotel' in an apartment building and the night clerk in the building knows nothing about a hotel and can not help me find it.
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Old Apr 1st, 2012, 10:00 AM
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My name is Shalon, and I am part of the Orbitz Customer Relations Team. I saw your comments and would like to see if I can look into your concern. Please email me with your contact information, so I can further assist you. Our email address is [email protected]. Please enter my name in the subject line, and your blog name in your information.

I look forward to hearing back from you.


Orbitz Customer Relations
Chicago, IL
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Old Apr 1st, 2012, 10:09 AM
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So, I took a look at Orbitz.

The room description says: "This 720 square foot, 1br, queen bed, fully furnished apartment." (Emphasis added.)

It also says, under the photo of the building: "Open floor plans with abundant natural light, exciting designer kitchens with track lighting, full-size washers and dryers, and expansive walk-in closets in many units are just some of the features available at The Veridian. Outside your apartment, amenities include a full-service concierge, a spectacular 'green' roof with a pool, sundeck, gas grills and gathering spaces, two fully equipped fitness centers with iPod cardio theaters, a WiFi eLounge, and an expansive resident gathering…" (Emphasis added.)

Does that really sound like a hotel to you?

The reference to a concierge could be misleading, but it doesn't say 24-hour. I did however, find this listed under Amenities at the bottom of the page: "24 Hour Front Desk" - so you should use that as the basis of your complaint.
thursdaysd is offline  
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