“Neither Hotels.com nor Days Inn are willing to do anything but take our money”

By | August 24th, 2009

oakhurstDays Inn isn’t having a good day.

This morning I reported on Charles McGovern, the Days Inn guest who booked a room at the wrong Days Inn and ended up losing $220. I’ve just wrapped up another Days Inn case that involves the loss of almost the same amount of money.

But that’s where the similarities end.

Corinne Fennessy reserved a room at a Days Inn in Oakhurst, Calif., through Hotels.com. She picks up the story:

The hotel required that the reservation be prepaid, so I charged it to my account. I read the hotel cancellation policy, which stated that cancellations had to be made by 4 p.m. the day before the reservation.

Our plans changed while we were in California, and I had to cancel the reservation. I called at 8 a.m. on Aug. 7th to let them know that we were canceling our reservation for the next day. I requested a cancellation number, but they wouldn’t give us one because we had booked the hotel through an agent.

I tried to get in touch with the agent, but was unsuccessful, so I called Days Inn back again to make sure they understood that we were canceling our reservation. After I told them again that we were canceling our reservation, I was put on hold, and then eight minutes later, the line went dead.

You know what happens next, don’t you?

Fennessy returned home, only to find that her reservation hadn’t been canceled and that she was being charged as a “no-show.”

I called customer service for Days Inn, but they chose to believe what the Oakhurst hotel staff told them instead of the truth. We went through such a difficult time trying to make those calls to cancel our reservation. I had told Days Inn we wouldn’t be coming more than 24 hours in advance — twice, in two separate calls. I feel that they should refund our room charge of $207.

If there is anything you can do to help us, I would be very grateful. Neither Hotels.com nor Days Inn are willing to do anything but take our money.

So what went wrong here? Everything.

Fennessy should have secured a cancellation number — a point I tried to make in a recent column.

But Days Inn shouldn’t have hung up on a customer, either. Also, why couldn’t Fennessy get through to Hotels.com? Doesn’t it have a 24-hour “800” number for its guests?

Everyone dropped the proverbial ball, but the buck stops with Days Inn, because Fennessy notified it by phone twice that she intended to cancel her reservation. Hotels.com really has no excuse for being inaccessible.

I contacted Hotels.com on her behalf and it refunded her $207.

Next time, I might try canceling the room by email or using the Hotels.com site.

(Photo of Oakhurst, Calif. by Daleberts/Flickr Creative Commons)

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