AKA White House

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Mar 20, 2018
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#1
I booked with AKA White House back in December 2017 for a March 2018 stay. At the time they sent me an email confirmation which did explain their cancellation policy (within 72 hours or they would charge 50% of the ENTIRE stay). Fast forward to March 2018. I am a federal employee and booked the room under federal per diem rates....which usually include the standard federal cancellation policy of 24 hours advanced notice at no charge (even though again, their email explained this was not their policy). My stay was booked for March 12-15 (4 nights). I called on March 10 (two days before my trip) to cancel the hotel, when they informed me of their cancellation policy (which I admit, I completely forgot about and just assumed it had to be within 24 hours). They immediately charged me $600 on my government credit card, which was roughly 50% of my stay plus room taxes. I have talked to their reservations department, their front desk, and their operations manager. I booked with them because I had stayed in December and loved it (they have a lovely hotel). I explained to them I am a frequent traveler to DC and they would be losing my business if they did not at least try to work with me (for instance, I'd be fine with them charging me 50% of the first night's stay because that was within the 72 hour cancellation). They have not budged.....I think it is ridiculous to charge someone $600 for goods never received for a first time offense and I didn't cancel day of, it was 48 hours inn advance. I admitted that I missed the cancellation policy and I'd be willing to work with them...still nothing. When I told them they couldn't charge my government credit card they sent me a new "credit authorization form" to fill out so they could charge a different card of mine, and only after I did that did they say they would "escalate" my issue to someone higher up the food chain......but I feel like if I fill out the authorization form I will lose the ability to dispute the charge because technically I "authorized" it. I have not disputed the charge yet on my government card because I was hoping for an amicable resolution....I read an article of Chris's outlining disputing travel charges and I'm just looking for advice on how to proceed.

I understand hotel cancellation polices and potentially losing some business because of late cancellations, but I feel theirs is ridiculous and the fact that they will not work with me at all is really bad business. If you were in my shoes...what would you do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,633
11,985
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
Did you have to cancel due to work? If so, did you buy a travel insurance policy that would cover if you had to cancel due to work reasons? That’s what you needed.

Every hotel in the world has a cancellation policy
and most are now 48 hours or more.

You state you knew there was a cancellation policy yet you are asking for an exception? Without a Travel insurance policy that would cover you for the reason you canceled, you are out of luck I am afraid.

Have you asked if they could apply the penalty towards another stay? That might be your only hope.
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
What I find problematic about this request is that the OP got the email with proper cancellation info, forgot and then assumed it would be like every other rate but this place has a longer requirement

And I find the entire idea of disputing the charge in this circumstance to be unethical and I believe Chris Elliott has never suggested disputing a travel charge that is legitimate— so it is unclear what article is being referenced. Elliott has mentioned that this type of dispute is called friendly fraud.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,266
6,335
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San Francisco
#6
Kristy, I absolutely agree with you that charging a cancellation fee of more than one night's stay is over the top. But it's working and more hotels are adopting it, especially the "destination" type of properties who don't get much walk-in business. This is a real mess ... a credit card dispute wouldn't gain you anything, since you were notified of their cancellation policy. I wish I could think of some way to help you ... perhaps my colleagues will come up with something unique for you to try.

All I can offer is what I do after I got nailed for a late cancellation ... put the details on your calendar, always.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,633
11,985
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
A charge back for this reason is called friendly fraud which Chris has written about in the past. Your bank can blacklist you from using your card or them.

Since you used a business card - do you want your employer to discover that you filed a friendly fraud claim? That’s what you risk by filing a false chargeback.

You are opening a can of worms by disputing this.

Here is what friendly fraud is:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.fo...-shouldnt-dispute-a-credit-card-purchase/amp/
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#9
Some hotels give federal rate to employees even if not on federal business.

The Aka White House hotel has a fairly strict cancellation policy whether one is on the government rate or not. That is their policy as it is more of an extended stay hotel more like apartments.

The OP even after receiving the policy and forgot and assumed it was similar to other hotels but as many have noted hotels are tightening up the or cancellation windows
 

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