Big Bend Chat

The Big Bend Review => Lodging Reviews => Topic started by: aggiehiker on October 26, 2009, 01:19:19 PM

Title: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: aggiehiker on October 26, 2009, 01:19:19 PM
I just got back from a 3 day trip to Bibe where I stayed in the Chisos Mountain Lodge for the first time. I've always camped, but I had 3 older ladies with me and thought they'd prefer the hotel. I had reservations for almost two months and a reservation sheet they e-mailed me with a total of $272.42, including taxes. When I went to check out, the bill was $322.92. After several go rounds with the people there and a manager by phone, I reluctantly paid and left.  Their argument was that the reservation sheet says "prices are subject to change". (I am disputing their charge on my credit card and have sent the hotel a cashier's check for the original amount). My argument was that I had a confirmation sheet with a price on it and that they can't change it.

Has anyone else had this happen? I know I will never stay there again and have cancelled my rooms I had booked at Christmas. I have also written a letter to Forever Resorts, but I doubt if it will do any good.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos motel prices
Post by: RichardM on October 26, 2009, 01:57:57 PM
That does sound kind of fishy.

Quote from: http://foreverlodging.com/lodging.cfm?PropertyKey=73
Proposed Rates for 2010
Casa Grande - $116/night
Rio Grande - $116/night
Emory Peak - $113/night
Roosevelt - $144/night

...

Rates are subject to approval by the National Park Service and may change at any time without notice.

2010 rates are subject to final approval by the National Park Service (NPS). Should the final rate approved by NPS be higher than your confirmed rate, your confirmed rate will take precedence and be honored. Should the final approved rate be less than your confirmed rate, your rate will be adjusted down to the approved rate.
It doesn't look like they should be able to change rates that quickly or easily if NPS approval is required. Keep fighting it at least until you get a good answer. Either way, let us know how it turns out.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: fartymarty on October 26, 2009, 02:00:07 PM
I've stayed there several times and they have never done that to me. My latest email confirmation only had this in it about rates:

"Rates are subject to final approval by the National Park Service (NPS). Should the final rate approved by
NPS be higher than your confirmed rate, your confirmed rate will take precedence and be honored.
Should the final approved rate be less than your confirmed rate, your rate will be adjusted down to the
approved rate
."

I have some INTERNET confirmations (the print outs when reserving on-line) around somewhere, I'll check to see if they had any rate hike verbiage when I find them.

Maybe it's an aggie surcharge?  :icon_rolleyes: (sorry to do that when you're  :pissed:; it's a UT-ex requirement that I take any available pot shots even the cheap ones.  :eusa_shifty:)

edit: Oh, sorry I missed you :icon_frown:, it seems we were in the park at the same time.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: aggiehiker on October 26, 2009, 04:12:01 PM
Maybe it's an aggie surcharge? :pissed:

Them thars fightin' words, teasip! I'm anxious to see what they do when they find out I've cancelled the card charges-it will be a couple of days before they get the cashier's check. I thought about hooking up with others out there, but I had my mom and my girlfriend's mom with us(both around 80), so we did a lot of driving and very short hikes.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: TexasAggieHiker on October 26, 2009, 04:14:08 PM
 :rolling:
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: Undertaker on October 26, 2009, 04:32:47 PM
Never had a problem but with a confirmed reservation and then switching on checkout sounds like bait and switch.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: chisos_muse on October 26, 2009, 05:03:18 PM
It would seem to me that what Richard posted from their website would take legal precedence. I'm in the travel biz and have never had a problem with a reservation after a price has been confirmed. You should be charged the price at the time of the reservation and confirmation of such. Some people may think that they are running things on Mt. Olympus, not the Chisos....  :eusa_snooty:
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: dkerr24 on October 26, 2009, 07:27:50 PM
I don't blame you, I would dispute the charge as well.  After I finished my OML hike in Feb, I dropped by their front desk to see if any possibility of a room that night.  I didn't have a reservation.  They only charged me the internet rate for the room.  Perhaps it was because I looked and smelled bad and they felt sorry for me?  :)
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: RichardM on October 26, 2009, 08:01:38 PM
I've never heard of the resort personnel working the front desk being anything other than helpful, so I'm guessing either this price adjustment came down from corporate or they have a new manager who just doesn't get it.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: TheWildWestGuy on October 26, 2009, 10:47:11 PM
It will be interesting to find out what happens.   Seems like they should not have just charged you more but maybe there was something else going on (like a Surcharge or something) that might have changed the deal.  If the Lodge just decided to jack up the rates on you and charge you more than I think what you did was right but if it was an NPS, Federal, or State fee/charge/tax/rate change that jacked up the bill then I think you should pay it.   Please let us know how it works out...  TWWG
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: alcap on October 27, 2009, 05:46:28 AM
I had a similar issue with them the one time I stayed there (March 07).  They were not at all helpful, rude even, and charged me more than the confirmed rate. The explanation was simply, "our rates have gone up", over and over and over.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: 1badtk on April 21, 2010, 12:24:24 PM
I just made reservations to stay in the Casa Grande Building A, upstairs attached rooms. Was sent two confirmations and will look at them tonight and see what they say about prices.
I only had one problem with the lodge back in 2004 with lost reservations, but they went out of their way to make sure 14 men had rooms to sleep in for 4 days and this was our 4th Bible Study in the Desert at BiBe. Old managers, old personel, but I don't take likely to being cheated. So it will be interesting on how the pricing goes at checkout in Sept 2010.
Was just there this April but didn't stay in the Basin, rented a house on the Terlingua Ranch instead. Noticed all the people seam a lot younger, not so uh helpful, not a lot of wisdom behind the counter, and acted as if it wasn't all that important. We waited and made our reservations till this week so I wouldn't half to or be able to reach accross the counter and get someones undivided attention.  :eusa_snooty:
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: RichardM on April 21, 2010, 01:42:42 PM
Too bad rebelusmc65 (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/profiles/rebelusmc65-u254.html) is no longer active here. I assume he still works at the front desk. He was always very helpful and professional.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: SHANEA on April 21, 2010, 03:43:41 PM
Put the power of the internet and the people to work for you.  Make sure they know you posted this on the website.  People might not stay there with service like this.

I was thinking along these lines last night, before I even read this post.  Probably about time the hotels started following the airline model.  Want your sheets changed daily - $25 surcharge, want new towels daily - $15 surcharge, want to watch the TV, $7 surcharge per night, want to use the luggage carrier, $12 fee, want to use the exercise room, $15.00, want to use the pool, $15, want to have the room cleaned, $35 per cleaning, plus, there is an automatic surcharge of $35 per day for cleaning the halls, keeping the outside mowed and cleaned, etc....  :)   Want your W/C cleaned, $50 per cleaning.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: Goldilocks on April 21, 2010, 10:09:34 PM
Too bad rebelusmc65 (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/profiles/rebelusmc65-u254.html) is no longer active here. I assume he still works at the front desk. He was always very helpful and professional.

He is still there, but I am not sure if he can do anything about the prices.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: presidio on April 22, 2010, 10:38:36 AM
I just got back from a 3 day trip to Bibe where I stayed in the Chisos Mountain Lodge for the first time. I've always camped, but I had 3 older ladies with me and thought they'd prefer the hotel. I had reservations for almost two months and a reservation sheet they e-mailed me with a total of $272.42, including taxes. When I went to check out, the bill was $322.92. After several go rounds with the people there and a manager by phone, I reluctantly paid and left.  Their argument was that the reservation sheet says "prices are subject to change". (I am disputing their charge on my credit card and have sent the hotel a cashier's check for the original amount). My argument was that I had a confirmation sheet with a price on it and that they can't change it.

Has anyone else had this happen? I know I will never stay there again and have cancelled my rooms I had booked at Christmas. I have also written a letter to Forever Resorts, but I doubt if it will do any good.

Rates may 'be subject to change' but that means they can revise their rate schedule pre-purchase, not on a confirmed reservation. It's like airline reservations...you may find an outstanding rate while searching but if you delay in purchasing it, it may either go up or become unavailable. However, once you book it, you have a contractually enforceable agreement.

Since they are a concessionaire regulated by the NPS there are several things you should consider doing....all by postal mail.

a) Formally complain to the NPS...and ask them when they approved the last rate change. I seriously doubt it was between your reservation and checkout (and it wouldn't matter anyway since you had the confirmed reservation).
b) Formally complain to the concessionaire, and ask when the rates changed and why they did not think it important to notify you either before or upon your arrival. I think I hear mumbling on their end. When you contact them, let them know you already have pursued this through the NPS, AG office and BBB (so do those first).
c) Contact the TX Attorney General's office and file a consumer complaint.
d) File a complaint with the BBB (the least effective for you personally, but will alert others who may search).

