Category Archives: Stay 1 Get 1

Update: Country Inn & Suites Rapid City Issue

Invalid request error occurred.
I wrote about our Last Minute Hotel Change of Plans at the Country Inn, Rapid City about three weeks ago. I’ve been meaning to write an update to what the outcome was but Club Carlson and the Country Inn property were very slow to act on the matter.
Here is a quick recap:
For our first night in Rapid City, South Dakota we booked a room at the Country Inn & Suites. Upon check in we were informed of a water issue- there wasn’t any at the moment! The problem was being worked on and was supposed to be fixed by 6:00 that evening. When we returned to the hotel we were told the problem was not what they thought and everybody had to find rooms elsewhere. They offered to help us find another room and the option was a hotel nearby which was “only” $13 more plus tax for the night. I declined and found my own room. My main concern was what would happen to the Stay 1, Get 1 Club Carlson points we were supposed to earn for our stay. Before leaving the hotel I checked with the desk to make sure that we would not be charged and was given a paper. The paper seemed more like what you get when you check out not a receipt for a reversal of the charge.
A couple of days later I contacted Club Carlson through Twitter and received a speedy response. They asked me to send an e-mail regarding the situation. Soon after sending the e-mail, we received a response that the problem would be resolved. We were told that we should expect to hear back from them again after the weekend.
We did not hear back from the rep after the weekend but I was really happy to see that the 44,000 Gold Points bonus (and other points associated with the booking) did post to Kim’s Club Carlson account! I was really impressed that they did the right thing and gave us the bonus for our non-stay.
About a day later I was wondering- maybe the points posted because we were charged for the room, not due to Club Carlson being so kind. I had Kim check her credit card statement and what do you know, we were never refunded for the stay!
a large building with a sign on it
We decided to deal with the hotel directly to get our refund. I wasn’t worried about getting the money back but was worried that Club Carlson might take back the Gold Points bonus. 
Getting the refund was a bit frustrating but it got taken care of in the end. It took us four calls spread out over a few days to get it done.
  1. July 5- Spoke to Jake. He told us that he was busy checking guests in and would give us a call back which he never did.
  2. July 7- Call #1- Spoke with Jake again. He transferred Kim to the general manager’s line to leave a message. The phone kept ringing & the answering machine never picked up for Kim to leave a message… Go figure!
  3. July 7- Call #2- Kim called back and spoke with a female employee (we did not get her name). She said that she would look into the matter and call back which she never did.
  4. July 8- Spoke with Shelby. She told us that managers do not work on Sundays. We explained the situation and she actually seemed to care. She said that she would look into what was going on and call back in 15 minutes.
  5. July 8- Shelby did call back (when she said she would) and was able to refund Kim’s card for our non-stay. Finally a competent employee!
While this back and forth was going on we had discussed the idea of reaching out to Club Carlson social media. We decided against it since that did not lead to much happening in the past. Another option was to file a claim with the credit card company. Filing with the credit card company can be a pain, sending in documents and proof so we felt calling the hotel directly was the way to go.
In the end I think that Kim’s Gold Points bonus posted due to the mistake of Country Inn & Suites charging her for our non-stay. Maybe I am wrong and Club Carlson responded to our e-mails and awarded the points bonus for our troubles but I doubt that this is the case.
I waited a couple of weeks to post regarding this situation because I wanted to see if Kim’s bonus points would be taken back by Club Carlson.. I am happy to say that I’ve been checking on a daily basis and her account has all of the points earned from the Rapid City Country Inn booking.
For this headache, Kim earned:
Jul 2, 2012 Adjust Adjustment – Discretionary Award 3,000
Jul 2, 2012 Earn Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Rapid City, SD – Jun 27, 2012 to Jun 28, 2012 – Country Inn – Rapid City , SD US Points|Room Earning 20 Points per USD 2,535
Jul 2, 2012 Earn Country Inn – Rapid City , SD US Points|Online Booking Member Bonus Points 1,000
Jul 2, 2012 Earn Country Inn – Rapid City , SD US Points|Country Inns So Go Country 44,000 Point Bonus 44,000
Jun 19, 2012 Earn Radisson Hotel Valley Forge – Jun 15, 2012 to Jun 16, 2012 – Radisson – King of Prussia , PA US Points|Room Earning 20 Points per USD 2,224

I think that in the end this whole ordeal was worth the time we put in to earn 52,759 Club Carlson Gold Points!

It’s Park Inn Stay One, Get One Time For Us

a logo with blue letters and a red and yellow square
This weekend we will be spending two nights at the Park Inn Mechanicsburg, PA
The main purpose of our visit is to take part in the Park Inn Stay One, Get One promo. 
With the promo, Kim and I will each earn 44,000 Club Carlson Gold Points which is good for at least one free hotel night. Award nights start at 9,000 points so there is a chance that we can stretch this offer to get us potentially five free nights each.
To take part in the promo we had to register for it in advance. The promo is good for the first 20,000 people that registered. Once registered, after completing a (minimum) one night stay, you earn 44,000 points. (So for our two night stay at the Park Inn, Kim and I each booked one night.) This offer is now closed out but you can still register to earn 15,000 Club Carlson points here.
There aren’t many Park Inn properties in the U.S. so Mechanicsburg, PA was our only option. It’s not too far, being a little over 3 hours from NY. The area is near Harrisburg, Lancaster and Hershey so there should be enough to keep us busy. I just hope that the weather holds up!
Once we complete our stays this weekend, Kim and I will have close to 300,000 Club Carlson Gold Points thanks to the Radisson Big Night Giveaway, Country Inn Stay One, Get One and this offer.
It should definitely be fun getting to redeem our Gold Points!
**A couple of weeks back I wrote about our Last Minute Hotel Change of Plans at the Country Inn, South Dakota. I’ve been meaning to write an update but it took a while to get things resolved. 
Stay tuned to find out if Club Carlson made things right!

Last Minute Hotel Change of Plans- Country Inn Rapid City, SD

Invalid request error occurred.
We had a sudden change of plans on our first night’s hotel stay on our current trip to
South Dakota. Kim and I had selected the Country Inn & Suites Rapid City to fulfill her night for the Stay 1, Get 1 promo.
Our flight arrived in Rapid City, SD around 11:00AM so we stopped for a bite to eat before trying to check in to the hotel a little early.
When we arrived at the hotel we were first told that our room was not ready and to come back at 3:00. Bummer- we were all exhausted and just wanted to get some rest.
A couple of minutes later they said that there was a room for us but the water was not working in most of the hotel. It had been hit by lightning the night before and damaged a pipe knocking, out the water.
The problem was supposed to be fixed by 6:00.
a large building with a sign on it
Country Inn & Suites Rapid City
We went up to the room and got some rest for a couple of hours and then spent some time checking out Rapid City. We headed back to the hotel a little after 6:00. 
We were immediately informed that the pipe they had tried to fix was not the issue and didn’t know when the  problem would be resolved. They also let people know that nobody could stay in the hotel (who would want to?) since the fire sprinklers wouldn’t be working.
The staff was working hard trying to find rooms for everyone. We were “offered” a room across the street at a Cambria Suites. The girl at the desk said that the hotel was brand new and would only cost $13 more plus tax than our night at the Country Inn. No thanks if you ask me!
I immediately started to wonder two things:
  1. What would happen to our Stay 1, Get 1 bonus?
  2. Why wasn’t the Country Inn offering to cover the price difference for us?
This was a real pain that needed a fast solution.
We went back to our room and figured out a plan. 
Instead of staying in Rapid City for the night, we were going to drive about a half hour away and stay a bit closer to Mount Rushmore to make things easier for the following day. After fumbling around on my phone for a bit, I found a reasonably priced hotel and booked it. 
Upon checking out from the Country Inn, I made sure that we were not charged for the night and asked for a receipt. The receipt is proof that we checked in and out of the hotel.
I feel that Kim and I fulfilled our obligations to earn the Stay 1, Get 1 bonus. 
I wonder what Club Carlson will have to say about this when I contact them to find out?
To Be Continued…