Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Update on Ramada Hotel experience

I received a call today from the manager of the Ramada hotel in Kentucky. She apologized for the "misunderstanding". She said that the people from the online reservation system had told her that we would be providing "papers" showing that our dog was a service dog. I told her that I think just an id or the vest was all that's required. That was about the extent of our conversation and she said that she hoped we enjoyed our stay and then we said our good-byes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Note to self: No Ramada Hotels

Over the holidays, we traveled up to West Virginia and Ohio and for one night stayed in a hotel in Kentucky, just a few miles from the West Virginia state line near Huntington. It was a Ramada. A well known name in the hotel business. CAYLIE was traveling with us and everyone was at Lisa's aunt's house while I checked into the hotel.

When I was checking in the desk clerk, who I think was the assistant manager, said something to the effect that "they" said I would be bringing papers to show that the dog was a service dog. I told her I didn't know what she was referring to and who were "they"? "They" turned out to be the online people through which I had made the reservation. I had requested a wheelchair accessible room and added a comment that we had a service dog with us. I wasn't concerned because the hotel accepts pets. Matter of fact, there was a dog sleeping behind the counter and two cats wandering around outside.

I told her that I had no papers with me and that I didn't have the dog with me at the time. She wears a service vest which should be proof enough. She seemed to shrug it off. Well, then, the manager, who was standing behind her, got involved. She began making comments without addressing me directly about charging for a "pet fee". I said that the dog is not a pet it is a service dog. She said "Oh, so is it a seeing-eye dog or something?". I said, "No." (starting to get a bit irritated now). My son is handicapped and he needs the dog for mobility. She didn't seem to hear this and said, "So, who is handicapped? and what is their problem?" At one point she actually said "Is the dog handicapped?". Wow. I was floored. Not only was this illegal but rude. I restated what Jack's condition is, now, clearly pissed and she still didn't notice nor did the assistant manager still working on checking me in. At anytime during our stay or when I checked out was there an apology or even a thanks for staying with us.

So, I sent an email to the corporate Ramada folks and this is their response:

The Ramada Corporate Office is in receipt of your concerns regarding your stay at the Ashland - Rt. 23 property located in CATLETTSBURG , KY on or about 12/29/2009.

Ramada corporate appreciates your bringing your concerns to our attention. We take these matters very seriously, Ramada corporate, however, is solely the licensor of Ramada tradename, trademarks, and service marks to independently owned and operated Ramada guest lodging facilities. Although Ramada does not own or operate the facility, we require all of our licensees to comply with applicable law. We have advised the owner/operator of the facility of your complaint. We suggest that you contact the owner of the facility directly as the owner is in the best position to respond to your complaint.

I sent this email back to them and haven't heard back nor expect to:

Since you have notified her of the complaint, I see no reason for me to contact her. If she wants to respond to the complaint then she can do that. You may provide my contact information to her. Otherwise, we don't plan on staying at any Ramada hotels anytime soon. Passing the buck back to me doesn't impress me. I don't care if you don't operate the hotel. Your name is on the sign and my credit card receipt.

In conclusion, I thought this might be interesting for those that have or will be getting service dogs. Hard to believe that there are still businesses out there like this but there are.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Working on mobility

Yesterday, Jack and CAYLIE worked on mobility with the harness. Jack is still tentative, of course, and will be for some time, but they made progress. With Karen and Lisa's help they walked all the way around the downstairs which is quite an effort for Jack. Much of it he did by himself without holding on to Mom. It will take him some time to trust the stability that CAYLIE will provide for him. With all of CAYLIE's boundless energy, when she puts that hareness on she is all business. They also practiced retrieving the leash and Jack's shoes.

Pictures follow: