Review: The Hampton Inn

In my ongoing review series from my SXSW trip, I’d like to turn a negative eye on The Hampton Inn. As most business travellers, I receive a per diem and with that and additional funds I had in Paypal, I was secure in knowing I had $1000 in Paypal for my trip. Nothing that could come up could put me in a financial jam. That was the assumption I made in going to Austin and oh how wrong I was.

From the start, we had reserved rooms at the Hampton Inn in downtown Austin (San Jacinto and 3rd St, if you’re taking notes) via the SXSW housing desk. Our reservations were placed under the same card that we registered for the conference with. So arriving at the Hampton on Friday morning, I checked in and presented my Paypal card as the card for incidental expenses. Nothing was said about the charges for the entire stay being placed on my card, and admittedly I didn’t look at the card I was signing. So half of this was my fault to begin with. Shoot, not even that – maybe a third or a quarter. Isn’t it normal policy to ask something along the lines of, “Would you like the charges to apply to the credit card on file?” Instead, the Hampton charged my Paypal card and essentially drained my entire expense account. I was not aware of this until late that night while I was out with Jeremy and Jim Turner when my card was declined.

When I approached the Hampton about this, they were happy to shift the charge to the company card, and called Paypal to reverse the charge. However, when the weekend passed and I had not seen the money, I called Paypal myself. Paypal acknowledged that the Hampton had called on Friday, three days prior, but said that the Hampton had not done what they needed to do in terms of authorization to reverse the charge. Paypal needed documentation of the charge, merchant authorization number. Perhaps because my card is a Paypal debit card, I don’t know.

I notified the Hampton of the requirement and they faxed the paperwork over. Paypal assured me the charge would be reversed by the end of the day. By the end of the day, I still had no money so I called Paypal back. They went looking for the fax and told me that they needed the paperwork signed.

Back to the Hampton. The original person who was helping me had left for the day and was about the only person on staff who was in the least bit helpful. The front desk staff person glared at me with disdain but signed the paperwork and faxed it back – to the wrong number. Three hours later, I found that out because I had to call Paypal again.

Can someone tell me why I have to do the Hampton’s job?

Naturally, I did not see my money until Tuesday when I arrived back in Baltimore. Thank you to Jeremy for covering for me for the entire trip. He has been reimbursed as well.

I rate the Hampton Inn completely Unremarkable and will never stay there again.