Valet gave car to another guest

 
Old Feb 27, 08, 9:57 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: UA 1K, VX Founding Member; HH/Hyatt Diamond, SPG Platinum; National Exec Elite, Hertz 5* Gold
Posts: 205
Angry Valet gave car to another guest

Stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Sherman Oaks last night and this morning discovered they had given my rental car (a silver PT cruiser) to another guest. The car had my CDs, a book, a GPS charger, and some garbage in the front seat - how could the other guest not notice?!!?! The hotel knew the other guest well and reassured me that everything would be all right but he was 73 years old and batty. They drove me to work and offered to take me to the airport this afternoon. They also offered to return the rental car to National once it was found and handle any extra charges that were applied.

I reported it stolen to National roadside assistance and was advised to call the police. I called the Van Nuys police and they would not take a report as I was not the registered owner. I called National LAX to make the report but they wouldn't answer. I tried for several hours but could not get through so finally just had the hotel towncar take me to the National rental car return at LAX. The manager called the hotel and refused to file a police report or to close my contract until the car was returned. The hotel faxed over a statement to National accepting all liability but still they would not close my contract.

All day the hotel tried to reach the other guest but had no success and he finally returned to the hotel at 4:45p. When the situation was explained to him he insisted it was his car and lots of confusion ensued. The valet manager drove the car back to National and it was returned at 6p. I sat at National car rental from 2p-6p.

I missed my flight at 4 and I am still at LAX now at nearly 8p. The hotel has credited me 20,000 Marriott bonus points. I haven't checked my folio yet to see if the valet charge has been reversed...

Anyone have any comments on this situation?
joybuggy is offline  
Old Feb 27, 08, 11:16 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Platinum (former PP), Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Gold, UA Silver, AS Member, Hertz 5*
Posts: 3,876
Your experience sounds awful, and I am sorry to hear that you had to go through it. Unfortunately, it is not the first time this has been reported on FT's Marriott thread. I would not be surprised if it has happened at other hotel chains as well.

One question I have is did you get your stuff back from your rental car? You basically lost a good part of a day due to this experience and missed your original flight. Were you suppose to fly back to SFO? If that was the case, your missed flight is bad but not as bad as someone who had a transcontinental or international flight to take.

In terms of compensation, I would ask for more points if I were in your situation. If you got back your property and missed an LAX-SFO flight, I would ask for 50,000 points and the waiving of your valet fees. If you did not get your property back, I would ask for another 25,000 points to compensate for that. If you missed a longer flight than LAX-SFO, you could ask for more points or for the room certificates they give when they bump elite members. These room certificates can be used at any Marriott worldwide as long as a room is for sale. They will be reluctant to give them to you, but your situation is bad enough that you could argue for at least one if you did not get your property back and missed a longer flight.

Basically my view on compensation for you situation:

You don't pay valet for your entire stay.

A total of 50K points for missed LAX-SFO flight and rental car mixup.
A total of 75K points if you also did not get your stuff back.
75K+ points if you missed a longer flight (at least 2 time zones) or the 20K points received and additional worldwide night certificates (1 or 2 depending on circumstances).

You should keep in touch with the GM of the hotel, and let us know how it turns out.
VA1379 is offline  
Old Feb 27, 08, 11:51 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Sacramento, Ca USA
Programs: United 1K MM - 1.7M actually, Marriott Platinum Premier, Hertz Gold
Posts: 1,231
wow - that is quite the story.

I stayed a few years ago at the Indy Marriott and the valet that parked my car was headed home after he parked my car and he forgot to turn in the keys...so the Marriott provided one of their valets to act as my private chaffeur the next day...drove me 60 miles to a meeting, hung out, then took me to the airport.

The hotel did return my car to Hertz.

But my story is NOTHING compared to yours!!!!
DADISGARYK is offline  
Old Feb 28, 08, 5:44 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: SDQ/MIA
Programs: AA PLT, B6 Mosaic, Marriott Platinum, FPC/Accor Platinum, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 1,062
When you figure on compensation take this experience of mine and use it to your advantage if you can. On a stay at the JW in DC in the morning they had my car stuck in their shared parking and it would be 2 hours or more before they could get to it. Quite a few people were stuck in this manner including a number of people needing to go to the airport.]

