What do I do if a hotel refuses to give me a refund?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What do I do if a hotel refuses to give me a refund?

I stayed at a hotel for work, and paid for a week in advance. I found out that I was being transferred to another office somewhere else. When I informed the front desk of my departure, I was told that they would not give me a refund for the rest of the stay 5 days or $250. When I asked to speak to a manager, they told me they didn’t have to provide me with a number. Then when I asked for a corporate number, they said they didn’t have to give

me that either. What can I do to get my money back?

Asked on April 14, 2016 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The only way to get the money would be to sue the hotel. However, if it is not a local hotel, you won't be able to sue in your small claims court--in fact, if it is not local, you'd almost certainly have to sue where the hotel is located, because only that court would be certain to have jurisdiction (or power) over the hotel (while there are exceptions, to oversimplify, the only court guaranteed to have power over a defendant is one where the defendant is located; and the exceptions involve more contact between the defendant and your home court than someone from your local area stayed at the hotel). It is very unlikely that it would be worth the time and cost of legal action to recover $250. Speak to a tax preparer: maybe you can get some sort of deduction for this loss.

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