Is this Wyndham O’Hare Hotel run by pigs?
ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors) is the world’s largest association of travel professionals. Corey Bailey, membership coordinator for ASTA, told me there are 10,000 members. This morning, ASTA sent travel advisors (formerly known as travel agents) electronic ballots to all of us, asking to rank major hotel chains. After 30 years as a travel advisor, I easily ranked Marriott highest and Wyndham lowest for all 9 quality categories. Without sharing my answers, I asked my partner Marco for his rankings. He also placed Wyndham at the rock-bottom.
I spend my winters in Hawaii for medical purposes. Last winter’s weather in Michigan dropped to 40 degrees below zero (with wind chill) so I avoid dangerous climate based on my physician’s orders. I have muscular dystrophy and use a wheelchair.
Unfortunately, the flight from Michigan to Honolulu is long and arduous. It typically involves an overnight stopover. This year, my overnight stopover is at O’Hare airport in Chicago. We had Wyndham loyalty points which were expiring, so we redeemed those points for a Wyndham property that provides a shuttle to and from the airport as an amenity to its customers. Our points were scheduled to disappear July 9 unless we redeemed them, so on that evening we booked the first hotel that I found offering the services we need.
I found Days Inn by Wyndham O’Hare West in Elk Grove Village at 1920 E Higgins Rd., Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. I traded our points to purchase one night at this Wyndham property; the purchase was non-refundable. If for any reason I wanted to change or cancel this reservation, we forfeited our stash. My reservation was non-refundable due to the age of our points.
“Non-refundable” reminded me of some incidents I had encountered in the past where hotels refused cancellation because customers were prone to cancel upon discovery a property was a pigsty. I looked online for reviews about this Wyndham property, and it made my stomach turn.
At TripAdvisor, 160 guests classified this Wyndham hotel as “terrible.” The management has a pattern of responding to the individual ratings using a lame canned apology: “Looks like we dropped the ball on meeting your expectations.” I don’t think they dropped the ball – reviews suggest they threw the ball out the window, into the dumpster fire – that is their reputation, and threw gasoline onto the pile of complaints as a sacrifice to the gods of sloth. Here is what TripAdvisor members recently said about this hotel:
AmyG reported: “The hotel and room were absolutely disgusting. The carpet was soggy, the room had a mildew smell, and the toilet leaked all over the bathroom floor. Our pug immediately found unidentified pills in the corner of our hotel room, which prompted us to comb the entire room for additional dangers to her. The mattress and sheets all had cuts, such as those from a knife, and cigarette burns. The tub had a brownish ring around it. The ice machine in the lobby was actually just a hand-held cooler. The free breakfast appeared less than fresh, and in all honesty with the lack of cleanliness in the hotel, we did not trust the food was properly handled. My husband and I immediately packed up the next morning and did not wait for the complimentary shuttle back to the airport; we were disgusted with our room and could not get out of there quick enough.”
Storyteller233859 reported: “Prostitutes at the entrance of the hotel as you pulled in.” I don’t know much about hookers, but I know if they are hanging out at the entrance of the hotel, it’s not by accident.
Anne T reported: “Parking lot is not secure and does not have lighting. It’s behind a very sketchy extended stay facility.”
Trail50239233586 reported: “Place is disgusting. Harbors prostitution for sure.”
EvangelistAngela wrote: “Hookers and drugs doing business openly; hotel management is aware but act as if they are not. The women are aggressive enough to approach your boyfriend or husband. These individuals have not been removed from the hotel and will not be even if you complain… If you don’t mind having doors opening and closing all night, people selling their bodies and selling drugs in the close location of your children or family, then stay here. If you don’t mind women who are aggressive and bold approaching your husband for sex, then stay here. If you don’t mind your family being in danger with all this activity, then stay here. No price is worth the endangerment of my family and management plays “stupid” about the entire matter, but they have cameras in the hallway so they know what is going on.”
On a side note, Jeff C on Yelp said: “spit all over the walls.” He showed a picture of a liquid projectile that had hit the walls then dripped toward the floor. Jeff, that’s not spit, bless your naïve heart.
At Tripadvisor, DKeely11 reported a: “Caustic smell in the stairwell.”
Bjf732001 reported: “Took 3 hours to get one towel for a family of 4 after check in.”
Ajm22751 reported: “Steps were old and carpet had duct tape.”
Global07189859058 reported: “The carpet was totally soggy and there was black mold and mildew on my feet after walking barefoot across the carpet just once. I reported this to the Elk Grove Village Public and Environmental Health Offices, and they reported to the Cook County Offices. It was truly gross!”
Gentle readers, do you know how dangerous black mold is? Black mold spores can shut down your organs, incapacitate your immune system, and damage your brain – resulting in death. And speaking of soggy carpet, I’m certain that is not due to spit.
McKenzie L reported: “The white towels were more yellow than anything and definitely washed out; there appeared to be blood stains on the bed.”
Blood can contain hepatitis, and hepatitis can kill you.
Idris J reported: “The receptionist was busy chatting with his girlfriend or wife and never paid us attention. He was rude and not [a] welcoming person and sometimes gave us bad answers. We are non-smokers, and he put us in smoking rooms.”
Progue reported: “Customer Service is a minimum of 30 minutes’ wait (often 60 minutes.)”
Tony M described a very nasty and vindictive manager: “The staff is unfriendly. I got locked out of my room by the manager, because I left a disposable plate at the front desk, and the manager started complaining, because she thought it was disrespectful. The hotel offers shuttle services, but I was not able to use it and had to pay 40 dollars for a taxi to get there from the airport.” [edited for clarity]
Minion7112015 reported: “Harassment by Manager. Staff is very dishonest. Owner/Manager threatened to call the cops, alleging we were disturbing his personnel, because I was complaining about his staff not cleaning our room during our five-day stay. He refused to accept responsibility, then threated to call the cops. He chose to neglect his guests.” [ edited for clarity]
Personally, I don’t like coming into contact with dishonest, vindictive people because they always attempt to lie their way out of everything, but I’ve become adept at recording conversations so I can pull out the damaging evidence after someone swears innocence under oath. There’s nothing so effective like the crime of perjury to pull the rug from under a liar’s testimony.
Filip P claims he used the hotel’s parking lot for a fly and drive from AirportParkingReservations.com and was “ripped off” for an extra $30 beyond the cost shown on his confirmation. He complained the wait time for the shuttle to the airport was over an hour, and in order to avoid missing his flight, the hotel receptionist, Deepak, wanted to drive him to the airport for an additional $30 in cash. Filip said he called Uber and was charged half the price. This brings up interesting questions about racketeering, unethical business practices, and tax evasion. Filip claims after his trip he called the hotel for a pickup from the airport and was told he had to wait an hour; when Filip demanded the shuttle be sent immediately he says the hotel employee told him to “F**k off.” When Filip demanded to speak to the manager, he said the employee relayed “The manager is not going to be available for the foreseeable future.”
I am disabled with muscular dystrophy, and I use an electric wheelchair. It weighs over 300 pounds and requires a wheelchair lift whenever I am transported with it. Days Inn by Wyndham O’Hare West in Elk Grove Village offers an airport shuttle; this is probably what draws most of their customers. It can’t be the qualities of filth and hookers and “soggy floors” described by TripAdvisor reviewers.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is very clear when it comes to airport shuttles – if a hotel offers a shuttle to able-bodied customers, it has to provide similar service to disabled customers. It’s not a choice, it’s written in stone. The federal government even puts it in cartoons for stupid hotel owners. The Department of Justice spells it out clearly at https://www.ada.gov/reachingout/lesson71.htm . If a hotel disregards this law, there are consequences.
On July 9, I called Joncienjaindy at this Wyndham property and informed her I need a handicap shuttle for an upcoming reservation on December 9. She said “No, we won’t provide one.” So I asked to speak to the manager. She said Lali is the manager.
I spoke to Lali and made the same request. Lali was a nasty, aggressive man on the phone, just like the other people described. He stated they don’t have a handicapped accessible shuttle and claimed they don’t have to provide one. He refused to give me his last name, probably because he knew failure to accommodate is a violation of the ADA law. He further claimed he was trained in federal law and advised me the statutes do not say he must accommodate handicapped people. He told me if I didn’t like his decision, then sue him.
I called Wyndham customer service and filed a discrimination complaint against Days Inn By Wyndham O’Hare. It is remarkable that https://www.hissingkitty.com/complaints-department/wyndham-hotels shows Wyndham customer service is rated 1.09 out of 5 stars based on 880 complaints against its “service.” Josh in Wyndham customer care created case number 4256415 and said I have to wait 7 days. That was in July. Wyndham lazily passed my discrimination complaint back to Lali, then refused to do anything further. There was no follow up, no outreach, no anything, despite this being a violation of federal law. This prompted me to file a discrimination charge against Wyndham Hotels in New Jersey, where the company has its headquarters, and another with the Department of Justice.
Lali retaliated against me by cancelling our non-refundable reservation without our permission. I just found this out last week. So I filed a discrimination complaint against the hotel with the Attorney General of Illinois, and the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Ashley Evans from the Office of Kwame Raoul, the Illinois Attorney General, informed me the Attorney General is taking the violation seriously and assigned it case number 2019DRC6386. The Attorney General is investigating this Wyndham property.
I researched who this supposed Lali is. Facebooks shows a Lali Patel who is the manager of Days Inn O’Hare. His background reveals he attended J D Patel High School in Borsad, India, but there is no documentation I could find showing he actually graduated high school, or attended university, or got a doctorate in jurisprudence, or was admitted to the State Bar of Illinois. He provided legal advice that he was exempt from the ADA. The State Bar of Illinois is not amused.
The Days Inn website says Sunny Patel is the manager. One can reasonably conjecture this is a fraudulent name to make it difficult for customers to locate and sue Lali Patel. Lali Patel has many surprises heading his way.
In the meanwhile, Wyndham Hotels of New Jersey has yet to step in and right this wrong. Geoff Ballotti runs Wyndham, and salary.com reports he was paid $8,815,739 in 2018 for his services. We are waiting to see if Mr. Ballotti is going to condone discrimination against the handicapped or if he will do the ethical thing. For two weeks, he has ignored my personal letter to him.
The question of Wyndham ethics has been scrutinized after a jury awarded Trish Williams $20 million in damages; she was wrongfully terminated for whistleblowing. Williams exposed Wyndham’s massive fraud on a vulnerable population. The Dolan Law Firm said: “Elderly customers were being defrauded by Wyndham salespeople, who were opening and maxing out credit cards without their knowledge and lying about reducing interest rates, maintenance fees, and the ability to obtain rental income from their timeshares. … Evidence presented at trial revealed that Wyndham employees engaged in ‘pitching heat,’ high pressure sales tactics involving deliberate lies and misrepresentations to get people to buy more timeshare ‘points.’ These sales practices included ‘TAFT’ days, which stands for ‘Tell Them Any [email protected]#*ing Thing’ days, where employees were encouraged to say anything to make a sale as long as they didn’t put it in writing. The highest selling sales agent was quoted as saying, ‘I sold my soul to the devil. I can say whatever I want so long as I don’t put it in writing, that’s why Wyndham has good lawyers.’”
Jane Danese posted on the Wyndham Corporate website: “With a commitment to acting with integrity and a dedication to making hotel travel possible for all, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has been recognized as one of the 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute.” She stated part of the award was based on “acceptable business conduct” and “working to protect human rights by providing hotel owners and franchisees training and awareness tools to identify human trafficking.”
Prostitution is human trafficking. In Illinois it is unlawful to permit questionable characters, prostitutes, gamblers, intoxicated persons, or procurers to frequent a place of business where children are present. Violating the Americans With Disabilities Act and Illinois civil rights law is not “acceptable business conduct.” If Mr. Ballotti allows Days Inn O’Hare to discriminate and retaliate against a disabled person, and does not address allegations of sex trafficking on the premises, it appears the Ethisphere Institute awards should be rescinded from Wyndham, just like Lance Armstrong was stripped of his accolades.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline 888-373-7888 is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Witnesses are encouraged to report prostitution and human trafficking to specially-trained Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates. Witnesses can also text illegal trafficking to 233733 (no area code). Last year, 2,000 suspect businesses were reported to the Hotline, which works with local and federal law enforcement agencies to combat human trafficking. Addi, from The Hotline, confirmed they are pursuing complaints of human trafficking at Days Inn by Wyndham O’Hare West and quoted case number 00564056. President Donald Trump’s administration has instituted an array of restrictive immigration policies, with expedited deportations for foreign-born individuals facilitating illegal trafficking. Giggling “Oops, looks like we dropped the ball on meeting your expectations” doesn’t cut the mustard with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
Anyone with knowledge of sex trafficking or discrimination against a disabled person at any Wyndham property is urged to contact the author, Dr. Anton Anderssen at (248) 266-5918. The information will be passed on to the 10,000 members of ASTA, as well as the 8.8 million subscribers to this news outlet.
Photos of Days Inn by Wyndham O’Hare West in Elk Grove Village were uploaded by members of Tripadvisor.com and Jeff C via Yelp.