If the NPS is unresponsive, complain to the Department of the Interior Inspector General (or you might just want to include them in the first round anyway).

Your contesting of the credit card charge and subsequent mailing of a check for the original amount was a very good idea. Since you have the confirmation paperwork and paid that amount in full, it is unlikely the lodge will pursue it further. But, if they do, ramp up your consumer protections. While the above might seem like a lot of work, you only need to send the same letter to each. I probably wouldn't 'cc' any letter other than the one to the concessionaire, but they should see that you have taken it further.

I doubt you are the only victim of this.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: stingrey on April 22, 2010, 06:38:43 PM
1badtk... You didn't happen to be one of the people my girlfriend and I ran into @ Closed Canyon in BBRSP, did you? Just curious. Anyway... On to the issue...

Not saying it couldn't have happened, but the guys @ the lodge are all pretty cool cats. Some aren't really comfortable splitting a bill sometimes (ask James & I about it sometime), but that is to be expected. I don't think most of their customers split room costs after an individual has already paid the deposit for the room.

Anyway, still can't believe they jacked you over on the price like this. I've stayed there quite a bit since I was in high school and never had a problem with prices changing after having been set by reservation. Sorry to hear about your experience though! :(

Was just there this April but didn't stay in the Basin, rented a house on the Terlingua Ranch instead. Noticed all the people seam a lot younger, not so uh helpful, not a lot of wisdom behind the counter, and acted as if it wasn't all that important. We waited and made our reservations till this week so I wouldn't half to or be able to reach accross the counter and get someones undivided attention.  :eusa_snooty:
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: 1badtk on April 23, 2010, 06:57:54 AM
No, no me stingrey. I haven't ever made that hike on the BBR, mater of fact I haven't ever hiked any of the BBR trails, just the BiBeNP trails.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: Homer67 on June 06, 2010, 04:59:22 PM
Go Horns!  I have nothing against Aggies, unless we are playing them in football this week.  Otherwise, you guys are cool. But I do love my school!  It was a bit tragic to graduate last Dec; my return to UT-Austin surely has been a golden time for me!
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: RichardM on September 05, 2010, 10:30:08 PM
Quote from: http://foreverlodging.com/lodging.cfm?PropertyKey=73
2011 rates are subject to final approval by the National Park Service (NPS). Should the final rate approved by NPS be higher than your confirmed rate, your confirmed rate will take precedence and be honored. Should the final approved rate be less than your confirmed rate, your rate will be adjusted down to the approved rate.
I wonder if Aggiehiker ever got his stuff resolved.
Title: Re: Beware of Chisos hotel prices
Post by: RichardM on January 08, 2011, 08:54:05 PM
On our all-too-brief trip last month, I had several occasions to interface with Forever Resorts personnel. The first couple of times were up at the lodge, inquiring as to room availability. Both clerks were courteous and helpful and even called down to Big Bend Resort & Adventures (formerly Big Bend Motor Inn) to check their openings. When we finally made it back from Alpine and stopped at BBR&A, the clerk was again both courteous and helpful. He explained that they only had single queen bed rooms available and that they were too small for either a rollaway bed or our blowup mattress on the floor (there were three of us). Without my asking, he started to call some of the other places to see what they had available. When he asked me if I'd like him to check Lajitas I replied "you mean LaHideous?". He just smiled and moved on to the next place on the list. Before we were checked in, he gave us a key and advised us to go check out the room to make sure it would meet our needs. The other two clerks I talked to during our stay were equally pleasant and eager to make our stay enjoyable. I was pleasantly surprised and hope this trend continues.

By the way, the El Dorado has apparently replaced the wooden planks they used to have for doors and now have what appear to be "real" doors with frames. Probably even working door knobs with locks, too. I declined to see if they had any rooms available. ;)

For anyone who ever has need to request a refund for unused campsite reservations/payments, be advised that if you have paid for a non-reserved campsite (aka first-come, first-served), you can ask at the visitor center for a form to send in. Just be sure and get an address to send it to when you get the form. :eusa_doh: Fortunately I knew who to email to get the address. Using the BIBE contact form would probably have the same result. If it's a reserved site, you can go through the ReserveAmerica website.

Update: They are unable to refund fees for camping, but I got a letter good for one night free. Guess I need to schedule another trip... :eusa_dance: