It's the holiday season. That time when Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year compels millions of Americans to travel via plane, train, and automobile across our beautiful country to visit friends and family. Going out of town should be an enjoyable experience, but too often it can be marred by a lousy stay at a hotel. To help travelers avoid unpleasant experiences, we’ve compiled this list of the worst hotel chains in America. From dirty rooms and poor customer service to uncomfortable beds and outdated amenities, here’s what you need to know before booking your next stay.

Which Hotels Provide the Worst Customer Experience?

The recently released American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Travel Study 2021-2022 shows how customers ranked U.S. hotels in surveys conducted from April 5, 2021, to March 25, 2022. This survey is graded on a 100-point scale and reveals that customer satisfaction with major hotel chains is down 2.7% industry-wide during the period ACSI measured. 

“Many folks ventured out to travel for the first time since the pandemic hit only to be met with lackluster service and dashed hopes,” says Forrest Morgeson, the assistant professor of marketing at Michigan State University and director of the research emeritus at the ACSI, said in a news release.

So how did the major hotel chains across the United States fair? Well, Wyndham Hotels (the largest chain of hotels in the United States) rating stayed at 69% from the last time the survey was released and that ranked them as 8th out of all the hotels reviewed. It also puts them below the survey average of 70%.

If you were someone who recently had a negative stay with Wyndham Hotels, you may consider suing them in small claims court.

The next largest hotel chain in the United States - Marriott Hotels - fared much better. They received a score of 78 which was the highest of any hotel reviewed and a 3% increase from 2021. This was followed by Hilton Hotels with a score of 76 (a 4% decrease from 2021) and IHG Hotels and Resorts with a 75% (a 5% decrease from 2021).

Most Lodged Complaints Against Hotel Chains

Every hotel deals with issues. It's a service-based industry and that means you're likely to be coming up against the natural tension between what you envisioned as hospitable, and what the hotel and other guests see as appropriate. Here's a list of the chief complaints we see when user reaches out about possibly addressing a dispute with a hotel chain after a poor experience.

Top Complaints:

  1. Noisy Guests - Guests complaining about the noise other guests make is the top complaint we get from users. Moreso, it's the hotel's lack of solutions to this problem that causes folks a lot of frustration and anger. You deserve a good night of rest and the hotel is responsible to provide you with a space that is audibly tenable.
  2. Lack of Hot Water - Who doesn't want to take a long shower after spending hours trapped in tight quarters at the airport and on a plane with strangers breathing recycled air? But when you check in, get to your room and the water is constantly freezing? No thanks. Your hotel has a responsibility to provide an environment that's hospitable and hot water is a part of that.
  3. Tiny Beds - You booked a king-sized bed because you like to lay diagonal or maybe because you're 6'4, only to find out that the "king" is really a queen in disguise. This can throw your sleep schedule off and ruin a vacation. You should be given the bed you reserved.
  4. Dirty Room - Hotels of all kinds can experience a lapse in cleaning either due to staffing shortages, or accidents in the cleaning schedule. Mistakes happen but you paid a lot of money to stay somewhere clean. The hotel shouldn't get away with waiving away a room reported to be unclean.
  5. Roaches, Rodents, and Bed Bugs - You booked a room for a specific number of guests. Roaches and rodents can be filthy and that's not what you hoped to find in our home away from home. Not to mention that a bed bug infestation can be brought back to your home and cost you thousands in cleanup before they are eradicated.
  6. Unexpected Fees - The website said it was one price and that's the price you reserved it at. But now, at check out, you find there are some charges that aren't very clear or weren't stated from the beginning. That's not fair and you don't have to be the victim of this kind of practice.
  7. Unhonored Reservation - You have the email confirmation, the text confirmation, and a 15-minute phone call from last July where you spoke with the guest services team about your stay. But you get to check in and they act as if they've never heard of you or your reservation before. If this sounds like an experience you've had, you'll need to find replacement lodging ASAP and then you can figure out what the hotel owes you for their "oversight".

If any of these experiences sound like a recent time you've had at a hotel, you may be owed recompense. Remember, Dispute can help you generate and file a small claims suit in minutes from your phone or computer. This can empower a small claims judge to hear your case and get you your money back.

If you have any questions about suing a hotel or our software, please don't hesitate to reach out.