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Hotel Refund - Help!

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Apr 4th, 2003, 08:09 PM
  #1
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Hotel Refund - Help!

Any tips on getting a hotel refund? The hotel claims that I did not cancel within the certain time period. I disputed that the email confirmation letter did not clarify if the cancellation for the full refund was 14 days prior to the arrival date or 14 days after the day the reservation was made. Please help!! I will loose about $800!!
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Apr 4th, 2003, 08:16 PM
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You pre-paid? Can you handle it through your charge card issuer as a dispute?
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Apr 4th, 2003, 08:58 PM
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The hotel charged my credit card the day I made the reservation. Can I dispute this to my credit card? If so, what's the strategy?
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Apr 4th, 2003, 09:25 PM
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Write to the credit card company explaining what happened. Tell them when you made the res, when you cancelled, who you spoke to when you cancelled, and send a copy of the confirming email. Usually, though, a 14 day cancellation policy would mean you have to cancel 14 days prior to arrival. That's pretty standard.
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Apr 5th, 2003, 12:37 AM
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provence97: does your credit card have, like, a 1-800 number on the back for 24-hour customer service that you could call and just *ask* them their procedure for disputing a charge instead of asking us?

Andrew
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Apr 5th, 2003, 05:13 AM
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Appreciate all the valuable advice. I could not directly speak to the reservation manager yesterday, but left her a lengthy voicemail message. Turns out they were originally going to credit me, but at the last minute changed their minds. They didn't even contact me about this change!!! I contacted my credit card company today and was informed to fill out a dispute form..The customer rep told me that I'd have a good chance of my full refund, but how true is that? It's the same "guarantee" they gave me when I cancelled my hotel and they reservation manager told me I'd get the full refund.
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Apr 5th, 2003, 08:19 AM
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The CC company will start an investigation after you submit your dispute form. They'll weigh things like the cancellation policy that was sent to you, what is normal and reasonable (i.e. if the hotel did not go out of their way to let you know their policy is unusual for a hotel, at which you can normally cancel up to 4PM on day of check-in), etc. Also, they'll consider whether you dispute things every month or this is your first time. And, is this hotel often disputed?

So they'll perhaps want a copy of the email confirmation, want to know how you contacted them to cancel and when, etc.

If the policy was not clear or unusual, I'd say you have an excellent chance of getting a full refund.

Andrew
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Apr 7th, 2003, 07:12 AM
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Mmm...hotel reservation manager has not returned my two calls. I wonder if they realize that they are wrong and that they need to give me my full refund....

So, I have a good chance of getting a refund from my credit card company instead of the hotel? Should I just stop communicating with the hotel?
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Apr 7th, 2003, 07:31 AM
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Provence, how far in advance of your *arrival date* did you actually cancel? Is this hotel a "resort"? Because they usually have much longer cancellation lead times. Mind telling us which exact hotel this was? Also, how many nights? I've not heard of a hotel charging the full amount upon reservation, perhaps a night or two.
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Apr 7th, 2003, 07:32 AM
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Yes, don't waste your time with the hotel. Just deal with your bank.
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Apr 7th, 2003, 08:01 AM
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I booked a Holiday Inn in San Diego thru their web site which has a no change/cancel policy. I realized that I booked the wrong Holiday Inn from the rest of my group. I called the hotel manager and he said that he would refund my credit card charge if I booked at the other Holiday Inn. He didn't have to, but he did -- it took several phone calls though.

If it is a reputable chain, the hotel manager should refund you -- call the corporate office.
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Apr 7th, 2003, 08:41 AM
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In response to Joan's email -

- I cancelled Mar 21, my arrival date is April 25.

- The hotel is La Quinta Inns in New Orleans.

- Three nights.

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Apr 7th, 2003, 09:03 AM
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I think I found the problem:

I went to the LaQuinta website (there are 7 in the Nola area, I chose downtown location) and put in your dates, and at the bottom of the res page, the following was posted:
********************

Cancellation Policy
This stay occurs during a special event. Full prepayment withcredit card required.Cancel 60days prior to arrival for refund

*******************
I cut and pasted this from the website...don't know what the "special event" is but it seems like they gotcha. Apparently this special event is the reason they also required full prepayment. I tried alternate dates in June, and the cancellation is 6PM date of arrival. Sorry!
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Apr 7th, 2003, 09:27 AM
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provence97, at this point I would just deal with your credit card company. However, it's very important to document the contacts you *have* had with the hotel, even if they are no longer responding to you. Your CC company will want to know you made an attempt in good faith to obtain a refund. Having specific information like "I spoke with John Smith in customer service on 3/21/2003 at 5PM EST and he refused to offer a refund" will be very helpful.

Andrew
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Apr 7th, 2003, 09:45 AM
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I'm affraid JOAN is right. The dates at the downtown NO location CLEARLY state that it's a special event and fully pre-paid and 60 days cancellation notice to get a full refund. Sorry!!!
You could try with the CC card, but based on my previous experience working in a resort, the CC company will not be able to do very much.
Maybe you should reconsider and actually take your mini-vacation after all. It would be a shame to loose all that money for nothing.
Good Luck!
Did you book this through the website(no refund) or did you call(possible refund - if the policy was not clearly stated)?
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Apr 7th, 2003, 09:49 AM
  #16
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Even if you dispute it with your CC company, the hotel can also dispute you not paying.

It looks like you don't have much recourse and will end up having to pay.

Ask the hotel if they resell the rooms if you will get a refund.
 
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Apr 7th, 2003, 09:54 AM
  #17
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This was what my guest confirmation email stated, "Charge CC at time of booking. Cxl within 14 days **NO REFUND** 3 NIGHTS stay required!!".

I call the hotel directly for the reservation.
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Apr 7th, 2003, 10:04 AM
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It's still not clear if you had to cxl within 14 days of res or 14 days before arrival. You may actually have a case here, but at this time it's up to CC company. You have to understand that even though they promise to work for you in their adds, and they do, they don't have some super legal power over any charge that gets disputed. They will look at all the documetation and 'testimony' from both sides and they will help you if there is any sign of something illegal, but if everything was spelled out right, it does not matter what your thoughts or impressions were, it will stand up. Now, I'm not saying that this is the case here, I'm just letting you and others know that you can't just dispute a charge and think it will work everytime just because you want it to.
Anyways, Good Luck, hope it works for you, let us know!
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Apr 7th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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Since it is a chain and the information you received seems to indicate that you should receive a refund, I would still try to work it out with the hotel (and the CC as well). Try looking up a number for the hotel chain central office instead of the hotel itself. Once you get a person of authority on the phone, I think you have a good case and should get a refund. Good Luck.
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Apr 7th, 2003, 10:12 AM
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Unfortunately for provence it is clear.

Cancel WITHIN 14 days means just that...within 14 days of making reservation.

HAd it said cancel AT LEAST 14 days, it would have meant at least 14 days prior to arrival.

Sorry.
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