Grandmother kicked out of hotel after leaving ‘bad review’
HELEN, Ga. (WXIA) — A Georgia grandmother and her 6-year-old granddaughter were kicked out of their hotel room in the middle of the night after providing a three-star, out of five, review of the business.
Susan Leger, 63, and her 6-year-old granddaughter were ready for bed on the first night of what was supposed to be a three-night stay in September at the Baymont Inn & Suites in the resort town of Helen, Georgia.
At 8:40 p.m., his cell phone rang. It was the hotel manager, Danny Vyas, saying he had called the police and they had to leave the room.
“The man is yelling at me. He said, ‘You’re going out now. I’m calling the police,” Léger said. “My granddaughter is like clinging to my leg and crying so hard. It was scary. It was just awful.
Vyas called 911 after Leger responded to an email from Hotels.com asking how she liked her room. The grandmother gave the hotel three out of five stars and listed a few complaints, writing: ‘Rundown. The swimming pool is not open. The toilet doesn’t flush well.
During the 911 call, Vyas can be heard telling the dispatcher, “We’re preparing to refund because they found the room was dirty and the place was run down.”
“He was basically saying, ‘You’re going out… You’re lying. You gave me a bad review. And I’m just sitting there going, ‘Oh my God, is this a prank?’ “said Leger.
But Leger soon received a knock on his door from an officer from the Helen Police Department. He told her that she and her granddaughter had to go.
“’They can really fire me for giving a three out of five review?’ And he said, ‘Yes, ma’am. It’s in the law,” Léger said.
The officer helped Leger and his granddaughter find another room at the nearby Fairfield Hotel. The two had to walk down the street in their pajamas to the other hotel.
The police report lists the reason Vyas wanted the two out: “Leger had given the motel a bad review.”
But Vyas denies that was his reason.
“At the end of the 911 call, I said she was unhappy with the room. That’s why we had to let her go. She can find a better place,” he said.
In a phone call in September, Vyas said the problem was that Leger never reported the issues to him or his staff. Two months later, he says the problem was actually that Leger called several times to complain.
“We let her know several times that she should stop calling us. If you’re not happy, change rooms or leave the place,” he said. “They called me at least 10, 11 times in maybe an hour… It’s not all right.”
Although Vyas told 911 they would reimburse Leger, who had paid three nights in advance through Hotels.com, the grandmother did not get her money back for months. The booking site told her that refunds are not allowed, even though she was kicked out.
“They couldn’t reimburse me, but they gave me a coupon for a future thing. It’s like, ‘Forget it,'” Léger said.
However, when WXIA contacted Hotels.com to comment on the story, the booking site provided Leger with a full refund, two months after the incident.
Leger believes Hotels.com is responsible for his expulsion from the room. The booking site invites guests to review their room after check-in, a review that is sent to management while you are still at the hotel.
“So the only way to keep the room on my mind is if I didn’t respond to Hotels.com’s request,” Leger said. “If you don’t want to walk around in your pajamas with your 6 year old granddaughter, don’t leave a review if you are currently still there.”
Most businesses, including hotels, are allowed to ask guests to leave for virtually any reason. If they refuse, customers can be arrested for trespassing. Vyas told 911 that Leger refused to leave, but Leger says she never said that.
Georgia has a special law requiring sufficient notice for hotel guests before evicting them, but there is an exception for “a cause, such as non-payment of amounts owed, failure to comply with the rules of occupancy, failure to have or maintain reservations, or other actions of a guest.
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