Photo-A-Day #1671

So I got creative with the angles in my shot today, sure my closet is a little boring but if you look at the full size one you get a little insight into me. Today’s post isn’t about the photo. Here’s a story of ineptitude that is unprecedented in all my years of travel.

Allison, Eva and I went to Orlando for IZEAFest. We stayed at the Renaissance Orlando from September 30 to October 5th. I used my Marriott Rewards points for our room. Because we were going to be at IZEAFest all day long we needed someone to watch Eva. Our fantastic friend Maureen took time out of work to come stay with Eva from Thursday to Sunday. She refused any money for food or anything. I rented her a room for her stay. This one I paid for.

When I checked in on the 30th I explained to the front desk that I booked both rooms and I would be paying for everything for both rooms. I put down my credit card for everything. There should have been no reason at all for the hotel to take Maureen’s credit card for ANYTHING. The hotel stay overall was perfectly fine, we were able to get adjoining rooms too so that Maureen could easily take care of Eva and then go to her own room when Eva went down to sleep. The hotel itself was pretty nice but this post isn’t about that.

On Sunday I went with Maureen to check out. I got the bill and we kept the charges on my card. Maureen’s hotel room was $334.14 total. I was expecting to receive the charge on my credit card but it never came. I used the same card for my hotel room and I checked out on Monday. I was billed for the incidentals on our room. On the 17th I heard from Maureen that the hotel charged her card and that put her in overdraft and so her bank charged her over $500 in fees. She contacted the hotel to get this taken care of. Maureen first talked with a customer service rep who asked her to fax her credit card bill with the charges and the fees. The rep would talk with accounting and get the charges reversed. Easy Peasy, NOT.

On the 28th I got another e-mail from Maureen telling me that she hadn’t heard from the hotel about the charges. So she contacted them and was told that she needed to have me fill out an authorization form. I did that on the 29th and faxed it customer service. So they will be charging my credit card, as they should have. Everything was all set. Or so we thought.

Maureen contacted me last night to tell me that the hotel only reimbursed her $103 and not the rest of her fees. She gave me the name and number of the supervisor that she spoke with today. That person was Jennifer Kennett and she was not at all helpful. I called her also and left a message detailing the issue and said that this issue needs to be resolved today. I was not called back. Later Maureen received a message from Jennifer Kennett stating that she would not be reimbursed any more money and that she could lodge a complaint and to have a nice day.”

Since the phone call was not working I left a message for customer service through the online customer service form explaining the whole situation. I was automatically emailed that I would hear something in the next 3-5 business days. Another dead end.

So I looked up Marriott’s presence on Twitter and found @MarriottIntl. I then sent out a tweet” “@MarriottIntl I’ll never stay at the Renaissance Orlando again after what they did/are doing to my friend @motarpey.” Less than an hour later I saw this on my twitter stream: “MarriottIntl @motarpey Is there’s anything I can do? If so, please follow me so I can DM you. @BenSpark” So I am hoping that maybe they can help Maureen. They certainly were responsive right away on Twitter.

Actually it looks like by tweeting this issue I brought it into the light. Maureen was contacted by John Wolf one of the Marriott Tweeters. He asked Maureen for an explanation of the events which she sent in full detail (she cc’d me). Maureen has spent hours trying to resolve this and she has been lied to, hung up on and hung out to dry.

Here’s what bothers me most about this:

  • Maureen was doing us a huge favor and is a fantastic friend and wonderful person, she should not have to deal with this garbage because the mistake was not hers and it should be rectified in full by Marriott.
  • When I checked in I specifically gave instructions that I was to pay for everything and my credit card was to be used for incidentals. When Maureen checked in the front desk person demanded that she put down a credit card for incidentals. I was not there when she checked in but Allison was and while she explained that my card was on the account the person at the front desk still would not follow my explicit instructions.
  • Maureen’s credit card should never have been taken for ANYTHING.
  • If the hotel had trouble billing me, which they should not have had since I was billed for incidentals when I checked out the day AFTER Maureen. (The reason they might have had trouble was that my credit card was part of a ton of cards that may have been compromised and so I was issued a new card and number,)
  • Why was Maureen told that the charges would be taken care of if she faxed copies of her credit card bill and then weeks later told that she needed to have me fax another form?
  • How can a credit card company charge overdraft fees nearly twice the amount that caused the overdraft in the first place?

