Had booked 4 nights at the Essex House through Hotels.com (Expedia). My stay there was very unsatisfactory. The hotel room was worn and dirty, the staff was rude and unpleasant, the mechanics of the building kept falling apart, I had to make several phone calls and wait 4 hours to get a mini bar opened. All of this for $700 a night! I finally had had enough and checked out on the second to last day of my stay. I called Expedia to tell them I would not be using the 4th night and didn't want to be charged for it.
It my horror I discovered that when you book through Expedia or Hotels.com there is NO POSSIBILITY OF EARLY CHECKOUT no matter how terrible it is. You are charged whether you stay there or not. They didn't care about how unsatisfactory the hotel had been, or my experience. I'm still charged $700 for a room I'm not using. The "customer care" representative at Expedia told me I should have called THEM to fix the problem. First of all, no one ever told me I should go through Expedia for all hotel related complaints, and second of all, I don't know what they could have done about the shoddy condition of the hotel and the rudeness of the staff.
What a terrible way to run a company. They care nothing about customer happiness or loyalty. It's just all about the numbers. The personal experience is inconsequential.