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Travelodge Complaint - Horrible experience at La Mesa Travelodge
Travelodge Complaint

Travelodge Complaint


Horrible experience at La Mesa Travelodge

Travelodge La Mesa kicked out my wife and kids, insulted and abused them, and ruined their vacation. I thought our experience was absolutely bizarre and horrible, but if you look for other comments on Google or travel sites they describe exactly the same scenario, going back years! I found more than 40. Everyone says "I can't believe what just happened!" I looked at other Travelodge reviews, to see if this kind of thing just happens at budget hotels, but no. Only this hotel has dozens of these nightmare reports in multiple reviews on multiple sites. Apparently it's like Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; they seem very nice and then suddenly they turn on you. This review is a summary of our experience and others.

Here is what happens: You check into the hotel, or try to check in, and then they "catch" you doing something. This might include parking 2 cars in their empty parking lot (one car violation!), or having a baby and 4 adults in a room (four persons max!), or having a visitor (sneaking in!). Or you commit some "sin" like questioning a charge (fraud!), or asking that they not make snide comments to your back (impudence!). In our case my wife checked in, sent an adult and two children up to the room, and then went to get a pizza. When she came back, the manager confronted her at the entrance and said "Get out, you can't stay here!" Apparently her crime was sending someone else in with the key and intending to put 2 adults and 4 small children in a room. Surrounded by belligerent hotel employees she never made it past the lobby. Then they tried to keep our other 2 children in the lobby while she cleared out the room (What, hostages?!). They intended to put 4 children out on the street at 10PM, but she insisted on getting the number of another hotel. So they sent her to an even worse SRO hotel where the night clerk offered her drugs at check in and the hooker next door had a busy night. Nice job Travelodge! To be fair, I booked the hotel online and it just listed two adults. It is not unreasonable to want to clarify the reservation. At a normal hotel they might want you to pay an extra guest charge, or pay for a roll-away bed, or offer you another room, or, being jerks, insist one adult and child stay somewhere else.

At the Travelodge La Mesa, the staff all piles out of the back and en mass they dress you down in front of your family or other guests, with insults specific to what you were "caught" doing. If it sounds crazy, it is. This was our exact experience, and multiple other travelers report variations of this! Then they kick you out and threaten to call the police, or actually call the police. Having small children or being a foreign visitor who can't find another hotel is not going to earn you any sympathy. Apparently they sometimes just insult you rather than kicking you out, but then again these seemed to be travelers who were checking out.

I assumed that it was just an unbalanced office manager, but I got the Travelodge franchisee on the phone and Anal (a typical Indian name, not a critique) appears to be the source of this madness. He told me he could have accommodated my wife and kids if he felt like, but she was a "liar" for having a booking for two adults trying to "sneak" our kids in. However, he told her he did not have any rooms. Who is the liar? Again, this is consistent with the other 40+ reports. Travelers generally mention Anal or Oscar going crazy on them, making up crazy lies or trying to take their money. Is it like a "gotcha" game to them? It is just so crazy and horrible.

Maybe they have lots of problems given the bad neighborhood, or the owner just has bad days. Obviously they think their customers are scum and they don't have to take any lip. But no other hotel anywhere has all these crazy reports, and imagine how many more people have not posted anything. Even this hotel only has these horrendous reports since this particular manager took over in 2008.

Travelodge La Mesa also has extremely positive reviews, much more in volume and rating than any other Travelodge or small hotel in San Diego, and based on review scores is apparently one of the top hotels in San Diego County, higher rated than the Hyatt Regency, US Grant, or the Omni. Judge for yourself if that seems plausible. The reviews are either glowing "5s" or experiences like ours. Positive reviews say it is cleaner and quieter than the average Travelodge. Apparently if they decide you are a "good" guest they are very nice. But judging from loads of crazy stories, you cannot predict what will set them off. Don't use a discount booking, don't ask questions, don't have any special requests, and don't complain. Otherwise you may get a nasty surprise like my family did. Is the risk worth a two star hotel room that is rated a little cleaner and a little quieter? On the plus side, they can recommend another hotel actually run by drug dealers after they kick you out.

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mredison says: (8 years ago)
It really is crazy. Unfortunately Travelodge really could not care less. They are happy to forward your complaint to Anal/Amol! All we can do is get the word out. I have a list of sites where you can review them, and the BBB contact for La Mesa if you want.

sengdahl says: (8 years ago)
I too was treated horribly by the same two people (Amol and Oscar). I never got to meet them face to face because they called me on the phone, yelled at me, called me a liar and hung up on me before I ever stepped foot into their facility. Not until I read your post did I understand why. I had booked the room using a government discount because I am a government employee. They wanted my room for someone else who could pay full price.

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