On 7/24/13, I booked a King Suite at the Residence Inn Norfolk for Saturday 7/27/13. My reservation was for a one nights stay through booking.com, as booking.com is the site I use faithfully for all my personal and professional travels where hotel accommodation is needed and or required.
My reservation details where then emailed to me where I was guranteed a rate of 179.usd with a 13% tax for the night; parking fees not included all charges to be collected upon check in with other applicable charges for incidentals.
The card that was used at the time of booking was a master card which is in fact my debit card connected to my personal Checking and Savings account with Suntrust. Upon check in I was greeted by Guest Clerk "Justin" who retrieved from me my photo I D and debit card used at the time of booking. My card was then swiped by "Justin" and I was given my key cards minus a receipt. During this transaction I inquired about any additional fees associated with my stay ie; holds etc. as well as parking fees required. I was told by "Justin" I was only being charged $40 for incidentals and that my stay would be charged upon check out, also that parking was $18 for the day.
I then proceeded to the room with my family and lightly unpacked as we were headed to the ocean Front to return later, where my spouse and I planned a night out to enjoy the town of Norfolk.
We left the Hotel apx. 45 mins to an hour after arrival. While out on the ocean front I decided to check my account where to my surprise I was charged $250 as well as a secondary charge of $40. Upon our return to the hotel later that evening I proceeded to the front desk to inquire about the charges. I was again greeted by "Justin" and the service I recieved was complete opposite of the seemingly intuitive guy who was ever present before any issue arrived.
I told "justin" about the charges and then ask him for some sort of explanation, right off the cuff he proceeded to tell me in an extremely dismissive way that "MARRIOT WAS NOT" responsible and that he had no idea why I was charged the $250 and that it was booking.com that charged me the $250. As patient as I could be and in a state of confusion I ask him had he ever have this happen before he replied "No" in a very short manner and proceeded to tell me that I was the one who booked through a "third party vendor" and that he was not responsible for initiating the charge. At this point im asking him again stating "im confused because booking.com does not and has not ever charge me any booking fees, holds, or any other charge. Etc." He then replied "well maybe they made a mistake I don't know". He gave off this argumentative disposition neither truly concerned, unapologetic and very condescending. Feeling frustrated and bewildered I asked if there was any one else available who could possibly help me, he informed me that there was not and that he was the only one there and he was indeed the supervisor. During this exhange the phone begin to ring and without excusing himself or rendering any type of compassionate assistance he simply walked away proceeding to answer the phone. I was left standing there for apx 3-5 mins forced to listen to "justin" engage in conversation with either current or potential guests feeling as if I was literally ready to cry out of sheer and utter dismay at the way I was being treated, an absolutely substandard way and through "Justin's" implications because i'd book through a "third party vendor" it was not his problem.
Once off the phone he walked back over to the desk and at this point another couple had arrived and was standing off to the side of me, my spouse joining me at the desk as well. I asked "Justin" if I could just have a print out of my charges so I could call booking.com and dispute the charges if neccesary, at this time "justin" stated he could not give me any such statement because it wasnt an actual charge but a Preauthorization made by booking.com replying "you're not being charged, its a preauthorization and you'll get your money back from any holds in 3-5 days. I then explained that because my personal debit card had been used the money was taken out of my available balance, I anticipated the charge of 179.plus 13% tax plus the $40 for incidentals but now I have more charges and without explanation "justin" then replied reiterating "well in 3-5 days the hold will release" and also corrected me stating "and actually its 14% tax". I was taken aback because he was completely sarcastic and uninterested and I just couldn't believe he had no genuine interest in helping me yet had the audacity to correct me; not even considering that this what was stated to me in my reservation gurantee.
At this time to my complete surprise another clerk came from the back and proceeded to help the other guests. "Justin" then stated all he could do was show me the screen where it shows "Marriott" didn't charge me so I replied ill just screen shot it, but immediately declined and wrapped up the 10-15 minute exchange by saying never mind, ill just call booking.com and proceeded to walk away and to add more insult "justin" called out "oh, dont you want your screen shot?".
I was appalled to say that least. I was being treated as if id done something wrong and was not deserving off any empathy or understanding. I went up to the room retrieved the number to booking.com and proceeded to go outside walking the sidewalks around the hotel extremely upset on hold waiting for a customer service rep.
I then got "Jacob" from booking.com who I explained the aforementioned situation in which he reaffirmed what id initially knew to be true; that it was indeed "Marriotts" charges which was also confirmed through my bank statement. Jacob ensured me he'd contact the hotel. I waited on hold and once he returned he confirmed the charges and stated because they were in hold there was nothing he could do, I felt overwhelmed and hopeless and wanted to check out of the hotel more than willing to drive the 2 1/2 hours back home as my stay was ruined and the experience was terrible, but was told by jacob I would still be charged. Jacob honestly tried his best but his hands were tied he did however assure me my complaint would be documented and forwarded to the proper entity. That night I went back up to the room where I stayed up half the night crying and weary.
We opted not to go out because I was completely immesirated. I awoke the next morning to a pinted receipt placed under the door again shocked considering I was refused one apx. 7 hours before. I then proceeded downstairs hoping to speak to the head manager, my eyes just couldn't believe it....here stood before me "justin"! I asked was he responsible for the receipt he said "no" I asked was there someone available to speak to and at this point the main factor not being so much about the charges as it was his flagrant disrespect and utter lack of Customer service skills. He informed me that the Asst. GM was there and without even missing a beat stated again that basically there would be nothing the Asst. GM could do because again "id book through a third party vendor". The Asst. GM came out and I asked for a private area to Converse in regards to my stay and the treatment I was receiving. We went into a office where I stated my claims and was simply offered a free parking pass and a half witted apology being told my experience would be used as a teaching tool because "justin" was unaware of the booking policies with booking.Com and treated my transaction as if id booked through Travelocity in which he was familiar with triggering an over charge, which still at the time of this email is still on hold.
My family and I decided to pack up first thing and solicited my eldest son to shower and dress, to my amazement there was only two wash cloths available and considering my treatment thus far I absolutely did not want to further my stay by asking for anything. So we literally was stuck sharing wash cloths. This prompted me to do a further inspection of the room considering we slept on top of the made bed and did not get "comfortable" during our stay. To my complete horror the bed was actually made over a incredibly filthy and stained fitted sheet. There was a dry rotted used sponge left under the sink made available to wash dishes with had we needed to as well as a dirty trash bag where you could visibly tell instead of pulling the prior trash the house keeper lazily just scooped the trash out. This completely added insult to injury triggering me to now have to correspond with the general manager and even regional manager and owner if need be.
To share a piece of my background, my daughter Amarria at only 7 years old died 18 months ago while in school from anaphylactic shock after another child gave her something she was allergic to. I have since lobbied with delegates as well as the Governor of Virginia to have a law passed in her name designed to protect food allergic children and parents. My daughters Law "Amarrias Law" was passed April of last year.
If you can imagine I am still grieving tremendously as my life is faced with a multitude of challenges and between my advocacy work coupled with my career as a nurse I don't have much time to steal time away with my family and when I get the opportunity to do so; to be treated this way and to have this type of experience was significantly distressing to myself and my family. My travels have taken me all around the world and I have NEVER been treated with such disregard.
Furthermore, I will NEVER stay nor RECOMMEND The Residence Inn Marriott Norfolk to anyone and will strongly advise against anyone made known to me interested in staying there!
On the way out I allowed my children to grab a bite to eat from the free breakfast buffet, which was the only thing left to salvage on this trip.
Attached you will find a photograph of the disgusting bed that we unknowingly slept on.
Very dissapointed consumer,
Laura M. Pendleton
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- Also Known As:
- Residence Inn Norfolk Downtown Hotel Norfolk