Where’s Ray Stantz when you need him?

I’ve been thinking for three days about how I hate ski towns, especially in the summer. They’re staffed with these snotty kids who seem all deserving of a seven dollar tip because they parked your car in the mandatory valet or squeezed a lemon slice in your water:

(1) A dirt lot is not valet, and
(2)
Don’t put your hands on my foodstuffs. I just saw you pick your pimple five minutes ago

So imagine my pleasant surprise when I got signed into my bank account tonight to find that the Vail resort I stayed on Sunday deducted $350 from my bank account for no apparent reason. The room, you see, was pre-paid for by my company, and I saw the bill during checkout. One night’s stay was less than half the $350 they charged me.

Add to this the fact that I’ve been attempting to ball on a budget for a large host of reasons, including that I’m supposed to leave on Thursday for a ‘vacation’ to Iowa that I’d rather not go on just yet. And add to that the fact that I’ve had a horrible day, I’m tired, hungry, AND GEORGE WASHINGTON IS COMING.

I may have been flustered and upset at the mere sight of the deduction, but when I called the resort to find out what it was for, I did a total Roger Rabbit. (This was the best photo I could find. But you know the part where he drinks the Kool-Aid and freaks out.) Or maybe it was more like a Dana Barrett from Ghostbusters where she gets possessed by Gozer and turns into “Zuul.” (She looks sultry here, but that’s only to get you to come close enough so she can eat your brains.)

Either way, I was hot. So I called and here’s what the kid at the desk told me:

(1) Despite the fact that the room was pre-paid for, he **assumed** that the charges had to do with a deposit that they take out of your account at check-in to make sure you have enough funds to pay for the room.

(2) He wasn’t sure how the deposit amount was determined, but he knew they didn’t require it of all guests. Which, I suppose, means that I was privy to some sort of profiling, like I looked under the age of 30 and was therefore more likely to run out on the bill. This did not sit well with George (see above) and me.

(3) He **thought** that the charges should be back in my bank account, **probably** within 48-72 hours.

I spat sophisticated, PG-rated hellfire and was invited to call back in the morning to speak to the manager. I’ll take him up on that.

But honestly, in an age of full disclosure, I have no idea whatsoever why a company would decide against informing a patron about something like this, especially if the dollar amount is more than $50-$100. Or maybe these assholes assume that everyone who comes to stay at the Vail Marriott Resort and Day Spa is cool with losing $350 for no apparent reason.

Chalk another one up to the irritating ski towns.

[Jam of the Day]: John Frusciante, Omission

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4 responses to “Where’s Ray Stantz when you need him?

  1. ha. i was like “Ray Stantz?”…then i did a little hunting/gathering & the all-knowledgeable Wikipedia set me straight. then I laughed.

  2. There are few things I hate more than unjustified charges. Sallie Mae keeps bugging me for a loan we never took out, I’ve got a collection agency after me for parking tickets on a vehicle sold 2 years ago (yes, the tickets are paid), and I heard a story last night of a certain department store who needed to collect a few hundred bucks from a Dr. Steve Nash (name chaged to protect the innocent) and they sent a letter to EVERY Dr. Steve Nash in the country demanding payment.

    If you can’t trust department stores and collegiate loan officers, who can you trust?

  3. Amen, Peter. The resort ended up blowing me off when I called back. Eventually I called my bank and reported it as an unauthorized transaction. They reversed the transaction on the spot. Hurray!

    Bill collectors are crazy. I suppose their pay is based on how many payments they get back…and I’m sure they get even crazier as the statute of limitations on the debt gets closer. I just learned about the latter not too long ago. You can see what the SoL is your state here: http://www.fair-debt-collection.com/SOL-by-State.html#13

  4. Btw…Ray Stantz rules.

    I’ll give major cred to anyone who can tell me which Ghostbusters character said:

    “Let’s close this place up so you can buy me a calzone.”

    I only remember that line because as a kid I had NO idea what a calzone was. Guess we didn’t have those in Iowa. 🙂

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