A New Jersey woman made only one reservation at the Comfort Inn & Suites Knoxville West, through Orbitz. But someone charged Lora Crumb for two, and it took engaging consumer advocate Chris Elliott to finally get her $426 back.
In a letter to Elliott, Crumb, from Branchville, New Jersey, said she learned of the double booking when she checked in to the hotel. She subsequently called Orbitz, and a representative assured her that, indeed, they had a record for only one booking. However, her American Express card statement showed two bookings.
Crumb said she went back and forth with Orbitz and the hotel manager at the Comfort Inn for months, hearing multiple stories, and even receiving an email from Orbitz claiming that Crumb had occupied both rooms.
“I'm exhausted and do not know what else to do. Do you have any advice?” she wrote Elliott, who responded quickly, contacting the hotel first. The property insisted that Orbitz had sent them two reservations under Crumb’s name, even though Crumb had a communication from Orbitz customer service assuring her she had only one reservation.
“And that really should have been sufficient to clear up this entire mess,” Elliott wrote. “Instead, Orbitz and Comfort Inn played ping pong with $426 of your hard-earned money. Each blamed the other, but no one was willing to refund your money.”
“A brief, polite email to the customer service managers at Orbitz (owned by Expedia) or Choice Hotels might have moved your case in the right direction,” Elliott said, noting that he was listing contact names, numbers and email addresses on his consumer advocacy site, for future reference.
In the end, after contacting Orbitz directly, Elliott convinced them to refund Crumb her $426.