My Experience at the Westin
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Posted by sockarang

***NOTE***I want to start by saying that the point of this post is to inform all of you of a safety issue that happened not once but twice while staying at the Westin this year. I do not believe this will affect the hotel at all, but if people have the option of hotels, I want to make sure they are aware of this issue we experienced.

I have stayed at the Westin a few times over the years. Outside of the hotel being an older one, I have never had a bad experience with the rooms or the staff. Unfortunately, this year was not the case. 

For anyone not aware, the Westin has a program called the "Green program". Essentially you for go room turn down service (unless you specifically ask for it at some point) and in return you get a voucher each day (after the first two nights) good for either $5 at the hotel or 500 bonus points for your rewards membership.

We always take this offer for a few reasons, but one of them is safety. As you all know, while attending Gencon, there is a lot of money in your room (between cold hard cash, products, etc). It is nice to know that people will not be going in your room and any anxiety of, "did we remember to lock this up, did we sufficiently hide 'X' expensive thing?" etc is almost non-existent. 

However, one morning we were running late for an event, and in our rush, we forgot to grab some money we left by the TV. Around lunch time, we realized we had left it behind and went back to the room for it. When we walked into the room we saw that the room had been turned down, there was a roll away cot in our room, and the money by the TV stand was missing. 

Now, we understand that it was probably a mistake on housekeepings part. They probably misread or somehow forgot that we were on the Green Program. There was a larger amount then what you would "tip" on the TV stand, but again, we can see how that could have been mistaken for a tip. However, we were still very upset. We went immediately and talked with management. At first they argued with us, telling us that they wouldn't put a cot in our room and do turn down service without us requesting it. They took the stance that it was impossible that they would make that mistake and even implied that we must have just forgotten that we asked for it. This, obviously, did not make us feel any better. Eventually they admitted that it must have been a mistake on THEIR end and they credited our account the money that was missing and promised us that they would do a security investigation to make sure we know who accessed our room without our permission. 

If that were all that would have happened, then we would be upset but hey, mistakes happen. 

On the morning of checking out at around 8 am in the morning, someone came to our door and banged on it like there was an emergency. I woke up concerned that something was wrong, woke up my fiance and our adrenaline was pumping. As I was heading to the door to see what the issue was, I heard someone use the key reader and they started opening the door without announcing themselves. Now anyone who stays at a hotel knows that it is standard practice for people to announce themselves when they enter, no matter if they are housekeeping, the front desk, etc. No one made an announcement. Luckily, my fiance latched the door and as soon as they hit the latch, someone slammed the door close and ran. By the time I opened the door, they were already down the hall and around the corner and I was not decent enough to chase after. 

I got dressed and went to talk to management again. They showed little concern and again told me that I must have been mistaken because no staff was even allowed on that floor at that time. After a heated exchange, they agreed that they would do a security check (even though they haven't even done the first one yet) and that they would let us know the results before end of day. I informed them that we would be in the car and probably wouldn't be able to talk on the phone. The GM assured me she would leave a detailed message about the information of what they find. 

We checked out and headed home.

On the drive home they called us but I couldn't pick up the phone. I pulled over when I could and listened to the voicemail. All they said was, call us back so we can tell you the information. We called back immediately and the GM was already gone for the day. We left a message for them and they even offered to exchange e-mail addresses so the information could be sent that way. 

We did that and I sent in an e-mail right away as well. 

Days went by, no phone call, no e-mail. I tried calling again and every time I did, I was told the GM was already gone for the day.

Every e-mail I sent returned no answer, and I know they have mine because when I gave them mine, they sent a quick e-mail to confirm it was correct. 

Weeks turned into a month. Still nothing. All calls and e-mails ignored. 

I called their corporate customer service, and after 17 hours logged waiting and talking with them over the course of days and being shuffled around from person to person each promising to find out what happened, I still to this day have had no results.

To add insult to injury, they never even added the points (base or bonus) that we earned for staying at the hotel. When I submitted a separate incident report for that, we were told that the points were added and they closed our case. Yet according to our account it is not so. 

So at this point we can never bring ourselves to stay at the Westin ever again. Not only do we feel unsafe there, but they have shown us that they could not care less about us or the issues that happened. Every promise they made to us was broken and we are still left to this day wondering. While this was just ONE bad experience, this was a big one. 

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Posted by rhone1

Sorry to hear about this.  You should report it to the Westin/Marriott corporate side of the business.  You will absolutely get a response.

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Posted by sockarang

I did report it to the marriot/westin corporate side. They are the ones I spent 17 hours of phone time on being shuffled around and lied to.

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Posted by braewe

The weird thing is the rollaway cot. Those are difficult to come by during gen con and how on earth can someone deny it being there?

I almost wonder if someone wasn't piggybacking on your room somehow and ordered a rollaway for THEIR room and got YOUR points. Is this even possible? I've only stayed at a Westin once, since I prefer the Hilton brand, but again with the points: either they are on your account and you can see them added or they aren't, so how can this be a 'they were added' issue? Clearly they were not. At least not to your account.

