Are these the kind of people you employ? If so let me know so that I and those in my organization of about 1,000 who travel and frequently use your hotels can be informed, and thus make informed decisions about where we stay going forward. This is reprehensible and disgusting.
Father of SU graduate fighting to get full refund for hotel rooms booked before commencement was called off
Posted: May 8, 2020 / 06:40 PM EDT / Updated: May 8, 2020 / 06:40 PM EDT
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — When Daniel Verderese dropped off his freshman daughter, Olivia, at Syracuse University, he already had visions of returning four years later for her commencement.
That was supposed to be this weekend, until the COVID-19 pandemic happened.
Since then, Verderese has been trying to get the $5,500 he pre-paid for four hotel rooms at the Crowne Plaza. So far, he’s been given reasons that aren’t justifiable, in his opinion.
Verderese says, “Why should the company pocket on the backs of individuals? Everybody is suffering. If you’re going to publish ‘we care. It’s about safety.’ All of these great points and then pocket to feed their own bottom line – it’s unethical, unfair, and taking advantage of a horrible situation that the entire world is going through.”
The hotel’s owners, IHG, offers customers the chance to change or cancel reservations on their website through June. But special events and peak weeks are exempted from that offer.
Multiple phone calls and emails with the ownership group gave Verderese the impression the final decision is up to the general manager in Syracuse, Kyle Hares.
In an email, the general manager writes to NewsChannel 9 that reservations for “special event weekends,” like SU’s commencement are always non-refundable. The manager says because of the pandemic, the hotel’s owners are being flexible and instead of nothing, are offering to transfer the rooms to SU’s rescheduled commencement or a 50% refund.
A statement the manager forwarded from his corporate office reads: “Due to the state of the industry, and a sudden 95 percent drop in revenues, all owners are having to come out of pocket to be able to achieve this refund for the guest.”
That offer leaves Verderese still more than $2,000 short for a weekend of celebration he and his daughter didn’t get to have.
The general manager says a majority of customers have accepted the offer for rooms in the fall, but Syracuse University hasn’t set a new date for commencement.
Verderese says he’s can’t commit to an unknown date, especially since his graduating daughter might get a job anywhere across the country and family members are scattered across the country.
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