Compensation Clinic: Radisson Blu Portman Hotel (London) – Wrongful Credit Card Charge

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Compensation Clinic this week visits the Club Carlson affiliated Radisson Blu Portman hotel in London where a reader had pre-arrival issue.

Compensation Clinic Radisson Blu Portman Hotel (London) – Wrongful Credit Card Charge

Remember that you can always email us, send us a Facebook message or Tweet about the issues you have with hotels, airlines and other travel providers. We’ll feature one new Compensation Clinic each week.

You can access Radisson Blu Portman Hotel London’s website here.

READ MORE: Club Carlson Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

Here’s the email from the reader:

I booked two rooms at the Radisson Portman in London in September, regular bookings, no prepayment.

But in October I saw on my credit card bill that Portman had fully charged my credit card for both rooms for the full stay.

The hotel blamed some system error and apologized and refunded the money, in £. The issues is that due to currency fluctuations I ended up loosing over 80£ on this, as I’m charged in Norwegian Kroner.

So by no fault on my own I lost on their error? I have still not gotten any good explanation on how they will refund my loss or any compensation for the hassle..

Here’s my reply to the reader:

They should make you whole. I would request them to credit you the FX difference as well or compensate in points. Get Club Carlson involved if required.

And here’s how the situation was resolved:

I did sort out the matter. I demanded the money back and got it refunded to my card. I also got 35000 Club Carlson points. I ended up canceling my stay as I was not happy with how they dealt with my issue. As a Concierge member I was expecting more.

Conclusion

Quite often hotels don’t charge prepaid bookings before the guest actually arrives to the hotel or anywhere in between. I believe that Le Club AccorHotels is the only chain where prepaid rates at some hotels requires immediate payment on the website or the reservation otherwise won’t go through.

Here, however, the issue was that the hotel had decided to charge guest’s credit card on fully flexible rate in advance of the stay. I doubt that this was a “system error”….

Glad that the reader was able to get the hotel to reimburse the FX damage done and issue compensation points as well. It is unclear if these came after complaining to Club Carlton or if the hotel deposited them.

Some hotels authorize the card that you have on file the night before scheduled to arrival to ensure “smooth processing”. I find it annoying because I rarely end up paying using the card that I have on file with the hotels.

There is also really a problem how Radisson has given out Radisson Blu brands to number of hotels that really shouldn’t be one. Some are basically Holiday Inns while others perhaps are up to Hilton, Westin, and Marriott standards. Always a gamble when booking one what you will actually get.

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  • dec

    I just had 2 different hotels in France (Paris and Lyon) charge my Visa 1Euro on each for reservations I’ve made for 6 months from now–When questioned, the hotel said because I wasn’t booking a prepaid rate, they had to check to see if my credit card would work. The 2 charges sat on my Visa (in pending) for almost 2 weeks before they were removed. I have never had this happen in any other city in Europe in all the years we’ve been travelling and wonder if France is only doing it or is this the sign of the times. Was a little ticked–not sure what use this would be for the hotel if by the time we got there, we used a different card to pay.

    • Sue

      Found this is almost standard practice on Accor including London. They tell me its to prevent fraud ?

    • cscasi

      Many hotels want to make sure one’s credit card used to book the room(s) is valid. I guess too many people have booked rooms with bad cards. Hopefully, the 2 Euros charges which were temporarily placed on your card did not cause you to be over limit?

    • They just checked that the card used to “guarantee” the reservations was valid.

  • Chris

    Whenever I book a Hilton Advanced Rate it is immediately charged to my card, so this is not just what Accor does. I think it also happened last time at IHG. It’s also not surprising given its a prepaid rate right? 😉

  • TangaTalalag

    Some IHG establishments don’t charge advance rates until a few days after booking as I discovered. Had booked a Holiday Inn in Paris and four days later they decided to take the payment 20 minutes after I had withdrawn cash from a machine in Sri Lanka. Result card blocked and email from Holiday Inn saying card was declined

    • cscasi

      I guess one should not use a card for hotel charges unless one keeps enough credit on the card to cover the charges.

      • Joe

        Many CC companies will put a FRAUD BLOCK if a card is used in different countries unannounced. Notice he said blocked.
        Holiday Inn saw a decline (when a card is blocked it will be declined). I had this happen when I did not do a travel notice.

        • TangaTalalag

          That’s exactly right, how could I draw cash in Sri Lanka and be in Paris 20 minutes later! I had to phone the bank and explain and block was removed