Left on the curb by DFW North Sleep Inn

Old Feb 18, 18, 9:52 pm
  #1  
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Angry Left on the curb by DFW North Sleep Inn

I found myself with an unexpected overnight at DFW last Friday. Rather than mess with a AA hotel voucher (there were no agents to be found anyway at 10:30PM) I made a reservation with the DFW North Sleep Inn using the app as I was walking to the curb. After getting the confirmation, I called the hotel and requested pickup by the shuttle. They gave me instructions on where to wait and said it would be there soon. 30 minutes later with no shuttle in sight, I called back, only to be told that my reservation was not valid and should not have been accepted (they were apparently full), and that they were not sending the shuttle. My protests had no effect, and to the question 'So you're leaving me here on the curb at 11:30PM', the answer was 'yes'.

I ended up booking a second reservation at a nearby Comfort Suites, which was perfectly fine, but ~$30 more expensive than the Sleep Inn. The Comfort Inn staff were great, although due to delays with the Sleep Inn fiasco I didn't end up at my room until well after midnight.

Apart from never staying in a Sleep Inn again, is there anything else I should expect as followup from this? I'm a pretty reasonably loyal Choice hotels member (~45 nights last year, 15 so far this year), and was surprisingly angry about being abandoned, without even a phone call to alert me of the screw up.

Choice aren't great, although generally adequate for my needs. I'm not looking for fancy - just reliable.
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Old Feb 19, 18, 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by cbender View Post
I found myself with an unexpected overnight at DFW last Friday. Rather than mess with a AA hotel voucher (there were no agents to be found anyway at 10:30PM) I made a reservation with the DFW North Sleep Inn using the app as I was walking to the curb. After getting the confirmation, I called the hotel and requested pickup by the shuttle. They gave me instructions on where to wait and said it would be there soon. 30 minutes later with no shuttle in sight, I called back, only to be told that my reservation was not valid and should not have been accepted (they were apparently full), and that they were not sending the shuttle. My protests had no effect, and to the question 'So you're leaving me here on the curb at 11:30PM', the answer was 'yes'.

I ended up booking a second reservation at a nearby Comfort Suites, which was perfectly fine, but ~$30 more expensive than the Sleep Inn. The Comfort Inn staff were great, although due to delays with the Sleep Inn fiasco I didn't end up at my room until well after midnight.

Apart from never staying in a Sleep Inn again, is there anything else I should expect as followup from this? I'm a pretty reasonably loyal Choice hotels member (~45 nights last year, 15 so far this year), and was surprisingly angry about being abandoned, without even a phone call to alert me of the screw up.

Choice aren't great, although generally adequate for my needs. I'm not looking for fancy - just reliable.
Did you get any confirmation of your first reservation? If so, I would claim they failed to walk you like they should have. Unfortunately, I find Choice does not provide good customer support and you may not get any help, but if their central system confirmed the rez I would try to get them involved. Good luck.
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Old Feb 19, 18, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by RogerD408 View Post
Did you get any confirmation of your first reservation? If so, I would claim they failed to walk you like they should have. Unfortunately, I find Choice does not provide good customer support and you may not get any help, but if their central system confirmed the rez I would try to get them involved. Good luck.
It showed up as confirmed in my app, but the hotel appears to have cancelled it. It shows as 'cancelled' in my 'Recent Activity' list, and I can't pull up any details on it. And I don't appear to have any email confirmation.
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Old Feb 19, 18, 9:29 am
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Choice is not known for customer service. So, just forget it for purposes of anything other than remembering not to use it.

Not that you should have to, but I would always call the property directly for an immediate arrival. Even if there was space, you do want to know what you are getting for a room and it may not be the Presidential Suite.
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Old Feb 19, 18, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Choice is not known for customer service. So, just forget it for purposes of anything other than remembering not to use it.

Not that you should have to, but I would always call the property directly for an immediate arrival. Even if there was space, you do want to know what you are getting for a room and it may not be the Presidential Suite.
Agreed. However, I called immediately after I made the reservation to book the shuttle. One would think that was their opportunity to tell me there was a problem.

I also take your point about Choice and CS, and actually don't expect anything will come of this.

I tried leaving a review on the website, but of course cannot since they filter based on actual stays. Posting a rant on FT was my next best hope for impacting the property.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by cbender View Post
It showed up as confirmed in my app, but the hotel appears to have cancelled it. It shows as 'cancelled' in my 'Recent Activity' list, and I can't pull up any details on it. And I don't appear to have any email confirmation.
Not surprised, especially from Choice. One thing I've learned is to NOT depend upon any property site for stay details. It seems they all have the ability (and use it) to change rate details after a rez is made and hope you don't notice. Keeping your confirmation email is your best defense when things go sideways. My dealings with Choice CS has been poor or below so they have become my NO CHOICE program, to be used only when there is no other choice.

