Posted on Saturday, March 22nd, 2008 at 12:22pm CDT by b78bcd72


Location: westere pkwy
Richmond, VA, US

Category: Other

We were in Richmond, VA for a youth soccer tournament the weekend of March 15/16. The tournament used a housing service that contracted with area hotels for the tournament weekend. On the housing service website the Marriott Residence Inn Northwest have a listing for Studios (1brm) for $159.00 with a 2 night minimum stay, (no other options for this hotel were available). When I checked in on Friday I was presented with a rate card that showed $279.00 which I assumed was for both nights and when other disclosures(surcharges, taxes etc.) were added to the bill the total would be around $340.00. When I found the bill in my door on Sunday morning the total was $630.00. $279.00 per night!. I went to the front desk - confimation for the $159.00 per night in hand - and ask to have it fixed. The clerk told me I would have to wait for a manager. When the general manager arrived, she refused to adjust the charges. She said I stayed in a 2 bedroom room and that was the charge. When I ask where my notification of that was she stated I signed a rate card. When I ask her to show me were I was notified of the room switch from something different than what I had on the confirmation she said my complaint was with the housing service. I then find out that 4 other of our team families out of the 11 that stayed at the hotel had the same problem. In fact 2 of the families were split into 2 different rooms and told they would only be charged for 1 room. The problem was they were charged $139.00 per night for each room totalling $630.00 for the 2 nights. I even had to bring to the general manager's attention that she was charging me $29.00 per night over the maximum room rate posted in the room. She did lower my bill to $250.00 per night. I did contact the housing service and was shown a copy of an email where the Residence Inn said they were charging us and other teams booked in the hotel $279.00 for some of the rooms, the housing service tells me they ask to be told what people were effected and never received a reply. The housing service also told me they send over the request list and the hotel itself does the room assignments. In my opinion this is a case of the Residence Inn either overbooking or not being able to accommodate the housing list, then trying to push through the charges and blame it on the individuals that were involved and the booking agency. Since all 5 of us checked in at different times, I guess we all made the same mistake. The confirmation we had in our hands meant nothing to the hotel. I would never have accepted a rate like that!! I have contacted consumer services at Marriott and they promised an answer in 5 days, but I have yet to received one.


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fcc85fd0, 2008-03-23, 05:33AM CDT

I am glad that you posted this comment. I work at the front desk of a Marriott Residence Inn and experience problems whenever reservations are booked through a third party, like yours were. The third party, in this case, was the housing service used by the team to coordinate rooms. They don't do that for free. Often you are paying commission through the hotel rate. What most likely happenned with your room rate was that the housing service did not make your fee inclusive, they just gave you what the hotel website said. Then they added their fees onto the base rate (pre-tax) and turned your names over to the hotel. Priceline, Travelociy, and Travelweb do the same thing. For example you may pay $70.00 a night, but a percentage of that goes to the third party. That's why when using these services you do not receive a receipt from the hotel. For example with Priceline, at our hotel only about $45.00 of the $70.00 would go to us, the rest of what you paid would go to Priceline and is their profit. Here's how you fix it and find out who is at fault...

The key is having an 8-digit confirmation number that begins with an 8. If your housing service did have a true contract with the hotel, they should be able to provide you with that confirmation number. Because in the end they are just getting a discount for booking so many rooms and then passing only some of that discount onto you the customer. That confirmation number can be traced from initial reservation to check-out. In other words, Marriott can tell you everything about that reservation, and they can tell you if your reservation was manipulated by the hotel at any point. If the reservation was originally made as you had believed ($159) then the hotel is at fault. They did something to your reservation to change what you had reserved. In that situation you should expect to be refunded the difference between your original reservation and the bill at check-out because it was not by your choice that the reservation was changed. That is at the very least. In addition, I would ask of Marriott to consider your troubles and the troubles of the other families. If the reservation was originally made for what you signed for on the registration card then you need to talk to your housing service. They booked you incorrectly and that should be rectified by them.

I would not worry about the signed registration card. You have every right to ask why your reservation was changed without your permission if you have that confirmation number to prove it. Finally, as a side note, a trend that I've noticed lately is this idea of paying for the room at check-in. I have a lot of guests ask me now to charge them for the room and tax up front for their stay and then provide them with a receipt. The receipt does not have room nights posted, so it shows a credit for the amount you have paid. In your situation it might have been helpful because it would have set off alarms in your head right then, and it is much easier to get a resolution or at least started on a resolution at check-in rather than check-out.

I hope this experience doesn't completely jade you on Residence Inns or Marriotts. I wish you the best of luck!

5981b414, 2008-03-31, 10:33AM CDT

I am so glad you posted. I am going to be in Richmond for 10 days. I was going to book at this hotel! :) I am so glad I looked into the hotel. I wasnt looking for complaints. I was looking for things to do in and around Richmond. I was a little worried about the crime in the area, IT seems it starts at the front desk!


K, Naples Fl

b78bcd72, 2008-04-01, 04:28PM CDT

After many phone calls and emails to the Marriott customer service department with no repsonse what so ever, I finally find the owner's of the franchise and contacted them. They were courteous and responded in a timely mannor. The corporation that owns the hotel has resolved this problem in the name of customer goodwill.

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