We went to a small town near Big City, Tx over the weekend.  When doing such a trip, I have found some assistance through a name your price site.  This usually works well with big cities, and doesn’t work at all in small towns.  We were near a big city and decided to take the chance.  After all, we had received several good referrals previously.  The winning bid led to a discount chain which happened to be on the highway we were using to drive to Small Town.  Super.  Normally, we just walk in, show ID, provide debit for additional expenditures and get the room.  This time they demanded payment.  Blink. Blink.  We already paid.  I ended up looking at the bank statement to verify and found the appropriate entry.  Yes, payment was taken, but this place stated they had not been paid and no room was to be had without a card.  I called the name your price site and actually received a representative.  This was discussed and the representative stated he would call to resolve the issue.  The phone rang.  The staff ignored it.  It went to voice mail, and no message was left.  Wash.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Two more times.  We get a text that he has tried three times to get in touch with them with no luck.  I texted back that the phone rang, and they ignored it.   Well, after a bit more of this, they decided it could not be solved at the texting level and gave me a link for a phone call.  I took this out to the car and spoke with the first individual who was wholly unhelpful and finally sent me to a second individual who stated she would call and resolve the issue.  I even requested that they just send us to another location in the area that would accept the payment.  No comment on that idea was made.  Finally, about an hour and a half into this I received word that payment was accepted and we could have a room.  Yea?  So, we went back in and signed the papers, and received the towels and washcloths.  Yes, they handed them over the counter.  This was billed as a two star hotel.  Once in the room, I noted the entire contents of this two star room consisted of: bed and linens, a handful of hangers on a rack, TV on a stand, table and 2 chairs, refrigerator, extra roll of toilet paper, and one bar of soap.  The lights in the bathroom didn’t work.  Joy.  We went back down stairs and noted the counter was closed.  There was a phone to notify of issues and I called.  Excuse me, the lights in the bathroom don’t work.  “OK.  Just turn them off for about 10 minutes.  If they don’t work after that, I’ll have to come and change the light bulbs.”  What service for this two-star hotel.  We can’t forget the coffee.  Yes, that was available as well.  The coffee maker was available for purchase – $30 and a note that afterwards “it was yours to keep”.  There was no word on supply of coffee or filters.  I also noted was this was a unit which could be purchased for about $15 from the store we would have to shop for the coffee and filters.  They also had internet – for an additional $10.  There were dishes for the “kitchen” – for an additional $30.  I tried to keep in mind that the place was clean.  At least there was a little trophy for the night.  All we had to do was ignore the hallways where the smokers apparently breathed.  Yes, the halls were fairly strong and I noted the nonsmoking rooms were bordered on each side by smoking rooms.  So at least on our hall, I didn’t check the rest, there was no place where the nonsmokers were removed from the smoking.  The room itself was decent.  The smell stayed in the hall, so I am trying to give credit there.  We went out to eat, then returned to discover one of the two bathroom lights actually did work.  No further work was done towards the second.  We decided to survive the night and make a mental note of the place.  One can say that there are ways to look at new experiences where gladness is always a part.  In some cases, one is glad for the new experience and thankful for the meeting and interaction.  In other cases, one is glad for the new morning and the opportunity to place miles between you and it.

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