If airlines can redefine the meaning of a day, then why can’t hotels?
At least one of them is, according to reader Catena Fugazotto. She recently booked two rooms at a Super 8 in Norwich, NY, for her daughter’s graduation. She was told she could cancel either one if she called within 24 hours of her stay. Trouble is, they couldn’t agree on when her stay actually begins.
On Thursday afternoon, I called to cancel one room because my parents couldn’t go. I was told that I could not cancel because it had to be 24 hours prior to the day.
I said it was more than 24 hours but she said it was 24 hours prior to the day prior to the reservation. I asked why they just didn’t say it was 48 hours in advance and let her know I was upset and her explanation was ridiculous. However, I didn’t have a computer at the moment to double check their policy.
The cancellation policy for Super 8 is vague, leaving it up to the individual property to explain and enforce. Fugazotto was less than pleased with the hotel’s unwillingness to honor its 24-hour cancellation policy.
When we arrived at the hotel on Saturday night, I mentioned it to the person at the front desk and he told me I had been misadvised and gave me the phone number to call to complain, but I was charged for the two rooms.
The following Monday I called the hotel directly first and was told that all they could offer was a room credit for the next stay. I told them it was unacceptable and called the central Super 8 customer service number. They said they would put in a claim to the hotel itself and I should hear within a week. I waited several weeks without a word and then called the central office again. They told me they would follow up and I would hear within a couple of days.
Uh oh. Sounds like Fugazotto’s getting the runaround from a hotel that isn’t shooting straight. But the story had a happy ending.
To my surprise, I did hear within a couple of days and was told that I was going to receive a full refund for the extra room. Although after being a regular customer for 4 years, the hotel itself basically ignored me, kudos to a wonderful central customer service department. They were extremely polite, helpful and efficient every time I called.
Good for Super 8 for fixing this problem. Not so good for having the 24/48 hour cancellation policy in the first place.
I think 24 hours should mean 24 hours. Don’t you?