I recently tried to stay at a Marriott in Salt Lake City using a friends and family form from a friend who works at Marriott. My stay was for one night and the friends and family rate bumped my rate down by maybe just $20 - which I was happy about. When I checked into my room, I gave the form to the front desk and they gave me my room number and room key. I went straight up to my room to set my things down when, not 20 seconds later, there was a very loud knock at the door. The front desk manager was folding her arms at the door and told me to step into the hall. She was under the impression that the form I had presented to her was fake and fraudulent. She was very upset and was rudely questioning me and accusing me of committing fraud and stealing from her hotel. I insisted, calmly, that there must be a simple misunderstanding, but she was not accepting that explanation. She told me I would need to check in under a regular rate now or leave the hotel with a refund. I chose the refund as I felt extremely disrespected and didn't want to stay in her hotel any longer.
I left the hotel and called my friend who then called the manager that had confronted me. She conceded to him that the form was legitimate and she had no better explanation than she had a bad feeling about the form. I was very upset, but did not want to make any complaints for fear that my friend would end up being reprimanded by his manager.
About a week later, I checked my credit card statement and the hotel stay had not been refunded. I called the manager who kicked me out and explained that there was a mistake with the billing. She did not apologize and she said she would not refund the room for me because there was a three day cancellation policy (this is after she told me she would refund the room when I originally left). My family and I are loyal Marriott customers (my father in-law is an Ambassador Elite Marriott Member) and I have never had an issue like this. I want, very deeply, to file a formal complaint against the manager so I could receive an apology and my money back, but I am afraid that if she sees a complaint she will only punish my friend. What options do I have in this situation? I love staying in Marriott hotels, but with how this issue has been handled so far, I would have a very hard time supporting Marriott in the future. Any advice is welcome. Thanks!