I will keep you all apprised of this issue but in the meantime I would not consider staying at the Renaissance Orlando ever again.

Like this post? You might like these too…

Are you getting BenSpark.com in your inbox every day? Sign up to get the latest posts e-mailed directly to YOU.

Enter your email address; RSS Feed delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe to the BenSpark.com Feed

Copyright (c) 2016 BenSpark.com

21 Responses to “Atrocious Customer Service from Renaissance Orlando”

  1. Mo says:

    THANK YOU, Drew and Allison…for your continued support and friendship:) I appreciate all you do for me and all the kind things you have said. I’m blessed to have you all in my life. You have enough going on without my troubles, and I just can’t tell you how much it means to me to know you are my friends. That is truly priceless.
    .-= Look at what Mo wrote blog ..motarpey: RT @tweetmeme Atrocious Customer Service from Renaissance Orlando | Everyday Pictures… Every… Day – BenSpark.com http://bit.ly/1P64qe =-.

    • Drew says:

      Mo,
      It just bothers me so much that you do something so selfless and kind for us and are now bearing the brunt financially for something you never should have been charged for.

  2. Christine says:

    This is horrible! Here’s a friend who is doing you a favor, you wanted to repay her by paying for her hotel room & incidentals, and SHE gets screwed. Wrong, wrong, WRONG!

    I advised Maureen on Facebook to consider taking this to the media. Maybe a story on the local news might shame these people into giving her a refund for the charges and the overdraft fees.

    I hope she does get her money back. This is inexcusable!
    .-= Look at what Christine wrote blog ..The good, the bad & the ugly =-.

    • Drew says:

      Christine,

      This is very wrong and I hope to see it resolved right away. We’re trying to get the word out there to help fix it.

  3. Andrea says:

    Just an FYI, if you ever have a questionable charge on your debit/credit card, always file a dispute with your bank/credit card company. Don’t wait, do it right away. I’m not sure about the details regarding credit cards, but (unless the regulations have changed in the last couple of years) your bank will provide you with provisional credit after 10 business or calendar days (I can’t remember which) during the course of the dispute. Disclaimer: Please review YOUR account agreement for complete details.

    It does not preclude you from dealing directly with the company that made the error. You can even just deal with it through bank if you wish, but I’ve found sometimes an attack on multiple fronts is necessary.

    Marriott should make good on any overdraft/overlimit fees.

    Amazing how one person’s mistake blows everything up. And Marriott even provided additional gasoline. <>
    .-= Look at what Andrea wrote blog ..Wheeler Images-IPhone =-.

    • Drew says:

      Andrea,
      I agree. I had a double charge from a restaurant in London once and my credit card company helped me big time. The restaurant challenged the charges too but I had the full story and was in the right so I didn’t have to suffer financially.

      I also advised Mo to do this as well. That should have been my first advice though,. But she was told immediately that the charges would be taken care of.

      • Andrea says:

        “I also advised Mo to do this as well. That should have been my first advice though,. But she was told immediately that the charges would be taken care of.”

        If I hadn’t worked in banking for a number of years, I would have done the same thing she did.

        Just some info for your readership, even if your working with the company, file a dispute. Worst case scenario, you’ll temporarily have provisional credit AND the credit adjustment from the company. (Don’t think this is a windfall, eventually someone will figure out you have more than you should.)

        I’m sure the twitter contact will want to be the point of final resolution, even for the overdraft/limit fees. If they are not, this is what people write to a company’s corporate office about…
        .-= Look at what Andrea wrote blog ..Wheeler Images-IPhone =-.

        • Drew says:

          Andrea,
          Thanks for the great advice. Nice to know someone who has knowledge and experience with this on the customer service side and just what to do to get a resolution.

  4. Rob says:

    That sucks big time. We stayed in the same hotel and everything seemed ok but again we stayed with Susan from Life in the House of Blue and paid her directly so we didn’t have to deal with the hotel in that manner.

