They didn’t have the accessible room I reserved — what am I owed?

Disara/Shutterstock
Disara/Shutterstock
Some hotel amenities aren’t that important. Some are.

Having an accessible room, which is required under some state and federal laws, is a biggie. So when John and Carolyn Falabella asked me to look into their hotel’s failure to offer them the room they reserved, I knew it could be serious.

But a closer look at their case one shows just how frustrating it can be to fix a major problem like this, particularly with a chain hotel. I’m not sure if I can make this right, but read on and let me know if you think I should get involved in mediating this dispute.

Falabella had reservations at a Comfort Inn in Arlington, Va. He says he’d made a booking for an accessible room through Comfort Inn’s 800-number, and that he received a confirmation.
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What are we owed for two “horrible, stinky nights” in a hotel?

Erika Spott is a card-carrying member of Choice Hotels’ loyalty program, and she gives the hotel chain her business because she can always count on getting clean, reasonably-priced room.

Until she visited Avon, Ind., for a family event recently.

“We booked two non-smoking rooms at the Comfort Inn,” she says. “When we returned from spending the day with our family around 10:30 p.m., our room reeked of cigarette smoke — enough to gag a smoker.”
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Can this trip be saved? Bedbugs in my hotel room (and bad service — really bad service)

I am writing to describe the most horrible hotel stay I have ever endured in any hotel in my life,” the note began.

Well, that’s one way to get your attention.

The email, sent to the Comfort Inn Conference Center in Richmond, Va., detailed an unpleasant stay from start to finish. But let’s not bury the lede, as they say in journalism: The worst part, says Cricket Moore, was the discovery of a bedbug between her sheets.

She scooped up the insect, took a picture and brought it to the front desk.

“I was dumbfounded to discover that the hotel either had no procedures or had not trained its personnel how to handle a situation like this,” she says.
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Should I delete my customer service blog?

Alistair Young had a problem. He booked a room through the Comfort Inn site and paid $225, but then found the same room elsewhere online for just $174.

Comfort had a best rate guarantee, which he invoked. The hotel turned him down, citing fine print in its agreement. So he started a blog called Keeping Choice Hotels Honest. (Choice owns the Comfort Inn brand.)

He also asked me for help, and I referred him to this wiki, where he obtained the executive contacts for Comfort Inn and appealed to them.
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