Below is a copy of the letter I just emailed to the staff of this hotel. Over the past 40 years, I have stayed at hi-end, low-end properties, and everything in-between... all across the U.S. and in 6 other countries. The staff at this hotel sets a standard that I have never found anywhere else. PERIOD.
Dear EconoLodge Friends--
Imagine my surprise when I received a copy of an "Early Refund Confirmation" that I didn't even ask for. We booked for three nights, and at the last minute, bailed out of the third. We needed to be back home early, EARLY the next morning for a medical test and did not want to risk driving in the wee hours as originally planned--particularly with the forecast of heavy rains. I did not bother to ask about canceling because I figured that whatever your cancellation policy is--we must surely be outside of the realm. No point in punishing your business operation because we had to make a sudden change of plan. I figured we'd just take the room charge on the nose this time--but you thought otherwise and credited my VISA for the un-stayed night.
Many years ago, I worked in marketing--and the supreme goal of customer service wasn't just "customer satisfaction," but "customer DELIGHT." You folks hit that nail square on the head. You are my home at Virginia Beach.