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Broken luggage...what would you do?
Old 09-09-2015, 12:04 PM   #1
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Broken luggage...what would you do?

DW and I went to Washington DC for a sightseeing trip. On the last day (yesterday) we had to check out at noon, but our flight wasn't until 6PM so we left our luggage with the bellman. One of the bags is one of those new hard sided bags with 4 wheels that swivel in all directions.

When we went back to get the bags a few hours later, a different bellman brought it out with one wheel broken off. What would you do?
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:11 PM   #2
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I would mention it to the manager but without video proof of them causing the damage, I wouldn't expect anything to come of it.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:12 PM   #3
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I presume you brought this to the attention of the hotel staff at the time.

My response would be to immediately take photos of the damaged suitcase and to request to meet with the manager to see if it could be resolved on the spot. Failing that, having returned home I would craft a carefully composed letter of complaint to the hotel (or chain) and include the photographs. Then I would call and ask to speak to the Director or VP of Customer Service. My ask would be coverage for repair of the suitcase.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:12 PM   #4
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Happened to me in San Juan, bought a new suitcase without the 4 wheel arrangement. Seemed like a good idea until I saw how easily they snap off.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:15 PM   #5
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Return it to Costco for a replacement.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:16 PM   #6
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I would mention it to the manager but without video proof of them causing the damage, I wouldn't expect anything to come of it.
Why would I need video proof? It wont roll on 3 wheels. They rolled it to their back room with no problems on 4 wheels and brought it back to me with 3 wheels wobbling all over the place. I dont know how it broke or who broke it , but I do know that it broke while they were supposed to be protecting it.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:17 PM   #7
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Return it to Costco for a replacement.
I didn't buy it at Costco. I think I bought it at Macys (dont have a receipt anymore) and this is only the second time Ive used it on a trip.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:19 PM   #8
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I presume you brought this to the attention of the hotel staff at the time.

My response would be to immediately take photos of the damaged suitcase and to request to meet with the manager to see if it could be resolved on the spot. Failing that, having returned home I would craft a carefully composed letter of complaint to the hotel (or chain) and include the photographs. Then I would call and ask to speak to the Director or VP of Customer Service. My ask would be coverage for repair of the suitcase.
The bellman told the manager about it. He obviously knew there was going to be a problem.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:21 PM   #9
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Why would I need video proof? It wont roll on 3 wheels. They rolled it to their back room with no problems on 4 wheels and brought it back to me with 3 wheels wobbling all over the place. I dont know how it broke or who broke it , but I do know that it broke while they were supposed to be protecting it.
What you know and what you can prove are two different things. They may claim it was broken when they took possession of it. Can you prove otherwise? The hotel manager should want to keep you as a customer and would likely offer you a free room or 2 in the future but don't get your hopes up.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:23 PM   #10
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The bellman told the manager about it. He obviously knew there was going to be a problem.
If the bellman told the manager that he broke then obviously the manager has to make things right. At the very least you get a couple of free rooms in the future.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:30 PM   #11
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I bought two of those swivel hard sided bags in 2005. Approximately 8 years ago, I noticed some damage after a domestic flight with one connection. I brought this to the attention of the airline at baggage claim. They immediately apologized and offered to make it right. Since we were in a small city, we decided to do a temporary repair that would last till returning home, which happened to be where there was a major luggage repair facility used by many airlines. My luggage was repaired at no cost to me and is still going strong.

The airline was WestJet. Their great customer service is the reason I fly them wherever I can. When I get bad customer service, I do not return if I have a choice.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:37 PM   #12
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:41 PM   #13
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I dont think it can be repaired. A piece of plastic broke and several of the ball bearings fell out somewhere in their back room.

The manager told me that they would file a claim with their insurance company and "if" it was determined it was their fault, the insurance would cover it. I said there is no "if". It was fine when the bellman took it from me and it was broken when he gave it back to me. That's pretty cut and dried.

I asked to see the managers boss and the Asst General Manager came out. He agreed to pay for a cab to the airport since we couldn't roll the bag 1/2 mile to the subway station with a broken wheel. He said he would email me a claim form (which I haven't gotten yet) and we would go from there. We booked the room on Hotwire but after we got into the room we upgraded to a bigger room. The upgrade charge for 5 nights is about the same cost as the bag. They could've just comped us the upgrade charge and be done with it. I told the Asst GM that I wasnt paying the credit card bill for the upgrade until the broken bag issue was settled.
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:36 PM   #14
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I think you are doing about the only thing you can do--engage with the manager, and take it up with the chain HQ if that doesn't work (even if its not a company-owned property, they care about what the national HQS thinks.

