For Photos check:
– Tripadvisor Hotel Holiday Inn Universal Review
This hotel gave me the worst experience in my 8 years of continuous travel all over the world including the senior sales manager lying straight to my face…
The USA is generally known for great service and attention to customers however the hotel and mainly their senior sales manager Damian (Luis) Garcia I’m talking about in this story proof there’s (very) rotten apples everywhere.
I booked the hotel via Orbitz for a business conference from the 20th of Sept 2017 until 24th. While at a conference the organizers often arrange a special hotel deal for the attendees, so was the case for this conference.
The business conference hotel block was just for 2 or 3 days and I wanted to stay longer (20 – 24 Sept 2017), the special reservation page didn’t work with this so instead I booked via Orbitz. I did very clearly mention the group code and my participation in the event via the booking instructions and I checked in the 20th late in the evening coming from Medellin, Colombia.
As I’m sure you are aware of, just a bit over a week before the hurricane Irma passed by these parts but the sales manager from the hotel, Damian (Luis) Garcia, promised the organizers there were no issues as result of hurricane Irma. However when they got there the 20th they learned the whole first floor suffered water damage and most importantly the conference rooms were very damp and moist.
Just during the few first hours setting up stuff in the rooms people got sick already so they decided to move everything to another hotel last minute (NOT a decision taken lightly as this caused them HUGE stress and ton of work doing something like that; hence it was 100% a real issue). The sales manager lied to their faces saying the water damage never happened when they complained about it but staff already showed organizers photos of it earlier!
So after heavy discussions between the organizers and Damian Garcia he had to give in and all was cancelled including all reservations of the attendees.
However Mr Garcia wasn’t just quite done yet with lying his teeth out…
I do not know what he was and is thinking but perhaps it was his sheer arrogance or complete ignorance on business relations, he decided it was a good opportunity to screw over some attendees whom booked via 3rd parties and prepaid….
When I approached the front desk staff explaining the situation they first said refund could not be done at all for anybody who already (pre)paid the booking (This was Thu 21 sept afternoon). Then some other attendees called IHG Corporate Guest Service and they quickly overruled Mr Garcia’s decision to refuse the cancellations and refunds for these people. When I was made aware of this and went to the front desk again I was told a refund would be arranged the next day at checkout without problem.
So the next day in the morning I did checkout and instead of processing the refund they told me the manager is coming. So I met Damian (Luis) Garcia, he told me his hands were tied and they never received any money from my booking because it went through Orbitz and it is ALL on them. So he told me to contact them and if they process the refund then there would be no issues and all would be ok.
He asked my room number (642) and told me he would keep an eye on it to make sure it would be handled correctly.
All seems good so far!
So I moved to the new hotel (B resort; great place btw!) and I called Orbitz. They told me they needed ‘the hotel to release the funds for refund’ and they had to call the hotel for approval. I told them well then go ahead, the manager told me to my face there would be no issues….
When Orbitz got back to me they said he refused and he NEVER told me anything about getting the (partial) refund. Note that I was not asking a FULL refund just for the last 2 days of the reservation as I would be at the new hotel those days.
So at this point I was getting pretty pissed off and got a manager from orbitz on the phone named Marry. She called him again and made sure she got Damian Garcia on the phone, again he denied everything and completely refused any refund. And that is where Orbitz just gave up and refused any refunds (hence also last time I’ve booked with them, I’ll go to Hotels.com next time!)
Obviously I was pretty damn pissed off at this time and decided to Uber back to the hotel to talk to this lying piece of shit face to face. When I got there he was suddenly not available, out to lunch they said. I told the staff “I don’t care he lied to my face get him back from lunch I need to talk to him.”
Like a true coward he refused that and the staff told me I could wait an hour for him. My time is worth more and I the conference was starting by that time so I opened an official complaint against this lying Holiday Inn & Suites across Universal senior sales manager at IHG Corporate services and they advised me not to waste my time further waiting for this man and they would be on it.
To be continued…
At this point I don’t even care about the few hundred USD that they screwed me over on, I just want this man fired. This Damian Garcia is clearly extremely incompetent as senior hotel sales manager, lying straight to my face (btw a friend and fellow conference attendee overheard Garcia making his promises to me). Also it seems I’m not the only one he screwed over as there are a few other attendees that also got screwed over the exact same way.
I truly don’t understand why a sales manager can be THIS stupid, refunding is never fun but they would have kept their good relations for the business owners attending the conference and the organizers. Now they just gained a VERY bad reputation…. Oh and guess what; this is an Internet Marketing conference with all business owners who are very good and making and BREAKING reputations and SEO. I will make it my personal mission to get this liar fired and I will utilize resources of my companies to do so.