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Posted by sodeak

I also had a problem with my hotel this year, we stayed for 8 days and for some reason they reversed the hold for the full amount and charged my card for the first 5 days and then set up a new stay for the remaining 3.  While the overall bill was essentially the same they failed to transfer my hotel membership info to the new stay costing me 3 days, exactly enough to keep me from reaching the next tier for next year when included with another stay in Chicago I had already booked.  Filed a complaint on the membership website and they just forwarded to the hotels accounting office.  Got a reply email says everything looked right but because of the problem they would be giving me bonus points on my membership.  Neither the days nor the bonus points have been added to the account two months and having stayed and gotten the credit for the Chicago stay.  The excuse they had was Marriott was completing the merging of its and the Starwood preferred plans initially but its now 6 weeks past that even.  Rewards programs should run smoother than this.  And as for the originally posts fears about hotel security, having worked in a housekeeping department in college I never stay at a hotel without doing what her husband did plus use the lock if there's one as well and if there is an adjoining room putting something in the way to keep it both locked and unaccessible.  The systems are just to open to those who want to prey upon travelers instead of just doing a good job of service.

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Posted by a dark rider on a pale ... unicorn?

That's an impressive amount of "What The Hell" going on.

Especially the checkout morning thing.

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Posted by mal_havoc

Sorry about your experience.  Have you tried contacting them on Facebook?  Most corporations have a chat feature that you can use to talk directly.  I recently had to do this with a dispute with StubHub since the regular channels were extremely unhelpful.  The person who ran their Facebook page got right to the bottom of the issue and corrected it almost immediately.  I guess companies think that if you are savvy enough to reach out on social media, you could post your story and then things could go viral.  Good luck either way.

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Posted by sockarang

@mal_havoc, I was thinking about contacting them through facebook, I have just felt so defeated over it, but it would be worth a try. 

@braewe, I don't see how anyone could be piggy backing on my account. I confirmed the account info during check in and because of the problems, I reconfirmed it at checkout. I have no points that were used, just points that were not applied to my account. 

I plan on filing a BBB complaint, I just haven't had really good time to sit down and figure out all those steps (never needed to file a complaint before and working 2 jobs leaves me virtually no time to do anything other than work). 

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Posted by brooks sockarang

sockarang wrote:
@mal_havoc, I was thinking about contacting them through facebook, I have just felt so defeated over it, but it would be worth a try. 
@braewe, I don't see how anyone could be piggy backing on my account. I confirmed the account info during check in and because of the problems, I reconfirmed it at checkout. I have no points that were used, just points that were not applied to my account. 
I plan on filing a BBB complaint, I just haven't had really good time to sit down and figure out all those steps (never needed to file a complaint before and working 2 jobs leaves me virtually no time to do anything other than work). 

Filing a BBB complaint is pretty quick and easy, I had to do one years ago for a dice company. Everything is online and here is a link explaining the process with a button to start your complaint. 

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Posted by sockarang

Thank you very much Brooks!!

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Posted by brooks sockarang

sockarang wrote:
Thank you very much Brooks!!

Glad to help and best of luck resolving all of your issues with them.

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Posted by rayken

You can also threaten that you're filing with the BBB to someone in corporate first. Usually gets BIG responses, fast. Make sure you tell them you're using names, and get the names of all you spoke with.

I have never heard of someone trying to come in to a room but it's possible the person was mistaken and they ran due to embarrassment/fear of losing their job. There is a lot of chaos at GenCon and confusion with hotels lately.

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Posted by mbeauparland

I'll never stay at the Westin again, or any of their hotels if I have a choice...

We stayed there one year, and to be fair, although the room was a bit small and well worn, the staff was friendly and they had the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in.... But when we checked out, my buddy said he'd throw the whole thing on his card and I just gave him cash. We told the check out person, who ran his card twice, once for his half and once for mine.

A month later I almost bounced a check because the Westin charged me for my half of the stay. I called them and explained the situation, and they returned my money....

A month after that, they charged me AGAIN. Once more I called and once more they returned the money.

3 months pass, and they charged me a THIRD time. This time I called, they wouldn't return my money, and after a lengthy investigation in which I had to waste my time talking to multiple people, it was discovered that one of their people saw two charges for the same amount and took it upon themselves to cancel one of them, leaving their system to think my half of the room wasn't paid for. 100% their cock-up, from beginning to end, and at the end of the day I had to get my money back from my friend and didn't get so much as an apology from anyone at the Westin or from their parent company.

F' them....

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Posted by braewe

Your friend didn't notice the refund of the cancellation? I mean, hotels aren't cheap. /I/ sure would have noticed I had an extra couple hundred refunded back...that said, it still was clearly the hotel's fault.

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Posted by matthias9

If you're looking for a hotel where mistakes don't happen, you'll probably want to limit yourself to ones that don't employ any people.

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Posted by sockarang

This issue isnt that mistakes were made. The issue is how abhorrent the hotel and their corp handle rectifying said mistakes.

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