I held a 7-night legacy certificate for a Category 5 hotel. I planned to redeem this for a one-week stay in Montreal, for a party of 3 adults and 1 child.
After searching through award availability on the website, I selected the Residence Inn over the Westin because there was no extra person fee imposed on my party. I specifically followed both an award and a cash booking all the way through to the final step, to confirm that no extra fees would be added.
I then had major difficulties redeeming my award. While the certificate showed in my account, I was completely unable to redeem online, because the system said I had an insufficient points balance.
I called in and spent almost two hours on the phone with an agent, who finally gave up and created a case number, promising me a call back within 72 hours.
The call back never came. One week later I called back and spoke to a lovely, competent agent who was finally able to help me. The agent confirmed that my reservation using my certificate was all set, and that, for a room with two double beds plus a sofa bed, I would not be charged any extra person fee for my party of 3 adults and 1 child. I then received a confirmation email which again did not mention an extra person fee.
Imaging my surprise when, a few days before my departure, I checked my reservation online and saw a $400 extra person fee had been imposed on my reservation. I immediately called, and this is when I really got Bonvoyed.
The first agent I spoke to flatly refused to let me speak to a manager without waiting 5-7 business days, even though my reservation would be starting in less than 72 hours. After over 20 minutes of arguing just to get escalated, the elite services agent I finally spoke to claimed that the fees had been disclosed to me from the beginning. At the same time, the agent said that extra person fees were in the process of being 'standardized' across the Bonvoy system during the month of August, but denied any possibility that a mistake could have been made in my case. The agent further claimed that the fees show in the reservation system are completely beyond the control of customer service, and can be addressed only by the hotel itself. The agent refused to acknowledge that any mistake might have been made by Bonvoy when I repeatedly told her that I had explicitly discussed the extra person fee with the previous agent, and had been assured that there was no extra person fee for my reservation.
The agent ended the call immediately when I told her I would be referring the matter to my state attorney general. She threatened me that my account would be 'marked' for daring to complain about the treatment I received.
Lifetime Status: No Lifetime Status
Hotel: Residence Inn Montreal Downtown
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada