TEXAS -- I have been a Choice Rewards member for about 10 years, and like a multitude of reviewers I have in recent years noticed the flippant attitude and/or inaptitude of Choice representatives that I have contacted when needing assistance. Most recently on August 8, 2014 I made a 3-night reservation for a room at the Comfort Inn hotel in Cedar Park, Texas between 9-12 November, 2014. Being a member of several hotel reward programs, I was used to receiving a confirmation just minutes after my reservation was accepted. But this time nothing was received.
On August 9 I emailed Choice Customer Service about not receiving a confirmation. In contrast to Choice's pledge to reply within 72 hours, I was obliged to email them several more times before receiving a response many weeks later that Choice was sending a confirmation. It never came. Between August 9 and October 15 I sent 6 email requests to Choice. As in the case of Choice's first response the next two promised to send the confirmation at once but this didn't happen. The last two email requests were emailed to the head manager of Choice Customer Service but he or she did not deigned to reply.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- We have been trying to use our Choice Privileges card for years and we never receive the promotions. We travel at least 3 times a month and have had issues that explained the mistakes with our account being changed by numbers added to it, our address was slightly off and even my last name was misspelled on a card they sent me so it didn't match the reservation!
The hotels don't always put the number in to the system if they think you are getting too good of a rate for the night. I have called customer service to correct all the mistakes regularly and they do recognize that we stayed the correct amount of nights and should receive the benefit but they tell us to call back in a week because the accounts are crossed or some other excuse. I try to deal with this every once in awhile just to see if we EVER will get any benefit from this card and it is laughable what they come up with. Don't expect them to make it work for you either!
They run false ads. Currently they have a summer program advertised on TV that states if you stay two stays you receive a $50 gift card. The ad shows a woman and her husband enjoying dinner with their gift card and saying "I stayed one time and my husband stayed another and now we are enjoying dinner with our gift card." In fact this cannot happen. It turns out the SAME person must have two stays, not the wife one and her husband one.
In fact if you both stay and use one's Privilege card, but the other's credit card to pay for the room that doesn't count. They find any loophole to avoid honoring the promotion. And the woman at customer relations hung up on me. Pure false advertising. Do not fall for these promotions. And the hotels are not that nice anyway.
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA -- One would think that if you made a reservation with the Choice Privileges Member Reservation line that the Choice corporate offices would have on an ongoing basis checked to see if their hotels were up to par. I stayed at Econo Lodge West for a length of time on and off. With my last visit I was in a room first that a pipe burst and my clothes and belongings were soaked. I washed them and was switched to another room. Then another room a suite. I was bit about 75 times by something which turned out to be bedbugs. I was still trying to get along--I was switched temporarily to another rm in which I was bit again.
The onsite owner/manager does not speak English so he evidently did not understand that bombing the room and spraying my belongings with the store bought insecticide would not kill the bedbugs. I went back into the room did not even sleep on the bed and I was bitten many times on the sofa. I have had chemotherapy so I have a port in my chest. The bedbugs loved to suck there since it was a convenient blood source. Again I was moved--into a room next door that was an office for a security company and a maintenance service.
Very interesting setup in a hotel. I did not want to take the bugs to another hotel so I moved my body and my work into the office that had portable heaters (the unit in the wall blew the breakers), and no bed. I waited over a week for the hotel to treat the room that I was in. No response. Then I said that I called Choice Hotels. The hotel called the police and told them that I called Choice Hotels on them. How dumb is that. The hotel wanted the police officer to tell me that I have to leave the next day. That is a total waste of taxpayers money. It is like calling 911 because your fast food order was not correct.
I left the next day but I took several pictures of what was in the OFFICE. How funky is that a maintenance service, security service out of a hotel room. Do the Korean people operate the other businesses. Who is to say. But upon checking and after I called the health dept and inspections. I found out the hotel has been operated for almost two years without a lodging permit and a privilege license. The deception is ONE would think that Choice International would care about that issue. Since they too have collected money from a hotel that did not have a permit.
I have over 1200.00 in medical bills, my piece of my luggage was thrown out, my other property is still there untreated, they billed me for 9 days in a room that I was not in and did not even put THE OFFICE on the bill. Yet Choice corporate office does not feel as if they have any obligation to treat me like a valuable consumer. Their response was that Choice International is like a reservation center they do not own nor operate any hotels. Each is a franchise and they handle their own issues.
I called Choice International to make a reservation. My incorrect folio is posted under my choice privileges rewards number incorrectly, the hotel now because of me has a transitional lodging permit, no health grade has a few months to come up to code. Yet Choice corporate still lets them operate as usual...taking reservations. The health dept. told me that they shut down six rooms prior to me calling for bed bugs. One above my room. Yet the hotel does not feel obligated to reimburse me for my losses or better yet give me every dime back that I paid to them because guess what they did not have the most important documents needed to collect any money as a hotel.
I am very disappointed in Choice Hotel International. Usually large chains franchised or not would responsibly address the issue. I have emailed all of the executives about the issue --no response. What a wonderful company. You are on your own when staying at a Choice Hotel. Econolodge West, Raleigh, NC is not alone but the main problem is that the manager is from Guatemala, speaks English but in my opinion does not fully understand it yet he is the one that speaks to the onsite owners that do not speak English. They speak Korean. In America things are done a certain way. One does not ignore bedbugs. And secondly abide by the law. I am very disappointed.
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Please do not waste your money with this company, they cover NOTHING!!! And literally tell the contractors they send out what to say so they won't have to pay for claims... Please choose another company. This is nothing but a scam.
ALABAMA -- I had a service man that Choice sent out. He checked my dryer and told me that the timer was bad, and the switch was broken on the door and when I opened it, it wouldn't stop spinning. To make a long story short they offered me $300 which will not replace my dryer. I have to wait 30 days before I can get my check in the mail to buy another dryer. I will be canceling this warranty. It is not worth the trouble.
ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA -- After a very frustrating stay at Clarion, Rochester, Mn, I tried to convert the points I received in the Choice Hotels rewards program for this visit. I wanted these 2400 points to go to my airline account, and emailed their corporate "contact us" page three times, to request the transfer. The only response I ever received was a canned email saying "we're working on it," and the request was totally ignored. This is the saddest rewards program I have ever encountered.
NEWPORT, OREGON -- Good for the price, however: Don't trust their mobile website for booking, and don't trust their corporate people to make it right.
I booked a stay for the following weekend, in February. I had paused in the middle and went back to complete booking, and I noticed that when it was done that it had reserved my stay for the current evening, which was totally wrong. I assumed that it was because I had paused in the middle, so I canceled the reservation, and then started to do it over again from scratch: I picked my dates, it showed me results, I picked out my rooms, and then completed the process. I don't check my email very often, so I didn't even think to look, and just trusted that the website did it correctly.
When I went in that weekend to check in, they couldn't find my reservation. I gave them my information and they looked it up and then told me that they marked my reservation as a no-show as it was for the weekend before (the day I booked the stay) and that I needed to call corporate to try to seek a resolution. She said that some others had the same issue. Luckily, she was able to get me the space I needed, and then honored the original rate.
I called Choice Hotels customer service to see what they would do about refunding the room that their website mistakenly booked me for, and they sent me to an escalations person who entered a case for me. He was impatient and rude and it was apparent that he had no idea was asking for. I got a letter about 5 days later saying that they researched it and there was nothing they would do, even though I had paid double for the same reservation.
I am so angry that this is the best that they could do and I swear to God I will never stay at a Choice Hotel chain again and I will spread this message to every single person I know for the rest of my life, as well as posting this review on as many review websites that I can. What a bunch of jerks. The staff at the Econo Lodge was very nice, however, and the value is good, assuming you don't experience the same thing as me and have to pay twice.