Posts Tagged 'newspapers'


As some of you know by now, my awful Hyatt debacle has been cleared up.  At least that’s what some high-up man at the Hyatt told me.  To recap (and to totally repeat myself): We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee August 20-22 and had paid for the room in advance.  On August 31, I noticed that the Hyatt charged our credit card for $250, a charge that had been run on August 24 and had appeared on August 26.  I called the hotel and was told the charge was for smoking.  I protested my innocence and asked them to remove the charge.  [Note: at this point, I really thought this was no big deal.  Clearly they had made a mistake, they would take it off.  Oops.  My bad.]  Nope.

My call was transferred to someone else.  This time, I was speaking with the Fancy Director of Operations, Nancy.  She was rude and unhelpful.  She told me they had “evidence” against me.  She said housekeeping was emailing her photographic evidence as we spoke!  I continued to insist that this was impossible as there could be no evidence of something that never happened.  In addition, I speculated that if the evidence were some sort of photograph of a cigarette butt, it would not show anything.  I asked her if that were they type of evidence that she had, how did she know that that wasn’t from someone else’s room.  She told me the Hyatt doesn’t make things up.  I said that I don’t, either.  When she supposedly received these smoking hot photos (ha!), she told me she was standing by her claim!  I asked her to send me the photos, nope.  I’d have to subpoena them, says Nancy.

Fuming (ha!), I draft a letter to the hotel, the corporate office, the FTC and DATCP.  Letters sent.  I also emailed the Wisconsin State Journal’s SOS page, WISC’s “On Your Side” program, as well as the general tip line at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  I called my credit card company to dispute the charge.  I waited.

On Thursday, my boss suggested I call the corporate customer service number to get some bigger guns on the case.  I did so, feeling really hopeful.  And this is when I really broke down.  They wouldn’t help.  They didn’t care, they didn’t want to hear it, they didn’t want to talk.  In fact, I got passed off to a “manager” and had only one option: leave a message on her voicemail.  My message was long, tear-filled and pleading.  I was really emotional at this point.  I honestly couldn’t believe this was happening. 

A couple of hours later, when my tears were dry, but my energy was at about zero, I got a call from a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  I was tired, but I immediately brightened up.  He listened, he sympathized, he was completely incredulous.  I had an ear!  And the ear of someone who wasn’t my friend!  The ear of the press!  He asked me to email him a copy of my asthma prescriptions, which I willingly did.  Someone was on my side!

A few hours after that I got a call from the Hyatt saying that they had just received my letter (asking for a refund/threatening a lawsuit if they didn’t refund me) and that of course they would take me at my word and refund my money!  How silly it all was!  I emailed the reporter to inform him of my good fortune (aka someone doing the right and reasonable thing) and he replied that he had left several voicemails and emails with the Hyatt since we’d spoken and that they had not been returned.  He said they would probably still do the story.

I hope they do.

And, just a short note on the world of reality of televsion: it’s been a rough week.  Tiffany out on Top Chef and Peach out on Project Runway.  Yikes.

Here you go!



You know, I love a good human interest story as much as the next person, and in this age of declining newspaper sales and, well, newspapers, maybe small-market journalists would be better off staying close to home and reporting on local flavor, but this is pushing it.  This is the big story on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s online paper today.

I’m really disappointed in the papers in Wisconsin these days.  I used to subscribe to the Capital Times and while I acknowledged that it was a pretty bad paper, the poor quality had its charms.  Paragraphs were often repeated several times, stories often had no conclusions or discernable points, and local news could be about something as inane as me.  Well, it never quite reached that level, but it teetered close to the line.  But now, with only the State Journal and the Journal Sentinel left, I feel lost.  No question, the Milwaukee paper is way better than Madison’s version (putting aside today’s ridiculous story), but when I want daily Madison news, I’m left with the cold, charmless and incomplete State Journal.

Thank goodness for the Isthmus.

March 2023

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