Author Topic: Hotel denied rooms with a confirmed payment and reservation. Advice on what should be done next time?  (Read 345 times)

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kno

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I recently went on a family vacation, which was quite eventful (If you have seen my earlier post). Now, I need advice on this one.

I had booked 2 (a small and a large) rooms in a well-known hotel (branch name - T) directly from their official website. Check-in time was 3 pm on Mar 29th. When we reached around 10 pm - 10:30 pm, the people at the reception stated that they cannot give us rooms as they were overbooked, and our rooms have been given to someone else. They mentioned that its a known process across the hotel industry (I knew this happens with airlines), and we should have called to confirm our arrival. This booking was of course paid, and booked more than a month in advance.

Keeping a calm mind, with kids and 2 families in the car, I was looking for options like opting for 2 small rooms, talking with them to find out arrangements, why didn't they call to notify us, etc. Somehow, they offered to put 1 family in this branch T, while they can accommodate the other family in branch X which is 30 mins between X and T. Now, I was the sole driver, and this of course seemed mad. So, I asked them to check if both the rooms can be accommodated in the other branch X, rather than dividing us up, which worked in our favour.

I generally call up the airbnb bookings as they are mostly families, and sometimes, they may not be set for travellers on odd times, but for hotel chains, this seems absurd.

How do you experts generally tackle this kind of situation? What are the general guidelines on complaints? Any other advice?

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slapdash

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I successfully avoid this by never booking with Travelodge.

Their T and Cs say they overbook and whatever algorithm they use is somewhat poor.

They even do it on non refundable bookings hoping you will be a no show. (They do refund under these circumstances of course).

It is true that it's commonly done. Generally confirming an arrival time reasonably early in the day helps. That assumes you can actually speak to a human at your intended destination.
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peodude

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It's a wonder that overbooking for something prepaid is actually legal. As you've paid in advance then not turning up doesn't affect the hotel, unlike a restaurant or hairdressers etc.

cp8759

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It might be sharp practice but I don't think it's illegal.
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order
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Tikli Chestikov

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It might be sharp practice but I don't think it's illegal.

It's a breach of contract (you've paid for something that the other party hasn't provided).

Not illegal and your remedy is via the Small Claims Court if the other party doesn't refund.

But they always will which leaves them free to chuck into the bin any letters you send them demanding compensation.

slapdash

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I don't think it is.

If you read the T and C Travelodge provide they tell you they will try and provide you the booked room honest. But if we can't we'll try and provide you another locally and if we cant then we will give your money back.

Whether or not that holds up as a fair term if challenged who knows. But they didn't breach it.




cp8759

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It might be sharp practice but I don't think it's illegal.

It's a breach of contract (you've paid for something that the other party hasn't provided).
Have you read the contract?
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

andy_foster

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If the contract is for accommodation at a specified time and place, between a business and a consumer, it is difficult to see how any exclusionary clause beyond force majeure (Acts of God) could be effective. Also, due to the nature of the service being provided, such a clause would seem to be onerous on the victim and would need to be advertised prominently.

If the other party breaches the terms of the contract, you are entitled to be put into the position (or equivalent) that you would have been if they did not breach the terms. "Oh well, we double sold the rooms on the probability that x% would not show up, tough luck - they did, here's your money back" is not putting the consumer back into the same position. Considering that hotels typically charge extra for cancellable bookings, it would seem perverse to say that they can cancel because you lost their gamble and simply refund your money

There seems to be an overlap between "sharp practices" and offences contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 - which largely equate to fraud but without the requirement to prove intent, however, I am not aware of any specific offence that would seem to fit the facts naturally. They have in effect taken something away from you that you had a legal right to, but I am not sure that theft would apply to an intangible, or that it is "yours" until you have taken possession.

Conning you into believing that you were booking a room, as opposed to the possibility of a room if enough customers failed to turn up, is potentially a misleading trading practice (CPUTR), if the average consumer might not have booked if they were aware of the scam.
I am responsible for the accuracy of the information I post, not your ability to comprehend it.
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guest968

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It would need someone with enough money to pursue it through the courts hoping for a favourable decision which would establish case law.

Southpaw82

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It would need someone with enough money to pursue it through the courts hoping for a favourable decision which would establish case law.

Sue in small claims - win - no case law.

Sue in small claims - lose - appeal to a Circuit Judge - win - no case law.

Seems like they’d have to lose at least twice to get the case to a level where (binding) case law would be created.

sparxy

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Conning you into believing that you were booking a room, as opposed to the possibility of a room if enough customers failed to turn up, is potentially a misleading trading practice (CPUTR), if the average consumer might not have booked if they were aware of the scam.

Is this not what airlines do (or at least, what I'm led to believe they do, it might just be a USA thing?) - overbook seats because they know some people won't turn up?


slapdash

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Yes, there are also some regulations that apply when you get denied. There are international regulations and some have their own (eg Europe).

guest968

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Is this not what airlines do (or at least, what I'm led to believe they do, it might just be a USA thing?) - overbook seats because they know some people won't turn up?

Yup.   They even used to do it on Concorde.  I once flew from JFK to LHR on Concorde, and they needed 2 people to give up their seats.

The inducement they offered was:

  • Guaranteed seats on the next day's flight, and as this was a Sunday and the Monday was a Bank Holiday, that would have been OK for a lot of people
  • Hotel accommodation in NY for the night (and I bet it wouldn't have been a flea-pit)
  • Travel vouchers on BA to the value of 2 one-way Concorde flights.

There was an unseemly stampede of people towards the desk.

cp8759

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Sue in small claims - lose - appeal to a Circuit Judge - win - no case law.
This is a genuine question, is the decision of a Circuit Judge not binding on District Judges? If not it would seem a bit odd, given the judicial hierarchy?
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative councillor, this means some people think I am "scum". I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

andy_foster

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A decision of a circuit judge would presumably be very persuasive (or else) to DJs within that circuit, possibly binding, but merely persuasive to DJs outside of that circuit.

[AIUI] An appeal from a circuit judge would be to a single judge in the High Court (I know that an appeal from the DCJ is) - once again no binding precedent - which is why HHJ Moloney directed that Beavis was leapfrogged to the Court of Appeal.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2024, 01:02:01 pm by andy_foster »
I am responsible for the accuracy of the information I post, not your ability to comprehend it.