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Stayed at a holiday Inn and it sucks. What the right way to dipsute or complain?

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I usually stay at other properties and this is only the 2nd time I stayed at a Holiday Inn express. Had to stay there cuz it was the chosen hotel for nearby wedding. Anyway paid 140.00 per night without taxes for 2 nights.

the room was not worth that price. It was old looking and stains everywhere. Posted are some pics of the stains. I complained to the front desk and basically shrugged her shoulders and said it was full. I do believe it was full since there were a quite few people coming and going.

I just got home and deciding what or who to complain to before disputing the charges on the card.

What is the proper way to complain besides leaving reviews on tripadvisor, facebook etc?

 

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All the above?

Write to IHG, let them know it's a problem at this location and ask for a refund.

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I hope you had a clean pillow to use.

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Also. always inspect for bedbugs before you unpack.

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That sounds about par for the brand. Of course you could write to other hotels (Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, Omni, Four Seasons, etc.) and complain that they didn't allow your wedding party to stay there. (FWF readers: This is a tongue in cheek comment). But I've learned my lesson long ago about choosing hotels.

But yes, please post lots of reviews/photos on the travel sites. Where was the hotel?

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You know... Just because a wedding tosses out some recommendations for where to stay... doesn't mean you have to stay at them... Just a thought.

I say that mostly because the rates and such for wedding reservations are just awful.

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Just email their customer service. Lay out the facts and show the pictures. Most of the chains will have a guarantee and refund at least one night back. Your comments will also flow to the local management team. 

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$75 a night for an HI-EX? Sounds about right. Email corporate and express your displeasure at the condition of the room, however if you were given some kind of last minute or super discounted room, don't expect much.

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forbin4040 said:   $75 a night for an HI-EX? Sounds about right. Email corporate and express your displeasure at the condition of the room, however if you were given some kind of last minute or super discounted room, don't expect much.
  
no it was 140 a night

Arlington tx

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tantuti said:   Had to stay there cuz it was the chosen hotel for nearby wedding. Anyway paid 140.00 per night without taxes for 2 nights.
 

  What do you mean "chosen hotel"?
Was this simply a hotel conveniently located from the wedding location? Was this a list of hotels that was informally sent/suggested to wedding guests? Did many wedding guests stay at this hotel?
Did the wedding host provide any special group rates for this hotel?

If the wedding host made specific arrangements with the hotel, you may have some leverage through the wedding host. If more wedding guests at that hotel faced similar issues, you can see if a more forceful complaint can be made to the corporate folks.
 

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tantuti said:   forbin4040 said:   $75 a night for an HI-EX? Sounds about right. Email corporate and express your displeasure at the condition of the room, however if you were given some kind of last minute or super discounted room, don't expect much.
  
no it was 140 a night

Arlington tx

I've always had good luck with hiex but now prefer Hilton brands due to fitness equipment. I think the problem was that you visited texas

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fwuser12 said:   
tantuti said:   Had to stay there cuz it was the chosen hotel for nearby wedding. Anyway paid 140.00 per night without taxes for 2 nights.
  What do you mean "chosen hotel"?
Was this simply a hotel conveniently located from the wedding location? Was this a list of hotels that was informally sent/suggested to wedding guests? Did many wedding guests stay at this hotel?
Did the wedding host provide any special group rates for this hotel?

If the wedding host made specific arrangements with the hotel, you may have some leverage through the wedding host. If more wedding guests at that hotel faced similar issues, you can see if a more forceful complaint can be made to the corporate folks.

  
no discount. everybody booked their room at that hotel. It was the chosen hotel from the families of the bride and groom. Had people travel from all over to stay at the hotel so they all can hang out together. The church was couple of miles down the highway
 

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That's an old water/"F You" stain on the ceiling. I know because I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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You should get a post-stay survey soon. Grenade the survey and post what happened there. They're reviewed and responded to usually.

I'd also immediately post a TripAdvisor review with photos. TA is a beast in the travel review world. I've had property managers reach out directly after TA reviews and offer to 'make it right.' Also you can steer some people away from having to have a crappy night if they see your review and move on.

ETA: I would not waste my time with a letter to IHG, that would probably be a waste of time as they would forward your correspondence, and then you'd wait for a reply, etc. 

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Stubtify said:   You should get a post-stay survey soon. Grenade the survey and post what happened there. They're reviewed and responded to usually.

I'd also immediately post a TripAdvisor review with photos. TA is a beast in the travel review world. I've had property managers reach out directly after TA reviews and offer to 'make it right.' Also you can steer some people away from having to have a crappy night if they see your review and move on.

ETA: I would not waste my time with a letter to IHG, that would probably be a waste of time as they would forward your correspondence, and then you'd wait for a reply, etc. 

  I looked at the IHG email option. They just have a fill a form with no option of attaching pictures  

forgot to add. It didnt bother me cuz it was about the room. Seem like that hotel has problem with roaches. Saw couple outside and 2 in the lobby. the front desk lady was trying to kill it with a mop and paper towels. there were no roaches in the room so I cant complain about that

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The marriage hosts messed up. Generally, if you have a large number of people coming in for the event, you can negotiate a really good price.

I like Holiday Inn express chain - generally well run, nice clean and modern. Did run into minor issues with a couple of them - but overall good. Ceiling stain - may be OK but the pillow stain totally unacceptable - call the hotel directly and ask for at least one night comp. We had an issue with one of the Hampton Inn's and they comp'ed us one night. I ended up leaving them a good review because mistakes do happen and apart from the mistake, not only the property was great, they took care of the problem.

On the other hand, I stayed at a Fairfied as part of a marriage and when we we came back to the room at 4PM, the room was not still made up. And the management instead of owing up to the problem started throwing me the rule book and hotel standard contract and I gave them a one star review and then they sheepishly responded that they will go address their issues and what happened should have never happened.

The tripadvisor growth has been amazing. A lot of the hotel managers are very careful to make sure that they don't wakeup to a bad review - it spoils their month. Their staff doesn't completely get this. So if you get pushback on comp, ask to talk to the manager. 

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Go with corporate and work your way through that process. Mention that you're planning on posting a review to TA but are hoping this was just a one-off incident that they will make right (but don't phrase it in a blackmail-y way). Tell them the front desk staff did not seem to care.

If they don't care then go nuts on TA, Twitter, etc. A lot of large corps do respond to things on Twitter and even have dedicated support staff to handle Twitter complaints.

You can inquire with the credit card, but disputing the charge is unlikely to get you anywhere. You were given a service and you paid for it as agreed -- that's likely the end of the line for the credit card.

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PrincipalMember said:   The marriage hosts messed up. Generally, if you have a large number of people coming in for the event, you can negotiate a really good price.

 

  
Have you ever tried this?

I remember our wedding a few years back, I called a couple places to "negotiate" room rates for wedding parties. They were a complete and total joke. It was the equivalent of $138 instead of the default booking rate of $140 online. I ended up just giving our guests some recommendations and let them choose. Since the people I invited to my wedding weren't completely retarded, they didn't seem to have a problem choosing a hotel and somehow making their way to the event.

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I don't think it is fair to other people who might stay at the hotel to let them buy your silence by threatening a TA review. Just review them. If they had handled it in person and comp'd the room that would be different. Then I think a fair review that says there were issues but the hotel tried to make good is in line. They basically told OP take it or leave it. Giving them a second/third chance is just giving them time to fleece more customers.

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I got a response from IHG.

I am sorry to learn that your stay was not a success due to issues encountered, stain on the pillow and ceiling, iron and hair dryer not working and our service fell below your expectations . IHG cares about your experience and I realize no words can change your feelings of disappointment, or the inconveniences you experienced. I have shared your comments with hotel management, who responded with genuine concern for the impact this had on your stay. I know they appreciate you sharing your experience, and I am confident they will take appropriate steps so this doesn’t happen again.

We appreciate you as an IHG Rewards Club member and want your experiences with us to always be rewarding. That didn’t happen this time, and we’d like to try to make things right. To that end, I have issued 5000 points to your IHG Rewards Club account. You should see this reflected on your account within 7-10 business days.

Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to address this for you. If you need anything else, just send us an e-mail at ihgservice@ihg.com.

I hope that this experience will not make you think less of any of our IHG Brands for your future lodging needs

Sincerely. Ronald

What am I gonna do with 5k points????  35.00 for the inconvenience?
 

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What did you ask them for? Full refund? Or did you just complain about the room?

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So reply to their email, "What am I gonna do with 5k points?".  What do you think is a fair compensation?

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qcumber98 said:   So reply to their email, "What am I gonna do with 5k points?".  What do you think is a fair compensation?
You can get a free night at point break

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Complain to the twitter feed. I have had success with a best western I went to for a wedding. It took them a month to respond but they ended up providing me a full refund.

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The first question your cc company will ask is "did you complete your stay?" And when you answer yes, your chargeback will be denied.

If you find a hotel unsuitable, you should leave.

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The experience was bad, but I have a few thoughts: 

  1. It sounds like $35/5000 reward points is all they are going to.  I think the most effective ‘feedback/complaint’ is to not stay there anymore.
  2. “The room was not worth that price”, but based on the lack of availability, it sounds like there wasn’t many option.  When there is no supply, then the demand/price goes up, which is logical (may not be reasonable).
  3. “Disputing the charges”…Did you stay there both nights?  If yes, I can see the argument of “this hotel sucks but I accept how bad this is for this price.” 

 Again, it was a bad experience and obviously sub-standard to a reasonable expectation of the brand.
 

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forbin4040 said:   What did you ask them for? Full refund? Or did you just complain about the room?
  partial refund  

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For the sake of other customers, I'd post on Tripadvisor (with pics), AAA, and if applicable on the third party hotel site used to book, a fair negative review of the hotel itself. If it was a one-time mistake, your poor review won't matter much as it'll get flooded by other good reviews. But if the hotel sucks systematically, let it be known. Let the location fix their ratings by changing their practices. Oh and encourage others in your wedding party who stayed there to add their own fair reviews good or bad. As for getting satisfaction, some hotel internet managers follow up on negative reviews so you can see if you can get something from that TripAdvisor review.

Leave out the resolution from corporate which came way after the fact, and only because you took the time and extra step to complain. So don't factor in the very modest 5k IHG points bribe. You shouldn't need to complain to their corporate office to get satisfactory resolution by the hotel management.

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If you felt like ignored by the front desk when you first noticed the stains on the pillow, why didn't you complain to the front desk or the property manager?  I can't believe that they wouldn't have extra pillows on hand to swap it out? 

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justignoredem said:   
PrincipalMember said:   The marriage hosts messed up. Generally, if you have a large number of people coming in for the event, you can negotiate a really good price.

 

  
Have you ever tried this?

I remember our wedding a few years back, I called a couple places to "negotiate" room rates for wedding parties. They were a complete and total joke. It was the equivalent of $138 instead of the default booking rate of $140 online. I ended up just giving our guests some recommendations and let them choose. Since the people I invited to my wedding weren't completely retarded, they didn't seem to have a problem choosing a hotel and somehow making their way to the event.

When the discounts are not not be huge you can usually get them to agree to some extra services.

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tantuti said:   
forbin4040 said:   What did you ask them for? Full refund? Or did you just complain about the room?
  partial refund  

  They gave you $35 worth...but obviously not what you wanted.

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stanolshefski said:   
 
When the discounts are not not be huge you can usually get them to agree to some extra services.

  Oh really? from personal experience?

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The national brand will sometimes intervene and offer some points as comp. The best thing to do is to make the hotel fix it while you're still there. Or leave and stay somewhere else. I'm assuming you checked in late after housekeeping had left and couldn't just go clean the room again. I agree $25 of IHG points isn't enough to make me happy to sleep on a dirty pillow. The iron and hairdryer aren't that important to me, but maybe to you. Did they refuse to replace them?

