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 Hotels.com 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.
Hotels.com is on the hook for selling you a room that fell short of its description. But before getting to that, let’s deal with the foreign call centers. I believe online travel companies have a right to hire the most cost-effective call center personnel they can — wherever they may be. However, you also have a right to speak with a company representative in English. Hotels.com shouldn’t even bother offering a toll-free number if no one can understand the folks staffing it, or if they can’t understand you.
Strictly speaking, the absence of a high-speed Internet connection was a breach of contract by Hotels.com. You booked the hotel because it had an in-room connection. Hotels.com should have offered you an immediate refund, if not found you a comparable room (with Internet, of course) at another hotel.
If you agreed to a $50 coupon at the time you left the hotel, then Hotels.com owes you the “Hotel Bucks” within four to six weeks. Here’s another idea: Why not spring for a wireless Internet card, which will ensure you’re always connected and never at the mercy of a hotel to get work done?
I contacted Hotels.com on your behalf. A representative contacted you and credited the four room nights, plus the promised $50 voucher.
(Photo: the G/Flickr Creative Commons)