If something seems too good to be true, it probably is – and that definitely the case when you’re traveling. If you see an amazing hotel deal, chances are there’s a good reason the rooms are so cheap! All experienced travelers had had at least one bad hotel stay. Maybe the pictures on their website look nothing like the dump you find in real life. Maybe the service is horrible. Maybe the site is under construction.
Whatever the problem, if you show up and the hotel isn’t what you expect, there are some things you can do to fix it – and without spending any extra money to upgrade to a nicer room or find a new hotel at the last minute.
Problem #1: The room is dirty.
If it looks like your room hasn’t been cleaned in ages, sometimes all you need to do is complain to get the problem fixed. Maids at cheaper hotels and motels aren’t paid very high wages, and in order to get their work done more quickly, they might cut corners. Before you even set down your bad, go back to the front desk – in person – and voice your concern. Many will give you a discount on the spot and send a cleaning crew to redo the room.
Problem #2: Your room is loud.
Construction, traffic, and other problems can all account for your room being too loud, and often it is out of the hotel’s control. Simply ask to be switched to another room. Most are happy to accommodate you if they possibly can. To avoid this kind of problem, check into your room as early as possible. Most hotels give out the “bad” rooms (i.e., the ones that are louder) last.
Problem #3: The room isn’t as nice as the picture.
If you paid a really low price…well, unfortunately, there might not be much you can do! Before you leave, print out your hotel conformation information, along with a picture of the room you expect to get. Sometimes, if there’s a big difference in the picture versus what you’re actually given that you can point out, the hotel will upgrade you to a suite or refund some of your money. You can also look into reporting them to the Better Business Bureau if you think they’re being dishonest.
Problem #4: The hotel was overbooked.
As long as you paid for your room, it shouldn’t be a problem – even if a hotel is overbooked, they have a duty to give you a place to stay. You might find yourself driving to another hotel, but this minor inconvenience could actually work out in your favor. If you keep your cool and are polite, sometimes they’ll bump you to a suite, offer free meals, or give you other perks – all you have to do is ask!
Problem #5: The staff is rude, non-existent, or otherwise unsatisfactory.
Write down the names of the people who bothered you (along with a description if the hotel is larger) and ask to speak to a manager. If the manager is the problem, call their corporate office – from your actual hotel room. If it is late at night or early in the morning, wait until business hours. Managers working the day shift often have more power or even own the hotel, so they’re better equipped to help you.
Still nervous about hotel problems? Purchase a travel insurance policy before you leave. That way, if you get there and things are horrible, all you have to do is call your insurance company and they’ll help you find new accommodations that better fit your needs.
This guest post is from Allison, who works with www.TravelInsurance.org.