Resort Fees Are Included On Wyndham Award Stays
We stayed at the Wyndham lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area this past weekend in Orlando. The stay was positive overall until it came time to check out. I had noticed on our check in documents that it showed resort fees on our bill. We had booked a Go Free award stay. I knew from reading Ian Snyder’s post that Wyndham’s terms specifically say resort fees are included on Wyndham award stays. The terms in section III C-1 state:
“…A Go Free Award is valid only for the room rate for one (1) single or double standard hotel room for up to the maximum occupancy of the room, including local taxes and resort/facility fees…”
So I was ready for a fight come check out time.
When it came time to check out I had the program terms pulled up on my phone. After explaining the situation to the desk agent he said he wasn’t sure and left to get a manager. The manager came over and refuted my claims. So I pulled up the terms and let her read them on my phone. Hilarity ensued when she tried to tell me this is for a different kind of award not the award I was on. She claimed there were two types of awards and that I was on the other kind.
There are two kind of awards, a go free and go fast. Go free are 15,000 points a night and go fast are 3,000 points a night plus cash. I was obviously on a go free stay since the room rate was covered. The terms specifically say go free award…so she was fabricating rules on the spot.
After a little back and forth she refused to refund the charges. She offered to call another manager and see if they could come down to discuss it. I was over it by that point so I said I would take it up with Wyndham Rewards. I did this because I didn’t feel like waiting around for someone and I wanted to see how responsive Wyndham would be.
I ended up contacting Wyndham Rewards 3 different ways. They all received a response but one response was completely worthless.
The first thing I did was file a complaint with Wyndham Rewards via their contact us feature on the website. I explained the situation and asked them how they have hotels that don’t follow the terms even when shown to them. This is the response I got:
Thank you for contacting Wyndham Rewards®.
Here at Wyndham Rewards, we are unable to assist with billing issues regarding the hotels that participate in the Wyndham Rewards program. You should contact the property directly when it come to credit card charges.
If you feel you have not been able to resolve your issue with the hotel, each hotel brand does have their own customer care department to deal with such issues. When a member has an issue with one of our participating hotels, they need to contact the hotel’s customer care department…
The next place I went was to Wyndham Rewards Twitter. I wasn’t expecting much here because they have been very unhelpful in the past. They surprised me though and showed concern and were willing to reach out to the hotel on my behalf.
Contact The Property
Not wanting to put all of my eggs in one basket I googled for the properties own contact us page. I emailed them the details and even added in that I shutter to think how many people pay these fees when it is against the program’s terms.
Which Ones Worked?
I know for a fact that my email to the property got through because a few hours later I had a missed call from the property on my phone. The reservation was under my wife’s name but I gave them my info in the email. My wife also received a call and they agreed to refund the fees. They also asked for info about the employees involved so they could correct the issue with them. This could have come from them checking the info on the reservation or the Twitter people got through as well with my wife’s info. My guess is the Twitter people got through as well. They have since refunded the fees to her credit card.
Why is the billing program not automatically removing these fees on award stays? If the billing was set up properly things like this would never happen. I am sure they have made a lot of money off of people who don’t know the terms. I think this happens at many, if not all, Wyndham properties.
If you run into this issue be sure to try to correct it at checkout. Most people will back off just to avoid conflict but you may want to have the terms ready on your phone. It is sad it has come to this but you need to be proactive and hold companies to their own terms. If that doesn’t work then reach out to the Wyndham Rewards Twitter team or the hotel’s customer care department. Don’t expect Wyndham HQ to help you out though. Always remember that resort fees are included in Wyndham award stays and just say no to overcharging!