Holiday Inn Complaint - Terrible! Fraudulent charges because I complained!
LEADERHEIGHTS, YORK, PENNSYLVANIA -- Upon arrival, my husband checked in, never going to the room, we left & went out to dinner arriving back about an hour or so later. The hotel staff was socializing with their friends in the lobby, including 2 women displaying affections to one another. We book the hotel on priceline & the area was being hit with a snowstorm, so we where stuck in the hotel throughout the duration. My children & I went out to our jeep to get out a board game & on our way back through the lobby we witnessed including my children inappropriate affections / behavior. I was not comfortable to allow my 11 or 12 year old to even go to the ice machine alone. Then the room we got smelled of smoke, so combined with the behavior, I felt I would inform the manager. So I reported the situation to the front desk & asked for the manager & to my surprise she was one of the ladies involved in the display of affections. I was very rudely told that the hotel is a 100% smoke free, I told her that was not the case, as I witnessed at least 2 of her staff smoking. Her disposition & demeanor was very aggressive & I quickly realized it would do no good to complain. I did inform her my son has A-typical asthma & cannot be in direct contact with smoke. Had there not been 2 ft of snow, with heavy snow still coming down & the fact all roads including interstate 83 were closed I would have left right away! Since I had no viable option & my son's asthma is not bothered once actual smoke dissipates, I did not make a bigger issue & we did stay in the room. My husband also mention there was the possibility the smoke smell might have been from my husband's 4 wheel drive jeep / clothes, because he carpools with co workers & some of them including my husband will smoke in it. The rest of the stay was uneventful until the day of checkout! We had payed for the hotel through Priceline but the hotel required our credit card upon arriving anyways. After receiving the checkout receipt, my husband noticed a charge for a movie to our room made within 5 minutes of the time we checked in. I told him it was unacceptable we did not rent a movie & asked him to address it as I did not feel comfortable to address it with the manager& felt certain she would simple dismiss it with me. So while my husband went to handle the charge, I went to our jeep & decided to pick it up before packing it. There were a few coffee cups my husband left in there from the hotel ( he kept going out & cleaning the snow off our jeep for the 2 days & would sit in our jeep & have a cigarette ) so I emptied the ashtray into one of the cups & picked up a magazine that got wet from the snow & carried them back to throw them out in the garbage can outside the hotel but the can was covered & filled with snow, so I took them to our room & slipped them into one of their little garbage bags & left it there. Well my husband comes back to the room & said the manager was a real piece of work! But she did admit she saw we did not go to the room right away & she would refund the charge. But instead of refunding the charge she charged our credit card 240.00. Thank god it was at it's credit limit! or I am sure she would have charged more! Well when I went to use that card to charge our gas it would not go through. So I contact our credit card comp. & that is when I found out that we were charged 243.77 by the hotel. So I contact the hotel & the manage states that they charged that because we smoked in the room because the cup I dumped the ashtray into! She was very clear that she would not refund the money & she said she is now certain, since I had so many problems with the hotel I would not be back! So I report this to my credit card comp & they are trying to get my money back. I also reported to holiday inn customer /guest relations & filed a complaint & was told they would inform the hotel not to dispute the charge or recharge the card. But guess what, received a call from my credit card comp. saying the hotel is arguing & wont give the money back. So when I called guest relations they are now saying they cant do anything for us or make the hotel give it back because they can't prove whether or not we smoked in the room! I would highly recommend anyone considering staying in the area to stay at the Comfort Inn, it is less than 5 miles up the road, & a top hotel compared to the low standards of the this holiday Inn express. Also I suggest to search reviews of the Holiday inn express in all areas as you will see the hundreds of neg. reviews usually involving being overcharged or ripped off!
I would like to note.. my son is a-typical (not the average typical asthmatic) & any type of direct smoke(actual visible smoke that can be inhaled) usually will cause an asthma attack, not the stale smell of smoke. My son did not have an asthmas attack while at the hotel. I only mentioned the room smelling of smoke because it smelled of smoke. When the manager said they were 100% smoke free I pointed out that the staff was seen smoking in the lobby & outside. My main concern & complaint was that the hotel staff was displaying what I feel was not appropiate behavior for any type of business that children are present at. After writing this review I did read someone else review from nov 2008 that stated a similar experience with the staff socializing with non guest members.So this appears to be the type of atmosphere one can expect from this hotel. For some that is not a problem but I for one, it was because I had my children along. For the hotel, that type of behavior should not be excused or expected. The manager became defensive & aggressive & created the trumped up fraudulent charge... I am 100% certain it was because I complained.
As a follow up as I am uncertain how to post that.. I would like to say, my husband never has nor would smoke around our son. Nor does our son ride in my husband jeep often. We had no option but to take the jeep because of the amount of snow & my spyder eclipse does not get around in the snow. Affections was a term I felt was better suited than to say groping & kissing by a member of the hotel staff. As for me bringing the cigarette smoke smell to the managers attention, it was a secondary issue because the real issue involved the manager & she was very aggressive & rude. I am certain many who read this will understand it is often easy to be upset about a secondary issue (the smell of smoke) because I was bothered about the main issue. Plus I am not the one advertising my husband's jeep as being 100% smoke free but the hotel is advertising their hotel is 100% smoke free. As for the kissing, & the staff & non guest socializing in what should be for paying guest area, yes that was the real issue. By the staff doing so the atmosphere was not family friendly, which is the reason for my review. It would not have been made an issue if my children were not along. Though I still would not have felt comfortable going to the lobby / lounge area. & though I most likely would not have made an issue to the manager of the behavior of the hotel staff including herself, I still would not have felt it was or is ok for someone working at the hotel to act as if it is there own personal playground. Some types of work environments this is acceptable & expected but the Holiday Inn Express should not be one of them.
Please note.. the manager for the york pa. hotel will only follow up to customers with decent or good reviews but not to the ones with complaints. Also though the Holiday Inn guest relations will take your complaint, in the end they don't do anything about it & just refers you back to the hotel that you had the problem with!