Things are tough all over. I’m in Michigan and the bad economy has wreaked havoc on us Michiganders.
Deserted homes that have been repossessed by banks. Cars being taken from owners. Jobs lost. Stores closing.
Michigan is becoming more and more like a ghost town. People leaving in mass exodus in search of better opportunities in other states.
Why am I telling you something you already know? Because I’m pissed as hell about a little incident that just occurred.
I was supposed to go to Las Vegas this coming up Friday. I had been looking forward to attending Sitscation and hanging out with my bloggy friends, some I hadn’t even met yet. I was so excited about sharing a room with @Childhood and snuggling in the King sized bed because I screwed up the reservation.
But then it came time to book the airfare. And I couldn’t. The expense was too great and so I chose to feed my children instead. That’s just the kind, considerate type mother that I am.
But I was so disappointed. I kept checking Southwest, Expedia, Cheap Tickets, Orbitz, WHATEVER. Looking for decent air. To no avail. Sigh.
I kept my hopes up until yesterday. I gave up. I resigned myself to the fact that, in this economy, I had to pick my children over myself. Sigh. And I realized that I truly will not being going to the conference that I was so excitedly looking forward to. Sitscation. I just couldn’t justify spending over $500 on flying to Vegas for a 2 night stay.
This morning. At the crack of bright and early. I called the hotel. The Venetian. 5 days prior to my arrival. To cancel my reservation that I so desperately didn’t want to cancel, yet, I needed to use that money to grocery shop. Times are tough. Even though my husband is a teacher, they are underpaid and we are overchildrened. Yeah, there are way too many kids in my house…
I spoke with, I believe her name was Paula. Over at the 1-877 number for the Venetian. I wasn’t confrontational. I was sweet and matter-of-fact as I told her my plight. She…was a nasty bitch. She, in a snotty tone, told me that I was inside of my cancellation policy. I responded with a whatchyoutalkinbout? She sighed. And told me that I was supposed to have canceled by 7 days prior to my arrival.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
Even airlines let you cancel up to 24 hours, with a minimal fine.
She told me, this Paula, that I will have to forfeit my 150 plus tax. I was already upset by the fact that I can’t get my conference money back. So now, the Sitscation is costing me $350 and I’m not going to even be there!?!?
I said to her, that here I am telling you that I can’t afford the airfare to even be able to stay in this lovely establishment and you are telling me too fucking bad? She didn’t really tell me too fucking bad. She kept saying…FORFEIT. I was forfeiting my money. No…I wasn’t actually forfeiting. It wasn’t being given back to me when I asked for it. That’s not forfeiting.
She put me on hold to talk to Tiffany, her supervisor.
And she came back and told me that it’s too bad, I should have canceled sooner. Maybe someone else can use my reservation. And let me reiterate…she was not nice. At all.
So, I thanked her for contributing to the starvation of my five children and I hung up.
I’m going to call them again when I get back from my doctors appointment.
Because I think that’s a lousy thing to do. And if they want to penalize me like airlines do, that’s fine.
But to STEAL my money like that?!
Their “policy” sucks. And in this economy, with as much hardship as there is, they really don’t need any negative press. Because there are a bazillion other hotels on the strip there that are just as beautiful.
They really need to revisit their little cancellation policy. They need to accommodate the economy. Because if they don’t, I guarantee the hotel on either side of them will.
And I would hate to see the Venetian sink into the sea of the hotel strip.
Never trust a CSR named Tiffany.
Have you considered contacting Consumerist? http://consumerist.com/
Melissa Multitasking Mama says
That totally sucks! Especially considering that I got my SITS ticket at the last minute and they wouldn’t honor the SITS rate (it was three days past that rate) so hubby and I are staying at an entirely different hotel than the conference is in. Not impressed by Venetian’s customer service AT ALL!
And so sad not to get to meet you and hang out. Don’t forget to email me your pic!
