Unfair room charge by Marriott

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Jan 2, 2018
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#1
In September, while staying at a Marriott TownePlace Suites in Williamsport, Pa., I asked the front desk clerk for help in reserving a room later that month. The hotel was sold out, so she handed me the phone and suggested I call another Marriott property, Fairfield Inn, across town.

I called and made a reservation, but the TownePlace Suites clerk said I might be able to get a better rate at yet another hotel. I did get a better rate. So I made that reservation, and while the clerk was still standing there, I called back to Fairfield to cancel the first reservation.

The Fairfield clerk said she "would take care of it" so I did not think to ask for a cancellation number.

The next month I got a credit card bill from Fairfield for $505.05 -- the cost of a two-night stay. When I called to complain, the general manager, Karen Singh, said there is no record that I ever canceled the room. She said the Fairfield clerk told me about the cancellation policy (not true) and said the cancellation policy also was emailed to me, but I never received any email because Fairfield mistakenly had my parents' email address rather than mine.

I disputed the charge with my credit card company, to no avail.

I called the TownePlace Suites employee, Christi Mahonski, who remembered me and verified that she was there when I canceled the room. She said she was outraged on my behalf. I asked her to call Fairfield and she said she would, but I don't think she ever did. When I explained Christi's involvement to Marriott's customer service, the representative said Christi did not want to get in the middle of this dispute and asked not to be contacted again. The customer service rep was useless and rude, constantly talking over me while I was on the phone with her.

This is not right. I am stunned and angry that Marriott is treating a customer this way. Can you please help me get a refund?
 
Jan 11, 2017
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#2
When you made the reservation, did you ask for e-mail confirmation? Did you ask about cancellation policy? When you canceled, did you ask for e-mail confirmation?
How did Fairfield get your parents' e-mail address? (From thin air?)
 
Last edited:
Jan 6, 2015
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#3
I see two challenges for you here. The first is that your reservation and cancellation were done over the phone. Whenever I do that, I always request an email confirmation and follow up with them if I don't receive one.

The second is their claim that they emailed your parents. If indeed your parents received the email, you may be liable.

At this point, it seems that you need an exception to their policy. You can use our Company Contacts link at the top of this page to make that request. It's important that you do so in writing (email).

Start at the lowest level possible and be polite and brief. Your anger may be justified, but will not help your case. You want to win them over, not run them over. I recommend you wait 10 days before escalating the matter to other contacts. Do them one at a time ...
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#4
definitely include Christi and that situation in your correspondence. Gently point out that, while you have come to understand that Christi feels her livelihood is in jeopardy by being involved, the fact that she doesn't want to be involved means that she is in agreement with you regarding the details. therefore, you are requesting that they waive the charges and you suggest that, if they find difficulty in doing this, they actually speak to Christi regarding the situation.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#5
I will offer a contrasting opinion. Given that Christi has already expressed a desire to be left out of the discussion/situation, including her might complicate your appeal.
 
Likes: jsn55
Dec 12, 2014
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#6
Since you were charged for both nights, it is probably safe to assume the reservation was a "
Advance Purchase rate, prepay in full, non-refundable, no changes" rate. If it was that type of rate, the cancellation call is irrelevant.

When these rates have been offered to me via phone, the phone rep has made it clear what type of rate it is before confirming. Additionally, the rep asks/verifies the email to send the confirmation to.

I would check my parents email before contacting Marriott, if for no reason other than helping your case
 
Jan 11, 2017
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#8
I would leave out Christi. While she might have heard the cancellation request, she did not hear the confirmation. The OP neither. "I would take care of it" (= I made a note for somebody to do this sometime) definitely is very different from "Please hold" - fervent typing sound - "I canceled your reservation, cancellation # is... I am sending e-mail confirmation."

Maybe because I am old and/or experienced I never trust in anybody's "would take care of it".
(Though I must admit I feel often ashamed to be untrusting.)
 
Jan 2, 2018
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#9
When you made the reservation, did you ask for e-mail confirmation? Did you ask about cancellation policy? When you canceled, did you ask for e-mail confirmation?
How did Fairfield get your parents' e-mail address? (From thin air?)
I did not ask about the cancellation policy and did not ask for email confirmation. Yes, this has taught me to always do so.

But the Fairfield clerk absolutely did not inform me that this room could not be canceled after the reservation was made. I never would have made the reservation in the first place.

Fairfield has somehow mixed up my parents' email through the Marriott reward program.

But for the life of me, I just cannot understand Marriott's stance on this. Is this how a hotel giant operates, with a "gotcha" cancellation policy?
 
Jan 2, 2018
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#10
Since you were charged for both nights, it is probably safe to assume the reservation was a "
Advance Purchase rate, prepay in full, non-refundable, no changes" rate. If it was that type of rate, the cancellation call is irrelevant.

When these rates have been offered to me via phone, the phone rep has made it clear what type of rate it is before confirming. Additionally, the rep asks/verifies the email to send the confirmation to.

I would check my parents email before contacting Marriott, if for no reason other than helping your case
Thank you very much!
 
Jan 2, 2018
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#11
I see two challenges for you here. The first is that your reservation and cancellation were done over the phone. Whenever I do that, I always request an email confirmation and follow up with them if I don't receive one.

The second is their claim that they emailed your parents. If indeed your parents received the email, you may be liable.

At this point, it seems that you need an exception to their policy. You can use our Company Contacts link at the top of this page to make that request. It's important that you do so in writing (email).

Start at the lowest level possible and be polite and brief. Your anger may be justified, but will not help your case. You want to win them over, not run them over. I recommend you wait 10 days before escalating the matter to other contacts. Do them one at a time ...
I really appreciate the advice. I will write to Marriott. Thank you very much.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#12
I would leave out Christi. While she might have heard the cancellation request, she did not hear the confirmation. The OP neither. "I would take care of it" (= I made a note for somebody to do this sometime) definitely is very different from "Please hold" - fervent typing sound - "I canceled your reservation, cancellation # is... I am sending e-mail confirmation."

Maybe because I am old and/or experienced I never trust in anybody's "would take care of it".
(Though I must admit I feel often ashamed to be untrusting.)
the reason why a lot fo people find there way here is that they haven't learned yet to be untrusting - they haven't been burned till now.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#16
I would leave out Christi. While she might have heard the cancellation request, she did not hear the confirmation. The OP neither. "I would take care of it" (= I made a note for somebody to do this sometime) definitely is very different from "Please hold" - fervent typing sound - "I canceled your reservation, cancellation # is... I am sending e-mail confirmation."

Maybe because I am old and/or experienced I never trust in anybody's "would take care of it".
(Though I must admit I feel often ashamed to be untrusting.)
"Untrusting" ... you are so right, Grandma. We are so inundated with details and information today that there's no reason to be ashamed of verifying it all. We are the ones who get hit with the fees and penalties, so assuming that something was handled correctly can be harmful to our travel budgets.

In fact, I would be ashamed if I didn't follow up and verify the details. I'm not 'untrusting', I'm a savvy consumer. Once you get to the mind-set of "nobody ever does what they're supposed to", it becomes second-nature to independently check and follow up on absolutely every detail.
 
Likes: VoR61