There was a major storm in Dallas on Sunday, June 9th. Areas of Richardson near this hotel were particularly hard hit.
Most of the area was left without electricity. People (myself included) were scrambling to get themselves and their families into hotels/motels that had power.
This Econolodge is the closest place to us that had power, so we pulled into the lot. The sign outside advertised a $49.99 room rate. When we entered your lobby, it was cram packed full of people hoping to check in.
When each got to the desk, they were charged $75.99 plus taxes and fees. Some couldn’t afford to pay the inflated rate and had to leave. When the clerk was asked why the room rates weren’t as advertised outside, she said “Because we are selling out of rooms. I haven’t had time to change the price on the sign.” This is CLEARLY price gouging, which is ILLEGAL.
Moreover, it’s a terrible way to treat the people in your hotel's community when they are in need. These weren’t just travelers who could easily choose another location if they didn’t like the demand-based, self-opportunistic price hike. Just in my own neighborhood, telephone poles snapped and fell into water drenched alleys and huge trees uprooted and fell onto cars and through the roofs of homes. These were people who NEEDED a safe place to stay and this hotel should be embarrassed about how it took advantage of this situation and these people.
In addition, and much less important – our room was not up to standard – there were pubic hairs in the shower floor, the pillows were as thin as blankets, the pocket door handle to the bathroom was broken, there weren’t electrical outlets on both sides of the bed, and the ‘continental breakfast’ consisted of a loaf each of plain white and plain wheat bread next to a toaster, stale cereal in a plastic dispenser, and a pitcher of orange juice.
I feel like this should be reported to the Attorney General, since they are the agency that assesses civil fines for price gouging.
And the Better Business Bureau, maybe even the local news. At the very least, I think ALL OF the people who chose to stay at this hotel while their power was out should be refunded the difference in what they paid versus the advertised price for their room.
Product or Service Mentioned: Econo Lodge Customer Care.
Reason of review: Pricing issue.
Preferred solution: Company wide ban on price gouging/refund of difference in advertised price and actual charges for all patrons on June 9, 2019. .
Econo Lodge Cons: Taking advantage of local residents in need.