Gain $300, lose thousands

Last week I had to travel to West Palm Beach to do a few days of training for a client.  I had originally planned on staying at a Days Inn on 45th St. in West Palm Beach.  When I told my client where I was staying, the reaction was "Whoa!  Under no circumstances should you stay there unless you want to buy crack and have your car stolen."  At first I wrote this off to hyperbole, but he even went to the point to say that if I couldn’t find a different place to stay, he would find something.  He was very committed to making sure I survived the night to showed up and train the next day!

I promptly made reservations at a Holiday Inn Express (I was training the next morning, so I had to be super smart!), and tried to cancel my reservation at the Days Inn.  While I expected to be dinged for perhaps a one night stay (this was happening at 5pm), they told us that they would be charging my credit card for all three nights originally scheduled.  It turns out, that when you do a search on their web site, they give you a price that is completely non refundable, and no indication that there are more expensive rates without that restriction (or so they say – I haven’t been back to price out a room at Days Inn, and never will again).

So, lesson learned.  Don’t do business with Days Inn.

But!  This gets better in a very cool way.  I reserved three nights at the Holiday Inn Express.  I arrived Monday night, and then as it turned out, I ended up leaving late on Wednesday, at which point we were into the third night of the stay.  I checked out at about 6pm and fully expected to pay for that third day.  Nope, no charge for it. 

Can you guess where I’m staying this week as a write this, and next week?  And the week after that in Chicago? Of course you can.  And it doesn’t rhyme with Plays Rin.

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