If you are thinking of staying here, please take the time to read this review so you avoid the kind of horrific treatment I experienced here.
We arrived on 7/19/09 after driving a long leg of a cross-country trip. We had booked a “Two Room Queen Suite w/Microwave & Fridge” on LQ.com on June 23, 2009. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by Yvette, who later identified herself as the night manager. Yvette gave me the keys to a room on the second floor, which, after I entered it, I realized was not a suite, but rather one room with two queen beds. The room did not have a refrigerator or microwave. I returned to the front desk and showed Yvette my reservation for a queen suite. I told her that I had chosen the hotel specifically because it offered suites (nice when you have a dog with you!) Yvette told us that there were no two room queen suites in the hotel; to be clear, she was saying that such rooms did not exist in the hotel and that the listing on the lq.com website was incorrect. She told me that the hotel did have king suites, but that none were available that night. I asked Yvette what she could do to resolve the situation, and suggested that she give us two adjacent rooms. She said she thought she could do that, and my presumption was that the second room would be free, given the error in the booking. My wife and children came in at this point, with a cart full of luggage and the dog in tow.
When Yvette starting working on her computer to give us the two rooms, I said “just to be clear, the charge for the two rooms will be the same as what I was expecting to pay for one suite, right?” She said no, that the first room would be $84.99, and that she would give me a discount on the second room, and the charge for that room would be $69.99. I told Yvette that I was not willing to pay for two rooms, and asked her to give me the second room for free. She said that she could not do that. I invited her to consider my situation –I had chosen this hotel specifically because it offered a suite, and that I given the La Quinta’s error, I should not have to pay for two rooms. Yvette then said “sir, if I cannot accommodate you, I will have to ask you to leave.” I was incredulous. I said, “What are you talking about? Can’t you understand my perspective here?” I was certainly agitated at this point, but I want to stress that I did not shout or curse or threaten Yvette.
At this point Yvette picked up her phone and apparently described the situation to the “day manager,” in a very brief conversation. She then hung up and called the police! I was intimidated and dumbfounded. I said, “Look, this is ridiculous. I will take the original room you gave me and take this up with your corporate offices in the morning. I am sorry if I upset you.” I still had the keys to the first room I was offered, so I went up to the room with my family. About five minutes later, the police arrived at the second floor room. I explained the situation to officer Clay Huffman (badge number 407 – this incident was given case #093599) and the other officer present, but they insisted that I leave. My eleven-year old daughter, was sobbing in the background, her face wet with tears.
We were thrown out on the street, left to find another hotel after spending 13 hours in the car that day.
There are many ways this incident could have been better handled:
1. Yvette could have, and should have, offered to give me a second room for free, given the error in my booking.
2. If she did not have the authority to give me a second room for free, she could have asserted this calmly and expressed some empathy to diffuse the situation, and I would have grudgingly accepted that nothing could be done and made a complaint later.
3. When, faced with the threat of the police, I conceded the argument, Ms. Griffin could have told the police that the situation was resolved, rather than insisting that me and my family be removed from the premises.
I must say that I still can’t quite fathom how I, and my family, were treated in what I had previously considered a good, budget hotel chain. We are all still reeling from the experience. It was humiliating, unnecessary, and all stemmed from La Quinta’s error in offering and accepting a reservation for a two queen suite that did not exist and then an employee’s abysmal handling of the situation.
I wrote a letter to the President of LaQuinta about this, and several weeks later, was called by the manager of the hotel, whose name is Ernest. He was apologetic, and offered me a free night in his hotel - no thanks! I wouldn't go back there if you put a gun to my head. He understood, and said he'd make arrangements for me to get free nights at other La Quintas. Well, it turns out this was just talk. I've called the guy four times in the past few months. He'd never done anything for me, and never followed up. All hat and no cattle, as they say.
So, while this may be a nice new building, the people that run are jerks and have no idea how to treat customers, and that's being generous. Stay somewhere else.
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