My husband and I were on our way from Pennsylvania to California and stopped here for one night. In the beginning, everything was fine: the room was clean, the beds were comfortable, and the location was excellent. Except for there being a dozen flies or so (I think this is just normal in the plains...), we were really happy with the room.
The next morning, we had the continental breakfast, which was respectable. We packed up the car, turned in the keys, and left for gas and the Badlands. About 45 minutes after our departure, a woman from the front desk called to inform me that the manager had found a broken wastebasket in our room and was going to charge us for it. I don't destroy others' property, but when it happens accidentally, I always own up to it. I asked about the wastebasket, as I couldn't remember seeing anything but simple, white, plastic wastebaskets. She said she'd found a "nice one with animals on it" broken into pieces. I told her that we hadn't broken anything. She asked if we were still in Wall and I replied that we were and she said we could come back to the front desk to see it.
Even though we were 30 minutes into the Badlands, we turned around and went back to the front desk. Sure enough, a ceramic or resin wastebasket decorated with reliefs of animals was lying in pieces; something that really could only have happened deliberately. The manager came out and told us she'd found it in our room, near the bathroom sink. My husband had to do all the talking because I was so furious, but he handled the situation calmly. He said we didn't break it at all and that we didn't even recognize that wastebasket.
The manager said she found it empty, even though there was only one wastebasket in the cabin and we had put a few plastic cups into it, as well as some napkins. Through out the whole time, she didn't look at either of us in the eye. She kept moving her eyes shiftily around from place to place. Finally, after two or three minutes, she relented and said she wouldn't charge us because she didn't have any proof (even though she said she'd been in there the day before and it was fine). We left without saying a word.
In the end, it seems like the semi-perfect scam. You have a broken wastebasket (either from a careless or destructive tenant) that you then allege departed guests to have broken. Most of them will already be 30 - 45 minutes into their trip and decide that the 1 - 1.5 hour round-trip isn't worth it and agree to the charges on their credit card. Rinse, lather, repeat.
Of course, we don't have any proof that it's a scam - other than our word that we wouldn't break anyone's wastebasket. If we had, I'd be more than happy to pay $25 or $75 (or whatever that thing costs) - but to be maligned like that was more than I could bear. Perhaps she saw our Pennsylvania plates and knew we'd be out of town? Or perhaps she doesn't like same-sex interracial couples and wanted to stick it to us? Again, I have no proof.
At the very least, take a few photos of your room - and pay attention to the wastebasket, in particular.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Frontier Cabins Motel is family owned and offers Thirty-Three (33) Rustic Log Cabins all designed to function as your Home Away From Home. Each is fully equipped, has its own private bath and is serviced daily by our outstanding housekeeping crew. We have Four (4) types of Cabins: 1. Double Queen Beds (sleeps 4), 2. Master Queen Bed plus Queen Size Sofa bed (sleeps 4) 3. Master King Bed plus Queen Size Sofa Bed (sleeps 4) 4. Two Room Kitchenettes with Two Queen Beds in the Bedroom plus Queen Size Sofa bed in Sitting Room/Kitchen area (sleeps 6). All cabins have a Microwave, Refrigerator, Coffee Maker,Linens/Towels, Heat& Air, Cable with HBO TV. We also have a playground, Hot Tub, Sauna, & Picnic Area, Free Continental Breakfast and a 4000 sq ft Gift Shop with unique gifts for your shopping. pleasure. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Frontier Cabins Hotel Wall