Dispute w/Chase Resolved in Favor of Hotels.com - - Fair?

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Dec 19, 2017
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#21
Yes, Neil, you are correct. It's tough to make rational decisions and shop around on various hotel websites when you are escaping a catastrophic weather event with your daughter and her three cats. But you're absolutely correct. The mistake was mine from the beginning, which I've always acknowledged. I just thought if I explained the circumstances to the parties involved, it might actually matter.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#22
I know this is a frustrating situation, Lorraine. Please remember that we are hoping to offer up some insight for you, not place blame. Booking through an online booking agency is always a bad move ... except in your case it was almost required that you use one of them to find a room for the night. Whenever we try to help people in a situation like this, neither the hotel or the OBA wants to help, they just point fingers at each other. They will tell you almost anything on the phone, unfortunately.

Booking on the internet is bittersweet. It makes so much of our lives easier, but it also requires strict adherence to whatever rules govern a particular transaction.

I believe your res was not cancellable, so the charge is legit. That's why Chase denied your dispute. Had you booked directly (I know that was impossible in your situation) the hotel would probably have honored your cancellation request once you explained the circumstances. In my experience, people at hotels are far more accommodating than an OBA call center.

I would advise you to pursue a voucher from the OBA for a complimentary future stay. If you've already re-opened the dispute with Chase, hang on until that's settled. Thankfully, the amount is not large, but it's still galling to 'lose' that money. Hopefully a future stay will please you. Best of luck, and please keep us updated.
 

Patina

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Dec 22, 2015
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#23
You're right, Christina, a letter would probably help my cause. But I want to be clear - I did send hotels.com an e-mail within 3 hours of having made the mistake. In my mind, I did everything a responsible person should do. I called the hotel in Ohio and explained the mistake - they were very understanding and assured me I wouldn't be charged. Then I e-mailed hotels.com using the only e-mail available to me - a response to the e-mail they'd sent me.
I thought I'd covered all my bases. 10 days later, when I contacted hotels.com by phone and typed in my confirmation number, the automated message stated that my credit was going through, it just hadn't been processed yet. It wasn't until 15 days after the incident that I finally found a number for hotels.com where I was able to speak with an actual person. That was a complete waste of time; even speaking wth the representative's supervisor was futile. I got the distinct impression there was no way they were going to credit me for the mistaken reservation.

So, if my letter to Chase does not re-open the dispute, (and after reading The Deck of Misfortune, I have no delusions; I'm learning so much on this site) I will craft a civil letter to the CEO's listed on the page referenced earlier. The lesson I have learned from this experience is worth much more than the money I've lost.
I love your last sentence! As a kid I had a trainer who would say, you learn more from your mistakes than your successes.
 
Likes: Lorraine Daly
Dec 19, 2017
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#24
JSN55 you're correct. It's amazing what I've learned on this site in just the course of a few hours. I liked what you said about "people at hotels are far more accommodating" than a third party. Ironically, my daughter and I were on "Hurrication" for 10 days, because the National Guard would not allow residents to return to her city, due to storm damage. So I actually have a "free night", earned through hotels.com because we used the app so much as we traveled through the south, waiting until she could return to her apartment in southeast Georgia.

Not that I'll ever use it. I've learned a lot from this experience but my principles haven't changed. I don't do business with corporations I consider to engage in unscrupulous policies. And while I readily admit the mistake was mine, from the outset, I am not going to patronize a corporation that demonstrates such antipathy toward the public.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#26
Lorraine if you were billed by hotels.com then they are the one to ask the refund from -- it is easy for the hotel people to be nice as it is not their money. And again you sent an email to the wrong address so hotels.com never got the cancellation.

I am not trying to discourage you --- given the circumstances I doubt I would have been clear headed either. And I am on the side of anyone who has to evacuate and take their 3 cats to safety!

I would not deal with the credit card but instead write a humble letter to hotels.com and ask for consideration. Own up to the mistakes and respectfully request an exception, and explain briefly the stress and confusion of the evacuation.