Amanda @ High Impact Mom says
OMHell. Are you freaking kidding me??!! You need to link this post to them! Find their homepage and link it! Seriously! If someone looking for them on the Google (yes, I said THE Google, cause that’s how ppl here say it) then they could find your post. You could also tag it as a review…just a suggestion =) so ppl out there might find what they did to you and be aware. I wouldn’t stop. I would keep calling and keep talking to people over “Paula and Tiffany”‘s heads. Talk to the hotel manager. I’m so sorry this happened…like you need one more thing to stress about.
I’m going to miss hanging out with you..but I understand about having to feed the kids..damn them and their wanting to eat all the time 🙂
I’m sorry, I don’t mean to sound cold and heartless, but I’ve never seen a hotel that didn’t have a seven day cancellation policy. This is nothing new. It’s not the hotel’s fault that your plans changed and by agreeing to reserve a room, you agreed to their policies. Perhaps you didn’t read them? Perhaps you thought you would get special treatment because you’re from a state that is having a really rough time right now? Why would that afford you special treatment? What if everyone called in at the last minute and canceled? The hotel would not only lose money, they wouldn’t be able to afford to pay their employees.
I’m terribly sorry that your plans fell through and that you won’t be able to attend the conference, but if you step back and look at your complaint, it seems pretty trivial given the fact that nearly 30% of Michiganders don’t even a job, and/or steady income to pay their rent or put food into their children’s mouths and you’re complaining that you have to sacrifice your party time with other bloggers??
And now you’re threatening to drag this hotel’s name through the mud because they won’t break the rules just for you?
I’m sorry, but this post was selfish, petty and terribly insensitive to the folks out there that have REAL, DIRE problems. I’m afraid you honestly don’t have a leg to stand on here.
That sucks to lose money. I’ve had stuff like that happen before. I hope you can get it back.
In no way whatsoever do I think this post is selfish. On the contrary, I agree with it whole-heartedly. This is the most ridiculous cancellation policy I have ever heard of!! Every hotel I have ever stayed at has a “Must cancel by 4 pm on the day of arrival” policy. So, apparently the Venetion is run by a bunch of money-hungry, inconsiderate assholes who will keep your money, and then turn around and rent it out to the next unsuspecting victim whom they will undoubtedly provide horrible customer service to, but they don’t care, because they have your money. Nice.
Your buddy jb says
Call and speak with the executive secretary to the general manager. Tell her you want to speak with GM. She won’t let you but she can take your info get back to you. At least this way they know u are serious!!!
Your buddy jb says
And…….most hotels cxl policy is 6pm night of arrival
I agree with Sara. It is not the hotels fault that you did not read the terms of your reservation.
To blog about YOUR mistake and blame the hotel is almost extortion.
UHM, almost EXTORTION, I love the educated people leaving their comments, Missy needs to brush up on the law, she doesnt sound very smart. You are just venting, like what you are suppose to do on a blog, call your credit card sweetie, almost every hotel has a policy, but not that you need to do it 7 days prior! good luck and dont despair over the EXTORTION plot, I am sure the police will not be after you for this!
Tara R. says
The Venetian’s own cancellation policy says ’72 hours” http://www.venetian.com/Pages.aspx?id=62
Your specific cancellation policy will be quoted at the time of booking; however, most reservations have a cancel policy of 72 hours prior to arrival.”
That’s not right, you gave them almost a week. You should definitely get your refund. I have NEVER seen a hotel that had a 7 day cancellation policy. NEVER! Even 72 hours is a long time based on my experiences.
Melisa with one S (PH) says
Setting aside the cancellation policy, etc., can you find someone who might be looking for a hotel room at Sitscation to take your place??
Yikes! A 7-day cancellation policy? That’s nuts! Was this a special conference rate?
Maybe it’s just because I’m cheap, but most hotels I have dealt with want about 24 hours (like 6PM the day before scheduled arrival). Just this morning I cancelled a reservation for a hotel for tomorrow night. No issue.
