HOTELS.COM left me in Paris sans hotel

When Judi McManigal arrives at her hotel in Paris, she discovers she doesn’t have a reservation. Her online travel agency won’t help her. Is she stuck with the bill?

Question: We made a reservation recently on for a hotel in Paris. When we arrived, the hotel informed us that they had canceled the reservation due to an issue with the credit card transaction. Apparently, not all U.S. credit cards are accepted in Europe, which we also learned when we tried to buy train tickets from a machine with the same credit card.

Our hotel told us that they had notified of the credit card issue and cancellation before our arrival. They even showed me a printout of the email. However, never notified us of the credit card problem, nor the cancellation. The hotel had only one night available, so we had to find another hotel at the last minute for the three remaining nights.

We called the number in France, and the agent stated that they had the cancellation in their system. But after speaking with several representatives, refused to put us in another hotel at the same rate.
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Can I get a refund for my stay at the No-Tell Motel?

Wave Media/Shutterstock
Wave Media/Shutterstock

Gladys Martin’s hotel room is uninhabitable, but the property wants to charge her for it, anyway. Is there any way to undo this mistake?

Question: While traveling through Pennsylvania on a college tour with our daughter, my husband and I made a reservation for two nights at a Super 8 through When we arrived at the hotel late in the evening, we were dismayed to find a hotel with questionable clientele (there was a couple behind us looking for a couple of hours’ stay at the hotel) and a hotel attendant behind a double-panel glass window.

I asked to see the room before signing any paperwork and the attendant declined. He simply gave me a form to fill out with my name and address. Due to the late hour and not having any other viable option for a night’s stay, we agreed to spend the night at the hotel but to check out the following morning as soon as possible.

Although the room had been recently renovated, the carpet was filthy. Our shoes stuck to the carpet. The air conditioner was set at 45 degrees, and it took more than three hours for the room to heat up to 74 degrees. The walls were thin enough that we could hear every move of our neighbor upstairs and of our neighbors around us.
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An extra $55 for taxes on my pre-paid car rental? Seriously?

Question: We booked a ten-day vacation package in Cancun, Mexico through that included air, hotel and a rental car. Taxes were included in the price of the rental car.

When we arrived at the Hertz rental counter, we were told there was an additional tax of about $55. I paid the additional tax at checkout, expecting to be reimbursed from

I’ve written two emails to, but both have gone unanswered. When I called the company, a representative told me the $55 charge was a “deposit” that would be returned to me. But a call to Hertz confirmed it was a tax and no refund was due.
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But no one told me the pool was closed!

Question: I thought I would try to see if you could resolve a problem we had with My husband searched for hotels in the Wisconsin Dells with indoor water parks. My son, who is in college, was bringing home his other ROTC cadets to see Chicago and go to the Dells during their spring break.
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Hang on — are you sure your hotel’s closed for the season?

Question: I booked a stay in Ocean City, Md., through When I arrived to check in, I found it was closed for the season. All numbers I was able to find for the hotel — front desk, reservations, housekeeping, and administrative offices — either rang forever or had a voice mail saying that the hotel was closed.
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Can this trip be saved? Charged $281 for three nights I never used

When Carol Pulido tried to check in to the Puerto De Luna Hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a few months ago, she got some bad news.

The suite she’d reserved and paid for through wasn’t available.

“They said they were overbooked and no longer had any suites, but they could give us two rooms,” she says. “I wasn’t very happy with the arrangement because we wanted to keep our party together. But we went along with it.”
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“We have been ripped off”

Kate Silver didn’t stay at the Hotel Arlecchino in Venice earlier this year, even though she had a confirmation from her online travel agency. Instead, she and her husband, Howard, were “walked” to the Hotel Continental when the Arlecchino was oversold.

Here’s the Arlecchino’s site and here’s the Continental’s site. And I’ll save you the trouble of checking TripAdvisor: 89 percent like Arlecchino; 73 percent recommend the Continental.

So although they aren’t quite the same, they seem to be close enough.

But Silver isn’t happy with her agency,, because for her, the trip was an unqualified disaster.

Question is, how does an online travel agency address a problem like this after the guest has stayed in a hotel?
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Two rooms with one bed — and no refund

Question: I have recently had a problem with, and I hope you can help me. I called them to reserve one room at a Holiday Inn in San Francisco. This was to be a gift for my two granddaughters.

I was sent two email confirmations, which I assumed were duplicates since they both were for one room for two nights. My granddaughters were given two keys when they arrived. They showed the desk clerk the confirmation, but were told the reservation was for two rooms and that they were prepaid.

It turned out that each room had only one bed, so the girls did use both rooms. I received my Visa bill the next day and saw that I was billed for two rooms — two different charges for $302 each.

I called the Holiday Inn and was told that it was’s problem. The reservation that was made was for two rooms, and they had nothing to do with the billing. denies that they made an error, and that because the girls used both rooms, they would not refund the money.

