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How do I escalate a complaint?

Question asked by watsony69 on Apr 7, 2018
Latest reply on Apr 8, 2018 by communitymanagers

I'm sitting in my hotel room feeling emotionally violated. I have 2 issues, the one is financially, I can't begin to describe how vulnerable I feel trying to deal with this situations. I'm flabbergasted with this hotel. Over the past 3 months my checking account has been overdrawn at least 5 times. That's more than I have experienced within the past 2 years. It's caused every single time I get charged by the hotel.

I attempted to work out an agreement that I thought was reasonable. Instead my checking account keeps reflecting a negative balance. I'm having nightmares  where I'm physically stuck trying to get gas, or eat or buy groceries & denied because of a negative balance. I already was embarrassed when attempted to charge my credit/debit card at a hospital cafeteria.


1) I am a platinum Marriott rewards member.
I'm staying at the Hershey/Harrisburg Townplace suites. This is not my first long term stay at a Marriott property.
I have stayed at several Marriott properties over the past six years. In fact, I stayed at a Towneplace property for over 4 months in West Virginia prior to this stay. I stayed for 8 months in Boston at a Residence Inn. My email and my phone number were pulled from my rewards information.

2)  I have been getting charged without any proof of charges nor received a receipt for payment.
After the first
weeks of stay this hotel has continually charged me unexpectedly without advanced notice or given me a receipt for charges. I have never stayed at any hotel in my entire life, that I have never received a bill, invoice and/or folio.
I don't know what any of the taxes are and if I have had occupancy tax stopped.

3) Originally there wasn't a consistent manner how my credit/debit card would be charged for payment.
Initially it was the general manager who arranged my stay. She knew I was working as a contractor for a large network hospital system as a contractor.

She was aware my intent was to stay at this hotel for a long term for at least 4 months.
She gave me their company rate. I stated I was using a credit/debit card for payment.
Because I would get paid on the 1st and 15th of each month I asked I get billed on those dates instead of weekly.
She had no issue with this and agreed. Since that arrangement, she no longer works at the hotel and has now moved into a corporate job.

A conference phone call produced a verbal agreement between myself, the assistant & the sales managers.

It was confirmed I would be notified either through email and/or text the amount prior to my card being charged.
For whatever reason, there was a lapse of a few weeks before I was charged again. An interim general manager arrived at this facility and without informing me I was charged over $4,000 to my checking account without a bill/folio.
I think not only is it an excessive amount, but I have received a bill/folio for proof of payment. Additionally I never received any proof of payment after the transaction.


Why? I wondered. Not only didn't I receive a bill and/or statement for charges but was charged because of "the excessive amount".
Although I had made payments of over $6,000 since my stay without any receipt of payment or a bill, and I'm a platinum rewards member I was deemed not reliable.
It seemed I was untrustworthy I was charged without consent or knowledge $4,500 was pulled from my account without knowledge, a bill or consent
especially after the verbal conversation.


4) I spoke on the other day to the manager on a separate issue.
We spoke for over 10 minutes. At no time during that conversation was it ever brought to my attention that a notification had been emailed to me the day before regarding payment of my bill. Understandably it was a different topic, but it could have been mentioned during that time because my card was charged exactly on that date so there was intent to do so. I get a lot of emails during the day. I hadn't seen it until my account was in the negative. That's when the hotel charged my account.


5) There seems to be a negative bias or prejudice I feel towards me.
I don't know why there appears to be such a negative attitude towards me. It seems to be affecting me financially.
A $4,500 charge without consent implies I'm not reliable or trustworthy to make such a payment on my own they have to forcibly do it without notice.
There had existed a verbal agreement that was ignored. I never once received notification but it was assumed I would not be willing to make payment.


Instead of receiving notification without my knowledge or consent $4,500 was charged. That's a large amount of money to have no bill or any receipt of payment. Yet, it was done and there still is no history on my behalf of charges to compare and review. Yet less than a week another $1,350 charge was done. That's roughly $5, 850 in a few days. My checking account statement has shown I have paid approximately > $9,000 to ths hotel over the past 2 months. Yet there is a 'rush' to make payment not even giving me consideration of a few days and never without a bill or receipt of payment.

It seems as a guest I am not getting courtesy of response. I work long hours 10-12 hours on a given day. I drive daily over 60-70 miles to different locations. I'm  involved in conference calls with my supervisors throughout the entire day.
Yet I am the one inconveniencing others when I'm not readily available or respond immediately within a day. The other week even though it was Easter week I was expected to give access to my room on 1 day's notice, The general manager was respective & polite, it still felt pressured. I can respect that there needs to be a review but only one day's notice?

This week there needs to be an additional schedule for a contractor to make an assessment. I understand the significance, but can't I be allowed a couple of days to schedule accordingly? The same with payment. Easter was the first, I expected prior to that date notice of amount of payment. When I did receive it, it was on Thursday five days afterwards and I was given without knowledge one day before my card was charged. Seven days for them to send me a notice, 1 for me to reply.
Again my account was charged without notice and again no advance bill nor folio a receipt.


6) Electronic Funds Transfer Act.
By law there should be a written consent to withdraw monies by either credit/debit cards when it is other than the account holder.
Merchants must get a customer's permission to process charges on his credit or debit card under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. Otherwise it is an unauthorized purchase. The law defines an unauthorized electronic funds transfer as one initiated by someone other than the consumer "without actual authority to initiate such transfer and from which the consumer receives no benefit."

Charging my card without knowledge, no bill or proof of payment is allowing me the customer to suffer the consequences of the action such as getting overdraft fees or bouncing other transactions.
The merchant must take certain steps for the transactions to be valid.
Card networks such as Visa and MasterCard publish extensive rules for how merchants must properly process transactions, whether they conduct them in person or in situations where the card is not present. My card is on file, but without a bill/folio the hotel is charging without my informed consent. The hotel may have the totals of the charges, but "I" don't.  Therefore, the charges won't be checked by me to review for accuracy.

Under Regulation E, a set of rules for carrying out the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, merchants who are going to make a recurring charge -- for instance, for a monthly gym membership payment -- need to get advance consent that is in writing "or similarly authenticated" to make these charges and give the consumer a copy of the consent form. If the charges will not take place at set intervals, the merchant has to send the customer a notice of the amount and the date of the transfer at least 10 days before.

This is not a definition of a recurring charge which is the same amount monthly. I have not had a consistency of billing since I arrived. All of the charges have been different. One charge is for a few weeks, another is for several days.  I'm getting notices literally a day before, but not a bill/folio especially after I am charged.
I have no receipt nor proof of payment of this entire hotel stay. The hotel without proof of payment could easily duplicate charges for the same stay or erroneously be charging excessive fees and I have no way of knowing.