Hey, What Happened to My Internet Connection?
Q: I recently reserved a room at the Ramada Charleston in
I explained that I needed Internet access and that the Ramada would not do. I called Hotels.com from the Ramada lobby and the Hotels.com representative, whose English language skills were poor, confirmed with Ramada that there was no Internet and canceled my reservation.
I then went across the street to the
Finally, I had to book the room with the front desk of the
I think, at the least, my four nights of welcome rewards should be reinstated. But Hotels.com refused, instead offering me
A: Your room should have had an Internet connection, as promised. I can understand how some hotels might think of a wireless high-speed network as an amenity, like a TV or a hair dryer, but if you're traveling on business, it's a necessity.
I reviewed the Hotels.com listing of the Ramada Charleston several weeks after working on this case, and I saw that the hotel still claims to offer "high-speed Internet access" on site.
Hotels.com is on the hook for selling you a room that fell short of its description. But before getting to that, let's deal with the foreign call centers. I believe online travel companies have a right to hire the most cost-effective call center personnel they can -- wherever they may be. However, you also have a right to speak with a company representative in English. Hotels.com shouldn't even bother offering a toll-free number if no one can understand the folks staffing it, or if they can't understand you.
Strictly speaking, the absence of a high-speed Internet connection was a breach of contract by Hotels.com. You booked the hotel because it had an in-room connection. Hotels.com should have offered you an immediate refund, if not found you a comparable room (with Internet, of course) at another hotel.
If you agreed to a
I contacted Hotels.com on your behalf. A representative contacted you and credited the four room nights, plus the promised
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