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7thson's Avatar
Vacationing like a MOFO
If you booked through a travel site (something like Booking.com or whatever?), can't you hassle them to go to bat for you? I've been using Booking.com lately and I've never had a difference in charges from what I was promised in the early emails from them once I booked. (I don't add on pet fees or anything, but everything's been down-to-the-penny identical.)

If a booking/travel site is taking a cut (and they are, somehow), then make them work for it.
Mostly we use Wyndham, but have used booking and Expedia. Yes they will try to help that's why I use them , well that along with the rewards programs. They have helped solve some issues but ultimately the actual refunds have not occured. I made a few calls today and have been assured I would get the refunds, just bugs me that my money is tied up, what if I needed it?

Oh well not going to let it ruin vacation, we had a great time at museum today. They had some amazing exhibits.





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I got up a little early this morning to pull out my laptop and go online to catch up on finances and to see how our vacation budget looked. We have been very careful on our daily spending and even had quite a few days where we spent way under allowance. We take our total allotted budget then we divide the number of days left on the trip and make a daily allowance. It has worked out really well so far. Unfortunately as I look over all the charges I am seeing a pattern.

Every time we check out of a motel I go and get a physical receipt. Most places don't offer it unless asked and then they email unless you ask for a hard copy which I do. The emailed invoices seem to be less detailed. So what I am seeing is that over 70%(that is a ball park number, but pretty close I am sure) of the hotels we stay at charge incorrectly and never in my favor. Double charge on pet fees, over charge on pet fees, wrong room rate, 2 times I was charge for room twice, and on and on. Some charges like taxes I know are incorrect. One place tried to charge me $100 pet fee for a room that was $59.00. Do not get me wrong I do not mind paying pet fees, but I will usually book the
places with the lower rates and I always ask. What makes all of this worse is they will argue with you saying the CSR that helped me quoted me wrong. Well I am sorry but I booked a room there because of that quote so make good on it please. I always book through a booking site and then I verify and call the local property so everyone is one same page. They never are at first but every time I tell them I want to book somewhere else they "fix" the problem. They rarely do what they say unfortunately.

So the pattern I am seeing other than the ongoing purposeful overcharges is that the refunds are very very slow. I have yet to actually get one back since we started having issues. They also always argue with you telling you that you are wrong. I always get names so that never works on me. For some reason none of the hotels we stayed at in Florida had these issues. So maybe they aren't just slow, maybe they are not going to issue them. I sure hope not, it adds up to quite a bit, easily over $500. They are different motels and although some are owned by the same company (ie. Days Inn, LA Quinta, Comfort Inn all fall under Wyndam) there are plenty others as well as a couple mom and pop places. I am pretty sure I will eventually get my refunds even if I have to call my C.C. company, but that money gets tied up. We are not running short by any means as I put in a buffer for our expenses, but I did not put it there for BS like this.

The thing is I am always careful on what I am being charged for and this is beforehand, when I check in I make sure of charges and what they are for, the problem is when I go to check out everything has changed and then I cannot get a refund until 7 to 10 business days later. Unacceptable I tell you!!!

Even with all this it has really been a great vacation so far and if this is the worst of it I will count my blessing if not my money .

Be careful when renting rooms out there, this issue appears to be of epidemic proportions.


Oh I wanted to mention that that the rooms also sometimes put a deposit hold on my card for a security deposit. I am not talking about this and those are always refunded in a timely many, at least so far. I also wanted to say that the regular staff at most places have been great, and friendly and I thank them for the hard work as I know this industry can be very stressful to be in. It is the admin or the front office that is always the issue.

Hubby and I don't trust the websites that claim to get lower prices for hotels, airfare, etc. We always go directly to the hotel's website, and we book the room from there. (Some of the websites offer you a discount if you check the prices, but don't book the room. When you try to close the website's window or tab, they offer anywhere from 10% to 25% off the price.)

They always require a credit card to hold the room, but you don't have to pay by credit card when you check in to the hotel. When we get to the hotel, we pay by cash, and we always get a printed receipt when we check out of the hotel. That means that we never see a charge on our credit card bill for the hotel. (If we ever do, we have proof that we paid by cash, so we can just dispute the charge with the credit card company.)
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7thson's Avatar
Vacationing like a MOFO
Hubby and I don't trust the websites that claim to get lower prices for hotels, airfare, etc. We always go directly to the hotel's website, and we book the room from there. (Some of the websites offer you a discount if you check the prices, but don't book the room. When you try to close the website's window or tab, they offer anywhere from 10% to 25% off the price.)

They always require a credit card to hold the room, but you don't have to pay by credit card when you check in to the hotel. When we get to the hotel, we pay by cash, and we always get a printed receipt when we check out of the hotel. That means that we never see a charge on our credit card bill for the hotel. (If we ever do, we have proof that we paid by cash, so we can just dispute the charge with the credit card company.)
I had thought about going this route but because of the long timframe for the vacation the discounts really add up and we already have 3 free nights saved up. I think on shorter trips I may go the cash route and save the headaches. My refunds finally started coming in, well beyond the 7 to 10 buisness days, but at this point Im just glad to get to them at all.

So we are almost home, about an hour out fighting Alabama traffic on I65. Will be nice to sleep in our own bed. The dogs can sense us getting close too and are excited.



7thson's Avatar
Vacationing like a MOFO
More random pics from vacation:




Damian visiting with his sister, who is taller?



Watkins Glen in NY




Waiting for pizza at Tony's in NY




Putting Dev to work at an old printing press in Mastic, CN





Maids of the Mist Niagra Falls



Playing ball in Vermont at the Haunted hotel



The dogs being impatient while we try to figure out what trail to take.



I had thought about going this route but because of the long timframe for the vacation the discounts really add up and we already have 3 free nights saved up. I think on shorter trips I may go the cash route and save the headaches. My refunds finally started coming in, well beyond the 7 to 10 buisness days, but at this point Im just glad to get to them at all.

So we are almost home, about an hour out fighting Alabama traffic on I65. Will be nice to sleep in our own bed. The dogs can sense us getting close too and are excited.
Wait I thought you were going West Coast too



Weird is relative.
Definitely sounds like an awesome trip so far!



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What are the next couple states 7thson?
We are in Kentucky now, followed by Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. We have to stop somewhere in between MO and WI, but haven't decided where. Maybe Iowa, just to say we did.



7thson's Avatar
Vacationing like a MOFO
Hitting drive in theater tonight. Havent paid these prices for first run in a long time.
$16 for 3 of us. Plus concession prices decent too.



Hitting drive in theater tonight. Haven't paid these prices for first run in a long time.
$16 for 3 of us. Plus concession prices decent too.

We stopped going to the movies when the prices went up to over $15 for ONE person, so $16 for 3 people is amazing!

Plus at the drive-in, you have the added bonus of nobody playing with their cell phone in the dark theater, or kicking the back of your seat, or any of the other annoying things that rude people do at the movies.