6475 Highway 93, South Suite 23
Whitefish, MT 59937
Re: Fee charged for Reservation Number xxxxxxx
Dear Ms. Fitzgerald,
I am writing to register a complaint regarding the fee charged to make a reservation for our recent stay at Tenaya Lodge. When I called the phone number in January to make the reservation, it was not at all clear the purpose of the fee or that it would be a separate charge paid directly to your company for “services.” I asked the reservation agent, Bryan, to clarify it several times & was told it was “applied towards your account and if you had to cancel this trip, it would apply towards a future reservation.” At no time was it made clear to me that I would be charged $140 for what amounted to (1) a 10 minute phone conversation (2) an exchange of emails to fix 2 errors and to clarify (again) what the various charges were. I was clearly under the impression that the $140 was applied towards the cost of our stay, or I never would have made the reservation, period.
When I was told upon checking in that the fee had not been credited to our resort folio, I was absolutely livid. When I called National Park Reservations to state my concerns, the agent did everything within her power to behaving in a condescending and inflammatory way, saying things like, “Well I’m not Bryan and I don’t know what he said” and “I don’t know what you perceived, but it’s a standard fee.” I am quite certain of what Bryan said & what I perceived, because I jotted notes down on the conversation. I am also quite certain that I would never have agreed to pay $140 for such a service, therefore it was unclear. Regardless of what front-end message you may put on your phone line, when a customer asks for a clarification, and your employee provides misleading information, it is your responsibility to rectify the situation.
I attempted to explain to the agent, to whom I spoke on May 3rd, that it was also exceedingly misleading to fail to have the fee information listed in the email you generate to confirm the reservation. Initially, I was outraged, but felt a sense of responsibility to provide feedback to help your company be more aware that it is failing to be clear on the charge. I am now of the opinion, partially because I was promised by the agent that I would receive a call back from her supervisor on the morning of May 4th, and no such call took place, that your company willfully and purposefully is in the business of deceiving travelers. I still have received no contact regarding my complaint, and thus I have opted to write this letter and also to send a copy of it to the staff at Tenaya Lodge so they may choose to exercise caution in doing future business with your organization. Rest assured, I will do everything within my power to inform all of my friends, family, and associates to avoid doing business with your organization.
5/18/10: UPDATE: Ms. Fitzgerald received my letter and called me. We spoke for several minutes, and I reiterated my concerns. She conceded that the fee structure had not been made clear to me, and she said they will be issuing us a refund by check. At this point, my trust level is low, so I'll believe it when I see it. Still...it's encouraging.