Bad service at Best Western Plus in Duluth!

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Feb 23, 2015
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#1
I made a reservation for a king room at Best Western Plus in Duluth...for 2 days over the Valentine weekend. I used a valid credit card at that time. We were running late for our arrival and I called the hotel explaining our late start and please hold our reservation, do not cancel or give our room to someone else. And I also told the hotel we would be paying in cash upon arrival. Still running behind at 4:30 PM, I called again and was told they ran our card and it declined. What? At the time we had a valid account and then closed that account, opened another but not gotten our new debit card. I said AGAIN, that we would be paying with CASH! The girl said she would note that. We arrived at 6:45PM and the hotel manager said that without a credit card we would not be able to stay. But we told them, we have cash and we can pay!!! No way, they need a card for damages incurred while we stayed there. I can sort of see that, but my husband is 70 and I am not far behind him. We are grandparents for goodness sakes! And our grandson was with us! So after arriving after our 2 1/2 hour drive, we had to turn around and leave. How do you explain to a 7 year old why we had to leave?!!! The hotel would not accommodate us at all. I made the effort to let them know we were late, but we WERE coming. I was courteous, but they were not to us!!. I worked in customer service for over 17 years and our job was to help the customer in any way to solve their problem, not create another one! You want to keep that customer, so they return to your company. I felt we were not listened to. And it was embarrassing being in the lobby with other people there to overhear our plight.

An aside to this story......in September, my husband had a stroke and we had to cancel our annual trip up north because he could not drive, having had his stroke while driving. It's a trip we always look forward to and it was disappointing that we couldn't go. So we were looking so forward to this trip, not only for the reason of missing our fall trip, but this was Valentine's Day weekend and our anniversary (our 47th) was on the 17th. So for all these reasons, we had looked forward to being up in Duluth, like our 2nd home away from home. At a previous stay at the Hampton Inn on Canal Street, they brought wine to our room. Now that is good customer service. And we always remember that...too bad they were booked for that weekend.

I feel that the hotel should have made an effort to help us. We had the cash for crying out loud!!!! I feel they should offer as compensation for us to stay there our 2 days ON THEM, for the trouble we went through. Not only that, we had rented a car for the trip....since we were gone only 6 hours (trip travel time back and forth) that they should pay us the $30 for that charge. It's only right, since they spoiled our anniversary weekend!!!!! Please consider our plea so that we can return to our favorite place in the world. Thank you in advance.
 
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bodega3

Guest
#2
Even when paying cash, you usually have to put down a couple of hundred dollars extra that is refunded when you check out, provided you room is in good condition and you haven't charged anything to the room account. Did they bring up a cash deposit? Also, a debit card is not good to use at a hotel and some hotels won't accept them.
 
#3
Hi Cindy,
Sorry to hear the situation that you encountered with the Best Western in Duluth, I know how frustrating it is to lose a debit/credit card and not receive a new one in a timely matter. Unfortunately every major hotel (some exceptions) require a credit/debit card on file to cover the cost of the room and any incidentals that you may incur such as long distance phone calls, dry cleaning, stolen towels, furniture, etc. Not saying that this is something that you/ your husband/ grandson would do it is just to verify that if it was to happen you could cover the charges. Once you go to check out the hotel would be able to take a cash payment and release the charges on your debit/credit card which could take up to 7 days to release depending on the bank.

Now some hotels including the one I managed for a few years will allow you to only put down a cash deposit anywhere from $200-$500 (my hotel was $300 plus the hotel room cost). This was not a policy that was advertised, however with guests in situations like yourself my employees were able to make a judgement call to do that. I am going to assume that the manager/employee didn't offer that to you when you arrived? If not I do think that the manager/employee could come up with some way even a larger/smaller cash deposit to allow you to stay for the night which would have made everyone happy.

I know that probably wasn't the exact answer you were looking for but I hope it helps shed some light on the situation.


