ED Magedson – Founder
Hotels.com, expedia.comwww.hotels.com, Select State/Province USA
Hotels.com, expedia.com travelscape.com, kayak.com and affiliates slipshod service, money grubbing, lying www.hotels.com, expedia.com and affiliates Internet
Today I was informed by my credit card company, Discover, that my dispute was ruled in favor of the merchant because I cannot provide proof that I checked out of my hotel even though hotels.com has both recordings and records of the calls I made to them communicating with them that I was leaving the hotel. The hotel refused to give me any confirmation of checkout so they could charge me for the total, including unused nights. Here's what happened:
I had high expectations for this hotel (Villa San'Andrea in Valderice, Italy). I was traveling with my brother, so we requested a room with 2 twin beds. We were taken to a room with one full bed. I told them we booked the room with 2 twin beds. They moved us to a two-room suite (room 121). When we arrived at the suite, there were two simply appointed rooms. It was dark and late, so we did not pay much attention to the details of the rooms. [continued below]....
When I woke up in the morning, I noticed there were dry, rust-colored blood spots on my pillow and down the sheet to the foot of the bed. There were also small blood stains on the walls. The blood was not mine. I brought these issues to the attention of the clerk and I requested that they please change the sheets and clean the blood off the wall (I figured I could handle it since it was a two room hotel suite for $45/night in ITALY!).
When I returned to the room, I found a bug on the bed. My brother squished it and it was full of blood. I returned to the front desk and mentioned the bug. They said it probably came in through the WINDOW (not a known point of entry for bedbugs). At this point, I called HOTELS.COM who I booked through and they said they would call the hotel, and then they came back on the phone and said the hotel had stated they already changed the room once (this was in reference to the first issue of needing a room with 2 twin beds).
I tried to explain that this call was because of the bugs we had found. HOTELS.COM said we would have to checkout and then call them back before they could help me. We went back to the room and discovered two more bugs on the bed (for a total of 3 in less than 30 minutes). My brother took pics and we emailed them to a pest extermination company in the USA to confirm that they were bedbugs, which the company did positively ID as being bedbugs. The decision to leave was made.
I went to the front desk, showed them the pictures and the video as the reason we wanted to checkout and they offered to move us to another room. This was politely declined as when there are bedbugs in one room, it is generally representative of a bigger problem.
I waited to write this review as I requested a refund for unused nights from both the hotel (who told me to take it up with hotels.com) and HOTELS.COM itself. I was given a reference number for a refund and told that I would receive a call within 72 hours to follow up. Hotels.com never called me back and when I finally called a third time, I was told that they couldn't do anything to help me because of the hotel's policy on not refunding "early checkouts" though I did as hotels.com advised me to do by checking out early AND calling them. Hotels.com has no policy on defending their customers' right to stay in a clean hotel. Villa Sant'Andrea has no desire to admit they have an issue with bedbugs. Though the staff tried to be accommodating, I find it unacceptable to be expected to stay in a place with a bedbug problem. I'm sure had we stayed we would have found more bedbugs. I would have been content to stay here if not for the bedbugs.
Hotels.com states "The best prices at the best places. Guaranteed.® " Lies. I will not book with them EVER again.
So I disputed the 3 unused nights with the credit card company, Discover. They were accommodating as well. They reversed the charge and carried out an investigation. I provided them with the following:
My letter to Kayak.com that never got answered
Confirmation number from hotels.com of my complaint/case
Confirmation letter from a pest control company in USA that the bugs I sent pictures and video of were bedbugs
The sales slip from the second hotel I stayed at after leaving the first
Three pictures of bedbugs and their blood on the sheets of the bed I slept in
A link to the video I posted on youtube showing LIVE bedbugs crawling around as well as the blood on the walls
An email showing Kayak's response to my email (generic form letter)
Discover reversed and reposted the charges twice on my card. Then they issued with me a $50 company credit from them as a consolation. I appreciate the gesture, but if hotels.com would stand by their customers in the first place, it never would have gone this far.
Travelscape.com, the parent company, then provided Discover with a "rebuttal" saying I never complained, that I stayed all four nights at the hotel, and that I was satisfied. I called HOTELS.COM on Sept. 10 to report I was leaving. I booked a different place and stayed there for the remaining three nights. HOTELS.COM says the hotel "won't allow" them to refund me for the unused nights. The hotel won't issue me a statement of early checkout. So basically I'm out $159.09 plus the other $220 I spent to stay at the second hotel. HOTELS.COM won't even provide me with an email or letter saying that they have a record I communicated with their company saying I was leaving on Sept. 10. They said they can talk to a representative of whoever needs the information, but the Credit Card company requires everything in writing.
I have an audio conversation recording of myself and the manager talking about the situation. She mentions at least three times that "we show you checked out on September 10th..." but Discover won't accept that because it isn't in writing.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/04/2013 10:14 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/hotelscom-expediacom/wwwhotelscom-select-stateprovince/hotelscom-expediacom-travelscapecom-kayakcom-and-affiliates-slipshod-service-money-1104254. 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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