COLUMBIA, 1/4/12 (Beat Byte) --
A Chicago Sun-Times
consumer columnist known as The Fixer has taken a Columbia hotel to task
for "racking up improper hotel fees on a consumer’s charge card."
Distressed Comfort Suites
guest Julie Modesto
of Portage, Ind. wrote Fixer columnist Stephanie Zimmerman
in November to complain that her bank account was overdrawn by nearly $100. "This was caused by a debit of $122.48 from Comfort Suites in Columbia, Mo.
," Modesto explained. "They had charged my debit card — which was given to them for incidentals only
— for the room, instead of putting the charges on my husband’s credit card."
After trying to fix the problem herself, matters got worse for Modesto. "I asked my bank if they would remove the $34 overdraft fee," she explained. "The teller found there was now a second debit of $122.48 that had just been charged!"
More fees followed, even after Modesto complained to the hotel -- again. "I live paycheck to paycheck," she said.
Zimmerman, meanwhile, took up the cause with Choice Hotels International, which apologized but explained that each hotel is independently owned -- in this case, by KJ Hotel Properties, LLC and Kendall Combs, of Hollister, a town in soutwest Missouri.
Modesto's bank resolved the problem on its own, but "I haven’t heard a single apology from anyone in authority at Comfort Suites," Modesto reported.