Shut out of my inn in Montreal

When Paul Nahass’ son is locked out of a bed-and-breakfast in Montreal, he’s forced to find alternate accommodations. Can he get a refund for his new hotel?
Question: My son, Luke, stayed at Gite Maam Bolduc, a bed and breakfast in Montreal recently and was locked out of the building when he returned late at night. There was a digital lock but he was given no code for it.

After calling the bed and breakfast with no answer, I obtained another room for him at a hotel, albeit much more expensive (it was 3 a.m. when I started calling Montreal). My son spoke with someone at the hotel the next morning and they provided an email; they haven’t responded after two attempts.

I’d like a refund for the more expensive hotel, as their error caused this issue. The room was booked with Hotels.com. I suppose they could refund the price of the Gite Maam Bolduc ($79), though we spent $300 extra on the replacement hotel (Delta Marriott), as they were the only ones to pick up the phone at that hour. Can you help? — Paul Nahass, Glastonbury, Conn.

Answer: Bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) offer a more inclusive product, with hors d’oeuvres in the afternoon and a hot breakfast in the morning. But one thing they don’t have to advertise — because guests expect it — is a way to get into the property. But B&Bs can be a little tricky, because they’re often large homes in residential neighborhoods. There’s no front desk on call 24 hours. If you don’t make arrangements to access the property after hours, you could be out of luck.

Related story:   Overcharged for my overrated room on Hotels.com

You’re a good father to try to fix this for your son. You helped him at 3 a.m., by finding a new hotel and becoming his advocate. I know many parents who would use this as a teachable moment for their adult kids, telling them to fend for themselves.

You reached out to both the hotel and Hotels.com. By the way, you can find executive contact information for Hotels.com parent company Expedia on my consumer advocacy website. Contact information for Gite Maam Bolduc is on its website.

It appears that repeated efforts to contact both Hotels.com and the B&B amounted to nothing. That’s really unfortunate; both those businesses should have been sympathetic to a young man shut out of the inn.

I think he could have resolved this problem while he was in Montreal instead of waiting until his trip ended. An in-person visit to the B&B might have resulted in a positive, and more timely, resolution. Even though you were good enough to come to your son’s rescue, I think he might have been more successful if he’d first tried to fix this himself.

I contacted Hotels.com on your behalf and it refunded your son’s $79 room rate. My efforts to reach the B&B, like yours, were met with silence.


Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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