ED Magedson – Founder
Hotels Corp WestGate Lakes Resort Shady business practice with add-on charges at the very end Ft Lauderdale Internet
REcently I booked a vacation to FLL, FL and we were 2 adults and 2 children traveling from Washington DC to Fort Lauderdale, FL for part of our vacation by car and driving up to Orlando, FL for one day and overnight stay at a decent hotel for $50 all inclusive. At that point I was looking online for tickets to Epcot and saw that they were pricey (about $100 pp) I saw a discount listed for 2 free tickets so I called the 800 # and got Hotels corp. At that time, the CSP stated that we had to stay a minimum of 2 nights to qualify for the 2 free tickets to Epcot.
Sounded like a good deal. He then qualified me based on my Income and Job. He then passed the phone to a supervisor that also qualified me based on those 2 items only and stated that we would have to do a 90 minute tour to get the deal. He went on to state that we would also get VIP passes to use the facilities which included the paddle boats and miniature gof, etc in the facility at WestGate Resorts. I asked again if there were any additional charges including any taxes I may have to pay and they said "no". I booked on the 31st of the month and my card was charged the full amount the next day.
On the 11th of the following month, we began our journey to FLL, FL and stayed at a Wyndham which was also part of a similar promotion with no problems. We then drove to ORL, FL to Westgate and arrived about 5pm since we now had 2 nights there with 2 adults and 2 children in the car extremely tired. I walked up to reservations and was informed that my reservation was not valid unless I pay an excess of $114 plus additional charges because "they had an overwhelming response and I no longer qualified". I tried to reason with the CSP at the counter to no avail. I then went back to the car with the children and was on the phone for an hour discussing this with the CSP on the phone.
I then spoke to his supervisor and the supervisor kept giving me other options that would cost me even more. He then said that he would give me just the Epcot tickets at $100 each to which I laughed thinking...are you stupid or insulting my intelligence because that is the price I would have paid anywhere to buy those tickets. Finally, we caved in and paid the $114 plus additional charges because we were all extremely tired. Furthermore, the supervisor on the phone stated he would only be able to issue a refund that would put my $439 back in my account 2 days later. So, in other words...I would not have access to my money until I left Florida 2 days later. I said "no way".
I was throughly disappointed by the front desk staff who did not give us our VIP passes at sign-in. Then, they only had one double bed and one pullout couch bed that was extremely uncomfortable. Even more, the phone system was so complex that I had to call different numbers for housekeeping to get additional linens and the front desk staff. The front desk staff did not respond to my housekeeping request and after waiting an hour, I had to call back and was told to contact the housekeeping staff at a different extension. All night, people were moving in and out and the noise was out of control including children running above us till 1a.m.
The shuttle service was extremely limited and on reservation basis only to go to the Disney parks. When I returned from my vacation, I checked my work voicemail and heard one message left 2 days after I left for my vacation from Hotels corp but said nothing of my reservation being changed or cancelled or the urgency of the matter. Hotels corp only called once and did not leave a detailed message. They should have sent me a letter in the mail and emailed me if there was an issue. Furthermore, I was qualified and paid for something upfront and it should not take them 15 days to contact me if something needed to be changed.
I received a survey from Hotels corp and told them exactly what happened online. I then received a call from the CSP and they stated that those added charges I disputed with my Financial institution were charged off with no apology or empathy. Just to let you know I am a seasoned traveler being a military spouse and traveling for several government agencies on a regular basis for over 30 years for business and pleasure. I have previously stayed in various Starwood and Wyndham properties which are similar businesses to Hotels corp but never had any issues with any of them. I suggest customers really think about other alternatives than renting hotels/condos/timeshares with this company. I suggest Hotels corp get their act together before they have lawsuits on their hands. They wasted our time and destroyed our good moods during our vacation due to their poor business practices. This is robbery!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/06/2014 08:48 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/hotels-corp/internet/hotels-corp-westgate-lakes-resort-shady-business-practice-with-add-on-charges-at-the-very-1144383. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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