I booked 4 nights through Amex Business Travel, as it was the only hotel available, and the cancellation provisions were 1 nights R&T if cancelled within 2 days of arrival. I checked in, and went to my room. The sheets on the bed was pulled back and I found a USED CONDOM on the bed (yeach). I went to the front desk and "Mike" the desk clerk told me that housekeeping had left and that was the only room available. I asked for a refund of the other 3 nights and Mike told me that since I checked in, I was responsible for all 4 nights. I've stayed at close to 100 hotels over the years and never heard of such a thing.
I called Amex travel, and they tried talking to Mike, and they told me that he was "belligerent". I had them make me a reservation for those 4 nights at the Residence Inn, which had a last minute cancellation. I surrendered my key to Mike, and the total time I was at the hotel was less than 1 hour.
After I found that I had, indeed, been charged for 4 nights R&T, I escalated this with Amex Travel, and they tried calling the owner a few times and always got "Mike" who told them:
1. The owner was in India and would not be back for several months.
2. That I was not entitled to a refund as I had stayed one night, which Amex Travel told him was not correct as THEY had made the reservation at Residence Inn for the same 4 days.
After a few months of trying to work things out, I filed a merchant dispute, but lost the dispute because I had checked in, even though I was there for less than an hour, and that they cannot refund based on the "quality of service provided".
I have travelled to over 40 states and 14 countries, and this was THE WORSE customer service I have ever received and I ended up paying $380.80 (4 nights room and tax) which I can't, of course, expense, because I refused to sleep in a bed with a used condom in it.
Neither I nor Amex Travel were ever actually able to speak to the owner, and Mike was our single point of contact.
I understand that there will be problems, but what is telling is what a company does to make it right. Mike made no effort to make it right, or even cooperate or compromise. I was willing to pay one night R&T, but he charged me for all 4 nights, though I was at the hotel less than an hour.
Mike told me "What do you expect for $85"? I said "a room where the bed doesn't have a used condom in it"!
Upscale, near downtown and Stanford: The Sheraton, The Stanford Park Hotel or the Westin.
(There are lots of moderately priced motels and hotels along El Camino. They vary in price and quality and you shouldn't have a hard time getting a room except around graduation time for Stanford students when the hotels are packed with visiting parents.)
520 Cowper Street, Palo Alto
2050 University Avenue, East Palo Alto
4164 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
675 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
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