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I recently returned from visiting 5 random hotels across Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana on a county trip. I used a variety of methods of booking the hotels, including paying for a few stays (one to take advantage of a Wyndham promotion and the other because I’m being reimbursed by my company), using points and even using one free night certificate. I had a good trip, including getting the best hotel upgrade I’ve ever seen (or at least the most unexpected)
Checking My Hotel Bills
I don’t always check my hotel bills right away – I tend to just assume that they are right unless I have a reason to. But I do generally and regularly check all of my bank and credit card transactions just as part of general finance. I was gone for about a week, so hadn’t gone through my transactions yet, but I did when I got back. This was also partially due to the fact that part of this trip was a work trip so I had to (joyfully…) fill out an expense report 🙂
It was then I noticed a charge for a hotel of $204.99 on one of my credit cards.
This was surprising to me, because on the hotels where I paid cash, I prepaid (for lower rates), so those charges had all cleared several weeks or months ago. I am not naming the exact hotel here directly because I think it was probably an honest mistake and (as you’ll see) they fixed it easily so I don’t want to give them tons of bad Internet publicity.
Once I saw which hotel it was for, I knew that it was one where I had booked using points. My first thought was that somehow I had screwed up my reservation, but I double checked and it was showing as a points reservation
Calling the hotel
With that information in hand, it was time to call the hotel. The first person I spoke to could not find my reservation at all, even when I gave him my name and the date I stayed there. This made me wonder if this was perhaps a no-show fee? He ended up passing me off to his manager, who was able to find my reservation quite easily. Not sure what was going on with the first person. In any case, she was able to find my reservation and figure out what the problem was. I’m not sure what happened, but in any case, she said that she would refund my card.
The Bottom Line
Just like you should regularly review your hotel reservations, you should always double check your hotel bill. You might not always regularly review your bank and credit card statements, but it’s a good habit to get into. While in most cases it might be a smaller discrepancy, in this case if I had not been reviewing my credit card statements, that would easily have been over $200 that I lost.
Have you ever had an instance where a hotel messed up your bill? Leave your experience in the comments.
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