Answer: I don’t understand how Hotels.com can accept a reservation — let alone send you to a hotel — that’s closed. It would be one thing if the hotel closed suddenly, because of a fire or foreclosure. But this was a seasonal closure.
When you were standing in front of the closed property, you should have phoned Hotels.com right away. A representative should have found you a suitable replacement room immediately at the same rate you paid for the original hotel. That employee could have also verified that the hotel was closed for the season.
Instead, you waited. I can understand why you’d postpone this — after all, you needed a room right away, and Hotels.com hadn’t exactly proven itself as reliable. Still, resolving this problem right then and there would have spared you a lot of grief later on.
You called Hotels.com when you returned, which didn’t really work. You need something in writing, preferably by email. Proving the hotel is closed should be as easy as sending a Hotels.com representative a link to the inn’s website, and also, you can forward the entire chain to a supervisor instead of waiting on “hold” for someone who may or may not be in a position to help you.
I contacted Hotels.com on your behalf. It apologized for the problem with your hotel, confirmed that it was closed, and refunded $401, the cost of the original hotel. What had happened? “The hotel did in fact close but they did not update their information in our system for the dates Mr. Broman booked,” a representative told me.
Hotels.com said it would take additional steps to make sure this didn’t happen again. It also agreed to refund you for the extra expenses incurred as a result of your hotel mishap.