Overcharged by 420

Old Oct 2, 14, 4:48 pm
  #1  
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Overcharged by 420

Hi,
Few weeks ago I stayed for 4 nights at a Holiday Inn Vienna City. I had a hard copy of my reservation made on the ihg website for the total of 581.
When it came to check out I received a bill for 1001.
I presented my reservation to no avail. I had to pay their amount. Interestingly enough they had a different confirmation number than was on my reservation, and no one was able to and cared to explain how that happened.
I already wrote to ihg and they say that billing issues are handled by individual hotels.
I'm a platinum member so I also wrote to the member services.
Does anyone have advice how to proceed with this issue?
Thanks
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Old Oct 2, 14, 7:05 pm
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Overcharged by 420€

did you pay? what was the rate mentioned on the check-in form you signed?
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Old Oct 2, 14, 7:52 pm
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Yes, I had to pay.
I didn't have to sign anything.
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Old Oct 2, 14, 9:49 pm
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did you check the nightly rate that was in their system when you checked in to make sure it matched what you were expecting ?
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Old Oct 2, 14, 11:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
did you check the nightly rate that was in their system when you checked in to make sure it matched what you were expecting ?
Why would you do that? He has a reservation confirmation and the hotel had his reservation.

I would set the hotel a time limit of 3 days to reply and correct the problem and then let my credit card company sort it out.

HTB.
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Old Oct 3, 14, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by baska View Post
Yes, I had to pay.
I didn't have to sign anything.
You didn't sign a check-in form?
If it is really the case, which does seem weird in a European hotel, then I have problems understanding why you did pay the requested amount.

Originally Posted by htb View Post
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
did you check the nightly rate that was in their system when you checked in to make sure it matched what you were expecting ?
Why would you do that? He has a reservation confirmation and the hotel had his reservation.

I would set the hotel a time limit of 3 days to reply and correct the problem and then let my credit card company sort it out.

HTB.
Regarding starting a dispute with a CC company on a transaction you physically authorised, I am not very optimistic about the outcome.

In this very strange context (recanting on a payment you willingly performed), what I would do is send a documented e-mail (conformation + itemised bill copy) to the GM asking for a refund.

By the way, the "a few weeks ago" part of your story isn't likely to bring you additional leverage. Quite the opposite, I'm afraid.

Last edited by SteamyUncle; Oct 3, 14 at 12:52 am
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Old Oct 3, 14, 1:03 am
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Originally Posted by baska View Post
Hi,
I had a hard copy of my reservation made on the ihg website for the total of 581.
I cannot understand why you accepted to pay.
I would have asked the member of staff at reception to call the IHG line and ask for explanation.
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Old Oct 3, 14, 2:52 am
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Originally Posted by nicolas75 View Post
I cannot understand why you accepted to pay.
I fully agree. I think it would take a police visit to the reception, at minimum, to get me to pay an extra 420 Euros that I hadn't agreed to on a reservation, especially if I had the printed confirmation in my hands too! I just wouldn't have paid it.

In my experience battling these things out afterwards is always more difficult than dealing with it at the time.
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Old Oct 3, 14, 3:13 am
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Assuming this was a non-prepaid rate, and you didn't signed the higher bill at checkin (they might have offered you an upgrade, which you "took"), and they insisting on paying the 1000+, I would simply have walked away after taking some evidence (photo of the higher bill, recording of them demanding you to pay it, refusal to honour your original booking) - yes, they had probably a hold on your credit card, but good luck to them explaining they want to charge something you never agreed upon, with you holding proof it was a lower amount due etc. - I might even have asked them to call the police. Fraud is a crime in most ( ) European countries, and I doubt they would have tried this.

A bit more information on what happened would be good to understand what exactly the issue was.
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Old Oct 3, 14, 3:50 am
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Originally Posted by htb View Post
Why would you do that? He has a reservation confirmation and the hotel had his reservation.

I would set the hotel a time limit of 3 days to reply and correct the problem and then let my credit card company sort it out.

HTB.
Whenever I check into a hotel I verify that the rate is what I expect it to be ( and similarly when hiring cars, I check the rental agreement before driving off to ensure that the rate is what I expected )
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Old Oct 3, 14, 4:49 am
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The different reservation number may well have been a sign that you had been misidentified at check-in....
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Old Oct 3, 14, 5:06 am
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Originally Posted by perthite View Post
The different reservation number may well have been a sign that you had been misidentified at check-in....
Could the OP have a common last name?

It's fine here for folks to say that OP should refuse to pay and get the local police involved, but this is scary in a foreign country where the opposite side might have ties to the police or at least are from the same culture and speak the same language. Plus, we should assume that OP had a plane or train to catch; missing a flight while one wastes an hour arguing with the police could cost far more than 420 Euros with no hope of getting it back.

Situations like this are reasons why I think hotels should be required to put a hard copy of the bill under the door during the night before checkout.
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Old Oct 3, 14, 5:20 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Could the OP have a common last name?

It's fine here for folks to say that OP should refuse to pay and get the local police involved, but this is scary in a foreign country where the opposite side might have ties to the police or at least are from the same culture and speak the same language. Plus, we should assume that OP had a plane or train to catch; missing a flight while one wastes an hour arguing with the police could cost far more than 420 Euros with no hope of getting it back.

Situations like this are reasons why I think hotels should be required to put a hard copy of the bill under the door during the night before checkout.
Huh? OP was in Vienna - that's Austria, as in Europe. It wasn't somewhere in Lagos or Saudi Arabia, but in one of the most civilized spots on earth.

Definitely no "scary" things about calling police, and pretty much everyone does speak English (If OP doesn't speak German) at least to some degree there (at least Police and the hotel employees for sure - we aren't talking about a farmer in Tyrol here..) - yes, missing a flight/train might be an issue, in that case I understand if OP just wanted to settle it later..

But yes, different reservation # indeed sounds like it might have been a mistake by the hotel and putting him with another guest's reservation. Certainly NOT what should happen. I'm really interested to see how the story turns out (if we hear back from OP) but my personal guess is:

OPs reservation indeed got mixxed up with another one, upon checking neither the hotel nor him noticed, probably he even signed the wrong reservation (still imho this doesn't give the hotel the right to eventually overcharge him on checkout) by not checking it careful enough, and upon checkout the hotel insisted on the higher bill, with the original reservation now been "gone" from their system.
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Old Oct 3, 14, 5:26 am
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Of course Austria is civilized; I was there a few months ago myself.

That still doesn't mean that I would want to deal with foreign cops who could speak to hotel staff in German with me not understanding every word that they're saying about me.

We don't know the OP's nationality but OP might be from a group that traditionally hasn't been treated well by Austria or its police, such as nationalities that are the largest sources of foreign workers and immigrants.

Regardless, OP probably didn't have time to try to call the police and wait for them to try to settle this.
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Old Oct 3, 14, 6:13 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Of course Austria is civilized; I was there a few months ago myself.

That still doesn't mean that I would want to deal with foreign cops who could speak to hotel staff in German with me not understanding every word that they're saying about me.

We don't know the OP's nationality but OP might be from a group that traditionally hasn't been treated well by Austria or its police, such as nationalities that are the largest sources of foreign workers and immigrants.

Regardless, OP probably didn't have time to try to call the police and wait for them to try to settle this.
That's quite a slur on the Austrian police and total bull****. It's Vienna we're discussing - not Ferguson, Missouri.
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