LondonHouse Chicago Billing Mistake
I recently completed a one-night stay at the LondonHouse Chicago. I’ll write more extensively about my stay in a future article. Today, I’m focusing on one annoying aspect of my visit. I’m not consistently looking to play “gotcha” with providers in the travel industry. But I feel the need to bring up a noticeable shortcoming others have perhaps experienced, as well. Today, I’ll describe this LondonHouse Chicago billing mistake and how I achieved resolution.
During My Stay
I was quite parched as I packed up my things late in the morning prior to checking out of the hotel. I noticed the two complimentary bottles of water on the table across from the sitting area. Specifically, each of the two waters held a collared label noting that the water is free for all Diamond, Gold, and Silver Hilton Honors members. A bottle of water is $3 for everyone else.
I hesitated for a moment. This straightforward offering opens up many possible ways for a hotel to screw up. I didn’t want to deal with the nonsense of an accidental billing, but I was also thirsty. Instead, I shrugged it off. I decided to take the offer at face value and consumed one bottle of water. After all, I was curious to see how the hotel would handle it, anyway.
I subsequently reviewed my hotel bill with a front desk agent. Everything was in order, and I checked out. Perhaps you know where this is going.
After My Stay
A few days after my stay, I noticed two separate charges on my credit card. The first charge, related my dinner at the LH Rooftop with a friend, was accurate. The second one, which I did not recognize, was for $3.
I called the property. The phone rang for a few minutes. I hung up and I called again. This time, I had the pleasure of hold music for about five minutes. A rep finally picked up and greeted me. I provided my recent stay details and queried what the $3 charge involved. The agent said it was for a bottle of water. I asked if my Diamond status was on file with the property, and she confirmed it was.
She offered to refund this $3 charge, and I thanked her for doing so. I then asked her where the oversight occurred. She vaguely advised that the hotel had a lot of new people. Undeterred, I asked if the oversight was with housekeeping, the front desk, or someone else. She broadly apologized for the mistake in her non-answer and advised I’d receive the refund in five to seven days. I thanked her, and the call ended.
Why Did I Pursue This?
I sought resolution for two reasons. First, I wanted I wanted the $3 back, plain and simple. But, more importantly, I wanted to hold the property accountable. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the hotel makes this “mistake” quite often. And quite conveniently, they could profit off such a mistake, $3 at a time. Extrapolate this out.
This isn’t too different from when I caught Treasure Island Las Vegas charging me room tax on an award stay. How many people have experienced such a mistake? How many people actually pursue resolution? I’m confident those two numbers substantially differ.
I wanted to call out the hotel for this on behalf of all the victims who haven’t bothered. “Three bucks isn’t worth my time,” many may think. Meanwhile, it may be worth it for the hotel, $3 over and over. Drip, drip, drip.
I achieved resolution to my individual situation, but I imagine this “mistake” will continue. I’m just one individual, and I encourage others to seek out resolution in similar situations. And while the amounts may be silly or negligible, it’s a noble effort, nonetheless. Things may change with numbers, or perhaps not. Either way, they win if we aren’t made whole. Has something similar happened to you?