Super8 Complaint - Super8 Motels: Deceptive Payment Policy -- Do Not Book With Them!

Review by editor on 2009-04-20
I booked a room online at a Super8 three weeks in advance of my stay. The morning before my check in, my plans changed, and I called to cancel. I was told my reservation was non-refundable. I did not even set foot in the motel, and they charged my credit card -- even after I spoke with 4 levels of customer service management, all the way up to the Presidential Center.

Apparently the rate I selected online was a special "advance purchase buy." When I called to fight for my refund, I was told that in the fine print upon typing in my credit card info, I agreed to the terms of the rate being non-refundable. I read fine print very carefully, and I never book a non-refundable hotel room. So this was extremely subtle and sneaky. Super8 must be making lots of money off customers like me who end up cancelling and don't know about this. Even worse, when I called to cancel, the front desk person said off to the side they were overbooked! So Super8 was just pocketing my money and still had extra customers.

As an editor of a travel publication, I know all too well that most smart travel businesses, especially hotels, do the utmost to provide stellar customer care. I was shocked at how much Super8 Motels goes against this norm. I would not recommend anyone book there: their marketing is deceptive, and they will penny-pinch what they can in the name of "policy," disregarding the long-term impact to their business.

Apparently they didn't want to forfeit the 44 bucks for my unused 1-night stay to save potentially thousands of dollars in lost business from me spreading the word...
Comments:9 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-04-20
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-20:
You are a travel editor, and you stay at a Super8? What's wrong with this picture?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-20:
LOL, Ken!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-20:
What's wrong with this picture? I'd say it has something to do with the first comment, not with the review itself. If editor was a 'reg', s/he'd be getting all kinds of helpful votes, eh?

If a person makes hotel reservations fairly often, you'll notice that some aren't very clear that you're getting a special rate and are non-refundable, so you do have to read carefully. Super 8 could have handled this better, especially if you are a returning customer. Thanks for the informative, so others know to check carefully at the cancellation policy.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-20:
That the editor of a travel pub had to come to an online gripe forum to complain tells me a lot about its circulation.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-20:
Sometimes no matter how savvy of a traveler you are life tosses you into places where your only options are the likes of Super8, Days Inn and Motel 6. Trust me I know this all too well.

Cancellation policy is one of those 'lessons learned' that unfortunately it seems like you learn the hard way. Anymore when I book a hotel one of the first things I check out is the cancellation policy. So as life throws you into places like Aberdeen it also has a way of changing your plans last minute. I for one don't like paying for rooms I don't need.

Good review and lesson for all of us Editor!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-20:
The economy, sucks everyone has to spring for the cheap stuff these days.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-04-20:
Seems like the editor of a travel publication would be telling people how to avoid this rather than complaining about being taken in by it.

Check out their Advance Purchase Rate section right on their web page. It clearly states IN BOLD RED "no cancellations or refunds". It wasn't that sneaky, in fact you have to click on the link right below it to book.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-20:
Don't most Hotels have a 24 hour cancellation policy?

Posted by editor on 2009-04-20:
You can't assume writers make bank, so no judgements, please on my hotel choice. I hope everyone can take this for what it is as a friendly piece of advice from one consumer to another. Simply, beware Super 8's fine print and know they won't work with you.

Oh and fyi, this is one of many consumer/travel review platforms I've posted this warning -- to follow up on my word to Super 8 that I'd inform the community through many channels.

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