Please do write a letter as Neil has suggested, and let us know.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#27
Also do not start with the CEO of hotels.com, start with the lower level executives.

Large corporations can get bogged down in procedure and policy, the representatives basically read a script. You need to actually reach someone that has the ability and authority to deviate from the scripted answer. And that is where the company contacts can help --- you can reach someone that has the power to help.

I hope you receive some consideration.
 
Likes: jsn55
Dec 19, 2017
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#28
Thank you so much Christina. Your help (and everyone else's) has been invaluable. When I called hotels.com I got as far as a supervisor, who was frankly as unresponsive to my circumstances as the representative with whom I'd originally spoken. I will set about writing a letter to someone in management, not at the CEO level, but perhaps mid-level.

And trust me, you haven't lived until you've traveled 10 days, through 4 states, with 3 cats, all rescues, all different ages. We had to stop every 2 hours so they could get their exercise and eat. Two of them are leash-trained but the oldest is nervous so we had to account for that too, because he had to have a secure area in which to "romp", as my daughter calls it. She is only 24 but already a "crazy cat lady" and refused to evacuate without them. So, that was another consideration in finding a hotel room - we had to select one that allowed pets. (Luckily, all of the them waived the "pet fee" because of the weather emergency.) That's what made the hotels.com app so much easier to use, rather than looking through each individual hotel's website.

I will let you and everyone else on this forum know if I am successful in recouping my $135 and I thank you again for all the really helpful information you provided. Thank you!
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#29
My friends and I are proud crazy cat ladies, we live in apartments in NYC and they are the best pets for our lifestyle (and for slaughtering water bugs and house flys). Your daughter is an admirable person, who stuck to her commitment to her pets.

Most of the lower level customer service people work in an environment of sticking to the policy-- call it the Department of No. The contacts should help you reach someone that has the authority to say yes, and the best way to convince someone to say yes is to be polite, acknowledge the error, say this was an exceptionally stressful time and be appreciative of their special consideration.

I really do hope that you receive some consideration. Please let us know.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#30
The letter most likely will not re-open this. Chase will most likely tell you that they have already made their decision and cannot change it.

They really have no reason to because you booked a nonrefundable rate and your confirmation says that. Plus you did not use the directions Hotels.com has posted about canceling.
I believe you do have the option of disputing the Chase dispute decision. I did that a few months ago and now monthly get a letter stating that they are in receipt of my inquiry and will respond. I filed the original dispute mid August. They made the dispute decision mid October which I promptly disputed.
It looks to me like the chase dispute department is having a lot of trouble. In my case, I felt like they made the absolute wrong call deciding for the Vendor. I sent a letter to Gerald smith in CS but never heard from him. I have no way of knowing if he got involved.
I think the dispute team is now located in Asia and it feels like they are having trouble understanding information provided to them. This is all conjecture on my part as I have no real way of knowing what is going on at this point. Soon after filing the dispute I had one conversation with an agent who spoke with a thick Indian accent and then when the finding letter came, what they stated they were basing the finding on was completely NOT what I had told him, which is why I think they are having trouble with translating the language. He misunderstood/misinterpreted everything I said.
When they decided In favor of th vendor they reinstitutd the charge on my account but monthly when they make the auto draft for payment it is minus the still disputed charge.
Just got another letter yesterday.
 
