We, a family of 4 from The Netherlands, decided to go on vacation to Florida in August 2015. We booked our stay in the Courtyard Marriott Hotel Miami Airport in October 2014 (10 months in advance!) through Expedia Netherlands.
This booking was as follows: 1 hotel room in the timeframe August 02 – 09 (fully paid in advance) and 1 hotel room for 1 night on August 22-23 (to be paid on check-out); a grand total of 8 nights in the same hotel.
Unfortunately, we checked out the first period 1 day too early (on August, 08); our own fault; we mixed up the dates (jetlag?); on the other hand, no questions asked/remarks made by the receptionist (i.e. “are you leaving early?”).
So, once we arrived at our next destination, we had to book and pay for a new hotel for this night (again; our own fault).
But here was our cunning plan: We did pay Expedia / Marriott for 7 nights, but we only used 6. We would come back to the same hotel on August, 22 for our last night in the USA. This night still had to be paid! Our solution: Request the hotel to administratively move the lost night to our last night, so that in the end we stayed for 7 nights in this hotel and Expedia would pay for 7 nights! Problem solved; every party happy: Expedia got the money for 7 nights; we stayed for 7 nights and the hotel would get paid by Expedia for 7 nights! How simple is that?!
Now here is where “The Resistance” starts!
When we found out, that we checked out 1 day too early, we immediately (the very same day; August, 08) sent a message to Marriott Customer Care (MCC), offering them our solution of moving this lost day.
On August, 10, MCC answered us as follows:
“We have forwarded your comments to associates in the Executive Office of the hotel for review and have requested that someone respond to you directly. You should be contacted within three to five business days.”
From then on, total silence.
On August, 21, we sent another message to MCC, stating: “Still waiting for a reply from associates in the Executive Office of the hotel.”
In the mean time, we arrived at the Courtyard Marriott hotel Miami Airport on August, 22, for our last night in the USA.
When checking in, we asked the receptionists if they were aware of any arrangement by MCC to administratively rearrange our payment from our lost night to this night.
You guessed it right; they were totally oblivious of any arrangements concerning our bookings.
That night, we received a second message from MCC, stating: “I forwarded your message to the team of associates who are considering your issue. I appreciate your patience and will contact you soon.”
The next day we had to leave, because we would fly back home that day. On check out, the receptionists still were totally unaware of the issue and of any arrangements from/thru MCC, so we paid for this night ourselves.
Back home in The Netherlands, we again sent a message to MCC on August, 31, asking them to PLEASE give us a reply to our initial concern.
And then, the very same day (although after 3 requests for assistance in this matter and 23 days later!!) we received the official reply from Marriott!
Now you would have thought, that Marriott (deeply ashamed about how they managed our issue) would come up with a satisfactory solution, but their official (simplified) answer is: “We cannot help you. Speak to Expedia.”
So, we contacted Expedia. Their reply: “You are too late. When you came up with this issue earlier, we could have rearranged your bookings with Marriott. Now you have paid for the last night in the Marriott Hotel yourselves and therefore we cannot give you a refund. You might want to speak to Marriott about a possible arrangement.”
All-in-all: We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel Miami Airport for a total of 7 nights and we had to pay for 8 nights. Because it took MCC more than 3 weeks (after 3 requests) to simply direct us to Expedia, we had to pay for this additional night ourselves and Expedia does not refund this.
Now here's the thing:
The hotel told us, that they have not been paid by Expedia yet (even after a 10 months reservation-period) and could not make any changes in reservations and or make administrative booking-moves.
Expedia told us, that we should have contacted Marriott early for any changes in the booking!
So, Marriott is pointing at Expedia and Expedia is pointing at Marriott!
Who is here to blame (other than ourselves for checking out 1 day early)?