Quality-based hotel charge backs are notoriously difficult to win, but you're welcome to try. It's like eating 3/4 of a meal and demanding a full refund. Unfortunately, people taking shots at them after the fact based on relatively minor complaints is why it's so hard to get a full refund.

Go onto Quora and ask Michael Forest Jones. He's a hotelier at a midrange brand and pretty good about these issues.

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You should also seek comp directly from the hotel manager. Call. Don't email or write. Even if they can't offer much, it will still get the staff chewed out for not taking care of it.

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tantuti said:   I got a response from IHG.

I am sorry to learn that your stay was not a success due to issues encountered, stain on the pillow and ceiling, iron and hair dryer not working and our service fell below your expectations . IHG cares about your experience and I realize no words can change your feelings of disappointment, or the inconveniences you experienced. I have shared your comments with hotel management, who responded with genuine concern for the impact this had on your stay. I know they appreciate you sharing your experience, and I am confident they will take appropriate steps so this doesn’t happen again.

We appreciate you as an IHG Rewards Club member and want your experiences with us to always be rewarding. That didn’t happen this time, and we’d like to try to make things right. To that end, I have issued 5000 points to your IHG Rewards Club account. You should see this reflected on your account within 7-10 business days.

Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to address this for you. If you need anything else, just send us an e-mail at ihgservice@ihg.com.

I hope that this experience will not make you think less of any of our IHG Brands for your future lodging needs

Sincerely. Ronald

What am I gonna do with 5k points????  35.00 for the inconvenience?

  Send another email, stating that you paid $140/night for a room that's (1) without significant stains and (2) with working appliances.  Further state that, in your opinion, a room with significant stains and without working appliances is worth about whatever price is in effect for local Motel 6 /Super 8 
properties.  Ask that your rate change accordingly.

rated:
Why didn't you just ask the front desk for a new pillow? This isn't something that requires housekeeping to be available. I have dealt with far worse (blood stains on sheets and pillowcases, for instance), and just asked for new items. The front desk, when confronted with the actual item, is almost always apologetic and willing to fix it, and usually will do something like give you a free drink coupon or something similar to make up for the inconvenience.

A bit off topic, but the one brand name I avoid at all costs is Sheraton. I have had consistently poor stays at their hotels, it seems like this is Starwood 's label for old and tired hotels. Similar to doubletree for Hilton, although doubletree at least gives you a cookie for your troubles.

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Should have complained during the stay. Stayed at a Hilton property that was due for a renovation. Smoke detector was not functional. Lights in room 2 only could be shut off if lights in room 1 stayed on all night. Complained to GM. He realized the issue, offer me full refund of points. Then did not post the points, so had to give me another 20% points (all point stay).

Stayed at Niagara Falls Hilton property. Paid for a certain floor level and view, with possible upgrade. Didn't get upgrade, did not get room I paid for. Was focused on having a great time, so complained to GM after. Got a form letter apologizing with a "free upgrade" to use within a year. Wrote back, "thanks, but if I come back it won't be within a year". Got 100% point refund (points stay).

Summary - PUSH HARDER.

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Thanks for responding back and giving us an honest feedback. I did double check on your concern and to show that we are serious in retaining your loyalty I will add another 5000 points to what I initially offered. Making it a total of 10,000 points. You should see this reflected on your account within 7-10 business days. Again on behalf of the hotel I would like to extend my sincere apologies. I do hope that will give us another chance to welcome you back for a better stay. Glad to have assisted one of our IHG Rewards Club members.

That will work for me

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I see a dozen motels under $60 in a Google search. I can't imagine spending $140 a night at a Holiday Inn, but the time to complain is while you are still there. As Judge Judy says, you ate the steak, you must pay for it.

Skipping 46 Messages...
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EradicateSpam said:   I always stay at Hilton properties, if available, otherwise Marriott.  Comfort, Holiday Inn, Red Roof, Motel 6 would never be on my list.

 

  
Good luck with that list if you are in rural America (including touristy places like Bryce Canyon), where there are no Hiltons and no Marriotts nearby in a reasonable distance.  For many towns, you need to look beyond the big nicer chains.   

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