JAMESPORT, Mo. — The engine roars as Gary Alexander fires up his 1965 Chevy Pro Street.
“We did a five year restoration on that,” Alexander said, who also owns a 1960s model Camaro.
Alexander had planned to show off the cars next month at the Ol’ Marais River Run in Ottawa, Kansas. But now those plans are in doubt.
The River Run is such a huge event that anyone wanting to stay in town needs to reserve a room a year in advance. That’s exactly what Alexander did. Last September Alexander reserved two nights at the Super 8 Motel in Ottawa. He has the confirmation email to prove it.
It was a done deal, or so he thought. In July, 10 months after reserving the room, the Super 8 called Alexander to tell him his reservation had been cancelled.
Alexander said a manager told him that his reservation should never have been accepted because the day he made it, the motel was already fully booked.
“I said ‘Why didn’t you tell me that? I could have made other arrangements,” Alexander said. “There are several motels in Ottawa.”
But by the time Alexander was informed his reservation had been canceled, not a single room was available.
Alexander complained to Super 8’s corporate office – Wyndham. The company’s customer care center promised to get back with him in a few days.
But when he never heard back, he called FOX4 Problem Solvers.
Problem Solvers understood Alexander’s frustration. What good is a confirmation if you can’t trust it.
FOX4 called the Ottawa Super 8 which is owned by a franchisee. A man who identified himself as the owner blamed the reservation cancellation partly on Wyndham.
He said the corporate reservation system should have never accepted the reservation because he was already fully booked. He also blamed Alexander who he said should have contacted the motel directly to make sure it really did have a room.
As bad as the excuses were, Alexander said they also aren’t even valid.
“He tried to tell me the same thing, but I know I didn’t call corporate,” Alexander said.
He said he has learned through the years to always book motel rooms by calling the front desk because he often gets a better price.
“It really shouldn’t matter who I called,” Alexander said. “It shouldn’t be a 10-month time lapse to let me know what’s going on.”
FOX4 Problem Solvers called Wyndham for help resolving the problem, but after a day of waiting and not hearing back we called Wyndham’s largest competitor, Hilton, for help.
Hilton has a Hampton Inn in Gardner, Kansas, just a 23 minute drive from Ottawa. The sales director of the Hampton Inn in Gardner said she’d be happy to solve this problem and gave Alexander and his wife two free nights at the hotel for that same weekend in September.
The next day, we heard from the Wyndham Corporation, which sent us this statement:
“We’re deeply disappointed to learn of this incident as it in no way reflects our brand values or our expectations of franchisees. While this is an independently owned and operated location, please know we`re treating this matter with the seriousness it deserves and addressing with the hotel`s owner. In addition, Mr. Alexander will be receiving a full refund and a future stay, at no cost, as a good-will gesture on behalf of the brand.”
Alexander said he’s happy to accept the rooms at the Hampton Inn and is glad that Wyndham is now giving this problem the attention it deserves.