So to give you a guideline, for my inconvenience (and I was not missing a flight or anything) I was given 30,000 points, the room charge reversed, and much embarrassment on their part. I would ask for the Moon if I were you. And if you additionally lost your property, then the Moon and the Sun.
pjoalfa is offline  
Old Feb 28, 08, 5:55 am
  #5  
Moderator, Marriott Bonvoy & FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: McKinney, TX, USA
Programs: SouthWest A-List; AA Plat/2MM; Marriott LT Titanium; IHG Plat; Hilton Diamond; Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 11,451
At least it sounds like the hotel did try to help you out as much as they could during the incident (i.e. driving work, the airport, offer to return the car, taking liability for it, etc.) So it doesn't sound like they were trying to get out of the whole issue.

Hope it all works out well for you.
hhoope01 is offline  
Old Feb 28, 08, 9:20 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: ATL
Programs: DL SkyMiles, MR, HH, ICH/PC, Avis Pref., Hertz Gold
Posts: 2,897
You can get a lot more compensation, but it will require a lawyer to do it. The hotel knows this and doesn't want this to happen.
keeton is offline  
Old Feb 28, 08, 9:55 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SNA
Programs: UA 1K, HH DIA
Posts: 1,780
Did you get your stuff back?
mapu is offline  
Old Feb 28, 08, 12:08 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: UA 1K, VX Founding Member; HH/Hyatt Diamond, SPG Platinum; National Exec Elite, Hertz 5* Gold
Posts: 205
Got most of my stuff back...

Originally Posted by mapu View Post
Did you get your stuff back?
Hi everyone, thanks for all the replies so far! When the valet manager pulled up to National rental car it was 30 minutes before my re-booked flight that was due to leave at 6:25p. I was sitting on the sidewalk shivering, starving, and waiting and had been for the last 45 minutes. I ran over to the car as fast as I could, grabbed my items (but forgot to grab my GPS case, value ~$20, didn't realize this until this morning...) and darted for the bus to the terminal. The bill could not be settled as the car had been reported stolen so the Marriott valet manager went inside National to sort it out and pay for the gas. No extra fees were levied by National. Despite heroic efforts, I was not in time to board that flight and was bumped to 8:30 to SFO. Thank goodness American Airlines helped me get home and was on time for once!

The hotel hasn't been aloof or anything and has been exceptionally cooperative and up front about accepting the blame -- but this was true incompetence and did result in a lot of unnecessary delay and strife for me. Looking forward to more advice re compensation. I have never talked to the GM, just the valet manager at this point. Maybe someone will call me today and apologize or write a letter. That is probably too much to hope for, I have been burned by Marriott before (Fairfield Inn Phoenix; toiletries stolen one day and locked out of room for 2 hours same night due to maids with sticky fingers and incompetence of maintenance man; see Better Business Bureau for full details) so no high hopes for satisfactory resolution in this situation.

I was traveling since Sunday and the whole situation was especially biting because I have been on the road for the past few months and really was looking forward to the downtime of finishing my job early and getting home to be with my family while it was still light out. In fact, when I woke up yesterday I was planning to stand by for a 1p flight and get home to SF as early as possible. Needless to say, I am exhausted and sore today...

BTW, I looked for similar threads last night prior to posting (for fear of being moved to another thread by the moderators!) but didn't come across any. I would be interested in reading them if anyone can post a link. Thanks all!
joybuggy is offline  
Old Feb 28, 08, 12:13 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: IAH
Programs: CO-Silver, Hertz, Marriott Silver, Hilton
Posts: 136
I'm sorry to had to go through all of that. You should talk to the GM about your situation so the hotel can make sure that nothing like this happens again.
groovygrendel is offline  
Old Feb 28, 08, 12:14 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Smellington, NZ
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, UA 2P, Marriott LTPP
Posts: 1,453
I couldn't help but notice that the OP is MR silver (assuming the OP's profile is current). While I think in the circumstances described that Marriott should bend over backwards for any customer to make it right, it's nice to see that they are actually doing so and trying to make things right... even for someone who is NOT s lofty Platinum Premier. ^ to Marriott for a great effort.
bpauker is offline  
Old Feb 28, 08, 12:52 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Newport Beach, California, USA
Posts: 36,062
This is outside my area of competence, so take it for what it's worth:

1. When a hotel valet takes a car from a guest, a bailment is created. The duties of a bailee are rather rigid -- among other things, a bailee is liable for all consequential damages, which is to say any reasonably foreseeable damages resulting from failure to safeguard the property of the bailor.

