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The Oakes Hotel / hotel

1 Canada

On June 5th I booked a reservation at the Oakes Hotel in Niagara Falls using booking.com. The room was $279+HST (13%). The total not including resort fees equaled to roughly $315.00. Right after I booked at the Oakes I found a better deal and immediately canceled the reservation while simultaneously booking with Old Stone Inn. I never received any verification emails confirming either booking or the one cancellation. However, on my booking.com account Old Stone Inn was the only property under my 'bookings' so I assumed the cancellation had gone through. When I checked into Old Stone Inn on June 17th, I checked my credit card statement on noticed that the Oakes Hotel had charged me $457.07 on Wednesday June 14th. I immediately called the Oakes after noticing this and attempted to explain that the cancellation had been made and that I should not have been charged anything. The receptionist informed me that I would need to contact booking.com to confirm the reservation. I then contacted booking.com and was told that the cancellation was not in the system, however she did email the hotel explaining that it had been cancelled and if they could waive the fees the hotel would not have to pay the website. I called the Oakes back to relay what had happened and I was transferred to the 'supervisor' at the time who rudely told me that 'no one was in the office at the time that could deal with this problem and I would have to call back Monday' and then promptly hung up on me. So on Monday June 19th I called the Oakes and asked to speak to the manager, Nicole Florence. When she picked up the phone I explained my situation and she replied 'I saw your email and you didn't reply back. You could've just emailed me back instead of calling'. I told her I prefer to deal with these types of situations over the phone in order to resolve them quicker. Nicole was extremely rude, and barely let me explain my situation. I also asked why the impending charge was over $140.00 more then I was quoted from the website, to which she replied there is a $100.00 deposit, a $15.00 resort fee and the tourist tax fee. I explained to Nicole that I shouldn't have been billed in the first place, yet alone the tourist fee and resort fee. I also explained that if I asked to remove the tourist tax, she is legally supposed to remove it. She then told me 'she's been in the industry long enough and that I have no idea what I was talking about'. After arguing back and forth Nicole promptly hung up the phone. Continuing on June 19th, I got in contact with the CEO of the Oakes Hotel, Douglas Birrell, who at first seemed understanding and willing to investigate my problem. I also explained to him about my experience with the customer service at the hotel. He told me he would investigate and then call me back within the hour. He called me back on Tuesday June 20th, telling me to forward him the cancellation from booking.com. I then forwarded the email to him, and explained I could also send him my booking.com account to show him I had no reservation or anything from his hotel; he told me he had no idea what I was talking about, although he had mentioned he was very familiar with booking.com's website. He also stated that the email was not correct, and only focused on them asking to waive the fee, and said that the cancellation was not done in a timely manner. I tried to explain my situation again, and he seemed very disinterested and told me to take my problems to booking.com. I told him it was his hotel that had my money, and asked him why I was overcharged to begin with. I also asked him if he looked into the terrible customer service I received to which he replied, "contact booking.com" from now on.

Cy
Jun 20, 2017

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