Last summer we had a room booked and were told we could check in early at 1 PM. However, when we tried to do that at approximately 2 PM, the front office rudely reminded us of the check-in time (3 PM!) and made a point of making us feel like we were annoying them.. Little did we know, our nightmare was just beginning. We patiently waited.
We finally were issued keys soon after 3 PM. BTW - did you know if you do not actually go and see if a room is acceptable before you sign the "contract", you are basically saying the room is in satisfactory condition and you have no recourse if you do find something wrong. It is your word against theirs and if you are relying on the reasonableness and integrity of those in charge, you will not find it in this place.
We had a top floor room and when we opened the door a rush of hot air met us in the air conditioned hallway. It was 85 degrees in the room. We tried bumping the temperature down, but it already said it was set at 72 degrees, so something was very obviously wrong. It was honestly too hot and stuffy in there to even try to report the problem from inside the room. I've lived in Texas my entire life. It was the hottest day of the year in Galveston and it would take a top floor room quite a while to cool off even if someone would be able to push a magical button and get the AC working.
We were very hot and had just come up from the beach so were in great need of a shower. The two of us took turns taking very quick showers while the other waited in the hallway. We never even touched anything but the AC control and the bathroom sink, shower, and 2 towels.
About 20 minutes after we had checked in, we went to the front desk and told them the situation. They offered to call maintenance but had no idea how long before they would get to the problem. They also had no answer as to why the cleaning crew did not report a problem with the AC. We had been told that the delay in getting the room early was because the cleaning crew was in there. I don't know how in the world anyone could have been in that room anytime in the last several hours and not noticed that it was beyond stifling. We were also given detailed instructions on how to work the AC control - as if we were morons. We finally convinced her that we knew how to work it and it wasn't working.
We explained that we had used the room to shower - because we were desperate and would be happy to pay for that service, but we wouldn't be staying and asked for at least a partial refund. The lady at the front desk said she would need to contact the manager and could we wait. One and a half hours later, we returned to the front desk and were told the manager had not gotten back to the them. Really? A Saturday afternoon of a summer weekend at a hotel directly across from the beach and there is no manager present.
I asked about the status of the room and the front desk couldn't tell me. Assuming that the manager would be a reasonable person, we left the hotel without any documentation. Apparently this would be crucial in the conflict negotiations between my credit card company and Country Inn and Suites Galveston. Who would have thought we'd need a piece of paper stating the AC was not working properly and the time and date we had departed. Good grief.
Several days later a charge for $275 showed up on my credit card account. I immediately called the hotel and to make a long story short, it took 3 days and many aggravating phone calls to finally talk to a manager named Dee. She claimed that we had used the room and now were asking for a refund. What? And when I mentioned the air conditioning, she said there was nothing wrong with it, a reset button just needed to be pushed. Really? She said we'd not given them any time to correct the problem. (Didn't you just say there wasn't a problem?) It was a bizarre borderline insane conversation. I asked for a number for the person she managed the hotel for and she said she was the owner. I again asked her if maybe she just managed the hotel and maybe someone else owned it. She said and I quote, "if you like it, you like it, if you don't, you don't" and hung up on me.
Okay... I didn't bother calling back. My credit card company took over but after several months the bottom line was that I did not have any proof of leaving the hotel or that there was a problem with the room. On the dispute papers, someone (I assume Dee for some reason) wrote that we had stayed the night and that the hotel was brand new and nothing was wrong whatsoever. Basically, I'd used the services as the contract stated and the idea of a refund would not even be "entertained". Apparently I was just trying to pull a fast one.
I am in the process of contacting Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group who owns the Country Inn and Suites chain (not Dee?!?!). Hopefully this will get resolved and even if it doesn't, someone somewhere needs to know about what unsavory business practices are occurring in that hotel. At this point, it is just a matter of principle and a sense of right from wrong. And this is wrong. I'm assuming all the positive reviews are for those lucky enough not to have any kind of problem.
Absolutely ask to see the room and check EVERYTHING out before you sign the contract.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC