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Have you ever complained to the main office of a motel chain and got a refund?

Have you ever complained to the main office of a motel chain and got a refund?

Jul 15th, 2003, 10:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 7
Have you ever complained to the main office of a motel chain and got a refund?

Recently I had a terrible experience with a Best Western Hotel in PA. There was a laundry list of problems but I got no satisfaction from the motel manager.

Once I got home I wrote a letter to the customer service department of Best Western and after a month all I got was a form letter saying they were looking into our complaints. Then it went into a black hole. I tried calling the toll free customer service number but was put on hold for ever and then got bored and hung up.

So, has anyone had any luck after writing to customer service at a major hotel/motel chain? What was the results of your compliants?
travelquestion is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 165
I sent an email letter to the Four Seasons chain after problems at the Bangkok Regent. It was a minor problem, and the purpose of my letter was to call attention to a potential problem rather than to request a refund, etc. Anyhow, I got a response from the 4S president (email) and a call from the hotel manager in Bangkok. Since my husband was still in Bangkok at the time, the manager comped him and a friend a meal in one of the hotel restaurants.

Anyhow, If you aren't satisfied with the response you've received so far you could 1) file a BBB complaint - generally available online and/or 2) write a follow-up letter (send it directly to one of the VPs or other high-up rather than to customer service).

Good luck.
scigirl is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Sometimes it can be useful to spell out what it is you think would be fair compensation, for example a free night's stay, or future discount etc.

Also, depending upon how terrible your experience was some media outlets such as local TV network or newspaper might be able to help you with your refund etc. For example in Easton, PA there is a local newspaper "Easton Express" that has a column called "Action Express" that helps expose problems when no one seems to care about the "little people".

Hope this helps.
JohnD is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We spent a night at a Sheraton about a year ago, there was no hot water and the sheets were too small for the bed. When we checked out we complained. They took 50% off an already discounted rate.
MFNYC is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 11:17 AM
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Best Westerns are independently owned and operated (I used to be a manager at a BW property). You should definately take your complaint to the HQ of the group that owns that specific property. Many of them are good sized hospitality companies that are very concerned with addressing your issues.

I would expect that you may be able to find the right person through the properties web site, chamber of commerce or just asking the phone operator at the property (not the BW 800 line).

I agree with JohnD in that you should tell them what would make you happy.
placeu2 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,143
I've gotten substantial compensation from airlines for writing complaints, anywhere from $100 to a free ticket.
Loki is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 11:46 AM
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I love Loki's response, which is the equivalent of saying "3 o'clock" when someone asks you the termperature. (Sorry, Loki, I couldn't resist.)

Anyway, my experience with chain hotel/,motels is that the more upscale they are, the more likely they are to give you some sort of compensation for a bad experience.

Examples: The Marriot spa in Scottsdale gave us one night free because our room wasn't ready the day we arrived. While Days Inn gave us nothing after we complained about the quality of a room that was truly the worst I'd ever stayed in.
k_999_9 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 02:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 757
2X I've had complaints so bad that they have comped the rooms. Once in a Hampton Inn in Orlando and once in a Fairfield Inn in Suwanee, Ga. Both time were parties in rooms next to us where the police raided the rooms.

As a former Asst. GM, of hotels, at check-out time can be a disaster of complaints. We always comped the room or if the complaint came by mail-offered a free room, next time.
maryann is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 02:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 274

Sort of ...

I reserve a room in Albuquerque at a La Quinta Inn through Travelocity. The cold water didn't work in the shower. The night manager immediately offered a coupon for a free stay in the future. I called Travelocity after I returned home, and they took care of it by cancelling the charge on my credit card.

I'll add some additional advice to the other posts:

- Know your facts - who, what, when, where - don't inflate your case.

- Explain why it was bad and what you would like to be done about it. Don't inflate your demands.

- Take names and numbers of each person you talk to.

- Politely go up the chain of command.

And when all else fails, complain on a web site like this one.

Mike Honeycutt
mahoneycutt is offline  

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