-Tyler
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Feb 23, 2015
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#4
We were NOT told of a cash deposit!!!! All I've ever known is to use the card for making a reservation. Call me naïve, but that is all I've known.
Cindy
 
Feb 23, 2015
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#5
Hi Cindy,
Sorry to hear the situation that you encountered with the Best Western in Duluth, I know how frustrating it is to lose a debit/credit card and not receive a new one in a timely matter. Unfortunately every major hotel (some exceptions) require a credit/debit card on file to cover the cost of the room and any incidentals that you may incur such as long distance phone calls, dry cleaning, stolen towels, furniture, etc. Not saying that this is something that you/ your husband/ grandson would do it is just to verify that if it was to happen you could cover the charges. Once you go to check out the hotel would be able to take a cash payment and release the charges on your debit/credit card which could take up to 7 days to release depending on the bank.

Now some hotels including the one I managed for a few years will allow you to only put down a cash deposit anywhere from $200-$500 (my hotel was $300 plus the hotel room cost). This was not a policy that was advertised, however with guests in situations like yourself my employees were able to make a judgement call to do that. I am going to assume that the manager/employee didn't offer that to you when you arrived? If not I do think that the manager/employee could come up with some way even a larger/smaller cash deposit to allow you to stay for the night which would have made everyone happy.

I know that probably wasn't the exact answer you were looking for but I hope it helps shed some light on the situation.


-Tyler
 
Feb 23, 2015
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#6
Thanks, Tyler for your imput. I still am reeling from the visit and the night manager was not going to budge AT ALL and I feel that he could have suggested something that was agreeable to both of us.
 
#7
Cindy,
I completely agree that the night manager should have suggested something that was agreeable to both of you and he didn't (he may have not even known it was a possibility or just didn't care). Unfortunately something I run into constantly, many night employees are not very familiar with some of the polices or benefits that elite members are to receive. In this case I would start by contacting the General Manager and explain to him the entire situation from start to finish and that you were mostly upset with the fact the night person/manager would not even suggest a solution to you. I would also ask somewhere in the middle what the cash deposit policy actually is for that particular property and suggest that all employees are trained on it for the future.

-Tyler
 
Feb 23, 2015
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#8
Cindy,
I completely agree that the night manager should have suggested something that was agreeable to both of you and he didn't (he may have not even known it was a possibility or just didn't care). Unfortunately something I run into constantly, many night employees are not very familiar with some of the polices or benefits that elite members are to receive. In this case I would start by contacting the General Manager and explain to him the entire situation from start to finish and that you were mostly upset with the fact the night person/manager would not even suggest a solution to you. I would also ask somewhere in the middle what the cash deposit policy actually is for that particular property and suggest that all employees are trained on it for the future.

-Tyler
Thank you, Tyler, sounds like a good plan to contact the General Manager. Nothing was suggested to us, so I felt we were not listened to and frankly as I said before didn't know anything else was done after you paid cash. We've paid in cash before and nothing was ever said about holding the card or extracting more cash from us. Guess we don't travel enough to know the ins and outs. Thanks again for your thoughts. Cindy
 
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bodega3

Guest
#9
Cindy, we just stayed at a BW and had a situation I have never encountered before. I use one credit card to hold my hotel reservations but use another card at the time of checkin to pay for the room. The BW the other night wouldn't let us switch cards and wouldn't let us checkin. I never travel with the card I use to hold the room, but fortunately my spouse had it or we were not getting our room. Next night we stayed at another BW and switched cards with no issue. So each hotel can have their own policies and contacting the General Manager about what you experienced is a good step to take.
 
Feb 23, 2015
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#10
Cindy, we just stayed at a BW and had a situation I have never encountered before. I use one credit card to hold my hotel reservations but use another card at the time of checkin to pay for the room. The BW the other night wouldn't let us switch cards and wouldn't let us checkin. I never travel with the card I use to hold the room, but fortunately my spouse had it or we were not getting our room. Next night we stayed at another BW and switched cards with no issue. So each hotel can have their own policies and contacting the General Manager about what you experienced is a good step to take.
Thanks for your imput. You would think most hotel chains would have rules that would apply the same, wouldn't you? I appreciate your imput. Cindy
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
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#12
Dear Ms. Iverson,