2. The valet is the ostensible agent of the hotel. It doesn't matter whether the hotel employed an independent parking contractor -- the hotel is on the hook for all consequential damages.

In my opinion, a letter from your "friend who happens to be a lawyer" is in order. This is pretty outrageous and you may find yourself rewarded with more than just a few thousand points.
PTravel is offline  
Old Feb 28, 08, 11:11 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Programs: HH Silver, MR Plat Prem & LT Plat, Hyatt Plat,SPG Plat, Hertz PC, National EE, UA 1K
Posts: 3,318
I had this happen at a Hilton (myrtle beach) and ended up with a free nights valet! Damn..shouldve gone for more!

I remember in 1999 or so...i was late for a flight and gave the keys to a skycap...to return the rental..oh how times have changed!
PhillyPhlyer40 is offline  
Old Feb 28, 08, 11:23 pm
  #13  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA
Programs: UA/CO(1K-PLT), AA(PLT), QR, EK, Marriott(PLT), Hilton(DMND)
Posts: 9,539
Originally Posted by PTravel View Post
This is outside my area of competence, so take it for what it's worth:

1. When a hotel valet takes a car from a guest, a bailment is created. The duties of a bailee are rather rigid -- among other things, a bailee is liable for all consequential damages, which is to say any reasonably foreseeable damages resulting from failure to safeguard the property of the bailor.

2. The valet is the ostensible agent of the hotel. It doesn't matter whether the hotel employed an independent parking contractor -- the hotel is on the hook for all consequential damages.

In my opinion, a letter from your "friend who happens to be a lawyer" is in order. This is pretty outrageous and you may find yourself rewarded with more than just a few thousand points.
Valet co's (esp. milehi) go to great lengths to convince customers that they have no liability whatsoever for anything that might happen to a car. Are you saying that they are liable if something were to happen to a car while they were holding the keys?
PhlyingRPh is offline  
Old Feb 29, 08, 1:00 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: Marriott Rewards Silver, CP Diamond, Mabuhay Miles Premier Elite, etc.
Posts: 4
For someone who's in hotels alot, i would hate to be in a similar situation as you had. I used to go to a different brand (non Marriott) and I know they would've dealt with the situation differently. (They might get me a cab or something and tell me to file a police report, trust me, i've seen it happen) and since i switched to Marriotts i've been loving it so far.(knock on wood) Anyways it seems to me like the hotel had done as much as they could to fix the situation. Kudos to Marriott for going into great lengths and providing this type of service under this circumstance. I'd be happy with the extra 20000 points, but thats just me.
hotkamote is offline  
Old Feb 29, 08, 12:01 pm
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: UA 1K, VX Founding Member; HH/Hyatt Diamond, SPG Platinum; National Exec Elite, Hertz 5* Gold
Posts: 205
compensation

Originally Posted by hotkamote View Post
For someone who's in hotels alot, i would hate to be in a similar situation as you had. I used to go to a different brand (non Marriott) and I know they would've dealt with the situation differently. (They might get me a cab or something and tell me to file a police report, trust me, i've seen it happen) and since i switched to Marriotts i've been loving it so far.(knock on wood) Anyways it seems to me like the hotel had done as much as they could to fix the situation. Kudos to Marriott for going into great lengths and providing this type of service under this circumstance. I'd be happy with the extra 20000 points, but thats just me.
Hi everyone, the GM called me yesterday and was really apologetic and explained that he had been monitoring the situation closely all day despite being out of town and had been kept informed at every juncture. He was very nice and sympathetic and asked what I would like for compensation. I told him I was confident we could come to terms on compensation that everyone felt good about. I explained that I was exhausted, sore, and delirious, so just hadn't arrived at what that compensation should look like at this point. I told him I was getting advice from FT and that I felt the hotel had done as good a job as possible handling the situation and that I had been treated courteously at every juncture. He advised me to go buy a replacement GPS case that they would gladly reimburse for and to call in a few days once I had thought more about what I wanted.

Will 20,000 points be enough for a free night's stay when I go on vacation to Europe in May? If so, then I think this would more than make up for my troubles. Please can everyone advise? I have never cashed in points before. Maybe I should just request a voucher instead?
joybuggy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: