The Tiger Hotel reimburses overcharged guests

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 | 9:49 p.m. CDT; updated 7:22 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 13, 2012

COLUMBIA — The Tiger Hotel has agreed to reimburse at least two hotel guests that were overcharged because of what the hotel's management called a third-party booking error.

Both Daniel Mack and Tina Brown said the hotel charged them twice as much for a room eight months after reserving it at a lower price. They are among the "less than five" guests that will be reimbursed after the attorney general's office contacted The Tiger Hotel on Wednesday.

In an email to the attorney general's office, Mack outlined his experience booking with The Tiger Hotel.

Mack, a Georgia fan, said he booked two hotel rooms on Jan. 10 through the hotel's website for $149 per room per night, for $663.64 total. On March 7, he received an email notifying him that his American Express card would be charged.

According to Mack, on Aug. 25 an employee at the front desk told him that an unnamed third-party booking agency made an error when it charged him the standard rate of $149 per room, per night before tax. The employee said it would be up to Mack — not the third party — to pay the difference.

Mack was also told he would forfeit his rooms unless he agreed to the price increase, which initially doubled the cost of his stay last weekend.

Brown of Kennett had a similar experience.

She wanted to stay at The Tiger Hotel on Oct. 13 and 14, the weekend of the Missouri-Alabama football game. She also wanted a room during MU's Homecoming weekend, Oct. 27 and 28.

On Jan. 19 she booked two rooms for $149 per room for each weekend and on July 25, she was told that she would have to pay $150 more for each reservation because of the same third-party error.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, said that it isn't the customer's responsibility to make up for error of a third-party booking agency.

"When you book with a third party, they are acting as an agent of the hotel," he said.

On Wednesday, Schaefer wrote a letter to Attorney General Chris Koster, asking Koster to "aggressively investigate" the issue.

The Tiger Hotel manager Jim Pidcoe said in a written statement that "representatives from The Tiger Hotel have spoken to the Attorney General's office, which is satisfied with our resolution of the matter regarding the recent inquiries regarding room rate discrepancies."

In a previous written statement, The Tiger Hotel representatives told the Missourian that fewer than five guests were affected. It also said that an audit uncovered a third-party booking system error leading to "Deluxe Guestrooms" being oversold.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.

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