A LoyaltyLobby reader send us an email about his unsatisfactory stay and billing issues at the Holiday Inn New York City – Times Square hotel.
Remember that you can always email me, send me a Facebook message or Tweet me about the issues you have with hotels, airlines and other travel providers. we’ll feature one new Compensation Clinic case each week.
You can access Holiday Inn New York City – Times Square website here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I traveled to NY last week and stayed in Holiday Inn New York Time Square South. When I came back to Taiwan, I found that my credit card has been charged multiple times without my acknowledge. So I called the bank and made an inquiry. After getting all the details from the bank, I decided to ask the bank to change my credit card number (this costs me US$8). Then I called the front desk in NY, they rudely asked me to call back again at 9am when their accounting department is on duty. We have 13 hours time difference so I decided to call IHG hotline in China instead and let them know the issue.
I got back the first email from Yan in that hotel telling me the answers that I was not expecting to. So I wrote back another reply (please kindly see below), and then she admitted that they wrongfully charged my card when the fee of one of the night should be charged to hotels.com. I asked about the compensation for my time loss in this stupid matter, and she told me the cancellation fee of my double booking waived is the compensation (I have explained the situation in the email below). Interesting to see that this so called assistant manager does not seem to answer my questions at all and ignore all my complaints about their hotel.
So John please help me so people can think before they try to book their stay in this hotel. This hotel was the worse hotel I have stayed in past 2 years.
Here’s the email from the hotel:
Thank you for staying with us. Recently you contacted IHG Guest Relation department of the billing for your recent stay. Please note hotel hold additional $50.00 on the card per stay at check in for incidental deposit and at checkout it will be released; there will be no refund on the transaction. The authorized amount usually takes 7 to 10 business days to release by the bank; international bank may takes longer time. You can provide me the bank contact information (fax # or email address) so I could submit a written request to release the authorization. Below is the record of your reservations as reference. Please feel free to contact me if I could assist further on this matter. Thank you!
The reader escalated the issue to IHG Guest Relations:
I am writing you regarding your experience with the Holiday Inn, New York. Thank you very much for taking the time to contact my office to share your comments.
First and foremost, I want to sincerely apologize for the problems you encountered in regard to the billing issues. I also regret any inconvenience this has caused. Your experience is certainly not representative of the high standards of service and quality on which our hotels pride themselves. It is also definitely not what you, as a valued guest should expect and deserve.
To explain about the incidental charges that you had on your credit card. When a guest makes a reservation, for one day or several days, the hotel has the right to take an incidental charge as well as the amount for the reservation to place on a hold for each day. This ensures that the hotel will receive payment for the reservation. When the guest checks out of the hotel any money that is over the full amount of the payment, is released back to the guest credit card. I am sorry that this was not explained to you. I am glad that the hotel was able to get all of the charges removed from your credit card.
Due to the length of time it took the hotel to resolve the billing issue and to show you how much we value your continued patronage, I am issuing an additional 17,000 reward points to your account. With the 1000 reward points that have already been issued you will receive a total of 18,000 reward points as a resolution for the issues encountered. These points will be converted to your current earning preference with IHG Rewards Club and should appear in your account within the next 7-10 business days.
Once again, we greatly appreciate the time you have taken to contact us. We know you have many options when choosing a preferred hotel and we hope your future travel plans will continue to include IHG properties.
It is sometimes difficult trying to reconcile pending charges from the hotels. As they have pointed out on their reply, this hotels ads $50 per night for incidentals in top of the room charge. Some other hotels may authorize set amount every night during your stay. There is no standardized way for the hotels to handle these.
The Holiday Inn hotel certainly did make a mistake when they charged reader for the $99.50 instead of Hotels.com.
It is unfortunate but not uncommon for the hotels to mistakenly charge the person’s credit card instead of the agent or the chain in case of award nights.
It is very annoying trying to resolve billing issues after the stay especially when different time zones are involved. The reader ended up getting 18,000 IHG Rewards Club points for the inconveniences endured during the stay.