I feel they made the mistake in reserving two rooms, and I should not be made to pay for the extra room, even though it was used. Is this the way they make money? — Nula Fales, Elk Grove, Calif.

Answer: Certainly not. If you only ordered one room, then should have only given you one. Any business that tries to sell you more than you wanted, wouldn’t last very long online, or anywhere.
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Hilarious exchange with makes you wonder: Is anyone reading your complaints?

Reading comprehension is one of the foundations of primary education. (I ought to know. My eight-year-old struggles with his reading assignments from time to time.) But you’d expect a full-grown employee to actually take the time to read and understand something like a complaint email, right?

So would Ned Uyeno, who recently tried to cancel his room in Japan. When the site refunded only one of his rooms, it set off a chain of events that Uyeno is having a hard time comprehending.

Me too.

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Hey, what happened to my Internet connection?

Question: I recently reserved a room at the Ramada Charleston in Charleston, S.C., through When I checked in, I was told there was no Internet in the rooms despite what the Web page said.

I explained that I needed Internet access and that the Ramada would not do. I called from the Ramada lobby and the representative, whose English language skills were poor, confirmed with Ramada that there was no Internet and canceled my reservation.

I then went across the street to the Red Roof Inn, confirmed they had Internet in their rooms, and called back to book it instead. This time the phone representative (whose English was even worse) told me my credit card was declined. This was because she couldn’t understand me and input the wrong number.

Finally, I had to book the room with the front desk of the Red Roof Inn using the same credit card that the agent said was declined and the same credit card I used for the initial Ramada reservation. I lost four nights of Welcome Rewards and about 35 minutes on my cell phone.

I think, at the least, my four nights of welcome rewards should be reinstated. But refused, instead offering me $50 worth of “Hotel Bucks.” They promised them within four to six weeks, but it’s been five months, and there’s no sign of them. Anything you can do to help would be appreciated. — Michael Rosenthal, Miami

Answer: Your room should have had an Internet connection, as promised. I can understand how some hotels might think of a wireless high-speed network as an amenity, like a TV or a hair dryer, but if you’re traveling on business, it’s a necessity.

I reviewed the listing of the Ramada Charleston several weeks after working on this case, and I saw that the hotel still claims to offer “high-speed Internet access” on site.
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I didn’t wake up happy at my hotel

Question: I recently reserved a room by phone at the Extended Stay America Providence Airport-West Warwick in Rhode Island through I repeatedly asked if the rooms where non-smoking, and that if it was OK to do a late check-in, and the answer to both questions was “yes.”

When we arrived at the hotel at 11:45 p.m., the manager on duty said we had reservations for two smoking rooms, and one of them only had one double bed. I explained to the hotel manager that was not what I had booked through, but she said that was the type of reservation they had received, that she only had three rooms left, and all of them were smoking rooms. What’s more, she could not give us a refund because the bookings were made through

We called, but a representative insisted we had been given the rooms we requested. After some back-and-forth, and us explaining that these weren’t the rooms we asked for, agreed to give us a $40 voucher and a 10 percent discount on our rooms.

We decided to use the room. We could barely sleep because the smell remained so strong. Both my sister’s grandson and I spent the dawn hours throwing up.

In the end, it would’ve been better for all of us just to sleep in the car than spend $191 for two rooms where we couldn’t sleep and got sick. I hope you can help me in some way. — Zoraida Fernandez, Hackettstown, NJ

Answer: Extended Stay should have handed you the keys to two nonsmoking rooms with two double beds in each one. If it didn’t, or couldn’t, then should have found you a comparable room at another hotel.

What went wrong here? Everything.
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Overcharged for my overrated room on

Sometimes, the Internet isn’t the best way to book a hotel room.

That may be something of an understatement for Karen Berg, who recently tried to reserve a room in Miami through She ran into so much trouble, including being overcharged multiple times and then getting accommodations that she didn’t expect, that she’s having second thoughts about ever buying online again.
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I canceled my room — where’s my refund?

Question: I hope you can help me. I booked a hotel through recently. It was the first time I’ve used them, and it will be my last.

I had a two-night stay in Sedona, Ariz., at $105 a night. I had to cancel one of the nights, so I called and spoke with a woman who was very difficult to understand. She kept putting me on hold and seemed as if she didn’t know what she was doing. I thought I had canceled the room, but when I got my credit card bill, I noticed a charge for two nights, for a total of $228.

I wrote to, asking it to adjust my charges. I received a letter from the hotel stating that they showed no record of the cancellation, and that we were listed as a “no-show” for the second night. Can you help me with this? — Elaine Farkas, Parma Heights, Ohio

Answer: If canceled your room, you shouldn’t have been charged. But according to the online travel agency’s records, your room wasn’t canceled.

So what happened? I contacted to find out.
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