My wife and I have been Choice Hotels Privilege members since around 2004. We have stayed in many Choice Hotel properties over the past six years (at least 300 to 400 nights). We have been very happy with most of the hotels and have liked the service until our latest issue. We are typically fairly easy to please.
We live in Eastern Canada and my parents live in Idaho, so we don’t get to see them very often. We planned a trip where we would fly them to the Washington DC area and spend some time with them exploring our nation’s capital. We booked their flights through the Delta website and we book two rooms for four nights on the Choice Hotels website using the non-refundable option for both.
A few days after we booked our flights and hotel I received a call from my dad explaining that my mom has been diagnosed with a heart problem and she cannot travel. With this news we decided to drive to Idaho (my wife doesn’t fly), so we can see my parents.
We contacted Delta Airlines and was directed to use their website to apply for a refund. Within a few days we received a full refund for both tickets without any problems. We also contacted Choice Hotels Corporate and they informed us that they could not do a refund or credit and we would have to go through the hotel. The following is a breakdown of the run around that we have endured.
I called the hotel and asked for the manager. I was told that he was not in and asked what we need him for. I explained our situation to the desk clerk and she said that giving us a refund shouldn’t be a problem. When she went to give us a refund she said that the computer wouldn’t let her and said that we should call Choice Hotels Corporate.
I call Choice Hotels Corporate and explained our situation to them again. They said that we would have to call the hotel directly. I informed them that we did, so they said that they would call them for me. I was put on hold for about five minutes and then were told that the hotel would only give us ones nights credit. She said that she talked to the manager. I explained to her that that was not satisfactory and I would call the hotel back.
I called the hotel back and asked for the manager. The hotel informed me, after finding out my name and putting me on hold for a minute, that the manager would not be in until Thursday. I said to them that Choice Hotels just called the hotel and talked to the manager. I was once again put on hold. When they came back they gave me the same story. I then asked if I could leave him a message, so they put me through to his voicemail. I left him a “not so nice, to the point”, but professional message.
A few hours later my wife called and asked for the manager and after being asked several questions about who she was and what she wanted was put on hold. The desk clear came back on and said that the manager was in a meeting an couldn’t come to the phone. They put her through to his voice mail and she left a very heartfelt message explaining the whole situation.
Two days passed and we receive no message, no email… nothing. I call the hotel back (on Thursday) and am informed that the manager (Mr. Sam Segal) is in a meeting. I ask to speak to someone in charge. They put me on hold and then the assistant manager, Collin gets on the phone. I explain the whole situation and he puts me on hold. He comes back and says that they can give me a refund for one night and acts like he is doing us a big favor. He says that we booked the room at a non-refundable price and that was the best that he could do. I explained that we had every intention on staying in his hotel, but this was a situation completely beyond our control. He said that this is the best that he can do.
I asked to speak to Mr. Sam Segal and am informed that he is in a meeting. I asked Collin to talked to Sam and ask if he is willing to give us a credit at different Choice Hotels, so we can use it as we cross the country. He said that he would have to get back to me and let me know.
After waiting two days I call the hotel back asking for Sam and am informed that he is in a meeting. I ask to talk to Collin and am put on hold. He gets on the phone and says that the only thing Sam will do is the one day credit for the two rooms. I ask to speak with Sam and am informed that he is not in the hotel (but I was told that he was in a meeting).
I am now very upset, so I call Choice Hotels Corporate and lodge a complaint. I call back the next day and am informed that Choice cannot do anything for me. This is why I will no longer stay in a Choice Hotel.
Our business is starting to take off and we will be traveling a lot over the next few years and were planning on using Choice almost exclusively, however with the lack of understanding and service we have been provided we will be using a different chain.
As our business grows we will be staying in different cities for a period of one to two weeks at a time, but cannot stay in a Choice Hotel because of Sam Segal’s lack of compassion, understanding and customer service and Choice Hotels policy about not getting involved to help a valued customer. I know policies are in place, but sometimes they need to be adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances.
As I said previously, I own a business and if I treated my customers this way I would not have any customers left. I have policies, but know that they need to be adjusted to fit certain circumstances.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC