This is the post I hadn’t wanted to write but unfortunately when a corporation is blatantly dishonest about their policies we aren’t really left with a choice, are we? So, here’s the thing…
When my husband and I were looking for a hotel to stay at during our weekend trip to Savannah I booked the Country Inn and Suites on Raley Rd in Port Wentworth. I booked it for one major reason – they didn’t charge a pet fee or deposit.
I initially discovered them on BringFido.com, which is a website I regularly visit when I’m trying to plan dog-friendly attractions. According to BringFido.com, The Country Inn and Suites on Raley Rd didn’t charge a pet fee. Since I’m never one to take a site like that at total face value, I picked up the phone and I called their location (912) 964-2300. I spoke with a representative and inquired about a pet fee for my two small dogs. I was assured that there was no fee for my dogs to stay at the hotel.
I priced a few other places in the area but, with their pet fees, they were all more expensive than Country Inn and Suites. I went online and booked my stay. I am really thorough…there is zero mention of a pet fee.
But…can you guess what I was charged by the hotel? If you guessed a pet fee…you’d be right! It took 3 days after I checked out (and they were unable to give me a printed statement of my fees) before the charges ever appeared on my bank statement. The moment I saw them, I called the hotel. I spoke to the staff there who was unable to answer my questions about the extra charges although they did tell me I wasn’t the only guest to call this morning about extra fees.
I was told to call the corporate office.
I called the corporate office and was transferred a total of 6 times before someone opened a case about the extra fees.
Eventually, the hotel owner responded with this:
But, there are two major problems with that.
- There is no available “complimentary upgrade” for a pet-friendly room.
- I will never ever (ever!) return to this location again. I even heard other guests complain about a roach in their room! Ewww! I never saw any but I sure heard them raising a ruckus over it.
I tried to email back a response but, of course, the email address does not accept incoming messages. It’s most likely to avoid having a paper trail to document their lies.
I called the owner back since I couldn’t email him but he “wasn’t available” to take my call so I did the only other thing I could think of…I went to Twitter.
I sent them the long rambling story. I explained my research, my inquiries, my discussions, my phone calls, and my emails. Eventually, I received this response.
So I tried to contact the hotel directly (again) but (again) he refused to speak to me.
- The hotel did not advertise pet fees.
- The hotel staff repeatedly informed me there was no pet fee.
- A pet fee was not mentioned on the website, in any confirmation emails, or on any booking information.
- I was refused a statement of charges upon checkout.
- I was billed fees that were never mentioned and the hotel refuses to discuss the dishonesty of the situation.
Now, I’ve filed a dispute with my bank and I’m protesting the charges that way. Honestly, it’s not a matter of the money, it’s the matter of dealing with a dishonest company that misrepresents their corporation to their customers then refuses to admit fault even when there is evidence that they were wrong.
THAT disgusts me.
My experience, combined with another visitor complaining about roaches, a vending machine that was empty, a breakfast that was conveniently out of almost everything they advertised, staff that couldn’t address charges on an account, and staff that blatantly lies to their management is more than enough reason for me to never return to any of the Club Carlson hotels.
*Update* The corporate office offered a refund of the fees although the specific location continued to refuse to address the issue. At least the corporate office made an attempt to resolve the situation.
Have you ever had a negative experience with Country Inn and Suites or other Club Carlson hotel? What about another travel horror story?