Just posting on here for a little advice and hoping that someone would be able to assist.
In May 2012 I booked a hotel through hotels.com. It was for my Wife and I's wedding anniversary. We also had a 4 month old baby. The age of our son meant that we would likely be spending a fair amount of time in the hotel room and therefore booked a room that was spacious and splashed out on the highest rated hotel in the area, 4* Hilton Doubletree. Even booking 6 weeks in advance, this cost just over £100 per night, but it was our anniversary, so spent a little extra for the occasion.
Everything seemed great, I received confirmation emails on 3rd July and 4th July and arrived at the hotel after a lengthy journey in torrential rain and localised flooding on 6th July.
On arriving at the hotel, I was informed that there was no booking for me. After a bit of panic and a few phone calls the receptionist at the Hilton Doubletree advised me that I had been relocated to the Holiday Inn, a 3* hotel nearby with much lesser facilities. I asked if there would be any refund for the downgrade and inconvenience, but as I had booked through Hotels.com, they advised to take the issue up with them, which I fully understand. My contract is with Hotels.com and not with Hilton Doubletree. I also spent a considerable amount of time on the arrival date discussing the issue with the Hilton Hotel Manager and ensuring I had everything documented.
Due to driving almost 3 hours in terrible weather conditions with a 4 month old baby on board, I accepted the change of hotel, but made it clear that it was under protest and documented this in email on the day of arrival to both hotels.com and the Hilton Doubletree.
On my return home a few days later I emailed hotels.com and expressed my concerns and asked what they intended to do to resolve the matter. They eventually offered a £50 discount off a future booking. I advised that this was unacceptable as I would not be using their services again and that I felt that they were in breach of contract as they had not provided what I had paid for. I suggested that a full refund might be a better resolution. This and a subsequent email to their Customer Service Team have remained without response.
I have attempted to claim the cash back via Visa Debit Chargeback, however this has failed as Hotels.com say they emailed me on 4th July advising me that they had relocated me. Visa Debit Chargeback seem to support their claim.
I received an email from Hotels.com on 4th July and at the time, I construed it as being a badly written confirmation email. I have copied it below. It certainly isn't clear to me that I won't be staying in the Hilton Doubletree.
Due to lack of response from Hotels.com and failure to recover losses via Visa Debit Chargeback, I am considering putting the claim into Small Claims Court. However, I would like assistance in knowing whether I should claim the full amount with interest, just the full amount or a partial amount and on what grounds I should be claiming, is breach of contract and loss of enjoyment appropriate?
Thanks in advance, Mike.
Email confirmation received from Hotels.com on 3rd July
Thanks for using Hotels.com, your booking is confirmed! You don't need to call to reconfirm.
Here are the details of your booking along with some useful information about the hotel. You can easily access your booking online anytime.
DoubleTree by Hilton Lincoln
Contact this hotel directly: 44-1522-668824
4.8 18 reviews
Brayford Wharf North
Lincoln LN1 1YW
Number of Guests: adults - 2
Check-In Date: 06/07/2012
Check-Out Date: 08/07/2012
Email received from Hotels.com on 4th July which they feel adequately advises that the hotel has changed;
Note from Hotels.com:
We were informed by the hotel that you will be accomodate at Hilton hotel next to Double tree hotel and the room type will be the same.
For more details please call the hotel.