Friday, September 24, 2010

Update On Our Hotel Fiasco

I went to America's Best Value Inn web site where they had a contact/complaint form that I filled out.
Here is a copy of the text as written in my complaint to America's Best Value Inn:

Good afternoon,
My name is Rick Rosenshein. My wife, Veronica and I had reservations at one of your America's Best Value Inns. After reviewing the photos, availability and cost, we ended up booking a hotel room through BestFares.com. Our reservation was for Monday, 9/6/2010 and we pre paid $67.38 with tax. We were just looking for an average comfortable room that we could get a good night sleep before taking an early morning flight the next day. Based on what was presented to us online, we thought that we had made a safe choice. We had reservations to stay at the Americas Best Value Inn Virginia Beach Property Address: 5725 Northampton Boulevard, Virginia Beach, VA 23455 US Phone: 7574649351 As soon as we entered the room, we smelled a very nasty odor that we were unable to pinpoint what it actually was. The room was very dirty and the carpets and bedding looked extremely soiled. We also found bugs crawling around in the bathroom and on the toilet seat. There were also flies in the room. We found this room to be totally unacceptable. My wife took the room key back to the gentleman attending the front desk (we believe he was the owner) and she explained to him what we had encountered in the room. The gentleman offered us another room but we declined his offer. We felt that there was no way that he could not know what condition that room was in and since we had pre-paid, if there had been a better room available when we checked in, he should have given the better room to us directly instead of waiting until we complained. We ended up walking away from the situation minus the money that we had pre paid for the room and ended up paying for another hotel room at a competitors hotel. Both my wife and I work very hard for our income and it was really tough to have to make the choice of walking away from a pre-paid room because of the shoddy way this hotel and rooms have been maintained. Since your America's Best Value Inn name is on this hotel, I felt that you should be presented with the knowledge of what level your brand name is being represented by this particular hotel. Thanks in advance for your time and consideration in reference to this matter.
Sincerely yours,
Richard (Rick) Rosenshein

I deleted my address and telephone number from the actual complaint for the purposes of this blog entry.

Shortly after sending the complaint off, I received a generic confirmation.
Shortly after receiving the generic confirmation, I received the following email:

Dear Richard:


Thank you for contacting Americas Best Value Inn Hotel Group regarding your recent stay. Allow me this opportunity to apologize for the unsatisfactory experience at the hotel. All guest comments are very important to us. As a brand, we do not actually own the hotels that are licensed to use our name but, we are very concerned with and proactive regarding the manner in which they use our name in serving the traveler – you. Over the years, as we have grown to over 900 hotels in the United States, Canada and Mexico, we have developed a system for handling guest comments.

I have forwarded your comment to the property owner for an explanation, and input. Under the bylaws established by the Advisory Board, the property owner is required to respond directly to your complaint. We perform all of this work in the interest of establishing and maintaining excellent relations not only with our guests but, also with our licensee hotel.


I am sorry that you did not receive total customer satisfaction. It is customers like you that take the time to let us know where improvement is needed so that we may continue to provide you with quality guest services.

Best Regards,
Sandra Olsson, Director of Guest Relations
Americas Best Value Inn
by Vantage Hospitality Group, Inc.
www.AmericasBestValueInn.com
3300 University Drive, Suite 500
Coral Springs, FL 33065
Phone: (954) 575-2668 x-110
Fax: (954) 575-8274

As I told Ms. Olsson...the company may not own the hotel but the hotel is using the companies brand name and representing that brand name in a very unfavorable light.
I truly don't expect to hear anything from the hotel owner.
What could he possibly say about his hotel being in such poor shape with really filthy rooms and bugs everywhere.
The bigger question might be this...when was the last time that the company actually did an on site physical inspection on a hotel that carries their brand name? 
Based on what we experienced and saw, my suggestion would be this...if you are ever traveling and staying in an area where there is an America's Best Value Inn...go find comfort elsewhere because this brand is NOT your best value for your hard earned money.

The Journey And Adventures Begin

The white caps rose to briefly show their power and fury.
They then receded into the swells of the waves, from which they came.
This is how it started and this is how it ended.
Sandwiched between those two etched snapshots in my memory, Veronica and I visited far off countries, met new people and was introduced to new cultures, saw amazing sights and architecture, tried new foods and for a brief period got lost in the myriad of time changes.
What follows is a rather condensed version of what Veronica and I experienced during our 2010 Baltic Capitals Cruise on the Norwegian Cruise Line ship...the NCL SUN.
Actually our journey started on Monday afternoon, the 6th of September.
After Veronica got off of work, we headed to Norfolk to spend the night at a hotel that we had made reservations with several weeks ago.
Upon arriving at this hotel and in our assigned room, which had been pre-paid...our BIG mistake, we found the room to be disgustingly dirty, had a very bad odor to it, bugs in the bathroom and on the toilet seat along with a few flies thrown in for good measure.
We spent a total of maybe 2 minutes in the room, at which time we decided it would be much better for us to stay elsewhere.
Veronica returned the room key and explained why we were leaving to the attendant on duty...most likely the hotel owner also.
He told Veronica that he would be more than willing to give us a different room.
Hey...if he wanted us to have a decent room, then why didn't he give us one to begin with.
Rooms in that condition don't get that way overnight and are really hard to be overlooked by the owner and cleaning staff.
We decided to go to one of our favorite hotel chains...Country Inns and Suites.
We have never had a bad room nor a problem at any of the many that we have stayed at.
This time was no exception.
Yes it cost us a little more but well worth it.
I am still in the process writing a complaint to the powers that be of America's Best Value Inn.
I will let you know if I get a response and if so, what the response was.
With all of the choices that the traveller has available these days, I can't believe that a company would allow someone to use their brand name and offer the public such a poor and substandard product. It sure doesn't represent that brand name in a very positive light.
Upon dropping off our bags in our comfy room, we went and got something quick to eat.
We ended up going to bed early that night because we had an early flight to catch at the Norfolk Airport first thing the next morning.
Our flight from the Norfolk Airport to Newark was a short one and uneventful...which is the way I like my flights to be.
Upon arriving at the Newark Airport, we ended up getting one of those carts that you can pile your luggage on and push it around.
I'll tell you what, $5 to be able to pile 3 suitcases and a couple of carry ons is a real bargain.
Especially after we found out that Virgin Atlantic wouldn't be opening their check in area until 5:30 that afternoon.
It seems that Virgin Atlantic has no permanent location in the Newark Airport and they don't even have any signs showing that any specific area is their location.
It came across to me that they were rather mobile within the airport...wherever they could rent the least expensive counters is where they would set up shop.
This first day of our vacation would turn out to be just one in a line of long days that we would experience.
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