Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Best Western isn't the Best... Our Best Western Horror Story in Lansing, Michigan

Most of you probably remember when we were homeless during the ice storm and ended up staying in the worst Best Western in the history of hotels (it's the one in the south part of Lansing in case you want to know where not to stay).  After our experience there we were told that the hotel would refund $25 a day because of the no-water-rude-staff-no-cleaning-the-room horrible experience that we had.  We've actually been told multiple times that the $25 a day has been refunded, pretty much since the day we left.  So far it has not happened (and it has now been over a month).  And both corporate and the hotel itself have been contacted and just keep saying that it will come through.  

At least that's what they were saying.  Then they changed their story and denied that we'd stayed for six nights and offered $100 (which they said they'd put through, but which, like the $125 they promised weeks ago still hasn't come through).  Now they're saying they will refund $25 for the entire week because we "only had one room" and they're claiming that's all they can do with one room.

I wish we could have left earlier than we did.  I really do.  But after going to five motels and being turned away because much of Lansing was looking for a place to stay during the storm we were kind of trapped.  

And what does Best Western Corporate have to say about this?  Well, after talking to them over and over again and after having been assured that a refund was coming they have "washed their hands" of us.  So if you stay at a Best Western and have a horrible experience don't expect Best Western to stand behind their name or be at all helpful. 

I really didn't want to blog about this.  But when we were there I took a video with Sadie, who oh so wanted to be in the frame, to document our experience there and since nothing else has worked I am sharing it here.  
It's something to consider if your thinking of staying in a Best Western because apparently they don't guarantee that you won't be treated horribly at their franchise and if you are they might not do anything at all to help.  Here's what our seven days in the Best Western in South Lansing, Michigan were like:  

Edited to add:  Best Western Corporate has now seen this video and stated that they are "standing behind" the decision not to give us even a $25 a night refund.  Wow.  That is incredibly horrible customer service, especially since they'd already promised us $25 a night.

And a second edit to add in response to the comment that appeared yesterday that I won't be publishing:  By day five most of Lansing still had power.  The hotel was mostly empty.  We were one of the few people left.  People who are likely Best Western staff suggesting it's because they were over run at this point won't be published because it simply wasn't true.  Sorry.  And yes to answer the question asked, I did try to keep the room clean but five people, one a special needs child in a room without any sort of cleaning equipment a room becomes unbearable very quickly.  Blaming the victim of your hotel's mismanagement for the horrendous experience?

One more edit:  Best Western just contacted us and says they will be refunding $25 a night, the original agreed upon amount!  I will update if the payment clears through (since the hotel itself was promising this for over a month!)!


  1. They should be ashamed! Sorry that you had to go through this. Did you pay with a credit card? You might be able to dispute the charges that way.

  2. Can you report them to the Better Buisness Bureau? I'm not educated in how it works but I know my mother has recommended it to me when I've had a terrible customer service experience and she's done it once or twice to secure a refund.

  3. Wow. Good to know. We are in the Lansing area often. Will definitely steer clear of this place. This isn't the first time I've heard negative reviews about this particular hotel. So sad. DM

  4. Absolutely unacceptable. Have you done a TripAdvisor review? I noticed there was a real "mixed bag" of opinions on this place, with at least a couple mentioning some of the same things you have.

    Get your story out there every way you can, with as much documentation as possible.

  5. I don't know, but every hotel I ever stayed in cleaned the room daily, with fresh towels, made the bed, vacuumed or swept, dusted, new soap/shampoo, and if I was staying more than two days, changed the sheets. It seemed to be included in the cost of the room. I NEVER had to ask for housekeeping, EVER. And if I had no hot water, (even though I understand the circumstances were unusual), but then to have NO WATER without notice, well, unacceptable. I'll stay away from Best Western. Sounds like they don't care about customers.
    (I have to post as Anonymous because I don't have any of the "Identities" below) Bonnie

  6. Really? Blaming the fact they were full for their poor service? Really if you aren't used to operating and full capacity-especially in a college town, you might want to consider why that is?

  7. So sorry about this, Cam!
    We (and our extended family) had a poor stay at one in WI where several things went wrong. I was so frustrated that customer service seemed nonexistent- we are not rude or demanding people, we just wanted them to fix the problems (like a backed-up tub, broken a/c)since we were paying to stay there! They did end up giving us a free night b/c of the tub issue, but I still wrote a review on TripAdvisor since our overall experience was poor. I've stayed at Best Westerns before and had fine stays, but after that- no more!

  8. That is completely unacceptable. I am so sorry you and your family had to endure that horrendous treatment.

    I agree with Lynn that you may want to consider reporting them to the Better Business Bureau or some other consumer site such as so you can get your money back.

  9. Cam, I think you're responding to my comment in your second edit, which i published as Anonymous because I didn't want you to take my questions as personal insults, because they were honest questions.

    I'm not Best Western staff, but I asked the questions about the water possibly being off because of the ice storm, the hotel being at capacity and low on staff, etc simply because they seemed legitimate questions.

    And I'm informing you of this now because it may be that your closing comment, including, "you guys disgust me," is out of place and unwarranted.

    It seems that under the circumstances of a city-wide ice storm, other people may have been struggling to keep things afloat, and you may have suffered as a consequence, but just possibly, suffered along with them.

    I did not suffer through 8 days in a hotel over Christmas, so I don't know all that you went through, but my questions truly arose out of honest speculation and the inclination that your video wasn't the damning piece of evidence it was supposed to be.

    I don't know if we have any Best Westerns in Alaska, but we certainly haven't had any ice storms this year. I hope February improves for your family!

    In Christ,
    Theresa B

  10. Hi Theresa,

    Hopefully I answered you questions above them (it happened that your questions came in at the exact moment I received a hit from the place that they're corporate office is located at).

    I hope the above answered your questions. Honestly I was insulted at the suggestion that seemed to be in there that if we'd tried harder to keep the room clean it would have been fine. I was cleaning every day, hauling trash bags around, on the floor scrubbing with towels, hoping they'd bring more towels while I had a three year old who was freaking out, having autistic tantrums, and using any available moment to smear urine and food on the floors. I think it's very, very hard to understand if you haven't experienced that sort of thing.

    I wasn't being disingenuous. The hotel had electricity. Most of the people had left. They were rude repeatedly, intentionally.

    For the first several days I told myself that it was just because they were over booked, but when th hotel emptied out and we asked for our room to be cleaned and they ignored us and yelled and Paul and just kept being rude... and then promised us a refund for it and then took it back... it was just too much.

    I'm sorry you think I was being disingenuous from your statement in your other comment, but I really don't think that I am. I gave Best Western ample warning and they continued to be rude through the last month, which is when I finally published this post that I was really hoping to avoid.

  11. I feel like I should add to that with the refund they offered we would still have paid over $60 a night, so it's not as if they aren't getting paid an ample amount for a week without hot water/any water/housekeeping staff/locking us out of our room a half dozen times/ being rude every. single. time. we had to go to the front desk including telling Sadie "oh I'm sorry, Expedia customers don't pay enough to get breakfast" after giving Paul and Maggie breakfast a half hour earlier.

  12. The ads on your site right now are for "Asian Single Ladies". You may want to change the settings.

  13. Ugh. I already have the settings set to super strict with x-rated and risque sites banned. I'm not sure what else to do. When I look it shows me Payless or children's stores or etsy usually. Sorry about that... but at this point I can't really do anything more to strengthen the settings because they're already on high.


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