There are two Best Westerns in the Duluth area, the Bridgeview Motor Inn in Superior, and Spirit Mountain in Duluth. Both have the following "Deposit Policy" language on their websites:

Deposit Policy: Guaranteed to your credit card for late arrival. A valid credit card must be presented at check-in

If you wish to appeal your treatment to the hotel, I would usually give you an email address and advise you to contact them in writing. However, I was unable to find email addresses for either property, so here are their phone numbers, should you decide to call and speak to the General Manager of the property:

BrIdgeview: 1 715 392 8174
Spirit Mountain: 1 218 628 0668

If you'd like to escalate your appeal to Best Western corporate, begin by completing and submitting the Customer Care form you'll find here:


Give them a week to get back to you. If they don't or you don't like what they have to say, you may contact the executives you'll find here:

Send short, polite emails to, one by one, with a week between each, the Primary Contact, Secondary Contact, and CEO. And remember... their requirement that you have a credit card was in black and white, so any compensation they offer will be out of the goodness of their hearts. Please approach them accordingly.
Good luck!

Grant
 
Likes: jsn55
Jan 8, 2015
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#14
BW are independently owned. How did you rent the car with no credit card?
I'd like to know this as well, because there is no rental car company that I know of that will rent to you without at least a debit card plus a cash deposit. Some won't even rent to you without a credit card.

As someone who went without having a credit card for for the better part of 10 years, I can sympathize with how tough it is sometimes being able to rent vehicles and get hotel rooms. One needs to put down larger deposits and funds are removed from your account, rather than a credit hold. you need to start your trip with a lot more money in your account than you normally might need. I've learned over the years that one needs to do their homework in advance and plan their trip around places that will accept cash and or debit cards only. Many times this means multiple calls to the company in question to verify the policy of what is needed for a given service.

In this case I am not even sure they have a cash only option as an unwritten or unpublished rule, so it would have helped to have called before making the trip and assuming you could stay there. Even at hotels where I have paid cash, they still needed my branded debit card on file for any possible damages.

I wish you well in your appeals to the corporate office.
 
Feb 23, 2015
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#15
I'd like to know this as well, because there is no rental car company that I know of that will rent to you without at least a debit card plus a cash deposit. Some won't even rent to you without a credit card.

As someone who went without having a credit card for for the better part of 10 years, I can sympathize with how tough it is sometimes being able to rent vehicles and get hotel rooms. One needs to put down larger deposits and funds are removed from your account, rather than a credit hold. you need to start your trip with a lot more money in your account than you normally might need. I've learned over the years that one needs to do their homework in advance and plan their trip around places that will accept cash and or debit cards only. Many times this means multiple calls to the company in question to verify the policy of what is needed for a given service.

In this case I am not even sure they have a cash only option as an unwritten or unpublished rule, so it would have helped to have called before making the trip and assuming you could stay there. Even at hotels where I have paid cash, they still needed my branded debit card on file for any possible damages.

I wish you well in your appeals to the corporate office.
 
Feb 23, 2015
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#16
We were able to rent the car because my husband is an employee of a rental car facility. He has worked there since 1996 and is a valued employee and knows he is trustworthy. We have rented from them numerable times previously.
 
Feb 23, 2015
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#18
Thanks for your help in this matter. I do intend to further investigate this situation and I appreciate your advice. Generally in the past as well as now have paid in cash and secured the room with a credit card and there NEVER has been any problem, so this was a complete surprise to me. This Best Western Plus in Duluth was formerly a Country Inn Suites and we have been pleased with everything about it, so to incur different treatment was so surprising to me. We don't travel that often to know the ins and outs and protocol of each hotel, just had known what we had done in the past with no problems, I figured at least the evening manager could have offered more assistance rather than just saying we couldn't stay there and let that stand. I figured my phone calls would ensure our room and never dreamt that they would send the card thru before we ever got there. Never done before!!! Thanks again. Cindy
 
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bodega3

Guest
#19
The difference in this reservation and past stays is the credit card. Without a credit card, cash qualifying is what rental companies and hotels require. Would you have been prepared to put down a few hundred dollars against the room if they had mentioned this?
 
Likes: Grant Ritchie