Item Diary

Have you ever stayed at the Crowne Plaza, Hamburg? Or any Crowne Plaza for that matter. I did. I stayed there in June 2007 and paid my bill. I paid my bill with good money. 7 months on, the trouble still rumbles.

Is it a fraud? Is it a scam? Surely it can't be the hotel as such, but if it is a fraud/scam, then it is within the hotel staff. Whoever did the fraudulent transaction or deliberately mistakenly put someone else's bill on my account, why, of all the gin joints in all the world, did they choose the one where I last stayed in Hamburg? Of course it wasn't an accident. Someone in the hotel, or their bankers has used my card. My bankers deny making a mistake.

What really pisses me off is that a month after the hotel knew there was a problem, they have not told me that they accept that I am not involved. I don't actually give a shit who is to blame. I am English, blame is not that important, because life is too short. If it was a mistake, then all the hotel has to do is say "sorry". Is that word too difficult? All I know is that I am not to blame. Well, OK, I exist and I did stay at that hotel, so I carry the blame for picking the wrong hotel.

Crowne Plaza Hamburg

Graumannsweg 10
22087 Hamburg, Germany
+49 40 228060

27-30 June 2007:

I stayed at the Crowne Plaza, Hamburg, and paid my bill totally and fully on check out.


July 2007:

The payment appears on my credit card statement and I settle the account fully.


September 2007:

The same amount appears again but a second transaction, a credit for the same amount in € also appears the same day. Bizarre! But my card operates in £ so I get lumbered with a £10 commission bill due to someone's stupid mistake. I challenge it and it gets removed. I thought, stupidly, that would be the end of it.


24 December 2007:

An amount of €421 is charged to my credit card to the credit of Crowne Plaza, Hamburg. Since June 2007, I was never even in Germany, let alone staying at the Crowne Plaza, Hamburg. This amount, €421 is totally different from my original bill so it is disconnected.


4 January 2008:

This is the day I became aware of the transaction so I challenge it with my credit card company and also e-mail Crowne Plaza for an explanation.

I receive an e-mail back from Crowne Plaza:

Dear Mr. Marshall,

thank you for your email. I apologize for any inconvenience that has been caused. We will investigate the case and inform you on Monday about the outcome. Please rest assured that this is not the Standard of Crowne Plaza.

Kind regards from Hamburg,
Fr S
Financial Accountant


4 January - 14 January 2008:

Silence from Crowne Plaza, Hamburg


14 January 2008:

I finally receive an e-mail from Crowne Plaza, Hamburg:

Dear Mr. Marshall,

sorry for the long waiting time in the case of your question.
Because of the illness from Mrs. S, I am in charge of it now.

I couldn´t find a second charge from your credit card, could you please so kind an send me a statement from the credit card company?

Thank you very much in advance

kind regards
Herr R
City Ledger Clerk


14 January 2008:

I supply Herr R with the information he requests.



14 January 2008 onwards:

Silence from Crowne Plaza Hamburg.


30 January 2008:

I send a reminder to Herr R. I greet him by hoping he is well. If he comes on with the "Frau S was ill and now I was ill", I shall tell him: "To have one person working on my case fall ill might be considered an accident. To have two people on my case fall ill, is carelessness". I am waiting. I predict now that Crowne Plaza will do Nooooothing. My credit card company has demanded "vouchers" for the transaction. Of course, none exist, so after 35 days, the amount gets wiped off my account and Crowne Plaza's reputation, if they continue to play dumb, will be in tatters.


1 February 2008

I got a reply to my e-mail where I hoped thatHerr Rossow had not become ill. Here it is: it sort of clinches the situation in my favour.

Dear Mr. Marshall,

I´m fine, thanks.

Because of the problem with the charged amount from your credit card (421€) we all couldn´t find such a charging? I was talking to our Finance Controller Mrs. Guminski and she had the same problem with it. We were looking all over in our system, there was no showing. So at the moment I was talking with the Barclays Card team.
You have to know that we are doing the best in that case, so that you get your money back. I agree with you that it can´t be right, to charge a credit card from a guest and don´t give the money back if there is something wrong.
So I like to adjure you, don´t worry please.
I will give you more information on Monday the 11.02.08, cause I´m in hollidays, but you can also contact Mrs. Guminski ( or you give me the chance to rsolve this problem by myself, that will be great!

Thank you so much for your understanding in that case.
Everything will turn to a happy ending.

Kind regards

Herr R
City Ledger Clerk


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