Longtail (longtail) wrote in bad_service,

Westin Hotel Suckage

I just got back from Anthrocon in Pittsburgh. The Westin Convention Center was lovely, and I was staying at the Westin Hotel attached to it. It's supposed to be a higher end hotel, but they gave me much levels of lower-end SUCK. And not just me, but a LOT of people.

So I reserve a room for me and two other roomates for five nights. I was watching an event show when the boyfriend of one of my roomates finds me and pulls me out to say there is a problem with the room and we've been locked out. I have to leave the show to go to the lobby and find out what the problem is.

I'll just sum it up for you:

1.) They were charging our room NIGHTLY instead of putting a block on the necessary funds in the beginning or at the end like most normal hotels do. I was never notified of this billing policy, the clerk wouldn't give me a straight answer as to why they were doing it that way (I don't think she knew either), and from what I can tell from other people, they didn't do this with anybody else.

2.) My debit card was declined. There is nothing wrong with it, and I had plenty of money in the bank. This was a technology issue on the hotels end. I don't see why this is my problem or it should have been made my problem.

3.) They said I can pay with a check for the rest of the stay. So I cut them a check. The clerk tries to run it through repeatedly, then has to call their verification company. For some bizarre reason that was never explained to the clerk or to me, the verification company would not do this. Again, not my problem or my banks problem.

4.) I finally had to be escorted by hotel security to our locked room and get cash. Thank god I was in the Dealer's Room and working this convention so I HAD that much cash or it would have been impossible for me to pay. And I was told in no uncertain terms that if I didn't fork over the cash, we were going to get kicked out. This is just plain SHIT CUSTOMER SERVICE.

5.) Minor quibble, they somehow reduced my five night reservation to four, but they fixed that without a fuss.

I don't get upset over technology problems. It happens. I've been in retail, I know stuff breaks down and it's inconvenient, but it doesn't bother me. I don't take it out on the clerks and they usually don't take it out on me either. What HARKS ME OFF about all this is the absolute shitty way this hotel treated us. It was humiliating being escorted by security to get into my own room, treated like I was going to skip, when they KNEW they were having technology issues, and yet they chose to take it out on me.

On top of this, they did this to a LOT of other people. I lost money at my table because of this. Seriously. The hotel kept double charging people for rooms, locking off so much money people couldn't access their funds, applying phantom charges, and generally stiffed a bunch of attendees because of their stupidity. So nobody could buy stuff that they wanted and I lost business.

I wouldn't recommend anybody stay at the Westin Hotel in Pittsburgh. I'm going to find another hotel nearby next year.


ADDENDUM: Okaaaay, looks like I need to clarify. I'm not blaming them because of their broken technology. I'm not blaming them because they couldn't get the money and needed to ensure they did so. I'm blaming them because THEY ACTED LIKE ASSHOLES about getting it resolved. They KNEW their technology wasn't working. There were people in front of us who were trying to resolve the exact same issue. Had the hotel bothered to explain the problem, apologized for the inconvenience, explained how I could have helped them out, or owned up to it at all, I would have understood. Instead, I was left standing there forever why they hummed and stared at their stupid computer screen and just kept repeating "we can't verify your card/check." I had to keep prodding them till they told me what it was I could do about it or even if there was anything I could about it. I offered to call my bank and they just kind of made a humming noise at me. There was no excuse for handling it the way they did. Capice?
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