Charged $200 smoking fee during California fires?!?

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Aug 13, 2018
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#1
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Lincoln California the night of 8/2-8/3. I understand and respect the no smoking policy of the hotel, but when I was charged $200 for a smoking fee, I was surprised. I don’t think that customers should be held to pay the cleaning of rooms just because we stay in them during a horrible fire season! There was thick smoke in the air everywhere within 100 miles. I was on the bottom floor right around the corner from the front door. If I wanted to smoke I would have walked 10 seconds to go outside. And since the air was so bad in Northern California, I didn’t even want a cigarette, just my inhaler. When I tried to talk to them to dispute the charges, they couldn’t show me any evidence in which they are supposed to have nor any special cleaning that the charge was supposed pay for. This is very wrong, and if they did it to me then they probably did it to other guests.
 
Aug 13, 2018
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#5
It’s franchised out, so this company is Lombard hospitality services LLC but can’t find how to contact them through email yet because I’m about to start at work.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#6
A Holiday Inn is a member of InterContinental Hotels Group. You should not have to dig around to find a contact for the franchise owners. Holiday Inn operates the hotel. This kind of thing has been going on for quite some time. You can peruse other threads on this forum. Use our contacts, keep everything in writing, very polite, facts only. The person reading your letter did not cause your problem but is in a position to help. You job is to make him want to help you. Like the bogus damage claims the rental car agencies are unleashing on their customers, so are the hotels learning that this kind of thing often goes unnoticed and they can pad their bottom line. It's shameful.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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#7
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Lincoln California the night of 8/2-8/3. I understand and respect the no smoking policy of the hotel, but when I was charged $200 for a smoking fee, I was surprised. I don’t think that customers should be held to pay the cleaning of rooms just because we stay in them during a horrible fire season! There was thick smoke in the air everywhere within 100 miles. I was on the bottom floor right around the corner from the front door. If I wanted to smoke I would have walked 10 seconds to go outside. And since the air was so bad in Northern California, I didn’t even want a cigarette, just my inhaler. When I tried to talk to them to dispute the charges, they couldn’t show me any evidence in which they are supposed to have nor any special cleaning that the charge was supposed pay for. This is very wrong, and if they did it to me then they probably did it to other guests.
So you used your inhaler and were "vaping" in a non smoking room? I assume it had nicotine and coated the walls. "No smoking" means "no vaping" too.
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#8
Not sure where the vaping came from. The op needs to write to the execs, one at a time, a week in between waiting for a response. I would agree, no smoking means no smoking, including vaping, but an inhaler is what asthmatics typically use to alleviate symptoms.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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#9
Not sure where the vaping came from. The op needs to write to the execs, one at a time, a week in between waiting for a response. I would agree, no smoking means no smoking, including vaping, but an inhaler is what asthmatics typically use to alleviate symptoms.
The OP did mention they wanted their inhaler, so if it is a medical one, I agree with you. Not sure whether it is that or something else. Something made them decide to fine him. Tobacco smells way different than wildfire smoke. Very easy to tell the difference.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,695
7,506
113
San Francisco
#13
Thank you all for your input. Today an executive from ihg called to get my address to send me a reimbursement check. This is not a total win since the hotel is not the one paying me back. I hope there are consequences to there actions.
Most excellent news! Neil's right, the hotel is paying you for sure and probably having to shell out for some staff "training" on the subject of cheating your guests.