Shut out of my inn in Montreal

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By Christopher Elliott

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 in Montreal ($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.

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.

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. Thinking of renting a place? Check out my ultimate guide to a home rental.

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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. My advocacy team and I recently handled a case where a reader from an Airbnb for no good reason. You might find it interesting to read.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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