I booked two rooms for two nights for a Florida Gators football weekend. Paid in advance through Orbitz, which I will never do again.
I did not expect the Ritz, but did expect a safe, clean property. I knew that we were in trouble when the desk clerk checked out the TV remotes to make sure she got them back when we checked out.
The property is very shabby on the outside with scary clientele walking the parking lot, and the rooms were worse. They both stunk of cigarettes and stale beer and god knows what other kinds of fluids. The sheets were threadbare and had hair on them. This is the first time I have ever been to a hotel where the soap and shampoo is in a dispenser bolted to the walls. There were dead insects on one of the windowsills. We turned back in the remotes and told the desk clerk to cancel our reservation.
Thank goodness we found another hotel that had a late cancellation. I called Orbitz the following Monday to request a refund for for the prepaid reservation at ABVI. Orbitz really could not care less and basically said it was up to the hotel to agree to a refund. They got someone on the phone from the hotel who said that I would need to speak with the manager and that he would be in the following morning.
I called back as requested the next morning and then the story changed. The manager was now "out of the country" and would not be available to discuss my issue for about two weeks. The clerk did promise to credit me for one-half of the total reservation, and said I could speak to the manager upon his return about a full refund. I sent a confirming letter to her to this effect and copied ABVI Customer Service in Coral Springs, FL.
Surprise, surprise, I did not receive even a partial refund. So, I disputed the Orbitz charge with American Express and after several weeks AmEx reversed the charge for the whole amount (Thank you, AmEx!!). According to AmEx, Orbitz did not submit any information in response to my dispute.
I would have forgotten about the whole sorry episode had that been the end of it. But today, I received a notice in the mail from a collection agency seeking to collect about half of the total reservation. I will never book anything again through Orbitz and would rather sleep in my car than stay at America's Best Value Inn the next time I am in Gainesville, FL.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our hotel is conveniently located within half mile of well known SHANDS AND VA HOSPITAL AND university of Florida. we have all groundfloor room with refrigerator and microwave, expanded cable with HBOmovie channel, courtyard pool and Good Fortune Buffett restaurant.we are within walking distance of Subway, 24 hr .Steak and Shake,24 hr.open CVS Pharmacy store and Dollar general store.we are only 2 mile toGainesville Downtown.The hotel take pride in providing clean, well maintained and affordably priced rooms. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Americas Best Value Inn Gainesville, Florida