It was shortly after last Sac Anime Summer, when I received my credit card bill. Glancing over it, I noticed an additional charge from the Sacramento Radisson for $150. Confused, I called to discover what the cause was. The person at the front desk suggested, "Maybe it's a cleaning fee. Did anyone smoke in your room?"
Well, no, nobody smoked in my room. No one who spent any time there was even a smoker. In fact, one of the people I was rooming with has asthma, so smoking is definitely out of the question. We were also sure to clean up after ourselves, so any sort of cleaning fee would be ridiculous.
I was told they'd leave a message for someone and get back to me. A day or so passed with no response, so I tried calling again.
This time, I was directed to the proper person…'s answering machine. So once more, I left a message, and never heard back.
After a few more tries of this, I realized I wasn't going to get anywhere with the Radisson. So I contacted my credit card company and filed a dispute, explaining that the charges were unexplained and uncalled for. They temporarily reversed the charges while they investigated, and I thought that was the end of that.
I was wrong.
Just recently, after returning from this Sac Anime Winter, I received an e-mail from the credit card company. They said that the Radisson claimed we were smoking in the room, thus violating the No Party Policy, which gave them the right to charge us up to $150. They told me I had three days to provide proof that smoking didn't happen, or else they'd deem the Radisson's charge legitimate and take my money again.
Now, how exactly was I supposed to prove that smoking didn't happen? It's next to impossible to prove a negative like that. In fact, why should I be the one to have to prove it? There was no smoking, so the Radisson had no proof to their claims. If they smelled it, it could have easily been from another room, or just someone passing by, but there was no proof that any of us had smoked, because none of us did.
Still, I asked my friends who had spent any time in the room to give me their word that they did not smoke. All of them complied. I sent that to the credit card company, along with a note explaining that a roommate had asthma, and hoped that would be enough.
I have yet to hear back from them.
Meanwhile, I tried bringing my issue up with the Radisson once again. After tweeting about it, @Radisson got back to me, and said that the hotel in question was no longer part of their chain and had changed their name, so Radisson is unrelated to this situation. Fine, that's fair enough, the hotel had changed its name to the Woodlake Hotel. Still, I was given these charges while it was still the Radisson, so they should at least have SOME records. I've begun tweeting to the Woodlake, but I have yet to hear back from them.
So here's where I stand. I have no idea who has my money right now, but it's rightfully mine. The Radisson/Woodlake is lying and trying to take money that I can't afford to lose on charges that never happened. This has left me most upset, as you can imagine, but my cries for justice and explanations seem to have gone unheeded.
That's why I need all of you who are reading this article to help me out. Comment about any bad experiences you've had with the Sacramento Radisson/Woodlake Hotel - I know I'm not the only one, I've heard horror stories from plenty of people. Post this wherever you can; Facebook it, tweet about it, share it with your friends, just please, help get the word out. They can't go on treating their customers like this, and they cannot get away with lying and stealing from their customers. Let's do what we can to make this right.