As an experienced world traveler, I thought that I had seen just about everything that could go wrong at a hotel. I was wrong. As you will see, a hotel called 911 to have a grandmother and grandaughter removed for leaving a 3-star review. Here is the story from Atlanta news 11Alive. Thanks to the investigative work of Brendan Keefe for posting this story. The 11Alive video is below.
The Story Of The Hotel Review
Susan Leger booked a prepaid, three-night stay at the Baymont Inn & Suites in Helen, GA in September. She booked this getaway for her and her granddaughter on the booking site hotels.com. Soon after Susan checked in, she received a survey from hotels.com asking her about the hotel experience. Susan responded to the survey. Leger had given the hotel three out of five stars. Hotels.com then asked, “What went wrong?” Leger replied that the hotel was “Rundown. Pool’s not open. Toilet doesn’t flush well.” As soon as Susan left the review, a copy was immediately sent to the hotel’s management.
At 8:40 pm, the hotel manager called Susan’s cell phone. “This guy is on my cell phone ranting at me, and he said that he’s kicking me out,” Leger told 11Alive Chief Investigator Brendan Keefe. “He’s called the police, and I have to leave the room,” she added.
The hotel manager called 911. You can hear on the video that he told the 911 dispatcher “she’s not happy with the room. That’s why we had to let her go”.
That first night while in their pajamas, there was a knock on the door. Susan asked the police officer if the hotel could kick her out for giving a review of three out of five. The officer told her “yes ma’am. It’s within the law”. The police officer did help Susan and her granddaughter by finding them a room at a nearby Fairfield Hotel.
To make matter worse, Susan paid in advance for her hotel room. Neither the hotel nor the booking site, hotels.com wanted to refund her money for the prepaid stay. It took 11Alive to get involved in the situation and two months for Susan to get a refund.
A check on hotels.com shows the following: “Sorry, we aren’t taking reservations for Baymont by Wyndham Helen on our site.”
Hotel Cancellations And Refunds
Making a hotel reservation should be an uncomplicated task. It is uncomplicated when everything goes as planned. You can reserve a room directly from the hotel or through an Online Travel Agency (OTA).
Sometimes, you can reserve a room for a slightly lower cost by prepaying for your stay. It is important that you understand the terms and conditions of your prepaid reservation. Many prepaid stays will not allow for changes or cancellations. This means that if your plans change, you could be out everything that you paid. For my money, I will never prepay for a hotel stay. There are just too many things that could go wrong.
It is also important to review the hotel cancellation terms and conditions before you click “book”. There may be a window or windows to cancel a room and get a refund. Sometimes, there is a sliding scale of refund amounts for those hotels that have multiple cancellation windows.
As Susan Leger found out, a hotel review left during your stay could wreak havoc. It is important that when you book a hotel room, you fully understand all of the terms and conditions associated with your reservation before you click “book”. There are different laws depending on the state that your hotel is in. In this case, Georgia law allows the police to evict a hotel guest for a “bad review”.
Ask yourself if a prepaid reservation is worth saving a few dollars. If your plans change or you leave a bad review, you could lose all of your money.
Leave your hotel review for when you return home. You don’t want to have to change hotels at night in your pajamas.