    In regards to Twitter and complaints. It works. Melinda was having a HUGE problem with her Dell laptop so I sent a tweet out how I would never buy a Dell again. Within an hour we go a message back and within a week a new replacement laptop.

    Companies do now want the bad press on Twitter due to how many people use Twitter and how many people it reaches so they figure they better fix the problem before it gets to out of hand and shines a negative light on them.

    I am not one to air dirty laundry on Twitter but when necessary I will and so far it works. Hopefully it will work for you and your friend also. Keep us updated on if Twitter helps you resolve the problem.

    • Drew says:

      Rob,
      Twitter is usually my last resort on this issue. I don’t want to be known as one of those complaining bloggers either. But with a friend like Mo who did something so nice I had to do something to reach out and get her the help she deserves. This needs to be made right.

  5. Deborah says:

    I actually had the same thing happen once when the family was staying at a Sheraton but thankfully everything was resolved quickly. So sorry Mo for your troubles. You are a good friend Drew.
    .-= Look at what Deborah wrote blog ..Welcome to FeedBurner =-.

    • Drew says:

      Deborah,
      The last I heard she wasn’t having much more luck with the Credit Card company and her bank either and she’s heard nothing more from Marriott.

  6. Mo says:

    Hi everyone! Thank you so much for your advice and support…it means the world to me:) Drew is right and I didn’t get far with the credit card company though the bank tried to help too. I called them when this happened and reported it-but they told me to call the hotel. I did, Marriott said they would take care of it all on more than one occasion, so I made the mistake of believing them and didn’t file a formal complaint with the credit card company at that time…I’m too gullible to believe that a major hotel chain would actually stand by their word and exhibit professional customer service. I will keep you posted-Drew is right…no word from Marriott since last evening.

    Drew & Allison-I couldn’t ask for better friends…you are amazing and I count my blessings every minute that you are in my life:)
    .-= Look at what Mo wrote blog ..motarpey: @catmommy9 I hope you hear from her soon & she is safe & sound. I’m praying for her and her loved ones. =-.

  7. Joe Tech says:

    I’m a huge fan of Hilton these days the way they treat us in Vegas, but even if I wasn’t, I think I’d avoid that place completely in Orlando. In Vegas a few years back, we had a room at the Flamingo held on a card and told them when we checked in that we would be paying with another card entirely. Instead, they charged more than the room total to our card the first night of our 4 night stay, and on the card we didn’t want charged. What I’ve learned from this is that I’ll never give a card to a hotel unless I’m ready for that card to take a charge for the full stay.

    As far as complaining on Twitter goes, that seems to be a good last resort. It used to be that I’d call Sales when Support ignored me because they would go yell at Support. Now, if you run into a dead end with a legitimate problem, Twitter is a good resource. I’ve only had to use it once, but it’s effective. I also make sure to point out good service (on twitter, at a restaurant, etc) just as much as the bad.

    I hope they do what’s right. If not, take it to the next level… a viral music video on YouTube.
    .-= Look at what Joe Tech wrote blog ..Crowd-Sourcing Product Development For Fun And Profit With Quirky =-.

    • Drew says:

      Joe,
      The viral video song sounds like another venue. I wonder if anyone I know makes up songs. :-)

      As far as twitter I do certainly tweet good service that is very important.

  8. MommaDJane says:

    Isn’t it sad how the people behind twitter seem to be a better resource than the paid customer service reps, even the managers?! It’s nice to have twitter as a fall back, but sad it has come to that.

    It was great what Mo did for you guys. Of course I know you and Allison recognize how lucky you are to have a friend like her. Just not fair for this to happen, especially at such a wonderful conference.
    .-= Look at what MommaDJane wrote blog ..Early Christmas Cards Needed for Little Boy =-.

    • Drew says:

      Dwan,
      You are correct, the people running the twitter feeds are usually very much customer oriented and help so much more.I think it is because they have the freedom to be more creative in the problem resolutions. Not sure but think that.

  9. Melinda says:

    Twitter is awesome for real results. Hopefully everything works out, feel free to enlist the help of your army if you need back-up and retweets.

  10. […] am pissed off at the Marriott Renaissance Orlando. Their Error caused Maureen Tarpey $400+ in fees, a month of fighting to receive a piddly amount of money back and countless hours of worry and […]