Best western plus lighthouse suites inn – worst customer service ever - Best Western

I originally scheduled our vacation from August 3, 2012 through August 5, 2012 (confirmation number 126688276) but due to another commitment needed to cancel. I called the Best Western Lighthouse Suites at 6:20 p.m. on July 30, 2012 and spoke with agent Rachel. I cancelled my reservation and rescheduled for August 17, 2012 through August 19, 2012 (new confirmation number 162072). Rachel asked for a credit card number to guarantee my reservation. I asked her if my credit card would be charged, because my preference was to pay cash upon arrival. Rachel advised me that my card would not be charged and they just needed it to guarantee the room. I advised Rachel that I was giving her a D.C.S. card and that I do not keep any funds on it. Again, I was advised that a card was needed to reserve the room and it would not be charged.

I left work at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 17, 2012 to discover a voicemail message from Erica at the Best Western Lighthouse Suites. Apparently, they had tried to run my credit card, and or course, it was declined. I advised Erica that when I spoke with Rachel on July 30, 2012 she assured me that my card would not be charged, and it was just used to guarantee the room. Erica advised me that Rachel is just a trainee and therefore they are “not responsible for what she said”. Erica then told me that if I wanted to pay by cash, I would need a $150 credit card payment to reserve the room. I had just received my paycheck, so I advised Erica that I would go to the bank and call back with my debit card. I then drove to the bank and deposited my paycheck. Per my bank’s policy, $200 is immediately available and the remaining deposit becomes available at midnight.

I then called the Best Western Lighthouse Suites back. This time, I spoke with Janae. She advised me that Erica had given me incorrect information, and that if I wanted to pay by cash, I would need to guarantee my full hotel balance ($445.18) as well as a $150 deposit. Unfortunately I did not have $595.18 available. When I tried to explain what I had been told by the first agent Rachel and the second agent Erica, Janae did not seem to care. Actually, she was just plain rude. I asked to speak with a manager, and she transferred me to Ken.

I informed the manager Ken what agent Rachel had first told me and what agent Erica told me later. Ken did not seem to care that two members of his staff had given me incorrect information and did nothing to rectify the situation. In fact, he informed me that if I didn’t guarantee my room with a credit card by 6:00 p.m., I would forfeit my reservation. It was 5:45 p.m. and quite frankly, I was unsure of what to do. I hung up the phone and immediately contacted my bank’s customer service number. I requested that they make some funds available but was informed that needed to be done at branch level. Unfortunately, the branches were closed for the weekend. I then called my mother and asked her if I could use her credit card to guarantee my room. My mother provided me with her credit card number and I immediately called Ken back. I advised him that I was giving him my mother’s credit card and I did not want it to be charged. I advised him that my funds would be available at midnight. Ken told me that was fine, and my mother’s card was just to guarantee the room. I then advised him that we were leaving from the Seattle area and that the drive to Ocean Shores was about four hours. I then proceeded to drive four hours with my four year old and seven year old sons’.

We arrived at the Best Western Lighthouse Suites shortly after 10:00 p.m. Agents Rachel and Janae were both working at the front desk. When we tried to check in, Jenae asked for my credit card. I informed her that I spoke with Ken and that my funds would not be available until midnight. She told me that she had to charge a card, so I advised her to charge my mother’s card which they had used to reserve the room (I would just pay my mother back). Janae stated she couldn’t charge the card since I didn’t have it on my person. She then proceeded to call Ken, the manager, at home and place me on the phone with him.

Ken, the manager, informed me that I told him that I would be checking in after midnight. I specifically had advised him at 6:00 p.m. that I would be there in four hours. Ken informed me that without a credit card, I could not check in. I advised him to use my mother’s card, and he claimed that he could not do that because “what if I stole it” (suddenly, I am a thief too). I informed him that my funds would not be available until midnight, and that he could charge my card then. Ken advised me that he would not let me check in and that I “could wait in the lobby until midnight”. By then it was 10:30 p.m. and my two young sons’ needed to go to sleep. I then asked Ken for his manager’s name and requested that he contact me on Monday, August 20, 2012. When I asked Ken if he was ready for my phone number, he shouted at me “No, I’m not ready. I’m standing here in my underwear”. I was appalled. I didn’t call Ken. His employee Janae did. Then Ken proceeded to hang up on me. Once again, I contacted my bank, to see if they could release funds. They did offer to speak with Janae to verify fund and provide her with an authorization number, but she refused.

