Free Hotel Is Not Always a Good Deal

December 3, 2006 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

I got two nights free hotel stay from the Time Share Presentation I went to awhile ago, so I went to Palm Springs this weekend. Everything went smoothly the previous time that I did something like this with another company (free nights at Tahoe during ski season), thus I was not worry about this trip.

Per instruction, I mailed in my reservation form with $25 deposit to Holiday Travel of America two months ago. Two weeks later, a friendly representative called me to confirm dates and I also faxed them a copy of my credit card for deposit. Another two weeks later, I got a confirmation letter to bring with me to pick up hotel reservation this weekend; also I received a refund for the $25 deposit.

The letter instructed me to show up at TrendWest Welcome Center in Holiday Inn, Indio, between 3 pm and 6 pm to pick up the hotel voucher. I showed up at Holiday Inn at 5 PM and was told by the front desk receptionist that Trendwest stopped helding a welcome center in their hotel many months ago. WTF!!!! >=( I called the number in the letter but kept being directed to an answering machine. I left a message and of course, no one called me back. It’s 5:30 pm and I’m 2.5 hours from home without knowing where is my hotel or where is the new Trendwest welcome center.

The Holiday Inn receptionist commented that Trendwest are not the most organize group. That’d be an understatement! The receptionist gave me a general direction to the new Trendwest resort in Indio, hoping perhaps someone there maybe able to help me.  It took a while to find the Trendwest resort as the resort is not called Trendwest resort but called Terra (something) WorldMark resort. I did not know that and had to call the Holiday Inn receptionist again before finally found the resort at 6PM. Thank goodness the receptionist was very nice and helpful. I rushed to the front desk representative and showed them my letter. And of course, they do NOT take care of these things at this welcome center. ARGH!!! I was frustrated, pissed, and having all those not so nice/vactiony feelings >=(

Fortunately, the receptionist (Sandra) was helpful.  Sandra’s expression implied I was one of many that showed up there but shouldn’t have. Sandra called this woman named Delia (who suppose to take care of this and is the mastermind in making everyone running around and wondering wth is going on).  Delia told me she made reservation at Best Western in Palm Desert and gave me the hotel’s phone number and direction. She said she’ll fax over the voucher to them tonight. I asked for her number just in case. Luckily I called Best Western for direction before I head over there as Delia gave me the wrong direction (not surprising considered how mess up this whole thing is just because of her).

The Best Western told me Trendwest booked two rooms for me, thus I would needed to pay tax for both room. That is interesting! Why would Trendwest booked two rooms for me? I told the Best Western receptionist I only needed one room and she could cancelled the reservation for the other room.  Alas, she couldn’t do that. The room tax was very low ($8) so I went ahead and paid tax for both rooms, even though I had no intention to use the other room.

And good thing I did not use the other room. As I checked out this morning, the receptionist (a different person) told me Trendwest only paid for one room and I had to paid for the other. I explained to him the situation and he repeated the same remark on how disorganized Trendwest is. He called the head of housekeeping to check the other room for ensuring I did not use it. Once he got the confirmation, he removed the charge for the other room and also refunded me the extra tax that I paid during check in.

I hope this is the end of timeshare free hotel frustration. Other than this hotel fiasco, I have fun at Palm Springs.

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Entry filed under: Deals and Discounts.

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