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Hotel reservation issue - am I being unreasonable?

Hotel reservation issue - am I being unreasonable?

Old Mar 1st, 2004, 05:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 863
Hotel reservation issue - am I being unreasonable?

Hi all,
In October I made a reservation through a hotel's own website (not through Priceline or a booking site) for a queen non-smoking room. I guaranteed with a credit card and received a written confirmation of my reservation. However, when we arrived a few weeks ago, they only had queen smoking rooms or king rooms available. We were given a very cursory apology and told that room type is not guaranteed. Since it was late and we were exhausted, we accepted the room. When we asked to speak to a manager, we were told that they were available only between 9 and 5. Since we were never in the hotel during those hours, we never got to speak to anyone. After arriving home, I sent an email complaint to the hotel, hoping to get maybe a refund of a night or something similar. The answer I received basically stated that if I had called they could have guaranteed the room type, but they only reserve so many rooms through the website, etc. I was offered a 30% off rack rate discount on my next stay. This rate is regularly available all over the web and the rate I had gotten from their website was already better than that, so the offer was basically a joke.

I'm considering forwarding my correspodence to their national office, but I wonder if I'm being unreasonable.
Pat_in_Mich is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 05:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Did your written confirmation state that it was for a non-smoking room?
Dick is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 05:38 AM
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Yes you are.
tom42 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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No, you're not. Fire off that letter. I am sure if you had been a no show they would have held you to your part of the bargain ( through your cc), so you should hold them to theirs.
Litespeed_Chick is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 06:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Smoking preferences and bedding types are documented and most hotels try to accomodate the request but the fact is, if they don't have it at the time of check in, they don't have it.
I stay in 50 hotels a year and I do not get too pissed off if I can't get my room type. Generally I get UPGRADED more often... in fact, I can't recall the last time I had any problems whatsoever.
I am not sure why you chose to conceal the identity of the hotel.
You would get better responses if people knew the chain, even the property.
I say, if it is a major brand send that letter anyway... but I personally would not unless the problem was coupled with service issues.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 06:17 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I worked at the front desk of a Courtyard for a a couple of years and our room types were never guaranteed. As TxTravelPro says, if they don't have it they don't have it. Sometimes people stay extra days for whatever reason and that can screw up ressies.

I would still send the letter, though I would make sure the tone was professional. You might get something out of it.
og719 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 06:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If it'll make you feel better, send the letter. As a public relations gesture, the hotel might even give you something of value in return (i.e., a free night, a discount, a voucher, etc.).
However, as a previous poster has noted, hotels do not guarantee a certain type room, but will accommodate you if one is available. Yours was not a "refundable" situation.
HowardR is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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No not unreasonable at all, the management should of searched you out to make the situation right before you left. This is why I don't stay at the big hotels anymore. I also own my own B&B in Baltimore so I have had experience with guests and I used to work for several years with Hyatt Hotels.

David Schwartz
Inn at 2920
syd8163 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 07:12 AM
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This has happened to us a few times when we requested a non-smoking room--if we have our kids along I explain that our daughter's asthmatic and can't stay in a smoking room (for the rest of us, it's really no big deal). EVERY single time I've mentioned this to a front desk person, a non-smoking room magically appears. Cracks me up--do they keep a non-smoking-room-for-asthmatics handy or what? Anyhow, I'd send the letter, even though room type is never guaranteed. I work in public relations and will tell you that savvy hotels want to do what they can to get return customers. Those who fail to provide good customer service don't get my business again.
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 07:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 700
I'm always very surprised by this problem in hotels as I've had it sometimes and very surprised about respons...
For me, the rooms and the kind of room
requested have to be respected on the avaibility at the time of reservation, not at the time of check in...
I explain : if I take a reservation in
january for october in an hotel with
a view and non smoking and a kingsize bed and all of those items are available at the time of my reservation,
I don't understand why I've not to be
satisfied by another guest who should have reserved only 2 days before arriving but with a check in at 2 p.m. if I arrived at 5 p.m.
Priority have to be given to the first in reservation and not to the first in line at checkin...
Just to say at reservation's time : till now we've not a non smoking room but in case of cancellation, we'll try to do our best...
This for a direct reservation to hotel, by phone or by internet...
More difficult by a central reservation
In those cases, I try to e-mail directly to the reservation desk to ask for some types of guarantee(ie, if there are 2 rooms, at the same floor,...).
But in case of direct reservation, first reserved, the best room at the time of reservation...
monpetit is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 08:27 AM
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Many of these issues BEGIN when someone fails to check out when they are supposed to... NOT because they simply book rooms they do not have.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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So, if we have to admit that they have to organisze at their best with the one
who have reserved and the one who don't want to quit, the minimum if they cannot guarantee what someone have reserved(and I'm telling about a direct reservation and an early reservation), is to make a gest(offer breakfast,a
discount on the actual stay not on a further...who knows when someone will come back in certain destination...,)- even only a word of acknowledgement.The problem is that often, based on the fact that after a day of travel(flight, car,...) they know that everyone will take the room...
monpetit is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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"However, when we arrived a few weeks ago, they only had queen smoking rooms or king rooms available."

Do you mean they only had smoking rooms available or they only had queen smoking rooms available but you could get a non-smoking king room?
cynic is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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If I understand your post correctly you were offered a free upgrade to a non-smoking king room? And despite that they offered 30% off your next stay?

Sorry, I don't understand what is the issue here.

FainaAgain is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 11:33 AM
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I assumed they were offered the non-smoking King, but at a higher rate.

Litespeed_Chick is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 11:48 AM
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Bottom line is call the hotel and insist they put your wishes on the reservation.

Make sure there is a notation.
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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I am not sure of your daily schedule, but I think I would have contacted the Manager during their hours either in person or by phone to resolve the issue while I was still there.
Wednesday is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 12:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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You are not being unreasonable. Contact the hotel customer service (via website) or management and let them know the situation. If they are at all concerned with their reputation, they will give you at least something for your trouble. Be polite. I recently had a problem with a Hyatt resort with some nightly fees that I wasn't aware of until I left. I contacted customer service and they refunded about $10/night, not everything but a significant amount. It was ultimately my fault for not being vigilant about excessive random fees but they were also concerned about me ever staying there again.
j0tree is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 12:24 PM
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I don't know of a hotel in the world who does not have a night manager. Were you never able to contact anyone? At this point, what will a refund do? It won't change the fact that you received the wrong room type.

In a case like yours, you either resolve the situation immediately or forever hold your peace.
Leona is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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As someone who is pretty obsessive about non-smoking rooms, I've discovered that there are a few chains that will GUARANTEE your non-smoking reservation (e.g. Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Westin).

For other hotels it's just considered a "request" dependent on availability at check-in.

Sometimes I will book by phone rather than Web so I can ask if the non-smoking room is guaranteed. The properties that will guarantee it are the ones that get my money.

cdt is offline  

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