Embarrassing Treatment from Front Office Staff - Courtyard Marriott Tappan NY Nov 2017

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Feb 16, 2018
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#1
Hi Everyone,

It has taken me a few months to talk about this, I was traveling to NYC for a Wedding (from SFO) for my Cousin. Not going to talk about the reason I was not able to stay at the Marriot where the wedding party had blocked off rooms which forced me to go to the Courtyard Marriott down the road.

Issues:
After staying the Sat and Sunday night, Checked out Monday, I was going to NYC for some business meetings that I made since I was in NY for the wedding it just made sense.
After coming back later in the evening, I had left my bags with the hotel and decided it was too late for a flight to the airport. I went to check in to a room and my card was not working, it was not giving any reason for why it wasnt working.

This was around 9-10pm at night EST.

I was exhausted from the day and did not notice any fraud alerts (Spoiler alert, I had to check my card online and confirm I was the one using the card ((New bank)) which was the next morning after I finally got a room.

MAIN ISSUE:
I did not go to my online account to check the card at night.
The front desk staff member, Pattie told me if I did not pay for a room I would need to leave.
After trying to figure out what was going on and also waiting on my business partners to get done with some late meetings in San Francisco who would help take care of the payment, I told Pattie I will be staying and it was too cold outside for me to to wait while I figured this out.

I told he I was not going to leave and I was working on a solution, I said you can call the cops if you are worried.

So, some time later cops showed up and harrassed me and made me feel like I was unwanted. I didnt have my card working which ended up due to traveling and my Identity was stolen earlier in the year.

I ended up being forced to call my Mom of all people and wake her up at 1am to get my room or i was going to be escorted out by police. I am a Network Engineer and Also a founder of a startup just getting started mind you....

I have all of this recorded on my Google Glass as well. What do you recommend?

End Comments:
I was treated with disrespect, and the forms of payment I could have made, Paypal, Venmo, Etc would have resolved this, but due to my physical card having a hold on it, I was denied and being threatened by Staff and Police to pay now or leave. Which, I did not have a car, I didn't have my card working for a venmo, I did not have cash on me... So they expected me to go out in the cold temperature until I paid for a room which I was already staying at previously that morning.

I need guidance. This really is a shame.
 
Likes: johnbaker
Jan 6, 2015
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#2
What I Think Happened Here . . .
By your own admission:
  • You were "exhausted from the day"
  • "I told her I was not going to leave and I was working on a solution"
  • "I said you can call the cops if you are worried"
Not being there I can't speak as to your tone or volume, but on their face the two statements you made in light of your exhaustion probably came across as adversarial. On the other hand, she might have responded more kindly and given you time to work it out. But she may not have been aware that you had stayed there the past two days (you do not say). From the information you provided, there are variables here that, in my opinion, escalated the matter for both of you.

What Can You Do?
You can use the Company Contacts link at the top of this page to present your case to them. Before you do, be sure to read and follow the instructions at the top of the first page.

If you do, I suggest you acknowledge that you were exhausted after a long day of meetings and may not have been "at the top of my game". "But", you add, "I feel the desk agent could have and should have demonstrated more compassion in allowing me time to resolve the matter, considering I was a guest for the past two days".

And this is an important step I always follow: State that you have no desire to see anyone "punished", but that you are disappointed and would be appreciative of "some compensation". Based on your post, I think the last night's stay would be sufficient.

Again, these are my impressions from your post and in no way are intended to minimize or challenge your version of the events ...
 
Feb 16, 2018
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#3
There seems to be some missing information. What was happening between 9pm and 1am? Typically most hotels in larger cities that I use for travel switch to a closed, registered guests only policy at a certain time. If you were not in the act of trying to check in, what were you doing? The police when called are responding to the complaint of an authorized staff member. It is usuallly not a good idea to use the "call the cops if you don't like it" line unless you feel a crime has been committed against you.
 
Feb 16, 2018
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#4
What I Think Happened Here . . .
By your own admission:
  • You were "exhausted from the day"
  • "I told her I was not going to leave and I was working on a solution"
  • "I said you can call the cops if you are worried"
Not being there I can't speak as to your tone or volume, but on their face the two statements you made in light of your exhaustion probably came across as adversarial. On the other hand, she might have responded more kindly and given you time to work it out. But she may not have been aware that you had stayed there the past two days (you do not say). From the information you provided, there are variables here that, in my opinion, escalated the matter for both of you.

What Can You Do?
You can use the Company Contacts link at the top of this page to present your case to them. Before you do, be sure to read and follow the instructions at the top of the first page.

If you do, I suggest you acknowledge that you were exhausted after a long day of meetings and may not have been "at the top of my game". "But", you add, "I feel the desk agent could have and should have demonstrated more compassion in allowing me time to resolve the matter, considering I was a guest for the past two days".