Not directly related:
- Collecting on warranty repairs from a luggage company is often not worth the trouble--mail the bag to someplace, pay for their handling, etc.
- Buying expensive luggage is just not worth it (IMO). I'm not trying to impress cabbies or bellhops, the designer stuff doesn't seem to fare any better than the luggage I buy for $50 at TJ Maxx.
- The four-corner swivel wheel bags aren't great for a serious traveler. I've had a wheel snap off and I've had them develop a "toe in" that ground the wheels down to nothing. The wheels are also smaller in radius than most of those with just 2 wheels, so they don't roll as well on rough surfaces or down curbs.
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:52 PM   #15
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I think you are doing about the only thing you can do--engage with the manager, and take it up with the chain HQ if that doesn't work (even if its not a company-owned property, they care about what the national HQS thinks.

Not directly related:
- Collecting on warranty repairs from a luggage company is often not worth the trouble--mail the bag to someplace, pay for their handling, etc.
- Buying expensive luggage is just not worth it (IMO). I'm not trying to impress cabbies or bellhops, the designer stuff doesn't seem to fare any better than the luggage I buy for $50 at TJ Maxx.
- The four-corner swivel wheel bags aren't great for a serious traveler. I've had a wheel snap off and I've had them develop a "toe in" that ground the wheels down to nothing. The wheels are also smaller in radius than most of those with just 2 wheels, so they don't roll as well on rough surfaces or down curbs.
We've had great luck with Briggs & Riley warranty repairs. We had one back that the internal expansion bracket thingy was problematic - they repaired it locally - no shipping, just took it to the warrenty repair shop.

Another suitcase got a small (very small) tear after it was checked on a flight (rough baggage handlers?) They replaced it. Their lifetime warranty truly is lifetime royalty. I now own 4 of these bags - and we used them for our summer trip - they took abuse and held up.
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Old 09-09-2015, 03:23 PM   #16
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Does anyone have any opinion on me disputing the credit card bill until the luggage issue is resolved?
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Old 09-09-2015, 03:27 PM   #17
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Does anyone have any opinion on me disputing the credit card bill until the luggage issue is resolved?
I hope things work out well for you but I think the only result of not paying your credit bill on time is a lower credit rating. I don't see any credit card company working with you on this. I hope i'm wrong.
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Old 09-09-2015, 03:32 PM   #18
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Does anyone have any opinion on me disputing the credit card bill until the luggage issue is resolved?
I'd start by reading the fine print about disputing a charge very carefully. You did stay at the hotel at the agreed-upon price and did receive the service. I guess one could argue that the broken wheel and their slowness in dealing with it constitutes extremely poor service.

They upgraded the room for free and paid for the taxi to the airport - it sounds like the manager is trying to do right but he has to deal with corporate regs to pay for the suitcase.

The suitcases I buy tend to be cheap ones (we don't travel much) so I personally would not make a big fuss over it.
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Old 09-09-2015, 04:06 PM   #19
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They didn't upgrade the room for free. If they did I would be happy and would buy a new bag and be done with it. We paid $40 per night upgrade fee ($200 total plus tax). The bag cost $150-$200 or so. What I said earlier was that they could've comped the upgrade fee as compensation for breaking the bag and avoided claims and insurance companies but they didn't offer that.

If I checked out and the room had a broken mirror or was missing the TV, you can bet they would've charged my credit card for it, so I feel justified in disputing the $200 while the baggage damage is being resolved. Im not saying Im not going to pay for the room that I agreed to pay for. Based on their attitude, I just dont feel like they will take care of the bag they broke unless they have some incentive. Ive disputed other charges in the past so I know how it works. In the credit card companies mind, the customer is always right. However, I wouldn't want to take advantage of that.

I disputed a charge from Verizon last month after I disconnected service while moving but they charged me the following month anyway. When I called then they said they policy was to change me 2 additional months after I disconnected service and then refund me later. Uh....No I dont think so. Thats not my policy to continue to pay for service for 2 months after I stopped using it. Disputing a charge doesnt affect your credit rating. It just means you dont agree with something you were charged and the charge is put on hold until the matter is solved.
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Old 09-09-2015, 04:11 PM   #20
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Gotcha, I misread the post then, the upgrade was not free.

Still, I don't think I would dispute the room charge. In my mind they are two separate issues. Others might see it differently though.
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