Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Checking Out of Motel 6 Binghamton - Maybe Forever

I am about to check out of my motel and head home. This time around, as in almost every time I needed an inexpensive motel on my hunting trips, vacations or whatever, I opted to stay at a Motel 6 for at least part of my stay. I say for at least part of my stay because this time Brendan and I spent 2 nights at Holiday Inn in Binghamton. I had just enough points in my Priority Club membership, with a few hundred left over, to get us a free room for 2 nights at 15,000 points a night. Almost all gone now, I think I have just over 300 points remaining. Probably no free nights next year unless I use my Visa card an awful lot. Holiday Inn was nice this time around, nice clean room, decent restaurant - better than when I stayed there a year or two ago and had a horrendous night in a room where the window kept blowing open and the heater was screwed up and other things that were annoying.

Back to Motel 6 though. Most Motel 6's I have stayed in over the years have had fairly nice, clean but spartan motel rooms. Spartan is the keyword for all Motel 6 rooms as far as I can tell. What would you expect for a motel that charged about $10 a night the first time I stayed there back in 1979. Now they charge just under $40 for a single person (at least that is the rate in Binghamton, NY). For that you get a bed or two, a small table, a clothes rack, a mirror, a dresser or dressing shelf, a television with cable channels including one HBO station, air conditioning and heat, and a bathroom. There may or may not be a pool at your choice of Motel 6. The one in Binghamton does not have one I have ever seen.

As said, the Motel 6's at which I have stayed have been clean for the most part. I do not like seedy motels though I have stayed at a few more, over the years, than to which I would care to admit. A few of them have been Motel 6's. One was in Fogelsville (...berg?) PA and it was, in my opinion, an out and out dump. I remember then staying at the one in Binghamton a short time later and how happy I was that in years past it was clean as a whistle. I commented on that to the lady behind the desk back then and told her i had recently had a bad experience at a Motel 6 and that it was the dirtiest motel I had seen in many years. She told me she could guess which one, then proceeded to correctly name the Motel 6 in Fogelswhatever, PA. She explained that not all Motel 6's are ACCOR Motels but some are franchises where they paid to use the motel 6 name. The franchises, according to her, did not have to live up to Accor Motel standards and therefore often gave a bad impression of Motel 6 in general. I always checked, after that, to assure any Motel 6 at which I stayed was an Accor Motel. The one in Binghamton used to be one; now I wonder if it stillis one.

The Motel 6 in Binghamton, NY, in my opinion, has nose dived in quality control. The place is not what it once was and is long overdue for an overhaul. Last year or the year before, I stayed here and the carpet in the hallways was bunched up in places; you could easily trip and fall due to it. I complained to management about it. Guess what was the first thing I noticed on this stay. Same carpet, all bunched up in places. Plus I noticed the carpet was filthy or so it looked to me. The carpet in my room was also pretty dirty. Inside my room I also noticed dirty spots on the walls, cracks in the bathtub, no stopper in the bath tub or bathroom sink, leaking faucet on the sink (when you turned it on it leaked out of he top onto the countertop. Some of the light bulbs flickered, when i checked I found them to be only partially screwed into the fixtures. Tightening them corrected the problem but why did I have to do that!

I had a room with 2 beds (just in case Brendan would have decided to stay a night or two beyond the two nights he was with me at Holiday Inn). I turned down one bed and the sheets and pillow cases were creased and rumpled, one pillow case appeared to me to be somewhat yellowed, and one pillow case was only about 1/2 the way on the pillow. The sheets were not tucked in on the side of the bed. All looked as if someone had slept in this bed then the bed was hastily made without putting on clean sheets and pillow cases. There was also a hair on the bed and it was not mine. The other bed looked as it it had been properly made with fresh sheets; of course, I slept in the clean looking one.

I made a complaint, on Sunday night right after I saw it, to the front desk clerk. She told me she would alert the manager the next day. No one got back to me on it. Well, yesterday when I got back to my room after hunting, I figured no one even checked on it as it appeared the same exact sheets were left on the rumpled looking bed and once again the covers just thrown over them. I also noted that while the bathroom had been cleaned somewhat, the throne had not been cleaned. I called the front desk this morning to tell them to prepare a refund of two nights as I am checking out two days early (they charge your card upon arrival for the whole stay). They said - no problem. In a few minutes I will find out if there is a problem or not. They will find out that I will no longer be staying at Motel 6 in Binghamton and may not stay at another Motel 6 dependent on the reply I get to the letter of complaint I will send to Motel 6 corporate (Accor Motels).

Not only were the above things at issue but I asked for a room at a specific section of the motel and they got that wrong going in the opposite direction down the hall from the room I wanted. When I asked for it to be changed at check-in, the clerk told me 'that is the room they gave you' and then looked at me with what I thought was a pitiful but dimwitted look on her face. I should note that yesterday morning, when I went to the lobby to grab a cup of coffee while waiting for a tow truck (a whole other story that delayed my start hunting yesterday be a few hours), I heard a clerk complaining to another about the lady who had worked the night before not getting anything right. The lady they were complaining about was the clerk who checked me in. One of the complaints was she did not even know enough to turn on the light for the Motel 6 sign one it was dark. The sign was dim while she was working as I suppose were her wits.

All in all it was not a good experience. In my opinion, Motel 6 in Binghamton used to be a bargain but now I think it is just a dump, another seedy motel I would not care to stay in again. Of course that is all only my opinion, maybe other people still like it but I am spending my money and my opinion is what sways me to spend or not spend at any given business. Motel 6 Binghamton is not getting my money again until they improve markedly.

Holiday Inn, on the other hand has improved markedly since I had a problem there a year or two ago. My last two stays were pretty nice there. Thing is, I cannot afford a few days to a week at Holiday Inn for each of my hunting trips. I suppose next year Brendan and I can stay at Holiday Inn a couple of nights and once he leaves for home, I will stay at a less expensive place, maybe Comfort Inn. Time will tell.

All the best,
Glenn B

The Deer Win Again

I wish I knew what it is that I have been doing wrong. Seems to me I have been doing it the same way I did it when I bagged deer with some consistency but there must be something different because I have not gotten one in years. Heck, I did not even see one from any of my stands this year and I even stayed out a few hours in the rain yesterday. Brendan, he was another story. At least he saw one even though he decided not to shoot. I must have done something right there, I rattled that one in - just never saw it. Oh well, more on deer hunting in a future post and maybe more hunting this coming weekend, and the next weekend and the next if it takes that long. I have until December 12th to get myself some venison! I am hopeful Brendan will tag along at least once more - he is the best hunting companion I could have with me at any time.

All the best,