And this is an important step I always follow: State that you have no desire to see anyone "punished", but that you are disappointed and would be appreciative of "some compensation". Based on your post, I think the last night's stay would be sufficient.

Again, these are my impressions from your post and in no way are intended to minimize or challenge your version of the events ...
This is helpful. Thank you. I sent you a dm with the Google Photos Link and have not showed anyone this footage yet.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#6
This is indeed a real shame. Boiling down your story, it seems that you were a Marriott guest for two nights, then checked out and left your luggage at the hotel. When you returned to the hotel, instead of going to the airport for your flight home, you wanted to spend another night at the Marriott. But your credit card was compromised and you had no other resources to pay for a hotel room. When Pattie informed you that you could not stay in the lobby, you told her to call the police to remove you. So she did.

There seems to be misunderstanding of how hotels are managed. If a guest cannot present a valid credit card or other form of payment when checking in, he doesn't get a room. There's very little 'wiggle space' with that policy and I'm sure you can understand the reason for it. A hotel will not allow a non-guest to spend hours in their lobby and there are many reasons for that. While a good hotel would make every effort to help you, if you don't have any resources to pay for a room, there's very little they can do. Being flip with a front desk clerk just trying to do her job is, as you immediately found out, not a good idea.

I'm so sorry you had this awful experience. Hopefully you will take all these lessons to heart for your next trip. You can't travel across the country with no money and a non-working credit card, you should always have access to other resources or cash for a last-minute issue like this. I hope that we have given you enough information to understand your situation clearly. VoR has given you the information to make your feelings known to Marriott. Good luck and please keep us updated.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
Nicklegger I am sorry that you had a bad experience in NYC region, where I live.

There is a fair amount of credit card fraud here and once your card was declined for check in, the hotel may have been alarmed. The merchant does not know why there is a decline, they just get the notification. And there is theft from hotel lobbies, restaurants, etc so people need to be alert.

I have had my card declined while traveling, even after giving a travel warning. As soon as the card is declined I am on the telephone asking why the charge did not go through. I am a bit perplexed as to why that was not the first thing you did. Why did you try to call your business partner, mother, etc without calling the credit card company?
When I have had the card declined I have been able to clear it up and pay, and all of the hotels have been understanding as they saw that I was actively working on the issue.

Never say "go ahead and call the police" to a business establishment in the NYC region, as they will call. And as it can some time for the non emergency police to come, there must have been some time that passed. The police were likely annoyed about having to come, and wanted to resolve the problem quickly, which is why they may have seemed abrupt.

Most hotels are not equipped to accept payment via paypal or venmo.

Hotels do not want non guests hanging out in the lobby; it is not a public space. And I think the hotel staff may have been suspicious because you did not immediately call the credit card company, instead waited for someone to finish up meetings. Staying in the lobby for hours trying to figure things out does not inspire confidence, neither did the fact that there was no back up funding immediately offered, like a debit card.

May I ask what resolution you are seeking?
 
Last edited:
Feb 16, 2018
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#8
There seems to be some missing information. What was happening between 9pm and 1am? Typically most hotels in larger cities that I use for travel switch to a closed, registered guests only policy at a certain time. If you were not in the act of trying to check in, what were you doing? The police when called are responding to the complaint of an authorized staff member. It is usuallly not a good idea to use the "call the cops if you don't like it" line unless you feel a crime has been committed against you.
I was in the hotel lobby on my laptop working while I was waiting for my business contacts to call in and provide me with an updated card.
This is indeed a real shame. Boiling down your story, it seems that you were a Marriott guest for two nights, then checked out and left your luggage at the hotel. When you returned to the hotel, instead of going to the airport for your flight home, you wanted to spend another night at the Marriott. But your credit card was compromised and you had no other resources to pay for a hotel room. When Pattie informed you that you could not stay in the lobby, you told her to call the police to remove you. So she did.

There seems to be misunderstanding of how hotels are managed. If a guest cannot present a valid credit card or other form of payment when checking in, he doesn't get a room. There's very little 'wiggle space' with that policy and I'm sure you can understand the reason for it. A hotel will not allow a non-guest to spend hours in their lobby and there are many reasons for that. While a good hotel would make every effort to help you, if you don't have any resources to pay for a room, there's very little they can do. Being flip with a front desk clerk just trying to do her job is, as you immediately found out, not a good idea.

I'm so sorry you had this awful experience. Hopefully you will take all these lessons to heart for your next trip. You can't travel across the country with no money and a non-working credit card, you should always have access to other resources or cash for a last-minute issue like this. I hope that we have given you enough information to understand your situation clearly. VoR has given you the information to make your feelings known to Marriott. Good luck and please keep us updated.
My
There seems to be some missing information. What was happening between 9pm and 1am? Typically most hotels in larger cities that I use for travel switch to a closed, registered guests only policy at a certain time. If you were not in the act of trying to check in, what were you doing? The police when called are responding to the complaint of an authorized staff member. It is usuallly not a good idea to use the "call the cops if you don't like it" line unless you feel a crime has been committed against you.
If someone already was a customer there that day and was working out arrangements for the "acceptable" method of payment (meaning, i could have paid with paypal, venmo, etc...) due to the issues mentioned earlier, I think a little more understanding for an out of state guest should have been given. It was the Monday before Thanksgiving as well and all the rental cars near the hotel were sold out. I am seeking a formal apology and update to their internal process of how they treat customers and situations, allowing for alternative payment methods, see the customers past history and if they have been a repeat customer for example.., I do not have much in mind on expectations except to have been treated with kindness, respect, empathy for the situation, resolution to assist in a mutually beneficial manner.

At the end of the day, If I was your son and was having legitimate issues, would think it is acceptable to send a business professional out in the cold from out of town when that person was already a guest? Given the late timing in the night and the fact I was already working on alternative method of acceptable payment, I shouldn't have had to call my family in the wee hours of the night to get an alternative payment called in. I am a 30 year old adult for the one's wondering. The situation was handled with zero care for the any part of the situation, $$ was the only thing that mattered and it was the most demoralizing and embarrassing feeling I have ever been. I am rarely embarrassed in life and I treated like a dispensable object.

Regarding the credit card situation, I had my identity stolen near that time and made a last second decision to fly from San Francisco to attend the amazing wedding my cousin had. I had new cards issued which did not arrive by the time I left so I was left with cards that were deactivated and only a debit card. Yes, It is unfortunate and this is not a normal occurrence, I do not want anyone fired, I do want global changes to allow for any issues to be better handled and sincere accomodations to make this right. I will let Myself and Marriott figure that out and will share an update when I have it.

Much appreciated for all who took time to comment and provide input, thanks for spending any moment of your finite time on earth. Cheers!
.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
You were no longer a guest once you checked out- you were a former guest. And when you did not have a valid form of payment- you weren’t a guest at all, you became a problem to them.

It wasn’t the hotels fault that you didn’t have a valid form of payment. You could have been trying to sleep in the lobby because you had no money for all the hotel knew.

No hotels take Venmo or PayPal. You not having a valid form of payment is not the hotels issue- it was yours and they were within their right to ask you the be removed from the premises.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#10
Your credit card company could have provided you with a temporary "virtual" number to use for the hotel. Why didn't you call your credit card company? When my card was stolen and I was reporting it to Citibank, they offered me a temporary number to use if I needed it immediately before I got the new physical card in the mail.
 
Dec 11, 2016
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#11
The fact that you could have paid via PayPal or Venmo (I've never even heard of Venmo) is meaningless, unless the hotel has the means of accepting your payment. I'm also surprised that you were waiting for a payment to be "called in". I've never seen a hotel accept a call-in payment, because of potential fraud. If they allowed such a payment, they did you a big favor.

What, exactly, did you expect them to do? You couldn't pay them in a method they could accept, which essentially means you couldn't pay them. And they certainly didn't know you. Why should they be obligated to give you a room or allow you to stay hours on end in the lobby, free of charge? It sounds like they even waited a few hours, before forcing you to leave. That was really quite generous. All of this may have been resolved sooner had you contacted your bank, or reached out to a family member to cover the bill until your credit card issue was resolved.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#12
NickLegger as I mentioned I have had a card turned off as fraud prevention and it is not pleasant. And I have had my card numbers stolen many times over the past decade without ever losing the card. I do have empathy for your situation. But the hotel had you as a guest for 2 days. The hotel may have been concerned that the payment for the past 2 days would be reversed as the third night could not be paid. As a business decision that does not seem too outrageous.

I do not see the hotels taking PayPal or Venmo in the near future. That adds an extra layer of work (waiting, checking account, applying to customer account, fees, etc.) and given how many phishing emails I get that are spoofing PayPal I think there are a lot of security and fraud issues with those methods.

At nights most hotels restrict access just to guests, this is for safety and security.

What I would have done in your situation is call someone immediately that could help, and get a payment method quickly. The fact that you did not call the bank asap in front of the clerk may have caused them some alarm. That is what I have done.

I had my atm card number and pin stolen via skimmer and cameras. Someone withdrew money when I was traveling and the card was blocked and I could not access my bank account to get cash. I got on the phone, proved my identity, and while on the telephone the bank unblocked my card just so i could get cash from an ATM and then reblocked it. There are ways to work with the bank when it comes to fraud issues, especially when traveling.

When one cannot pay one is not entitled to the service, this is harsh but true.

You may got an apology, which is a reasonable request, but I am not sure about hotels accepting PayPal or Venmo any time soon.

Good luck and let us know.