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Car broken into in manditory Valet lot - opinions please

Linden, MI
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Car broken into in manditory Valet lot - opinions please

I am looking for opinions:

I stayed at a hotel with valet-only parking. I was told the lot was secured with a guard posted all night. During the night my car was broken into. They attempted to steal it but the anti-theft system stopped them. The car was not drivable and items were stolen from inside.

The hotel apologized for my inconvenience but put 100% of the blame on the valet service, with whom they contracted. The valet owner and employees were very helpful and accommodating even offered to pay my deductible.

I feel that the hotel is partially responsible because they chose to contract with this valet and do not offer other parking options. Advertising that it is "secured and lighted". This was a huge inconvenience for us. Yes, the valet is paying our deductible but I am without my car for a week while it is being repaired. Items stolen from my car can be replaced but in the meantime I am without them as well. We lost use of our vehicle during our stay and had to have a friend drive us. We were there well into the afternoon on our last day when I could have been home already. The hotel did not offer us a late check out as we just sat in their lobby, no offer for free breakfast, bar credit, discount stay, credit towards a return visit, extra reward points, nothing. They gave my husband a cookie and apologized for the poor valet service and acted extremely inconvenienced when he asked them to call the valet owner again to get verification that he will reimburse us for our cab ride home. (66 miles)

Here is my question: Would it be appropriate to request extra reward points or credit towards a future stay at their chain of hotels? Or should I just let this incidence go and cut my losses?

Detroit, MI
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for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
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1. Re: Car broken into in manditory Valet lot - opinions please

I don't think it would be inappropriate, but I would also expect the hotel may deny anything that might look like them accepting blame. You have crossed from a poor customer service issue into a legal matter concerning contract law and bailment of your vehicle. The first reaction of any corporation at that point is to "lawyer up".

Itemize a list of your damages (deductible, lost items not covered, taxi, etc.) and present it to the valet operator for payment. If they won't pay, you will have to decide if it is worth a lawsuit. It probably falls under small claims, but only you (and possibly your lawyer) can decide if it is worth your time and effort.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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2. Re: Car broken into in manditory Valet lot - opinions please

Imo, I think the hotel is *completely* responsible for ensuring the safety of its guests and their property, including their vehicles. Contracting out the valet service is a business decision and doesn't absolve them from that responsibility, again imo.

When you say "the hotel", were you dealing with someone at the front desk? Or the manager? Have you contacted them since you've gotten home? If not, I would at least put the information you've posted in letter form and send it to as high up in the hotel management as you can. Detail actual expenses you incurred as well as the overall customer service failures. I would also post in the hotel reviews section and describe what happened.

Marquette, Michigan
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for Michigan
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3. Re: Car broken into in manditory Valet lot - opinions please

I agree with this part of DetTigerFan's post:

"When you say "the hotel", were you dealing with someone at the front desk? Or the manager? Have you contacted them since you've gotten home? If not, I would at least put the information you've posted in letter form and send it to as high up in the hotel management as you can. Detail actual expenses you incurred as well as the overall customer service failures. I would also post in the hotel reviews section and describe what happened."

Unfortunately I would imagine the hotel has some disclaimer of liability. I am pleasantly surprised that the valet service went as far as they did.

Sorry for your misfortune but I agree that this needs a post in the hotel reviews so others can decide whether they feel safe valeting their car at this hotel.

Good luck.

Edited: 08 August 2013, 21:07
North Muskegon...
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4. Re: Car broken into in manditory Valet lot - opinions please

Sure additional contact at the hotel's coporate level, unless it is a private entity, would be expected but then nothing like bad ratings to get some attention,lol.

And if you paid a fee to the hotel for valet parking, that might change tliability a bit. : )

Remember, just because it is in a contract you signed, doesn't mean it is legal.

Detroit, MI
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5. Re: Car broken into in manditory Valet lot - opinions please

I would not post a review. You are potentially in lawsuit territory, even if small claims. You don't go blabbing all over the internet with stuff that could come back to bite you later in court. Handle it professionally and without emotion.

Detroit, MI
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6. Re: Car broken into in manditory Valet lot - opinions please

Also, did you file a police report? If not, I would contact the police for the city where you stayed and do so.

Eau Claire...
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for Copper Harbor
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7. Re: Car broken into in manditory Valet lot - opinions please

I agree that you should definitely put in your review of the hotel. This is exactly what TA is for.

detroit
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for Niagara Falls
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8. Re: Car broken into in manditory Valet lot - opinions please

Yes, the theft goes in the hotel review but legally I'm not sure if the hotel is responsible for crime that might occur. If they took reasonable steps to insure the safety that might be enough.

Be thankful nobody was harmed-physically. Stuff happens.

BTW there are usually pubic parking garages near by if the hotel is valet only. I've park a block away in the past cause I'm not too trustful to leave my car keys with a stranger when I'm so far away from home--no thanks.

St. Clair Shores, MI
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9. Re: Car broken into in manditory Valet lot - opinions please

"The hotel did not offer us a late check out as we just sat in their lobby, no offer for free breakfast, bar credit, discount stay, credit towards a return visit, extra reward points, nothing. They gave my husband a cookie and apologized for the poor valet service and acted extremely inconvenienced when he asked them to call the valet owner again to get verification that he will reimburse us for our cab ride home. (66 miles)"

This observation alone would prompt me to push back hard at this hotel chain. To be universally uncaring toward the misfortune of a guest is unforgivable.

Michigan
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10. Re: Car broken into in manditory Valet lot - opinions please

It sounds like a Marriott, that's how they treat their customers. We have had a few bad experiences with them including my husband getting chemical burns from their hot tub. The night it happened they offered him a cookie too. Good luck if it was a Marriott, all we got from them was attitude.