During a long trip to Florida, we arrived in the Savannah, Georgia area, only to find no hotel rooms available for the night. We contacted Hotelsrate.com requesting a hotel within a short distance from Savannah. The agency found a hotel close, and booked it for us. Within 5 minutes of the booking, we realized that there was a mistake-the hotel was on the other side of the state. The agency called the hotel within 10 minutes and cancelled the reservation. They said that they would need to talk to the hotel manager the next day to ensure there would be no charges from the hotel’s end, but they would not be charging us because it was immediately cancelled.
The next day, the agency called back and told me that “Shannon, the office manager” at Howard Johnson’s Midway/Tallahassee was not going to waive the charges. They told me I would need to contact her.
I immediately contacted her and she told me that the charges would stand because they held the room for me all night and that nobody had cancelled the reservation. I told her that “Joanna”, a hotel employee, had been contacted the evening before to cancel. She said that Joanna never told her anything about it. I challenged her on that point because Joanna is a hotel representative, and that Hotelsrate records all conversations and recorded the fact the room had been cancelled. She then told me that it didn’t matter because when she talked to Joanna, they had decided just to charge us because it was after 4:00-Shannon clearly lied to me about Joanna not talking to her. Then she told me there was nothing she could do because the charges had already gone through! Lie #2. (Huh?! Credit card charges can’t be reversed?!)
At this point, it was clear to me that she was an unprofessional, unethical management rep and asked for the hotel manager. In a snippy tone, she told me he was not in but forwarded me to his extension. I left a message for “Gary Patel” to return my call. After not hearing from him, I continued to call back and after 6 times over the past 4 weeks I have given up. He is never there and never returns calls. I now fully understand how Shannon’s unprofessional, dishonest behavior is tolerated-her boss obviously does not have a customer service focus either.
Especially disturbing is the fact that I just want to discuss this with someone who cares about the customer. I clearly recognize that there was a mistake making the reservation, but expect to at least have a rational discussion with someone who cares instead of an office manager with a harried, out-of-control tone in her voice. So, I called Howard Johnson Corporate. They filed a complaint and told me that “Gary” had 4 days to respond to the complaint. A week later, I had not heard anything back, so I called Corporate again. They then told me that since this is a franchise, there is nothing they could do. (Really? Why even have a corporate customer service department if there is nothing they can do?)
Stay away! This Howard Johnson’s is a disgrace to the hotel industry. The people who run this hotel are unprofessional and cannot be trusted. Shannon lied to me 3 times during the discussion and is clearly unfit to handle the position she is in. The franchise owner, Gary Patel, must be a serious liability to the Howard Johnson’s brand image. Failing to return calls to a customer shows a poor management habit, no customer service perspective, and a weak, introverted owner.
Read the other blogs and you will see a pattern of deceit and a poorly run operation. I especially noted the on-going customer service problems that have been acknowledged by the manager-it goes back years! Another example of a major customer service issue at this location. I am just thankful I never made it to the hotel!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Howard Johnson of Tallahassee/Midway is located right off of I-10 & Hwy 90 W at exit 192. The Howard Johnson Tallahassee/Midway is located less than 10 miles (on Hwy 90W) from FSU, FAMU, T.C.C., Tallahassee Regional Airport and Downtown (Capital Building). Close to Florida Public Safety Institute / Joe Byrd Hunting Club Lake Talquin .. ... more less
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