My wife and I stayed at the Middlebury Inn on the night of Thursday, October 4, 2012. As far as the Inn itself goes, we had no major problem with our room. It was clean, and everything worked. The internet was rather slow, but this is not the kind of place that caters to business travelers, so it wasn’t a big deal to us.
Nevertheless, my wife and I have a serious problem with the Inn and its policies that we want to share with readers here. We paid for our one night stay in full and in advance. The initial reservation and $50 deposit was made on August, 11 2012, and payment in full was completed on September 20, 2012. Therefore, the Inn received a total of $186 for one night’s stay 2 weeks before we had even arrived in Middlebury.
The Inn however, without informing us at check in, proceeded to place a hold of an additional $186.00 from our bank account. We were told that a small amount would be taken as a deposit but were not informed as to the amount by the individual who checked us in. We certainly were not informed that an additional $186 would be taken. Nor was this critical information contained in any of the fine print we received from the hotel prior to our arrival.
I learned of this issue just prior to check out the next morning and was informed by a person who I think was the manager that our $186 would be returned promptly. She even handed me a receipt showing that the charge had been reversed. However, the money was not returned to our bank account until Wednesday, October 10, almost one full week later, and one day before our long planned vacation was scheduled to end. The Middlebury Inn’s deceptive policy therefore effectively, and without cause, deprived us of a significant portion of our spending money for the remainder of our vacation.
I see that the Inn often responds to comments it receives on Trip Advisor. Therefore, I want to anticipate and respond to what I think will be their reaction to this review.
1. “This is your bank’s fault not ours.” No. NO. Two nights prior to our stay in Middlebury we stayed in another hotel that cost more than the Middlebury Inn. That hotel was much more straightforward was and VERY CLEARLY informed us that they were only taking a deposit of $50. (I also note that that $50 was returned within 48 hours.) The problem here is not our bank but that the Inn did not meaningfully inform us what they were doing. If they had told us “we need a full one night’s deposit in addition to the full night you already paid for,” I could have gone to an ATM and gotten cash to cover the deposit. That way the money would have been returned to us immediately upon check out. But since the Inn never informed us, we had no chance to work out an alternate arrangement.
2. “It’s our policy, one that we have a right to establish.” Fine, but the Inn needs to be much more straight forward in explaining this to its customers. Don’t just say it after the fact or bury in fine print that nobody reads. (Although let me reiterate that I actually did read the fine print and didn’t see anything about this policy.)
I don’t know when or if my wife and I will be in the Middlebury area again, but if we are, I doubt we will stay at the Middlebury Inn again. I have never experienced anything like this at ANY hotel either domestically or internationally, and my wife and I have travelled a lot over the past few years.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
I accept full responsibility for this unfortunate occurance. This was an oversight by the front desk employee at check in who didn't verify that you had paid in full prior to arriving at our Inn. She pre-authorized the full amount on your debit card when she should have only held $50, as is our policy. Because you checked out on a Friday, the error was compounded by the weekend so that your authorization was not releaased by your bank until 5 days later. I fully appreciate that this contributed to a cash shortage on your vacation and am profoundly apologetic.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.