I know this is long but I’m livid so bear with me...So, yesterday, I booked two rooms at the Choice Hotel located here:
Comfort Suites near Raymond James Stadium
5421 W Waters Ave
Tampa, Florida 33634
Little did I know when I booked the rooms that they have a SEVEN DAY CANCELLATION POLICY! Because I booked yesterday for arrival today, there was no notice, nothing that indicated anything other than the industry standard of 24 hours. Not until I got the confirmation for the reservations did I see that the rooms could not be canceled. At the same time, our customer changed the venue and I did in fact need to cancel the rooms. At first, the hotel insisted they were still going to charge me the $4,000 plus for the reservations. After much arguing, they decided they’d charge me the first night for the two rooms which is still not acceptable. I called outside a 24 hour window to cancel, you all know they’re going to rent those rooms because...Florida! And Choice’s only response is that each hotel sets their own cancellation policy.
This is what I posted on Choice’s Facebook today:
DO NOT! Under any circumstances, EVER BOOK with this group! I booked corporate travel for two employees yesterday morning 6/20/16 at 11:30est at the Tampa airport location (Comfort Suites Near Raymond James Stadium
5421 West Waters Avenue,
Tampa, FL, US, 33634)
for arrival today, 6/21/16. At 2pm, we learned our venue had changed. When I called to cancel, I was told that I must cancel 7 days prior to arrival! Nowhere did I see that on anything while booking. There were no warnings that came up asking if I was sure I wanted to book as it was not a cancellable booking. Nothing! Stephanie, who I spoke to at the hotel, was rude, condescending and a smart ass, telling me to go right ahead and call corporate customer service because they were going to tell me the exact same thing, and insisted that I could not cancel my $4K booking. After 15 minutes of arguing, she finally canceled all but tonight’s stay which is still over $400 and which I will be kicking back on my corporate card since they will rebook the room and collect twice as much.
Never have I had ANY hotel that has anything longer than a 24 hour cancellation and I was shocked. This is the worst I have ever been treated, we will never use this group again for anything, ever and had I realized any of this, I would never have booked in the first place but it was the only hotel in the area where I could get two rooms.
I see that you don’t pay much attention or post very often here but rest assured, I will make sure this is posted on as many places as I can as a warning to never use you.
This is the response from the General Manager at the hotel, sent to my email address with the employee’s name:
I am contacting you today in regards to the two reservations at the Comfort Suites near Raymond James Stadium. I was present when Stephanie was speaking to you yesterday and offered to speak to you at that time which was refused. I do sincerely apologize for any frustrations you had in regards to your booking. Stephanie was trying her very best to explain the wording on the confirmation and was calm and polite until the very end. Stephanie asked several times for the person on the phone to stop yelling and to listen to what she was trying to say. At the time the reservation was made the cancellation policy was displayed as well as written on the email confirmation you would have received. Stephanie went ahead and charged the 1 night penalty and cancelled the booking and you should have received the cancellation letter yesterday as well as the receipt for both rooms. At this time the two penalty charges will remain per the hotels policies, I hope you have a wonderful day.
I am the one who booked the rooms for XXXXX. I am the one who spoke to Stephanie on the phone. Please stop lying and telling me she was telling me to stop yelling and to listen to what she was trying to say. I have already contacted Choice Hotels, I will be kicking the charge on the two rooms back to you and you can take your 7 day cancellation policy which never showed anywhere while I was making the reservations and explain that to Choice. I am also making sure that your particular location is noted on as many social media sites as I can post to regarding this ridiculous, non-existent at the time I booked, policy and also the way I was treated.
Industry wide, I have never had trouble canceling a room outside a 24 hour prior to arrival time. Your policy, which I still can’t seem to find posted anywhere, is unreasonable at the least and highway robbery at the most. I’ll also be letting my fellow travel arrangers at my customer companies know so in future, they won’t book with you either.
So, just to make sure YOU understand, I want NO charges at all on the corporate card, I am NOT paying for rooms you rebooked. I WILL make sure I post as many places as possible on your ridiculous, unadvertised policy and will continue to carry through with choice. And you have a nice day!
This has been ongoing now with the hotel trying to cover their rear ends instead of doing the right thing, the customer service thing, and just canceling the reservations without charge. Now they tell me they have something special going on and that’s why it can’t be canceled! There’s nothing on their site about anything special going on and again, nothing about any cancellation policy at all. And then, to top it off, this is Choice’s response to me:
Thank you again for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention. After further review, I see that your reservations cancellation deadline was 7 days prior to the arrival date. Due to your request being made within this time frame vs. prior we regret to inform you that the hotel is authorized to charge 1 night plus tax for each reservation. Since each Choice property is independently owned and operated, policies such as this are written and enforced by the hotel directly. If you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, I must ask that you contact to the hotel directly for further assistance. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and hope that you can look past this experience and continue staying with Choice Hotels in the future. Regards, Vanessa Social Media Team CC: 8524057
If they thought I was going to let this go, they’re very wrong.
So tell me, what have you gone through with hotels and cancellation policies? Who have you had great customer experiences with? Who haven’t you? Have any of you ever heard of this 7 day out cancellation policy? Especially when I’m booking corporate and not a part of whatever it is they have going on? Inquiring minds want to know!