A room at the Plaza Hotel for $119 a night? Where do I book?

In early June, room rates at the five-star Plaza Hotel start at about $725 a night. So when Mania Baghdadi found a $119 rate through Booking.com, she pounced on it.

And who wouldn’t? The Plaza, which is managed by Fairmont, is one of Manhattan’s top hotels. A $119 rate is a steal.

And you can probably guess what’s coming next, right?
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Hyatt charged me for my canceled hotel room and now I’m stuck

Songquan Deng/Shutterstock
Songquan Deng/Shutterstock
Question: I recently attended a job fair in Marietta, Ga. Because I was unsure of the number and date of interviews I would have at the event, I decided to book a room for one night at the Hyatt, in case I had to extend my stay.

I didn’t need the room, so I called a full day before I was supposed to check in to cancel. But a Hyatt representative told me they could not find my reservation and that I would need to call back later in the day to cancel. I called back that afternoon and was transferred to central booking. A representative said they could not process a cancellation for me. So I called the hotel and they agreed to cancel my reservation.

When I tried to book a flight back home this morning, my card was rejected because of insufficient funds. I checked my account and found the Hyatt had charged my card $141.

I immediately called the hotel and they told me that if I did not have a confirmation number there was nothing they could do. I kept calling back until someone in accounting said they would research the issue but no one ever said they would be able to refund my money. Without a cancellation number, they said, I would be considered a “no show.”
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Is this enough compensation for my canceled room?

stormy weatherWith Superstorm Sandy bearing down on the New York area last fall, Monica Greene sent a concerned email to their Airbnb host in Jersey City. The host told her she could cancel her reservation in light of the looming natural disaster.

What her host didn’t say — but Greene now knows — is that the homeowner intended to keep her money. All of it.

“Our airline gave us full credit on our tickets,” she says. “Airbnb refunded its part of the fee, but she kept $1,500. I am wondering if there is any other recourse for us?”
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Surviving the great train robbery of Arkville

The two-hour train ride from Arkville, NY to Roxbury runs through some of the most beautiful scenery in New York’s Catskills.

Add a dozen passengers in historically accurate attire, reenacting a 19th century train robbery, and you have all the makings of a fun-filled afternoon.
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I’m seeing red after car bomb refund fizzles

Note: This is the debut of a new feature, in which I’ll be troubleshooting general consumer complaints. Got a problem? Send it my way. I’ll do my best to help.

Question: I had tickets to see the Broadway show Red at the Golden Theatre in New York on May 1. Unfortunately, that was also the day a car bomber tried to strike in Times Square, so I couldn’t get to the theater unless I wanted to try to break through a police barricade.

When I phoned the next day to ask for a refund, I was told by Telecharge that the the Shubert Organization, which owns the theater, was refusing to give refunds. A surly representative said I could try sending an e-mail to Telecharge but they have not even had the courtesy to reply. I’ve read about some people from out of town who received refunds, but apparently not those with tickets to shows in Shubert-owned theaters.

I am an adjunct professor at a Chicago university and a widow and buying that ticket was a real splurge, but because I teach art history, I really wanted to see it. I can’t believe that Shubert is taking the opportunity provided by this unfortunate incident to take advantage of tourists and use a terror attack for their own profit.

I would hope that you could publicize the fact that not all theater owners are being as cooperative as those who have been cited in recent articles. Some are apparently too consumed by greed. In the early years after the 9/11 attacks when New York was in dire need of tourist dollars, I found the city very welcoming. Now that things have normalized, it’s open season to prey on tourists.

Kathleen Murphy Skolnik, Chicago

Answer: You should have received a refund for your show. And even if you didn’t, the representative you spoke with shouldn’t have been surly.
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