Why I Will Never Stay At Holiday Inn Again…

Ok, this is going to be a long one. Let me give you a little background on where my frame of mind was before this all occurred. Back in the middle of June I stayed one night at a Hampton Inn in Nashville, TN. We got a suite that cost us $149.00 plus tax. It was a nice room. Living room type area with a sofa sleeper and a kitchenette, and a little hallway that led to a bedroom with a door that could be closed to separate the space. The room was nice enough that $149 was an okay price. I wouldn’t have paid that much for a single room, but the suite made it worthwhile.

Now on to the topic at hand. My wife was traveling to Muskegon, MI for her brother’s wedding. The wedding happened to be the same weekend as a big concert type event up there and apparently a motorcycle rally. By the time I got around to trying to reserve her a hotel room all the hotels in the area were booked up. The one exception to this was the Holiday Inn. They told me when I called that they had one room available for the time period she was going to be in town.

The girl I spoke to first told me that it was a king room that I could reserve for $129 a night. Seemed a little steep but it also seemed like the only option. I told her I would call her back to make the reservation final. I had to run it past the wife because she was going to be sharing the room the last night with her little brother. I wanted to make sure that she was ok with her, her brother, and our two babies all in one king size room for a night. She said it would be fine so I called back.

I got the same girl on the phone and when I told her I would take the room she informed me that the room can actually be reserved as part of a suite. If I reserved the suite I would get the bedroom plus the attached “parlor” that had a sofa bed and a kitchenette. She also told me that her manager had approved her to offer me the suite for $339 for the weekend. I was kinda surprised by this. I asked her, “You said the bedroom was $129 a night and you are offering me the suite for $339 for the entire weekend?”

She said, “Yeah, it’s really a good deal.”

No kidding. That comes out to $113 a night. Seemed reasonable given the managers approval off the deal, making it $30 a night cheaper than I paid at the Hampton Inn in Nashville. I asked her again two more times before I got off the phone if that was a weekend total price and she told me yes every time. Sweet. Reservation made.

Fast forward about 30 hours to when my wife actually shows up at the hotel. She tries to check in and they tell her the total for the weekend is going to be $507 plus tax.

Whoa. Hold the phone. Stop the train. That’s not right.

She informed them that I had been quoted $339 for the weekend. They call her a liar. She gets the manager. She calls her a liar. Says that quote is impossible. Calls the girl I spoke to, she calls me a liar. Says she never said $339. So my wife calls me.

I call up there and talk to the manager. She tries to pass the quote off as a miscommunication. Says the girl said “$339 per night for the weekend for the suite.” Uh-uh, I told her I asked the girl 3 times to clarify that that was a total for the weekend. She doesn’t care. Tells me there is nothing that can be done about it and she isn’t going to give me the $339 price. She does offer me the suite for $507 though. Totaling $169 a night for the suite. I’m still not happy with that. She offers to cancel a night of the room and point her to a different hotel, but also points out that all the other hotels in the area are full.

I tell her that I we will take the suite for $507 but that I feel like I had been lied to and I was going to be filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. She says, “That’s fine. File your complaint with whoever you want to.” Very flippant. I could have hit her.

Fast forward two weeks. I am looking at my credit card statement for some reason. I notice two charges on it from Holiday Inn, $565 each. Hmm, I hope thats a computer glitch in my credit card companies system. I call them to find out. Nope, it is two separate charges for $565 each. The customer service lady tells me to try to get the hotel to fix it first, and if they won’t I can dispute it through the credit card company.

So I call back to this crappy hotel again. Yay, I get to talk to a third person. I explain whats going on and ask for a refund and she looks it up in their system. No she says. You had two rooms so you got charged twice, $169 a night for each. WHAT!?!?! I didn’t have two rooms, I had one suite that I was quoted $169 a night for. Nope, it was two rooms, she says. I informed her that her manager personally and explicitly quoted me $169 a night for the SUITE, not per room in the suite. This chick couldn’t care less. Not gonna help me. Fine. I inform her that I will be disputing it with my card company and hang up.

I get the dispute process started that afternoon.

The next day I called back up to the hotel to speak with the manager I talked to before (she was not working the previous day). I told her what was going on and asked her to fix it for me so that we didn’t have to go through the whole ordeal with the card company.

