From bed bugs to billing blunders, unanswered and unresolved complaints reveal industry-wide patterns for "Hotels" in Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.
According to Better Business Bureau records, the majority of hotel complaints deal with billing and refund issues. In many cases, consumers report unexpected or unreasonable fees for cancellations, package upgrades or room amenities.
The next most common complaints involve room quality. Reports indicate issues ranging from broken electrical fixtures to unclean sheets to moldy bathtubs.
Those who report complaints maintain that, when issues arise, staff often become curt and refer complaints to their managers—who are usually unavailable in-person and won’t return calls or respond to emails. Dissatisfied customers seeking refunds, discounts or other remedies find that the time limit for resolution has passed by the time they finally speak to the right person.
Americans are expected to spend $725 billion on travel expenses this year, and many problems can be avoided simply by doing a little homework.
With most hotels collecting payment information upfront to secure reservations, BBB serving Alaska Oregon and Western Washington suggests that consumers consider all the amenities when staying overnight:
Turndown Service: Do research to find the right place to stay. Check hotels on bbb.org and other review sites to learn which ones to avoid.
Complimentary Internet: If booking through third-party deal websites, call hotel personnel directly to ensure that reservations were received.
Mini-Bar: Check the fine print, including additional fees or deadlines that apply to cancellations and room transfers. Understand check-in and check-out times. Keep all reservation confirmation numbers for future reference; if cancelling, request confirmation notices in writing.
Room Service: Upon arrival, ask to inspect the room before checking in. This will allow for some leverage if there are any upfront problems with quality.
Report serious problems to BBB or the Federal Trade Commission.