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Neil Maley

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#31
I believe you do have the option of disputing the Chase dispute decision. I did that a few months ago and now monthly get a letter stating that they are in receipt of my inquiry and will respond. I filed the original dispute mid August. They made the dispute decision mid October which I promptly disputed.
It looks to me like the chase dispute department is having a lot of trouble. In my case, I felt like they made the absolute wrong call deciding for the Vendor. I sent a letter to Gerald smith in CS but never heard from him. I have no way of knowing if he got involved.
I think the dispute team is now located in Asia and it feels like they are having trouble understanding information provided to them. This is all conjecture on my part as I have no real way of knowing what is going on at this point. Soon after filing the dispute I had one conversation with an agent who spoke with a thick Indian accent and then when the finding letter came, what they stated they were basing the finding on was completely NOT what I had told him, which is why I think they are having trouble with translating the language. He misunderstood/misinterpreted everything I said.
When they decided In favor of th vendor they reinstitutd the charge on my account but monthly when they make the auto draft for payment it is minus the still disputed charge.
Just got another letter yesterday.
I can tell you from experience my father in law just did this with Discover card and lost the appeal. His was even worse because his was a dispute about a carpet installation job and someone from the carpet company forged his signature on the installation completion report (he refused to sign it because he was unhappy with the install). Discover told him they had already given the money back to the carpet company and would not reopen after my wife appealed it for him. My wife has been trying to get the carpet place to fix the installation but he wants to go to the CFPB and Attorney General about the forging of his signature.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#32
I believe you do have the option of disputing the Chase dispute decision. I did that a few months ago and now monthly get a letter stating that they are in receipt of my inquiry and will respond. I filed the original dispute mid August. They made the dispute decision mid October which I promptly disputed.
It looks to me like the chase dispute department is having a lot of trouble. In my case, I felt like they made the absolute wrong call deciding for the Vendor. I sent a letter to Gerald smith in CS but never heard from him. I have no way of knowing if he got involved.
I think the dispute team is now located in Asia and it feels like they are having trouble understanding information provided to them. This is all conjecture on my part as I have no real way of knowing what is going on at this point. Soon after filing the dispute I had one conversation with an agent who spoke with a thick Indian accent and then when the finding letter came, what they stated they were basing the finding on was completely NOT what I had told him, which is why I think they are having trouble with translating the language. He misunderstood/misinterpreted everything I said.
When they decided In favor of th vendor they reinstitutd the charge on my account but monthly when they make the auto draft for payment it is minus the still disputed charge.
Just got another letter yesterday.
Oh this is great ... outsourcing the DISPUTES? That will be the end of Chase's vaulted reputation for taking care of their best customers. I would write a letter describing your experience (after this gets settled of course) and your disappointment in how Chase handled/is handling disputes. Is your card just a garden-variety CC or one of their whoop-de-do new Sapphire ones that everyone is ga-ga about?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#33
I can tell you from experience my father in law just did this with Discover card and lost the appeal. His was even worse because his was a dispute about a carpet installation job and someone from the carpet company forged his signature on the installation completion report (he refused to sign it because he was unhappy with the install). Discover told him they had already given the money back to the carpet company and would not reopen after my wife appealed it for him. My wife has been trying to get the carpet place to fix the installation but he wants to go to the CFPB and Attorney General about the forging of his signature.
Oh my, Neil, your FIL sounds like a MOST interesting man!
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#35
Oh this is great ... outsourcing the DISPUTES? That will be the end of Chase's vaulted reputation for taking care of their best customers. I would write a letter describing your experience (after this gets settled of course) and your disappointment in how Chase handled/is handling disputes. Is your card just a garden-variety CC or one of their whoop-de-do new Sapphire ones that everyone is ga-ga about?
Oh it’s actually just the Southwest Airlines Chase card. Oddly, we had just decided to switch to the sapphire cards but now that’s on hold.
 
Dec 19, 2017
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#36
Thank you mmb for your interesting narrative. It does sound quite similar to what I'm going through. I do have the Chase Sapphire card and when I lost the dispute, I was quite peeved because I felt I was being charged for what amounted to a "mis-click" during a stressful situation. I believed I had acted in good faith in notifying both the hotel and hotels.com and I sent proof of that to Chase, yet they still found in favor of the merchant.

After becoming involved on this forum, I know now that Chase sided with hotels.com because a non-refundable rate is a non-refundable rate, regardless of any and all circumstances.

And yet, I persist. I took the advice of one of the sages on this forum and decided to wait until my request to Chase that they re-open the dispute concludes, BEFORE doing what is known as "artful begging" (or something to that effect), essentially appealing to a mid-level manager at hotels.com in an attempt to garner pity.

