I am boycotting Super 8
This piece originally ran at the Dire Cafe, Jan 15. I’m updating it here.
I am officially boycotting the Super 8 Motels chain in Sheldon, Iowa.
Some background, earlier this month the PITs, Mrs. VS and I were going to a Tae Kwon Do tournament in Sheldon IA (4 hours away). The original plan was to leave at 4:00am on Sat 10th. By Thursday (8th) evening we were debating about the feasability of getting a hotel room and began calling area hotels.
The Super 8 in Sheldon had a cancelation. Knowing that the possibility of bad weather was in the forecast I asked up front if there would be any problem with canceling due to weather. I was told that as long as I called and cancelled before 5:00, I would be fine. Great, I gave them my credit card number and reserved the room.
Friday (9th) at 3:30 pm freezing rain begins to fall. It is so bad that it is freezing to my windshield and I had to stop three times in two miles to scrape the windshield. I got home and called the hotel at 4:20 and cancelled the room.
This morning I was balancing my credit card account, lo and behold there was a charge from the Super 8 for the hotel room. I called the hotel to find out what was going on.
“Sir there is a 48 hour in advance or you pay cancellation policy”
I was never told that there was 48 hours. If I had been told that I wouldn’t have reserved the room. The nice lady on the phone told me the manager would call me back when he got in.
Heard from the manager at 11:15. After listening to my question and explanation, he sounded like a broken record. “The charge will stand” “The charge will stand.”
He gave me an 800 number to call to resolve the problem. It’s the reservation line for Super 8 Motels. They wanted to give me a free three night vacation to take care of it.
Hello? you want to give me three free nights because I’m refusing to pay for a night that I didn’t stay at your motel. I finally got ahold of customer service. I was informed that I had to call by 4:00 pm to cancel not 5:00 (so sorry that I was 20 mins late because it took me 30 mins to drive home). They are faxing the dispute back to the hotel in question. They now have until Jan 27th to answer the dispute.
Basically I’m calling on everyone to force Super 8 to acknowledge they are at best not giving customers proper information and at worst are willing to charge you for services they didn’t provide.
Addendum to the original post:
As of today, 1-28-2009 Super 8 has rescinded the charge. I checked with my credit card company and they informed me that Super 8 had refunded the money. My faith in the chain has been restored. However my displeasure with the Sheldon affiliate still stands.