We visited the Island Motor Inn this past weekend and were perfectly happy until we decided that we wanted to check out early as we had to rush back home to attend to some personal business that had arisen in our absence. Thinking that we were dealing with reasonable people we decided to approach the front desk and inform them of the change; requesting to pay so we could leave early the next day. Mark at the front desk informed us that he could not make any changes and there was a 3 day minimum stay requirement; a policy which we had not been informed about prior to booking the room and which is not present anywhere on the resort's website or online advertisements. He went on to state that the only person who could make the change was the manager Anna who would not be available until 11pm that night. We took this in stride and said we would try to call down to the front desk to speak with this Anna, or she could just give us a call once she arrived so we could discuss options. We did not hear anything back from anyone and packed up in the morning to leave. When we arrived at the front desk we met Nancy who had apparently been instructed to throw the book at us on sight because we had barely gotten the phrase check-out out of our mouths before she threw a receipt at us and stated that we had already been charged for all 3 nights and that was that. I was shocked. Now I am a regular traveler and have stayed in all kinds of hotels/inns/hostels all over the world from 5 star to no star, so I am by no means a diva when it comes to hotels, but one thing I have come to appreciate in all my years of hotel stays is customer service, and I am sure any regular traveler would agree with me when I say that courtesy and great service beats out the swankiest hotel with bad service ANY DAY. Our treatment by Anna at Island Motor inn was representative of exactly the sort of customer service that makes sure that guests do not return to the particular establshment ever again. I say this for the following reasons;
-I understand that hotels have polices, and all Anna had to do as a manager concerned about her relationship with her customers was to give us a call and maybe ask why we decided to check out early and if there was anything she could do to get us to stay one more night as there was a 3 night minimum policy which she was sorry we were not made aware of at the time of booking, but which she had to abide by. That is all it would have taken to get us to maybe stay one more night or agree to the extra charge without a fight. She did not care to do this.
-However, what Anna did was; having realized that we were considering leaving a day early was to charge my credit card (which I had entrusted to her as fiduciary and told her not to charge as we would be paying with cash upon our exit) in the middle of the night while we were still guests at her establishment, and left her employee to deal with what she knew would be our displeasure the next day.
-I am a lawyer and while I am itching to do so, I cannot sue because Anna did not do anything overtly illegal. However her actions in principle were underhanded and deplorable. We would have paid for all 3 nights no matter how things turned out if she had simply had a conversation with us and explained things in a civilized manner, rather than going behind our backs to charge us 2 days early as though we were planning to run away without paying for the rooms rather than just change our plans.
My advice to you Anna is this; if for some reason you do not know by now, then I will tell you that your business is built entirely on relationships, and people decide to patronize your establishment primarily as a function of your performance over time. I see from some other reviews that this is not the first time you have freaked out over cancellations and even refused to refund the cost of a room to a customer who fell ill and could not make the trip. I will for my part make it my business to give this same warning to anyone who happens to mention plans to visit your establishment and that would be to make sure that they have set themselves up in a way that ensures that nothing unexpected happens that will require a change in plans because if such a thing does happen Anna at the Island Motor Inn could care less about life's unexpected happenings and will charge you anyway, and not have the decency to make what for anyone would be a very annoying eventuality any less unpleasant.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- All rooms are waterfront with balcony. Free continental breakfast, hot tub, fitness center, in room coffee maker, free wi-fi, located within walking distance of restaurants and shopping, and minutes from Assateague National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, and NASA/Wallops Island. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Island Motor Hotel Chincoteague Island
- Island Hotel Chincoteague
- Island Resort Chincoteague
- Island Chincoteague