Call me Russ L

I would humbly advise against travelling to a Travelodge

Posted in Do Not Use These Companies, Modern Living by Russ L on 14 September, 2007

Here’s the body of a letter of complaint I’ve sent to Travelodge, following the recent London debacle. Everything contained therein is true.

I write to register my complaint regarding the unsatisfactory way I was treated by Travelodge on a recent trip, and to explain why I will not be using Travelodge hotels again.

I originally booked a family room at Docklands Travelodge, for the night of the 8th of September. The booking number for this stay was (~), and I received a confirmation email on the 8th of June.

I received a call in the evening of the Tuesday prior to the Saturday of my stay (the 4th of September) and was told that my booking had been moved to London City Airport Travelodge and that I had no choice at all in the matter. I was told by the gentleman on the phone that it was only “half a mile down the road”, although in actuality it is over two miles away. I do appreciate the forward notice and the fact that it wasn’t just left until I turned up at the wrong place to tell me, but I don’t appreciate that the person on the end of the phone seemed to imply that the Tuesday before the Saturday was some huge length of time and forward notice. He also seemed to think that offering me a free breakfast was some sort of panacean cure for all ills.

I was told that the alteration was due to ‘issues’ with the room. When I asked if it was due to Travelodge’s well-known and widely resent policy of deliberately overselling, he replied that it wasn’t as far as information he had been given went. Said information did not extend as far as to explaining precisely what the problem was. Is it fair to treat your staff thusly? “Why exactly am I being moved?” is an obvious question that they are going to be asked. It seems absolutely ridiculous that they can’t be told how to answer it, given many customers would be significantly more irate than myself. It’s unfair to them and unfair to the customer who doesn’t get a straight answer.

I was promised that booking confirmation would be emailed to me that evening. I still hadn’t received it by Thursday morning. When I found that entering the reference number into the Travelodge website still resulted in details of the Docklands booking being displayed, I held on the phone and listened to irritating music for 25 minutes between 9:30AM and 10:AM, but didn’t get to speak to anyone. I eventually selected the option to leave a message (which I didn’t want to do, not being aware how often you check them), asking for the confirmation to be emailed or if necessary for someone to ring back. Neither of these things happened.

Returning home on Thursday night to find a noticeable absence of communication from Travelodge, I tried to ring again but found that the booking helpline was closed. I sent an email through the ‘contact us’ form on your website (fully aware that the ‘ten working days for a reply’ limit meant it wouldn’t do the slightest bit of good), and managed to found the phone number of the reception of the Travelodge I was supposed to have been diverted to. The gentleman I spoke to there did confirm that there was a booking in my name for the Saturday night, but sounded very confused and unsure. I wasn’t sure about this myself.

My email confirmation never did arrive, and so left I left for London on Saturday morning reasonably but still not entirely sure that I was meant to be going to City Airport, and with no solid proof beyond a couple of vague phonecalls. I arrived there (dismayed to find it in the middle of factories and warehouses, no pubs or nightlife etc. This was supposed to be a like-for-like exchange for me, was it?) to find the desk staff initially confused but able to figure it out eventually. I got upstairs to find that I’d been given a double room rather than a family. I realise I should have complained at the time, but by this point I simply could not be bothered to argue anymore.

I blessedly wasn’t late for the event that was the purpose of our trip, but I did only get there with (literally) a couple of minutes to spare. Returning to the Travelodge afterwards, we found ourselves forced to buy expensive bottles of beer (all draught was off) in hotel bar, due to the aforementioned lack of anything else in the area.

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that this really took the shine off our trip. The first couple of times I used Travelodge I encountered helpful service and well-kept rooms. Since then most of the rooms seem to be shabbier, and that combined with this revolting set of circumstances has ensured I will not be using Travelodge again and will do all in my power to ensure that others know how they may well ended up being treated if they do.

Edit: There’s an update here, although not much of one.

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3 Responses

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  1. bounder said, on 14 September, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    These guys seem to like them: http://bounder.tumblr.com/post/11691324

    ;)

  2. Russ L said, on 15 September, 2007 at 6:20 am

    They’re clearly senile.

  3. e reading said, on 15 March, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I suggest you visit: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?p=30876699#post30876699

    Travelodge seem to be up to no end of scams by the sound of things! Amazed that they seem to have found a legal loophole whereby they can rip customers off and get away with it!


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