Thanks for the warning. I’ll add the Venetian to my list of unpleasant Las Vegas Hotels (right after to the MGM Grand).
That sucks ! When my dh was still in Germany he had bought the ticket for me to fly over for a couple weeks and then he found out he was getting his medical discharge early and would be home 3 days before I was to go …called the airline a month before my flight and they said too bad they dont refund! He even asked if they could just change the ticket to one in the states instead and no money back nope wouldn’t do that either !
$800 and I didn’t even go anywhere on Air Canada that’s right we told you we would always tell everyone how nasty you were and here I am doing it again 5 years later !
So we were stuck dishing out another 500 on another airline ! So trust me I feel your pain ,stuff like that sucks !
Just canceled my reservation at Hayatt La Jolla for this Thursday. No questions asked. Their policy is 24h before check in date. So is of majority of hotels I stayed at.
I absolutely think that 7-days is ridiculous. Sara, sorry, I have hard time agreeing that the post is insensitive to the “REAL and DIRE” problems of other people. Just because of other people’s problems Melissa cannot fight for her benefits or even express her disappointment? If she can get that money refunded, she should go for it.
There is no need to be judgmental either. It is not about “party time with bloggers” really, the debate here is actually about customer service and cancelation policy. It looks pretty reasonable to expect the hotel to refund reservation money when canceled that far in advance. From personal experience (I traveled and canceled a lot), and from what we found out from Venetian’s own website (thank you Tara R.), Melissa does have a leg to stand on!
Geez that BLOWS major!!
Sara, Missy — don’t be so harsh. No one’s looking for “devil’s advocate” or seriously inaccurate, over-dramatic statements (extortion? really?) … I’m sure neither one of you are going onto personal celebrity blogs and posting about how unfair it is that some of them get to stay for free at the Venetian and other hotels … so, let’s be a little less “asshole” and a little more “understanding” … In the current economic climate, business’ should operate on a “case by case” basis …
I would call them back and make their lives a living hell until you get your money back — and if you call back as part of the “media” you may even get a voucher for a free stay in the future lol … my answer to all problems these days are to involve the media — it’s the fire under the corporate ass — it makes them move! and mostly always in your favor …
That totally sucks!
My advice complain, complain, complain. And put it into writing, address it to the GM with the words “for the immediate and personal attention of”. I work in the customer service industry and trust me, complaints are always taken seriously. Good luck babe!
And to the snarky commenters, GET. A. LIFE.
I would be LIVID. That’s also the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard of! 7 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you SERIOUS?!
I hope you called back after your doc’s appt and got the situation rectified. UGH.
LizzB (@hereslizz) says
Sara must stay at some super secret swanky places all the time. Every place I’ve ever stayed had a policy of around 4pm THAT DAY! I think one place had a 24 hour notice.
Sorry this happened to you. I’d call back and quote the link that someone posted up.
one more thing for missy, so if you want to return something at a store and you dont agree with their return policy, do you think maybe someone should call the police for robbery? just a question.
The Royal Barrister says
Extortion?! Seriously?! No, really, seriously?! I have taken issue with various comments before, but the 2 attacks above take the cake! First…Do they read your blog? Do they think you’re kidding when you write about supporting 5 kids on a teacher’s salary? Second…I dare your critics to cite specific examples of and provide links to hotels with cancellation policies demanding anything more than 24 hours. I’m guessing, based upon the Venetian’s stated policy, that this relates directly to the conference. And third, let me know if you need my letterhead, bc unlike your critics who try to bolster their opinions with improperly defined legal jargon, some of us have a JD, knowledge and experience behind us to actually do more than offer our 2-cents.
(This really irked me!)
Kelly @Childhood says
I hate that you can’t get your money back… I linked you the cancellation policy I don’t know if that will help. I saw someone else did too. I will miss spooning with you in our King size bed. When you said you weren’t coming… I too assumed you haven’t yet paid for the room. I’m going unsponsored this trip and found a roomie to take me in. Let me know if it doesn’t work out. I will find a way to get you at least half back. I *heart* you.
My friend I have one word BULLSHIT!!!!
Make a stink…like those no linky broads up top that were haters, I mean come on…do you need to be rude? Sheesh, I have a post for those people…on le blog of mine. Seriously I would love to hear what their “Issues” are that are more pressing than getting your money back for groceries since you are already stressing. Good golly, nasty ppl in this world.
I big PUFFY hear love you! Come see….in a post for you!
I would’ve thought 24 hours was standard – 7 days is just ridiculous. It’s almost worth cancelling your card just so they can’t charge it!
7 days is not standard, even in Vegas. When we had a conference at the Tropicana (a very nice hotel by the way, next to MGM) that cancellation policy was 24 hours. Of course, that was about 8 years ago back when I worked outside the home and had no children.
I don’t know why people have to be so mean.
I just read some of the comments on this and snorted hot coffee out my nose. *ouch* Empathy people…empathy. Really. Is it really that difficult for you to offer the author a hug or even an ear of understanding on this? Clearly she is disappointed – as I am sure you would be too if you were waling in her shoes. Stop and think before you write next time.
I book travel ALL.THE.TIME for my client managers that are traveling to conferences. 5 day is PLENTY of time – and most of the hotels we deal with, when the reservation is made via a credit card, give you up till 24 hours in advance to cancel the reservation.
And, rude customer service? In today’s economy no company or organization can afford to give sub par service. You bet that when I am booking for both business and personal travel, this hotel will not be considered.
I would think that if you make a big enough stink over this you should be able to get your money back. Keep going higher and higher up on the food chain and until you get what you want.
I am so sorry you cannot go on your much-anticipated trip. That is disappointing. Don’t give up in your quest to get your money — or at least some of it — back. Keep making calls and documenting everything. I hope you find a way to get away soon. We Michiganders really need a break!
Tiaras & Tantrums says
just file a complaint with your credit card company – after you tell the hotel you are diong that – usually they (the hotel) will refund you b/c they don’t want to go through the hassle with the cc company. Seriously if they don’t refund you – just go online to your account – file the Dispute this charge and fill out the paperwork. If you DID NOT receive the email/paperwork that states the hotels cancellation policy – they have to refund you the money.
Lucretia Pruitt says
Even for a conference rate that seems extreme.
Okay, seriously, I’m so at a loss.
Sort of surprised that SITScation isn’t helping out either. Is the $150 for one night? Or both? Can your conference pass be transfered? or is that out of the question?
I know it sucks to have to cancel something that you really, really want to do – especially when it’s for $$ reasons – but let’s work on getting it “fixed” first. We need someone who needs a hotel room a the Venetian and someone who can buy your SITScation pass if possible, right?
I’m so sorry hon!!
Aunt Crazy says
I don’t think I’ve ever commented before…so HELLO!!!
This whole situation sucks and I’m sorry you can’t go on your trip. I have never ever and I mean EVAH heard of a cancellation policy that was more than 24 hours. My family and I take road trips just about every single summer. We make and cancel hotel stays all the time. I think you should continue to call until they refund your money OR call your credit card company and dispute the charge, you gave them 5 days notice, their website says 3 days, period, end of story, the credit card company will cancel the charge.
Guys! This is a GROUP RATE cancellation policy! Were it a leisure travel res they would have gladly followed a more generous policy. However, groups too often overbook then cancel at the last minute, leaving largely unsellable inventory. The hotel has the right to protect itself. HOWEVER, there is no excuse for rude or indifferent service. I would suggest, nicely and professionally, contact the hotel manger and express your displeasure NOT with the policy but the customer service. THIS is the way to get a reversal. Acknowledge the policy, and that you were asking for an exception, but what really bothered you was the service. They will likely work something out with you.