$250 smoking fee charged because I cooked in kitchenette

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May 4, 2019
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I recently stayed in Candlewood Suites Eugene Springfield, 3005 Franklin Blvd, Eugene, Oregon in a room with a kitchenette from Apr 13-20, 2019. During my stay I used the kitchenette to cook all my dinners. I AM NOT a smoker, therefore never smoked cigarettes in the room.

I travel a lot and cook all the time during my travels, so always stay in places with kitchenettes.

When I checked out of this particular hotel, Candlewood Suites Eugene Springfield, I was very surprised to see a charge of $250 about 5-days after I left. The manager of the hotel told me that they needed to clean everything from my cooking because I used the kitchenette.

I learned later from a friend (that used to work for IHG), that the hotel actually charged me the smoking fee of $250 used to get rid of cigarette smoke. Candlewood Suites is a franchise of IHG and they are the ones that charged the $250. As stated before, I am not a smoker so therefore never smoked in the room and there was no evidence of smoking in the room. And, the manager already told me that the charge was for cooking in the room.

I would like to know if there is a way to fight this charge that was apparently charged to me for actually cooking in the room. Like I said, I am not a smoker and the manager already told me that she was charging me for cooking in the kitchenette.

I have already called the corporate office (case number - xxxxxxxx ) and was told they could not do anything for me, and the manager of the hotel has already told me that they were not going to refund the money.

I did actually take pictures of the room before I left. For some reason I felt I could not trust the hotel. During my stay management did actually give me a hard time about cooking in my room.


Edited by moderator to remove case number
 
Last edited by a moderator:

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
You need to email corporate IHG: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/intercontinental-hotels/
Unfortunately, you were stuck with the fact that housekeeping likely noticed an odor in the room from cooking and needed to clean it. They then assessed the "smoking" charge. You should not be charged for odors from cooking that is part of the suite function. You should explain the facts very simply in an email to IHG corporate, starting with the first customer service person on the list, and escalating weekly if no/negative response. They cannot tell you not to cook in a suite that has a kitchen.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
Good grief, what next? "Here's a nice room with a kitchen, but don't even think of preparing a meal." Don't get into the smoking/cooking fee debate, just state that you don't smoke but cooked dinner every night. What kind of "hard time" did the hotel give you? Were you cooking highly odorific food? Have a look at the hotel's website to be sure that there aren't any "rules" about the kitchen.

As Weilac outlines, compose a concise, polite letter to corporate, since you have already dealt with the hotel. Keep an eye on your credit card's limit to file a dispute, but give corporate a chance to solve this. This is a most interesting case, please let us know your progress.
 
May 4, 2019
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You need to email corporate IHG: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/intercontinental-hotels/
Unfortunately, you were stuck with the fact that housekeeping likely noticed an odor in the room from cooking and needed to clean it. They then assessed the "smoking" charge. You should not be charged for odors from cooking that is part of the suite function. You should explain the facts very simply in an email to IHG corporate, starting with the first customer service person on the list, and escalating weekly if no/negative response. They cannot tell you not to cook in a suite that has a kitchen.
I already contacted IHG. IHG had Candlewood Suites Eugene Springfield call me and the manager told me flatly that they would not refund the $250. I immediately called IHG and they told me that they could not do anything for me.
 
May 4, 2019
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Good grief, what next? "Here's a nice room with a kitchen, but don't even think of preparing a meal." Don't get into the smoking/cooking fee debate, just state that you don't smoke but cooked dinner every night. What kind of "hard time" did the hotel give you? Were you cooking highly odorific food? Have a look at the hotel's website to be sure that there aren't any "rules" about the kitchen.

As Weilac outlines, compose a concise, polite letter to corporate, since you have already dealt with the hotel. Keep an eye on your credit card's limit to file a dispute, but give corporate a chance to solve this. This is a most interesting case, please let us know your progress.
I did look on the hotel's website could not find a policy on what you can and cannot cook in the room. They advertise the fact that all their rooms have kitchenettes. That's why I stayed there.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
22,882
22,843
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
What did you cook? Were you frying in the room? That often leaves a smell but if you had a kitchenette with frying pans- they shouldn’t be charging you if they don’t disclose a cleaning fee for using the kitchenette.

Go up the corporate ladder in writing.
 
May 4, 2019
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What did you cook? Were you frying in the room? That often leaves a smell but if you had a kitchenette with frying pans- they shouldn’t be charging you if they don’t disclose a cleaning fee for using the kitchenette.

Go up the corporate ladder in writing.
I do not eat fried foods. I steam cook everything on stove top, and yes, I was using the frying pan in the room. I was cooking fish, mushrooms, chicken gizzards, ground turkey and jalapeno pepper. Sorry about my weird diet. And I could not find any cleaning fee for using the kitchenette. As stated before, I always stay in hotels with kitchenettes and I have never been charged for using the kitchenettes.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
22,882
22,843
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Use our company contacts as weihlac suggested. You should point out that you rented a room with a kitchenette and you found no restrictions on the website saying you would be charged a fee for cooking.
 
Aug 29, 2015
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Fish, chicken gizzards and jalapeño peppers do leave an odor, but nothing crazy to be rid of. It is nothing like cigarette odor.
If they provide a kitchenette and fry pans, people will cook. They just need a good air filter to run an hour or two and the smell should be gone. That is what we do in our short term rentals.

I would follow the advice of Neil and contact IHG customer service by email. State you were charged a fee and never smoked in the room.
 
May 4, 2019
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You need to email corporate IHG: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/intercontinental-hotels/
Unfortunately, you were stuck with the fact that housekeeping likely noticed an odor in the room from cooking and needed to clean it. They then assessed the "smoking" charge. You should not be charged for odors from cooking that is part of the suite function. You should explain the facts very simply in an email to IHG corporate, starting with the first customer service person on the list, and escalating weekly if no/negative response. They cannot tell you not to cook in a suite that has a kitchen.

Thanks for the link. I sent all three contacts an email about my situation.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
22,882
22,843
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
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Mel65

Mar 23, 2015
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So, a hotel that offers cooking facilities is punishing a guest for cooking? What's next? Charging a guest for cleaning the pool because they swam in it? Ridiculous! Good luck kmfarnham! Other than the fish, nothing you cooked should have smelled very strongly... did you burn anything you cooked so that they had to clean any smoke smudges anything?
 
May 4, 2019
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So, a hotel that offers cooking facilities is punishing a guest for cooking? What's next? Charging a guest for cleaning the pool because they swam in it? Ridiculous! Good luck kmfarnham! Other than the fish, nothing you cooked should have smelled very strongly... did you burn anything you cooked so that they had to clean any smoke smudges anything?

No I did not burn anything during my stay. I actually like most of my meet raw in the middle so I don't over cook anything.
 
May 4, 2019
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If doesn’t matter if you burned it or not- a hotel with a kitchenette shouldn't be charging you for cooking.

Have you written to Customer Service using our contacts?
Yes, I sent an email to the first contact. It hasn't been a week yet so just waiting before contacting the next individual.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
22,882
22,843
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
How many executives have you contacted? This letter seems to say you have contacted several.

I would take it to the next executive we show. Re-iterate that the hotel bears the IHG name and if it is a franchise you still booked based in the hotel brand, not whether it is a franchise or not. State again you did not smoke in the room but you cooked in it and don’t accept the smoking fee.

Call your credit card company as well and dispute the charge. You have tried working it out and they are not listening to you.
 
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Aug 9, 2017
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The reviews on this place are from from stellar! One thing I notice as a common reply is to reach out to a [email protected] . Have you possibly tried that address. Trip advisor has a review from Maps24778948677 from one week ago where the individual was also charged $250 for a cleaning fee. That you?