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Free Hotel rooms (computer glich) Has this happened to you??


Jul 18th, 2003, 01:31 PM
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Free Hotel rooms (computer glich) Has this happened to you??

I recently found free hotel rooms online through a major airlines website.
The hotel is in the suburb of a major city during a big festival time.

I have printed documents (from the offical site)that say I'm staying for two nights at this hotel for $0 total. I called and spoke to a reservation agent at the direct hotel, not the chains 800 # and she said "yeah looks like the room is comped" - IS THIS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?? I wrote down the agents name, although she did sound young and inexperienced, date and time I spoke with her.

Is it possible that I could get all the way up to this city with three rooms for two nights at high time and not pay a dime? Could they decline me when I have come that far, have printed documents and jotted down the name, date, and time I spoke to an agent to confirm??

I really don't want to call the hotel again as if I'm pleading with them to decline me.
Big_Daddy is offline  
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Jul 18th, 2003, 01:38 PM
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Big_Daddy! I've missed you, you provocateur, you!!

If it's in the hotel's reservations system that the room is comp'ed in your name, and you have the confirmation printout, I'd say they will have to honor it. You MAY have to pay room fees (those city hotel fees)-- in fact, I'd almost guarantee it--, but the actual room "rental" should be $0.00.

Stick to your guns!! Don't let them give you any guff!
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Jul 18th, 2003, 01:40 PM
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Nope. I had the same thing happen to me for a comp room and they said I would have to pay. I had a print out with a confirmed $0.00 rate and the hotel would not honor the confirmation. The chain was Fairmont and the hotel was The Plaza.
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Jul 18th, 2003, 01:55 PM
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A couple men in black suits and sunglasses with a Fodors policeman badge showed up at my door and took me away for a few months. I'm still too traumatized to talk anymore about what happened from there.

So do I basically have no recourse? Do I just wait and see? And what if I get stuck up in this city with no reservations on a packed holiday - would they at least give me a big discount?
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Jul 18th, 2003, 02:05 PM
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A hotel will often honor a ridiculously low rate as a matter of goodwill. However, a person of average intelligence should realize a rate of "$.00" isn't correct, a complaint wouldn't stand up in court and the hotel would be justified in not honoring this OBVIOUS mistake. $20 could be a promo rate, for instance, but no one just GIVES AWAY rooms online.

(I once got a $9 airfare on United. Should have been loaded as $99. They honored the rate but also told me that had it been "zero" they would not have honored it.)
Dan is offline  
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Jul 18th, 2003, 02:14 PM
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What "restrictions" came with this rate? I once saw the same thing: a "zero" rate. I booked it and printed it out only to find hidden in the fine print that it was only for employees of that hotel company. I should have never seen the rate! Easy come, easy go.
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Jul 18th, 2003, 02:16 PM
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Like that old saying goes: If it's too good to be true, it probably is!
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Jul 18th, 2003, 02:23 PM
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I'm a firm believer in honesty is the best policy.You KNOW it is wrong.You have some jitters----"she did sound young,etc...".IMHO,I would call the hotel and speak with the reservations manager.Explain the situation.Is it worth the chance when you get there to be told it is in fact a bogus deal...no.You've got 3 rooms booked and it is more than just you....Your chances of having the hotel honor the zero deal are much greater if you explain up front rather than wait until you show up.There could be "frenzy at the front desk" if its a busy time.
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Jul 18th, 2003, 04:49 PM
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Dan, A person of "average intelligence" would OBVIOUSLY know that $9 is an incorrect fare for a RT United flight.
Based on your United flight I would venture to say you yourself would take a comp room if possible.
We do have three rooms and one is 20 b/c we have four people in the room so I'm just trying to figure out what to expect.
I am a very honest person, which is exactly why I contacted the hotel directly - however - I am quite certain that any other person if the opportunity arose would not tell Walmart, United Air, JC Penneys, etc. "look ya know I just feel like I need to not accept this $9 flight". There is nothing dishonest about it - in fact the fact I am here asking attests to my honesty. I have heard the $9 errors for air flights before and figured I had a great deal with 3 rooms for 40 over two nights.
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Jul 18th, 2003, 05:13 PM
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To me, it is all about karma. About the time I made a stink about the Plaza not honoring the zero rate, the airlines would lose my luggage, my cc# would get ripped off, I would some how injure myself, etc. I would rather not take the chance on bad kharma.
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Jul 18th, 2003, 05:27 PM
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Karma schmarma. I once made a hotel honor a typo for a rate of $18 (should have been $189) and I had a great trip!
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Jul 18th, 2003, 06:19 PM
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I am not a lawyer (yet). However, something I was reading on err BestFares? a while ago (maybe it was Ed Perkins) was talking about the different between a zero dollar amount and a small dollar amount.

