Worst Western

Or why I won’t stay in a Best Western again.

This past week, I spent three nights in a Best Western motel in Page, AZ.

There are two Best Westerns there. I stayed in the one that had no hot water for more than 24 hours during my stay.

I learned about the hot water problem when I returned to the hotel at about 8 PM on Friday night. At the time, I was told that it was unlikely that the hot water would be working before Monday. I was due to check out on Sunday.

I was paying for not just my room, but the rooms for three other guests. Since they were my guests, I felt it necessary to take action when the hot water system in the hotel broke down. Although I was on my way up to bed — I was going to be picked up at 6:00 AM the next morning by an aerial photography client — I asked the desk clerk to find alternative accommodations. I told her not to call me that night since I was going right to bed. I told her I’d check in at the desk in the morning to see what she’d found us and would talk to my guests about our options the next day.

At 5:00 AM the next morning (Saturday), I gathered up some clean clothes and prepared to walk down the block in the dark to the Travel Lodge, where the cold water Best Western had arranged for its guests to shower. (I can’t make this stuff up.) I stopped at the desk in my hotel, where I was shown a reservation for four rooms and two nights at the other Best Western in town, which I assumed still had hot water. I took the reservation sheet, put it in an envelope with a note, and slipped it under the door of one of my guests. I showered and dressed at the Travel Lodge, then walked back to the cold water Best Western. A little after 6 AM, my clients arrived and I went to work with them.

At around 11 AM, I finished with my clients and met with one of my guests. He told me that the hot water problem had been fixed. I called the other Best Western to cancel the reservations that had been made in my name.

And that’s when the shit started hitting the fan.

Apparently, the clerk at the cold water Best Western had used my credit card to reserve the rooms. The hotel has a 24-hour cancelation policy and refused to cancel the reservation.

In the meantime, we were all still checked in at the cold water Best Western (which now had hot water). My guests didn’t want to move. I didn’t either.

I need to make it clear to all that I never authorized any charges to my credit card for any hotel other than the one we were staying at.

I called several different parties at the Best Western hotel chain. After a lot of time on hold and call backs and excuses, I was told that my reservations would not be cancelled.

Today, I found four pending charges on my credit card statement for $157.73 each. There was also a $1 charge from Best Western.

Of course, I have no intention of paying these charges.

I’m absolutely appalled at the poor customer service of the Best Western chain. Specifically:

  • The failure of the Best Western Arizona Inn to promptly and professionally handle a failure in its hot water system.
  • The unauthorized use of my credit card by the clerk at the Best Western Arizona Inn to book hotel reservations that could not be cancelled.
  • The failure of the Best Western Lake Powell to cancel the hotel reservations made without authorization by another Best Western hotel employee.
  • The failure of the Best Western customer service department to cancel the hotel reservations made without authorization by a Best Western hotel employee.

Clearly, these people don’t care about their customers. Clearly, they have no understanding about customer service. Clearly, they have no problem fraudulently charging a customer’s credit card for reservations made without authorization.

I have called and written to the Best Western numerous times about this matter. They have not satisfactorily resolved it. Now I have to go through the bother of starting chargeback procedures with my credit card company. I may also need to press charges with the police against the Best Western employee who used my credit card without authorization, thus resulting in this nightmare of customer service failures.

Do you think I’ll stay at a Best Western again? Not likely. And I suggest that anyone reading this think about my customer service experience with this hotel chain before booking a room there.

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