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Best Western Inn at the Meadows - Scammed me out of $500 for a bogus smoking fee
Posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 at 11:30pm CDT by Brandi M.
Company: Best Western Inn at the Meadows
My recent stay at Best Western Inn at the Meadows has been one of the worst travel experiences of my life. I was falsely, and unlawfully charged a $500 a smoking fee despite the fact that smoking did not occur in the room. The manager is basing this solely on his discriminatory opinion and bias.
-My credit card was initially charged $500 on 3/23/13 for a smoking fee
-That charged was then reversed the same day
-A subsequent charge of $352.68 was made on 3/23/13
the charge for $352.68 was then voided and my card was again unlawfully charged $500 after checkout as a result of my interaction with the manager.
This is a blatant attempt to steal my money having nothing to do with a smoking fee.
I fully comprehended the non-smoking policy at this hotel, and I was well aware of the fees associated with violation of this policy. Also, having worked in Property Management for several years, and being a non-smoker myself, I completely understand and agree with this policy.
I checked in on 3/22/13 directly off of a flight from Hawaii. I was only physically in the room for approximately eleven hours total before exiting the property for over 24 hours at around 11:00am on the 3/23/13. I left Portland for the night to continue my vacation and upon return around 10:30pm the following night I noticed neither of my door keys worked. I proceeded to the front desk, showed my identification and returned to my room to rest after a very long day. The front desk then proceeded to call my room near midnight, demanding I come down to discuss something. In all of my years of staying at hotels, be it dispute, issue, or whatever the situation I have never been instructed to get out of bed at midnight, put on my clothing, and engage in dialogue with the front desk clerks, not even management, to settle a matter. This was most appalling to me, the rude and inconsiderate treatment by the staff at this location.
When I arrived at the front desk I was greeted by a very rude and unprofessional employee that was not previously at the desk when I was there earlier, (fixing my keys that coincidentally had been deactivated). This employee proceeded to shove a paper across the desk at me instructing me to sign a ?smoking fee.? I immediately disputed this! It was past midnight, I had no idea what was going on, this is the first I've ever heard of such a thing, I had not smoked in the room or even been there for 24 hours for that matter.
There is no basis for this charge other than assumption and no evidence irrefutable, conclusive, or otherwise that smoking occurred in the room. Furthermore, I was not provided with proof that services for a room recovery were actually completed by your hotel. It is my understanding that a merchant needs my signature to validate a charge and I need proof that a violation has or had occurred and proof that services were rendered (which was not provided.)
This is all information I obtained after the fact, having to research this matter ad nauseum. I have traveled frequently and stayed at hotels even more frequently. I have never been treated like this in all my years of traveling or interaction with service providers.
On check out I spoke with a man who only identified himself as Albert at the time, he stated he was the manager and owner. I told him I had no idea why a smoking fee was being charged as I am a non-smoker and had not smoked in the room. He stated that himself and two other staff members verified the odor. I then asked him if this was solely based on opinion and assumption and he replied, ?yes.?
When I got upset and disputed the charge Albert Lee, increased the fee from $362.68 to $500 which posted to my account on 3/25/13 subsequent to check out and following our unpleasant discussion. I did lose my temper in my initial interaction with Mr. Lee, I do apologize for that as that is out of character for me and unprofessional on my behalf; this is a situation I have honestly never been in before. I did not smoke in the room and it is beyond me that such charge was applied to account. I work hard for my money and this amount of money is substantial to me. I find it further more reprehensible that this charge was increased merely out of spite after my discussion with management.This was was unauthorized and charged solely because he didn?t like what I had to say to him. Mr. Lee has been completely uncooperative, unfair, unkind, and unprofessional. He has failed to provide any?contact information for anyone besides himself, he stated he was owner and manager and I had to go through him and no one else He gave me nothing written, provided no dispute policy, and said I had no recourse, it was his opinion I had smoked therefore I was paying the fee.
I am currently working with my financial institution to fight these unauthorized charges and recoup my losses. I should not have to pay any $500 smoking fee charged to my account by the Best Western Inn at the Meadows, for the simple fact that no one smoked in the room and the fee was an unauthorized attempt to collect money based on discriminatory and arbitrary reasons.