Monday, July 11, 2011

Bloody Wall Hotel - UPDATE

A while back I wrote a post about the disastrous little trip that my wife Nicole and I took for our second anniversary (aka our third Honeymoon). For those of you that don't remember the details of the trip, the SparkNotes version would include the hotel double-booking us and giving us the shaft with a smaller-than-promised room; a jacuzzi very unlike the heart-shaped, clean and romantic variety we expected and much more like sulfurous, gorge-triggering, "1-hour needed to dribble its way full" renditions you might expect to find in the stained, orange-tiled bathroom of a former Bachelorette contestant; a rude and unsympathetic staff member named CHRIS (not Dave, as I named him when I was still making an attempt at circumspection); champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries being delivered late (during which time the jacuzzi water cooled and had to be refreshed) and with lipstick-stained champagne glasses and dirty napkins; and discovering NASTY SCABBED BLOOD on the wall of the hotel room that had to be scrubbed off while the strawberries' chocolate cooled into a congealed blob.

For obvious reasons, I dubbed that place the Bloody Wall Hotel. At the end of my post, I mentioned the fact that to top everything off, we had accidentally left a pair of my khaki dress pants and a nice shirt in the closet. I called to let them know what happened and to ask if they found the clothes. They said that the housekeeper had found a shirt and pants, but had forgotten to write down what room they were in. They would need to speak with the housekeeper and we would have to call back the next day to speak with a manager. I forgot to call the following day (when I wrote the last post) but remembered the day after that.

When I called back in, they said that they had no record of anyone calling to claim the clothing. I spoke with the same woman, but she magically couldn't remember the conversation. I gave her the benefit of the doubt, asking if I could simply identify the clothing, and she said yes - she had them right in front of her. After correctly identifying it, she said she would drop it in the mail for me in the morning and just bill the credit card that they had on file for the shipping charges.

After a week, I still had not been charged for shipping.

I called back, and this time CHRIS answered the phone. Chris is the unhelpful and poorly-skilled communicator that had the fortune of being the owner's cousin. He put me on hold while he went to "check see," then came back ten minutes later and told me that he would call me right back. I waited four hours, then called again. He answered the phone. That conversation went like this:

Me: "Hi Chris. I called four hours ago and you told me you would call me right back after checking into the situation of my missing clothes."

Chris: "Oh, ah, yes, I forg-"

Me: "Chris? Please transfer me to Judy." Judy's not her real name, but she's Chris' manager. After I filled her in on the situation and its backstory, Judy happily put me on hold while she chewed Chris out. When she got back on the phone, she actually said, "Ok, I just got done yelling at him, and I think we've got it figured out." I think this was the first time that I actually felt better after knowing someone had been yelled at since I was three years old and my mother walked into the room where my older brother was making me stare at a bright light bulb as he said "Keep looking... Keep looookinnnnggg..." Either that, or the time slightly later that he convinced me it was cool to put the playground's pea gravel in my mouth, then after I had packed my cheeks full he told me that little bugs lived in the rocks that would come out and kill me if they got wet with spit. Come to think of it, I have a bone to pick with you, Tyler...

Anyway, Judy told me the clothes were there in front of her and they would be sent out right away.

I waited another week with no results. I called again and was told that they had accidentally mailed my clothing to the wrong address. Apparently, it had gone out to the same address as a bunch of other packages, and had just recently been returned to them. They explained that they had sent it out again, this time with the correct address, just the previous day. We could expect it to arrive in the next three or four days. When I asked why I had not been charged for the shipping cost, the reason they gave didn't make sense to me.

They said that they had decided not to charge my card because of the shipping mixup and the delay it had caused. However, they said that initially, they had shipped it out more than week before - more than enough time for a shipping charge to appear on my online statement from when they thought they were shipping it out in a timely manner. They wouldn't have known the address was wrong and that this would cause a delay when they sent it out; they would have just charged me like normal, if they ACTUALLY sent it out when they claimed. I smelled a coverup, but at this point I just wanted my clothes back, so I gritted my teeth and said nothing.

That was all on June 28th.

It is now July 11th.

I still do not have my clothes.

To recap: We stayed there on May 29th. I have made probably 15 phone calls (most of which weren't productive ("I'm sorry, she's not in today, can you call back tomorrow?") or interesting enough to describe on here) trying to get my clothes back. They're not incredibly expensive clothes, but I don't want to buy new ones when I could just have those back. It has now been 43 days, and no sign of my clothes. I'm thinking this may be a lost cause...

I now see no reason to keep the name of the hotel a secret. It was the Houghton Lake Michigan Resort and Hotel - Comfort Suites Lakeside. It looks nice, right? Of course! That's why I tried it in the first place. However, if you're ever thinking of staying somewhere around Houghton Lake, MI and you want my input - I think my story speaks for itself.

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