She looks up the reservation and says, “No, you had two rooms you have to pay for them.” WHAT!?!?!?! She personally told me $507 for the suite. Nope she says, I meant $507 per room. At this point I want to crawl through the phone and beat her over the head with it. I argued with her for a minute and then tried a different approach. Fine, you think its per room. Why then did I get charged $169 a night for the bedroom that I was originally quoted $129 for? I had also had a third party call and ask about the suite. They were also told $129 a night for the bedroom. She had no idea what I was talking about and denied that too. Obviously the management has no idea what the people working the front desk are telling callers. I just don’t know how they can think that I would go from reserving a room for a total of $339 to agreeing to pay over $1100 for a three night stay. There is not a room in a hotel with Holiday Inn on the side of it in the world worth that kind of money. I mean, that’s a freaking mortgage payment for me. Almost an entire paycheck.

And to top it off, remember the original girl I talked to telling me that $339 was “a great deal”? Uh-hu, how in the world is that a great deal if it’s a per night price?!? Going from $129 a night to $169 a night for that one room just because you turned it into a “suite”? That’s not “a great deal”, that’s highway robbery!

So, after getting no where I finally hung up and decided that it’s just going to be up to the credit card company and the BBB to take care of this for me. I thought about calling the owner of the hotel, but after getting his name, decided the last thing I needed was the frustration of trying to argue about this with someone who may not speak English.

Now, if you read all that, am I wrong in this in any way? I certainly don’t think so.

UPDATE: Here is the latest update for the situation. LINK


7 Responses to “Why I Will Never Stay At Holiday Inn Again…”

  1. 1 Rob Williams August 4, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Holy cow! What a horrible experience. I was getting annoyed with it while I was reading it, haha. I don’t think I could stay there. I actually got some info for you if you’re gonna be doing some more traveling in the next couple months. I’m an official ambassador for Hampton Inn and I thought I’d share this info with you and maybe you’d like to share it with your readers!

    Hampton Inn is offering 10% off the best available rate until September 1st of this year. We’ll also be giving away a bunch of other cool stuff like bikes, vacations all leading up to Team USA competing at the Olympic games!

    You can check it all out at:

    Hope to hear from you soon, I hope I didn’t overstep any bounds by directly posting in here.

    Talk to you later,
    Rob Williams
    Official Hampton Inn Ambassador

  2. 2 julie August 5, 2008 at 9:18 am

    There is no reason why you should be paying for the second room. I would write a letter to Holiday Inn headquarters telling them exactly what happened, and saying you need their help to resolve the matter. I’d also link to your blog to let them know you posted about how unhappy you were. Companies don’t like their customers being able to Google them and find this kind of information. I, for one, will not go to Holiday Inn after this story. This is theft, manipulative theft at that.

    There a website dedicated to two men’s bad experience at DoubleTree hotel in Houston. I read these two men were so upset that they did a slide show for their company meeting. Then emailed it to DoubleTree Headquarters, and a few friends. Over time it cracked people up, and a website was dedicated to it. I’ve heard it did hurt DoubleTree’s business, don’t know for sure. If you want a laugh after dealing with Holiday Inn, here’s the website: http://www.snopes.com/business/info/badhotel/frame.htm

    Good luck, I’d love to hear how this turns out.

  3. 3 thebaldmonkey August 5, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Rob, thanks so much for the info. We are planning on some traveling later this year and we have every intention of staying with Hampton Inn. I will definitely look into the info you linked to there.


  4. 4 Jon August 6, 2008 at 9:03 am

    wow. those commercials are right! You do learn a lot by staying at a holiday inn. Do you at least feel smarter?

  5. 5 Dave August 12, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    I have stayed at Holiday Inn West in Lansing Michigan for the past 5 years. I usually stay there twice a week. For the past 4 months I have not been getting my Holiday Inn priority points and getting the run around not only from the hotel management but also from Holiday Customer Service. Both point the finger at the other. Finally, this week I have had enough. I am switching to the Fairfield Inn. Holiday Inn doesn’t care about their regular customers who bring them repeat business so I will take my business, company as well as personal some place else. You expect to be treated better by a place that you stay and spend money 160 nights a year. Apparently, Holiday Inn is doing so well they don’t need customers.

  6. 6 Raspberry August 17, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Dang – that makes me so mad! Did you end up charging back through your credit card? Did you file a complaint with the BBB?

  1. 1 Update on the Holiday Inn Issue « The Bald Monkey Trackback on August 27, 2008 at 8:22 pm

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