Monday, October 13, 2014

Holiday Inn Express and Deceptive Language

I have a major beef with the Holiday Inn Express. Let's start with a pop quiz:

How do you interpret this phrase?

Deposit is due for the entire stay upon booking.

Do you take that as "payment in full" is due for entire stay upon booking? Here is my interpretation of that phrase, which by the way is right from their reservation system. Let's take the definition of the word "deposit": a sum payable as a first installment on the purchase of something or as a pledge for a contract, the balance being payable later.

Raise your hand if you took the word "deposit" to mean "payment in full". You mean NONE of you understand the word deposit as payment in full? How about a "sum payable as a first 'installment'." Any of you understand that as "payment in full"? 

I am just asking because the Holiday Inn Express deceptively used the word "deposit" to really mean they wanted the "payment in full" for the "entire stay" and charged my credit card over a month and a half before the booking. Other hotels would either charge a true deposit to hold the room for your stay. 

Now to make matters worse, they wouldn't reverse the charges and if I canceled they had a 24-hour policy NOT before the actual stay, but at the time of the room booking. If I canceled and went to standard booking, which they did offer too, they would KEEP my FULL payment, which was $1058. Do you smell a true scam here?! Is that even legal? If nothing else that is called bait and switch and deceptive advertising. When I argued my point that the word "deposit" was incorrectly used, the customer service woman held her ground and refused to reverse the charges based on the "system can't do it." 

Well, my system (meaning my blog) can worn readers! I don't want to lose $1058 for my trip, but I sure as heck won't be booking anything at the Holiday Inn again. These big franchise hotels think they can pull that kind of management behavior, fine do it. But don't expect to retain loyal customers. You're only as good as your last sale -- maybe they ought to remember that next time they abuse customers with deceptive language and apply unethical business practices. Who are you serving Holiday Day Inn? Your customers or your bank account?

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