You might try posting your experience with TA, and since you didn't have an actual stay, only comment about the reservation events.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 8:54 pm
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That is very poor CS. They should be embarrassed, especially with your diamond elite status.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 9:10 pm
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This is not a Sleep Inn vs Comfort Suites issue. I wouldn't really say "I'll never stay with Sleep Inn brand" because every franchised out hotel is a different operation.

This is a choice hotel group issue - mostly all hotel brands in this group overbook and will have no problems leaving you out cold once full. I've had this happen with Rodeway, with Quality Inn etc.

With Choice Hotels, I always have a backup idea of where I might stay, plus I also make sure to call the hotel by 4-5pm to re-confirm my reservation and tell them "hey I'll be arriving late don't give up my room" (this won't be relevant in OPs case).
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Old Feb 28, 18, 10:03 pm
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Yes, there are some locations that will start running credit cards at the moment check-in time begins, and if there's a problem getting authorization they will cancel your reservation without notice. Courtesy phone call? Not even. Then you show up late at night and find you have no room when a simple call to Card Services could have cleared up everything had you been alerted to the problem a few hours earlier.

You'd think hotel management would prefer a satisfied customer and assurance the room won't go empty but not necessarily. Caveat emptor.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by RogerD408 View Post
Did you get any confirmation of your first reservation? If so, I would claim they failed to walk you like they should have. Unfortunately, I find Choice does not provide good customer support and you may not get any help, but if their central system confirmed the rez I would try to get them involved. Good luck.
I have never been able to find a definitive walk policy for Choice.

The closest I've ever come is finding this:

https://www.choiceadvantage.com/webh...mation_SRD.htm

13. What if a reward night is walked?
Choice Privileges members (our best guests) should not be walked under any circumstances, especially a reward night! However, if walking a Choice Privileges member is absolutely necessary, the member will receive the walked night free (under the normal Choice Hotels International walk policy) and still is entitled to a free room night. Hotels must notify the Choice Service Center that a guest was walked. The points will then be added back to the member's account.
Unfortunately, that page refers to award stays, not revenue stays, and nowhere else have I ever been able to find "the normal Choice Hotels International walk policy."

Having been walked three times, I'm highly motivated to find that policy...

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Choice is not known for customer service. So, just forget it for purposes of anything other than remembering not to use it.

Not that you should have to, but I would always call the property directly for an immediate arrival. Even if there was space, you do want to know what you are getting for a room and it may not be the Presidential Suite.
I agree that Choice's normal CS is useless. However, in two of my incidents of being walked, I was able to get a successful resolution by contacting the Choice executive customer service email address (I think I found the address on Chris Elliott's site), though it still required some back-and-forth arguing.

I disagree that you need to call the hotel directly to make a reservation, since by doing that you lose access to the member discount or your corporate discount and the cashback you'd earn through a cashback portal, but calling after making the reservation to verify it with the property does make good sense.

Originally Posted by nomiiiii View Post
This is not a Sleep Inn vs Comfort Suites issue. I wouldn't really say "I'll never stay with Sleep Inn brand" because every franchised out hotel is a different operation.

This is a choice hotel group issue - mostly all hotel brands in this group overbook and will have no problems leaving you out cold once full. I've had this happen with Rodeway, with Quality Inn etc.

With Choice Hotels, I always have a backup idea of where I might stay, plus I also make sure to call the hotel by 4-5pm to re-confirm my reservation and tell them "hey I'll be arriving late don't give up my room" (this won't be relevant in OPs case).
This--totally this. I've been walked three times at three different brands, none of which were Sleep Inns (which is actually one of the nicer brands in the Choice portfolio). It's up to local hotel franchise management. Unfortunately, some are incompetent and some are downright evil, and in these cases, my Diamond status has meant nothing. Being walked is bad enough, but the fact that there's no escalation path to resolve the issue is what's ultimately the most frustrating to me.

Originally Posted by FreeHotBreakfast View Post
Yes, there are some locations that will start running credit cards at the moment check-in time begins, and if there's a problem getting authorization they will cancel your reservation without notice. Courtesy phone call? Not even. Then you show up late at night and find you have no room when a simple call to Card Services could have cleared up everything had you been alerted to the problem a few hours earlier.

You'd think hotel management would prefer a satisfied customer and assurance the room won't go empty but not necessarily. Caveat emptor.
That's what happened in one of my instances, though not right at the check-in window. I was arriving after midnight, and apparently the hotel tried to run my card at midnight, which failed because I had gotten a replacement card with a different number. They never bothered to notify me but simply refused to help me when I showed up. Since then, I've always made sure my card on file is up to date and will call the day of the stay if I plan on arriving after midnight to reconfirm.

Of course, nothing fixes stupid...I made a booking outside of STL in the early afternoon for an arrival that evening (around 8pm or so). When I showed up, the clerk--who was obviously new and wet behind the ears--said he canceled my reservation when I didn't show up by the 3pm check-in time, because that's how check-in times worked...
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