Exstended Stay America - ESA company's hotels / Executive Suites
Torrance, California, U.S.A.
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Exstended Stay America - ESA company's hotels / Executive Suites RIP-OFF ON LOCAL CALLS
While ESA under several different market names has a great idea in providing low cost executive suite motels for much less than a stay in a standard motel and with amenities such as kitchinettes and data lines for your compouter . . .
WATCH OUT FOR THEIR FREE LOCAL CALL PRACTICES!
While I and my wife stayed in their Torrance, CA., Executive Suites outlet, I plugged my WebTV system into their phone line so tht we could search for houses and apartments to rent, send and receive e-mail, and take care of all the other things we have used he internet for.
During tis time, the WebTV system sign-on confirmed that their service numbmer that I was connecting to was "Toll Free" even though it was a different area code (213) than the motel's (310). ESA kept charging me $0.45 per minute for all of the hours that I spent on the internet. At the time, I had no other choice but to pay the charges. My internet business ws far too important to shut it down.
By the time we found a house and moved out of ESA, our phone bill was about $690.00. I figured that, after we were resettled that I would go after WebTV for continuously connecting me to a toll number and telling me it was not. I was even able to make a video tape of te WebTV sign-on showing their entire sign-on proceedure to use as evidence.
A few weeks later, I was reading the front of the local phone book to learn what exchanges were within my new home's toll free dialing area. Much to my surprise, I found out that all 310-515 exchange numbers could call certain numbers in 213 area code as "TOLL FREE" calls. I checked all of the internet calls that I had made while staying at ESA (exchange number 310-515!) and found out that every last one of them was toll free as far as Pacific Bell was concerned.
What had happened was that ESA's in-house PABX system was set to bill ANY LOCAL number not in area code 310 as a NON-LOCAL call. That meant that I had been chargd $.045 per minute for all of these internet calls while ESA was not being chargd one red cent!
When I went back nd talked to the local manager about a refund I was laughed out of the place. When I called ESA's home office to complain about their manager and try to get them to refund their ill-gotten gains, the idiot executive on the othr end of the line said "Uh-huh." and hung up on me.
It is now going on almost one year without one word of reply, so it looks like I will have to threaten them with a law suit.
I strongly suggest that all other users of any of the ESA company's hotels, past and present, take a very close look at their telephone charges for calls to ADJACENT area codes. You can call the local telephone business office and give them both the hotel's number and the number(s) you called, they will tell you if they are or are not local calls. Refuse to pay all fraudulently charged local calls until they have, in front of you, called the phone company and verified otherwise.