If you want to force the issue with a smaller amount, you can sometimes be successful

Not the case with a zero dollar amount.

I'm sure some amount of googling could pull that up.
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Jul 18th, 2003, 06:22 PM
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Actually a local casino in Iowa when it first opened gave everyone in the county (100,000 people) an opportunity to stay one night FREE of charge, no additional taxes, you just had to sign up online and prove you were from the local community, ID etc. when you checked in, one room per person as long as rooms were available. It was for the first sixty days the casino hotel was opened.
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Jul 19th, 2003, 02:38 PM
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I am not a lawyer (but did "Ace" my business law class). Can you sue? Well, I would assume for a breach of contract. But was there a contract? Three things are necessary for a contract: 1-mutual agreement (both parties agree to enter into it) 2-legality of the transaction (you cannot sue for illegal gambling debts, nor can minors enter into many types of contracts) and 3-Consideration (or "money", if you will)

What consideration has been exchanged? None! Had the rate been $1, and you mailed your deposit, then you'd have a contract. With $0. --- well, that might not be considered a contract. Again, IANAL!
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Jul 19th, 2003, 02:58 PM
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I have gotten airfares on United for $56 RT from Houston to NYC (they even threw in a bottle of bubbly since it was our anniversary). $19 RT from Dallas to Memphis. $58 RT to Myrtle Beach, Chicago, & Buffalo. $62RT from San Antonio to Cincinnati. $300 RT from Austin to Maui and $179 RT to London. These things do happen at least to me and no one has ever said any of those prices were an error. And no, I do not have any affiliation with any airline or travel agency.

Not trying to be a know-it-all, just saying that some companies for whatever reason will sell fares for ridiculously low prices. I have car rental agencies and hotel reservationists wonder aloud how I got the rate that I bring to them. $88 for a nice hotel in NYC between Times Square and Central Park, $13 per day economy cars -- of course I always upgrade, $75 for a 4 day PT Cruiser rental incl. all taxes and fees, 2 nights for $125 total for a small boutique hotel right where West Hollywood and Beverly Hills connect.

I spend a good amount of time researching travel deals and jump on them when I find them. If I hesitate they usually aren't there when I go back to look. It's become kind of a hobby I guess.

I doubt they are going to honor your "deal" however, you may consider booking at another hotel for that time provided you can find one that has a day of arrival cancellation policy. Sometimes they give you until 4 or 6 PM to cancel but that may be hard to find during a busy time like that. Good luck.
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Jul 19th, 2003, 05:20 PM
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Big Daddy, You ask for OUR opinions and a lot of people gave them. You seem to disagree with most of the opinions because they don't agree with what you WANT to do - stay free. So why ask? Just go and whatever happens, happens. Its your holiday. What's the worst thing that could happen? You and your friends are without hotel rooms or you have to pay whatever rate the hotel wants to charge or you have to hire a lawyer to take some big hotel chain to court for your free nights. If these are all acceptable alternatives to you, then go for it. Maybe you'll get lucky and get to stay free. Maybe you won't. It's one or the other, isn't it?
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