I have been contacted by someone from Chase who was very pleasant and said he would re-open the dispute, take a fresh look at the documentation I sent in, as well as what hotels.com provided and notify me by phone and by letter when the investigation concludes. So, I'll wait to see how it resolves and then decide if I want to prostrate myself before hotels.com for $135 or just chalk it up to an expensive lesson learned.

In either case, I'll let you all know. Thanks again everybody!
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Dec 19, 2017
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#37
Follow UP: I lost. Chase re-opened the dispute, discussed the facts with me and then said they would try to work with the merchant in crediting the charge to my account. After two weeks, Chase sent me a letter reiterating what their original letter stated: that they could not refund me the $135 because "hotels.com has no record of my having canceled the reservation."
This despite that I literally faxed, e-mailed and snail-mailed all parties involved the actual e-mail I sent to hotels.com.

I think that's what aggravates me the most about this entire situation. Why not just be honest with me and state that any and all reservations made on hotels.com (where you are charged when you make the reservation) ARE NOT REFUNDABLE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES?! Why pretend that hotels.com did not receive an e-mail that I obviously provided to both their company and to Chase bank as well? It's simply dishonest, which is why I'm going to relegate the Expedia conglomerate to my list of corporations that I do not patronize.

The strength of any company, large or small, is defined by it's core values and it's adherence to them. Those values impact how the company serves it's customer base and it's apparent to me that Expedia has little regard for the consumer and even less concern for the standards of honesty and fairness.
 

Neil Maley

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#38
It is not true that all hotels on hotels.com are not refundable under any circumstances. The ones that are non-refundable clearly say it when you book. Sometimes they give you options to book refundable or non refundable. I am sure yours was non refundable because you were booking it inside the normal cancellation fee time.

You have to be extremely careful and read carefully before you book.

I still think you should go to our Company Contacts page and start writing to the exectuvies at Hotels.com one at a time and see if they can do anything under the circumstances.
 
Dec 19, 2017
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#39
Thanks for your reply, Neil. You're right - I'm sure there are reservations on hotels.com that can be refunded. But, as you stated, I booked the hotel with the intent to check in within hours. Normally, I would have exercised more circumspection, but you know the story....driving out of the path of a Cat. 4 hurricane and needing a hotel that permitted pets, resulted in one throwing caution to the wind and using a booking app for the sake of convenience.

Thank you for your suggestion regarding the Company Contacts page but to be honest, I don't want to appeal to hotels.com/Expedia for a refund. It would leave a bad taste in my mouth. Instead, I'm going to regard the experience as the learning lesson that it was, and a benefice; had I not explored the topic, I would not have discovered this incredibly helpful forum!

My daughter will make her feelings known on her many social media sites. As a young adult, it's her way to let her friends and followers know about her experience. I'm sure she will spare no expletives! ;)
 

Neil Maley

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#40
Thanks for your reply, Neil. You're right - I'm sure there are reservations on hotels.com that can be refunded. But, as you stated, I booked the hotel with the intent to check in within hours. Normally, I would have exercised more circumspection, but you know the story....driving out of the path of a Cat. 4 hurricane and needing a hotel that permitted pets, resulted in one throwing caution to the wind and using a booking app for the sake of convenience.

Thank you for your suggestion regarding the Company Contacts page but to be honest, I don't want to appeal to hotels.com/Expedia for a refund. It would leave a bad taste in my mouth. Instead, I'm going to regard the experience as the learning lesson that it was, and a benefice; had I not explored the topic, I would not have discovered this incredibly helpful forum!

My daughter will make her feelings known on her many social media sites. As a young adult, it's her way to let her friends and followers know about her experience. I'm sure she will spare no expletives! ;)
I wish you would - it doesn't hurt to try - all they can say is no and the best is you might find an executive who understands and gives you a credit. We have seen cases we thought would never get help with surprise endings when executives got involved. I'd like to believe that there are higher ups who would realize the predicament you were in and understand. But if you don't opt to - I understand that too.