December 30, 2009 at 1:09 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

One of my favorite things about blogging is that it gives the average person the ability to rant and rave over injustices and potentially have the world take notice. I’m not so egotistical to think that thousands of people will be riveted to their seat over this next blog post but I will be satisfied if I think I can keep a few of you out there from ever stepping foot in a Wyndham Hotel. Here is a picture of the entrance to the hotel I will be writing about, just in case you ever happen to walk by and feel like spitting in its general direction.

Many of you are familiar with this story and if you’ve heard it before, I apologize.  However, it was my personal pledge to the management of this hotel that I would do everything in my power to deter people from staying at any establishment in their chain, and I am a woman of my word.  My grudge with the Wyndham goes back to this time last year and it’s something I will likely never get over.  Therapy might be able to help but in the meantime I’ll blog.

For New Years Eve last year, I paid for a suite at the Wyndham in downtown Chicago (633 N. St. Clair St, to be exact).  It was a bit of a splurge for me but I wanted to have a memorable evening with the person I was dating and our friends so I decided to go for it.  We had a good time but it was nothing crazy…I seem to remember watching Kathy Lee Griffin make some remarks about a penis to Anderson Cooper live on CNN so you know we were living on the wild side.  Interestingly, there were crazy parties in the hotel that night and as we checked out the next day the guy behind the front desk told us of a woman who wound up naked in some strangers bed because she had lost her way back to her own room.  My group was tame in comparison to much of what was going on in that hotel.

Getting back to the story…we had a pretty fun evening and departed the next morning.  That day, which was January 1st and the very first day to a new year, I checked my bank account.  I had paid the charge from the room when I booked it in early December so I was surprised to see a hold of hundreds of dollars on my account from the hotel.  I called to inquire and I was told that they typically place a hold on cards for the amount of the room, in case it doesn’t clear for some reason.  This in itself did not make much sense to me because the funds had clearly left my account right after the room was booked.  I was slightly pissy because their hold policy caused me to bounce a check, something I never do.  Anyway they assured me the hold would be released in a couple of days.

Two days later  the hold from the room charge was gone but there was another mysterious $300 charge in its place.  Again, I called the hotel.  I was informed that this additional charge was for the large mirror that we broke before we left.  Now. I am an honest person, and had I or one of my guests broken ANYTHING I would have been fully prepared to pay for it. Hell, we took everything out of our mini fridge and hid it so we wouldn’t be tempted to binge and accrue any additional charges – I’m that cautious about what I spend. No one broke a mirror. Of this I am 100% certain.  However, the cleaning lady who came in after we left claimed that the huge mirror in the bedroom was shattered and all over the floor when she arrived.  Honestly, I can only imagine that either they mixed up our room with that of someone else or maybe someone in the adjacent room hit the wall hard enough to cause the mirror to fall and break after we left.  Or (my favorite theory) the cleaning lady herself broke it and didn’t want to get into trouble so she lied to her boss.  The only thing I know for sure is that every mirror was still firmly attached to the wall when we left.

I asked the manager for pictures or any sort of proof that it was more than my word against theirs and he took a day and a half to email me one photo of a broken mirror in the basement of the hotel.  It could have been any mirror, from any hotel.  It could have been from some guy’s basement for all I could tell.  I’m not sure what sort of proof I was hoping to receive but I figured they had to have some way to verify I did what they said I did.  Nope.  I spent almost the entire month of January last year talking to security guards, heads of housekeeping, general managers and CEO’s of the Wyndham.  Not one of them helped me at all.  They each basically said that it’s what the housekeeper said and since they had my card on account there wasn’t much I could do about it.

In the end, they kept the extra $300.  I paid more for the mirror I didn’t break than I did for the entire hotel suite on New Year’s Eve.  I ended up filing my first ever report with the Better Business Bureau, which helped a tiny bit but didn’t give me any of my money back.  During my last conversation with the worthless management of the place I made a solemn vow to tell every person I could about the injustices I faced at their hotel.  I told them I would do everything in my power to make sure the people I know don’t frequent a place such as theirs.  So be warned!  I may even repeat this story every year on my blog, just because I can.  Take THAT, money-grubbing Wyndham Hotel!

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