I then went down the road to the Shiloh Inn. Unfortunately, they did not have any vacancies, but they offered to allow us to hang out in their hospitality room until midnight. Then even gave my sons’ some milk and cookies. Finally, some hospitality and good old fashioned customer service! I then went to the next hotel, the Quality Inn, who called around and found me a vacancy in Aberdeen, Washington (about 20 minutes away). About this time, I noticed a vacancy sign at The Sands Motel next door. I went in and explained my situation to agent Sabrina. I contacted my bank again and Sabrina verified funds and received an authorization number. She also felt so bad for how the Best Western Lighthouse Suites had treated us; she gave us a one bedroom suite at standard room price (which was significantly cheaper than the Best Western). We checked in to our room at approximately 11:00 p.m. and I immediately contacted the Best Western Lighthouse Suites. This time, I spoke with agent Jacob, and I informed him that we were allowed to check in at another hotel and I would be forfeiting my reservation. I then confirmed again, that my mother’s credit card would not be charged. I was advised that it wouldn’t. Also, as a side note, at 12:05 a.m., I received a text message from Sabrina, the agent at The Sands Motel, that my debit card had successfully been charged. Thankfully, my sons’ and I were able to salvage our vacation!

On Monday, August 20, 2012 I called the best Western and spoke with agent Rachel (the supposed trainee) and requested to speak with Jim Kim (Ken, the manager’s supervisor). Rachel took down my name and number and assured me that Jim would call me back. He didn’t.

I tried to reach Jim Kim again, on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 and received agent Rachel again. This time she advised me that Jim Kim was not available. I asked for his contact information, and she informed that she was not allowed to give out that information.

Now to add insult to injury, I found out that on Thursday, August 23, 2012 my mother received a $100 charge from the Best Western. I contacted the Best Western Lighthouse Suites at approximately 6:30 p.m. and spoke with the assistant manager Carla. She advised me that my mother’s card had been charged, because I was a “no show”. I then re-explained this entire story to Carla, the assistant manager, wanting to know why they couldn’t charge my mother’s card at check-in because I didn’t have the card on me, but they were going to charge it now. Carla advised me that she would have to speak with the manager Ken, and told me that she would call me back on Friday, August 24, 2012. She asked me when a good time to call would be, and I informed her that I get off of work at 4:00 p.m. and any time after that would be fine.

I proceeded to contact the Best Western at approximately 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 24, 2012 and was advised that Carla would call me back. Carla called me back shortly before 6:00 p.m. and advised me that per Ken, the manager, they would not waive the $100 charge. I informed Rachel that I advised my parents’ to contact their credit card company and dispute the charges. I was told by several employees, including the manager, that my parent’s card would not be charged.

I am absolutely horrified at how I was treated by the Best Western staff. Each employee told me something different and all the information I received was false. I have already notified the Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau and Trip Advisor of this situation. I have also drafted a letter to the Best Western Corporate Offices. I want my mother’s $100 credit card charge removed immediately.

I am a single mother struggling to make ends meet, and quite frankly don’t travel a lot, so my saying that I will never stay at a Best Western again, probably doesn’t mean much to you or affect your bottom line. But I promise you, after how I have been treated, I will never set forth in a Best Western (or as my older son has named it, The Worst Western) again. I will also make sure that all of my friends, family, co-workers and Facebook contacts are advised of how my family was treated as well.

Best Western Plus Lighthouse Suites Inn
491 Damon Road WA Ocean SHores
360-289-2311 | bestwestern.com

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