I have heard numerous horror stories about Econo Lodge properties all over the country, but our own episode, experienced at the Econo Lodge at 666 Wells in Reno, Nv., is the lowest of the low. In fact, after 12 years of continuously touring the nation, we consider this not only the worst motel/ hotel we've ever stayed at, but the worst business of any kind we've encountered. Never before have we heard of any business being so overtly and consistently antagonistic toward the public it purports to serve. The problems are almost too numerous to list, but here are a few:
1.The bad vibes began the very moment we arrived to check in. When I told the woman at the desk that I had a reservation, she just said, come back at check-in time. She didn't even bother looking to see if a room was available at the moment; and this was a first, in all my years of traveling, and in the numerous times I've arrived before the official check-in time. It should have been obvious from the outset that this place had no intention of making any effort to serve the needs of its clientele.
2.THEY WERE EXTREMELY RUDE AND ANTAGONISTIC. Not just to us, but apparently to the public in general. When a relative of ours telephoned the office and asked to be connected to our room, the lady answering the phone was quite hostile, saying among other things, You can call the room directly. What part of that don't you understand?
3.THEY SHOWED NO RESPECT FOR GUESTS OR THEIR PRIVACY. Although we had the Do Not Disturb Sign on our door, an arrogantly boorish individual whom we'd seen working at the desk came and banged on our door, and barked, What are you going to do about housekeeping? When we informed him that we didn't need housekeeping services at the moment, he said, You have to. It's the law. And I can evict you too. He then barged into our room uninvited and began snooping around. (I suspect that he also may have done some snooping while we were out.) He even demanded to know why we had a newspaper in the floor! He seems to have been under the impression that he was in charge of a Marine Corps boot camp.
4.THEY WERE UNCOUTH AND INCONSIDERATE. This gentleman was smoking a cigarette in our nonsmoking room and refused to put it out. (My wife has asthma and severe allergies.) Instead, he strutted around with an air of comic self-importance like Darth Vader in a tutu, boasting about how he could evict us, and how we'd better be prepared to let the maids clean our room at any time during the following day. We informed him that we were quite busy at the moment, but he refused to leave.
5.He finally ordered us to vacate the room within 30 minutes, without giving a reason, and said that if we didn't do so, he would keep all of our money. After we had removed our belongings, he refused to give us a refund for the unused portion of our projected stay, even though he had promised to refund our money if we were out in the stated time.
6. Although I had informed Mr. tutu that we were due soon at an important engagement performing for children at a local library, he insisted on examining our room again after we had moved out (before informing us that he was not going to give us a refund after all) and deliberately protracted the process as long as possibleeven searching under our beds!
7.Mr. tutu did not state his name or his title, and refused to identify himself properly even after being contacted by my legal representative. Nor did he respond after I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
8.THEY WERE ACCUSATORY AND MADE FALSE STATEMENTS. Another individual, claiming to be the manager, whom I'd never met nor had any dealing with whatsoever, responded to the Better Business Bureau by claiming falsely that we had damaged their towel rack and their carpet; this, evidently, was supposed to be the justification for not returning our money. (He still didn't try to defend the conduct of his staff.) He also stated that I had lied, about Mr. tutu's false statement about the law. (He had witnessed none of the incident, while three of us had been present, and had recorded the conversation.) They even claimed that we broke laws. We also later noticed that Mr. tutu, who had checked us in upon our (second) arrival, stated on our receipt that we would be departing the following dayeven though we had paid for EIGHT days. This incorrect information was entered in THREE WAYS, so I'd say it was quite unlikely to have been merely an honest mistake.
9.THEY WERE UNCOOPERATIVE. They have made no effort whatsoever to
refund the money due us, to correct their policy or personnel problems, or even to admit they did even one thing wrong.
In sum, I'd call this an utterly vile place of business staffed by utterly vile people. You'd be better off sleeping under a bridge.
Los Angeles, California