I have a story to tell about a recent experience involving travel and motels.
In December I made a trip to North Dakota. On my return trip home (Idaho) after driving nearly 400 miles on somewhat questionable roads at about 2:30 AM I decided it would be a good idea to stop in Billings, Montana and get a room for the night. There was a Sleep Inn just off the Interstate. As I was checking-in a light snow was falling outside so I asked the clerk if he would check to see what the weather forecast was for the Billings area. He informed me that a large storm system was due to hit Billings within the hour. Knowing several mountain passes must be crossed and fearing that I might be stranded in Billings I chose to immediately cancel the room and get back on the road west to hopefully avoid the storm, which did not exactly turn out that way, but that is another story.
I finally had all I could take of treacherous 20-30 mile per hours roads, stopping in Big Timber Montana sleeping in my truck for a couple of hours in the McDonald's parking lot while snow and nearly subzero temperature conditions were outside.
When I got home and checked my credit card activity to find the charge for the room on it I immediately called the motel to ask why the charge was on my card. I was told at that time that it takes some time for the motel accounting to reverse the charges and was instructed to wait a few weeks and it would be taken care of. After the wait and no refund I called again talking with now a new motel manager who asked me to wait a little longer and assured me that he would get me the refund that he concurred was due to me under the circumstances. Another wait still no refund, calling back now I am being told I had made a reservation that was not cancelled prior to 24 hours of my stay, a reservation I did not make. Because I had not cancelled this fictitious reservation soon enough I would not get a refund.
I then called Choice Hotels of which Sleep Inn, Rode Way Inn, and I believe Ramada Inn (a lot of INNS anyway) operate the franchise. They tried or at least attempted to give the impression they were trying to get the motel to do the right thing but without success.
A lesson to be learned if I can offer one, is make sure you get something in writing from these ripoff motels if your plans change and they already have your credit card information. Finally I would encourage anyone and everyone good enough to read this to pass it along and to avoid staying at these motels especially the Billing Montana Sleep Inn. Apparently their business is in such financial trouble that they have to screw people out of their money to make ends meet.
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- Also Known As:
- Sleep Inn Billings
- Billings Sleep Inn