Hampton Inn / scam

United States

On January 1st, 2011 my Mother-in-Law, Mary, passed away peacefully in her sleep. Because she was a community leader, a great many people attended her services.

My wife and I flew directly from Georgia to California to arrange Mom's funeral services, which also included reserving rooms for incoming family. I was in charge of that task.

I called the Hampton Inn in Temecula California to secure a multiple room price break. Chris in sales (sharp guy) offered a fair discount and I told him I would call as soon as I had an exact number of rooms needed.

On Thursday, January 6th, my wife and I went to the hotel to pre-register and pre-pay all the rooms before our guests arrived. Front desk clerk Karen told us it was going to take a while to run the charges and could she send receipts to me via email which was okay with us. We also told her our guest list was fluid and there might be additions for both Thursday and Friday.

The credit card we used was my late Mother-in-Law's. It was a Visa card ($25, 500.00 limit). My wife had power of attorney AND was a signer on Mom's bank account so we were hopeful we could use it to handle the expenses relating to her funeral (keeping it all organized and buying a little time to settle the estate). Latter that morning, I began receiving confirmations via email that the rooms were paid for.

We had used the credit card to pay for a number of expenses on Thursday 1/6 but when we tried to use it Thursday night to pay mortuary charges the card was rejected. We were told that regardless of my wifes power of attorney and signing privileges the credit card was now cancelled. We had multiple other forms of payment available and immediately settled with the funeral home. I was worried about the charges previously posted but figured we could take care of them as they came up.

On Friday morning, January 7th, one of our Friday guests couldnt check in. I called the hotel thinking I forgot someone. Karen (again) told me there was a problem with the credit card and needed to transfer me to the manager, Nadine Steddom.

I started to explain to Miss Steddon what happened with the credit card the night before. Because we were getting ready for Mom's services I knew I needed to keep things short. I started to explain what happened when Miss Steddon cut me off saying she knew the whole story, didn't have time to hear it again, and could I get to the part about how she was going to get paid. I was stunned!

Because I knew immediately what kind of person I was dealing with I responded in kind cutting her off in an equally condescending and rude tone. I asked (abruptly) about giving her another credit card over the phone but was told I could only do it in person. I told her I would not be in until after the services and the reception. After hanging up, one of our guests commented that Miss Steddon had been rather rude that morning with her. I will be calling everyone involved to confirm her story.

Later that evening I arrived at the hotel to pay the bill, exhausted and drained from just burying my wifes mother. Front desk clerk Nadine was aware of the issue and even apologized, inferring that Miss Steddon's behavior wasn't all that shocking (she didn't actually say those words but a deaf and blind man could read between the lines). Guess what happened next? Miss Steddon had actually told Nadine that all the charges previously rung up could remain on my Mother-in-Laws credit card. I only had to take care of the two rooms that couldnt be applied to that card. After spending more than $1, 500.00 at her hotel I was treated like a cheat and a criminal. All over two rooms. And, no phone call from Miss Steddon to apologize for her behavior (I would have welcomed her call and that would have been that).

I have already notified Hilton about what happened but I dont expect a response for at least a month and Im sure it will just be a form letter anyway. I would think, since my wife is a Hilton Honors gold level member, they might want to get in touch.


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