Although amusingly decorated, my first room had no shower curtain, no toilet paper holder, the tiniest bar of soap I've ever seen, and a mattress and box spring on the floor. The street noise was so loud that it penetrated Tylenol PM and earplugs. When I asked to be moved the next morning, I was given a room with a malfunctioning shower curtain, rock-hard twin beds and bathroom lights that would not turn off. There was more street noise.
I was so exhausted by my inability to sleep — despite liberal doses of Tylenol PM — that I left the hotel a day earlier than planned. Because I had paid for six days but stayed only five, I asked for a refund for that last night. The request was refused. I retreated to a hotel at Heathrow Airport to lick my wounds. It was luxurious by comparison.
When I got home, I wrote to the owner of the first hotel, detailing the problems. I requested a refund. The ensuing e-mail correspondence speaks for itself. (Names have been changed; grammar and spelling have not.)
June 9, 2003
Dear Ms. Etheridge,
Mr. Brown is in CANNES at the moment for the opening of his Hotel/Nightclub there. I have received your letter and will pass it on to him as soon as he returns to London.
Personal Assistant to Mr. Brown
June 9, 2003
Dear Ms. Smith:
Thank you so much. I will wait to hear from you.
June 16, 2003
Dear Ms. Penelope Smith:
Has Mr. Brown returned? I would like to get this matter resolved. Thank you.