Hotels happy to cancel non-refundable rooms and keep your cash - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

CBS 5 Advocate

Hotels happy to cancel non-refundable rooms and keep your cash

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • Afghanistan crash kills 23

    Afghanistan crash kills 23

    Sunday, August 31 2014 2:52 AM EDT2014-08-31 06:52:12 GMT
    An Afghan spokesman says 23 people were killed when a passenger van and a fuel tanker collided in western Afghanistan.More >>
    A van slammed into a fuel tanker in western Afghanistan on Sunday, killing 23 people in the latest horrific accident in a country with poorly maintained roads and often reckless driving.More >>
  • Moderate earthquake hits region near Fairbanks

    Moderate earthquake hits region near Fairbanks

    Sunday, August 31 2014 2:16 AM EDT2014-08-31 06:16:12 GMT
    The Alaska Earthquake Center says a magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit 43 miles northwest of Fairbanks on Saturday night.More >>
    The Alaska Earthquake Information Center says a magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit 43 miles northwest of Fairbanks on Saturday night.More >>
  • All Filipino peacekeepers escape Golan standoff

    All Filipino peacekeepers escape Golan standoff

    Sunday, August 31 2014 12:23 AM EDT2014-08-31 04:23:58 GMT
    The Philippine military chief says more than 70 Filipino peacekeepers have escaped from two areas in the Golan Heights that came under attack by Syrian rebels.More >>
    Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers made a daring escape after being surrounded and coming under fire by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights, the Philippine military chief said Sunday, while 44 Fijian troops...More >>
GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

A Glendale man says he canceled a hotel reservation weeks before his arrival date but the hotel still charged him for the room because it was non-refundable. So why did the hotel let him cancel?

When a hotel accepts your cancellation, well in advance of your stay, generally you won't be charged, but not always. With prepaid rooms, hotels are happy to let you cancel but keep your money.

"Thank you, your reservation's been canceled," Terry Kinsey said.

Those words mean one thing to Kinsey; something else to Holiday Inn. Kinsey booked two nights at the Holiday Inn Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia but then canceled the next day when he found a better deal. He got this official cancellation notice from the hotel.

"Thank you for your business, your reservation has been canceled, so I thought that was it, it was over and done with," Kinsey said.

Kinsey says he had stayed at that exact same Holiday Inn in Australia several times with no problems, and he gave the hotel six weeks notice he wasn't coming this time. But when he returned from his trip, Kinsey discovered Holiday Inn had charged his credit card nearly $800 anyway. It was no mistake.

"They said basically it was non-refundable, the room was canceled, but you don't get your money back," Kinsey said.

The booking wasn't for a regular room as Kinsey thought, it was a pre-paid special rate that couldn't be canceled, and yet it was.

"The thing that I can't understand is, they give me a cancellation number, took my cancellation, but if it's non-refundable, why did they even cancel the room?" Kinsey asked.

That is what most hotels do. If you ask to cancel, they will oblige, but it doesn't mean they will be nice enough to refund a non-refundable room charge. The hotel gets paid twice for that same room. If Kinsey knew he'd never get a refund, he says he would have acted differently.

"We'd a stayed there those two nights, but I thought it was all clear and we moved on and made other plans," Kinsey said.

As expected, Holiday Inn confirmed for CBS 5 News that they do allow cancellations to non-refundable bookings and they expect customers to know they won't be getting a refund. It is mentioned in the cancellation notice, but it is easy to miss.

So be careful whenever booking with any hotel. Non-refundable means no refund, even if the hotel allows you to cancel.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow