Ethics Hero: Non-Weenie Bride-To-be Christina Leonard

If only more Americans understood, as Christina Leonard obviously does, that this nation was founded to be the home of the free and the brave, not the refuge of weenies.

Christina Leonard of Revere, Mass. had booked 10 rooms in September for $169 a night, plus tax, at Home2 Suites by Hilton for her wedding in Foxboro next May. Then she received an email from the hotel (on Route 1 in Walpole, Mass.—I know it well) canceling her room block. It had just been announced that Taylor Swift will be performing at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro that same Spring weekend. The hotel manager told Christina over the phone that “they could charge up to $1,000 per room for this.”

Gouging, then! What a classy operation Hilton runs.

Christina remind the hotel that she has signed a contract and sent it back, but the sales manager told her—HA!— he never signed it. She reminded him that she has emails confirming the dates. If she were a lawyer, she would have pointed out that she relied on the agreement, and that the hotel caused her to rely on it. In reality, the Hilton didn’t have a legal leg to stand on, but companies will often attempt to bluff non-lawyers with fake technicalities like “we never signed the contract we agreed to.” They do this because it usually works….with weenies.

Leonard is no weenie. She reminded the Hilton that if she had cancelled the block, she would have had to pay a penalty. She went “up the ladder” as lawyers say, calling different levels of hotel management. Nothing.

So, frustrated and upset and angry, Christina decided to go public with her tale of how local lovebirds were being kicked to the curb because a hotel wanted to take advantage of a pop superstar’s concert by over-charging for rooms the couple had already reserved months earlier. She contacted the local ABC affiliate, WCVB, Channel 5 about her plight. They, in turn, pestered the Hilton, which coincidentally saw the error of its ways right around the same time.

Funny how that works out.

“We would like to apologize for the misunderstanding with your room block at the hotel,” said the email message the hotel sent to Cristina. “We would like to reinstate your room block and offer you and your fiancé complimentary accommodations for the entire weekend.”

Right. “Misunderstanding.” The Hilton tried to bluff, doublecross, bully and betray a woman who knows how to fight against unethical people and organizations.

Be like Christina. Don’t be a weenie.

The fewer weenies there are, the more ethical our society and culture will be.

9 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Non-Weenie Bride-To-be Christina Leonard

  1. What a perfect example of how Americans should be. We stand up for our rights and refuse to be bullied. Also, she’s savvy enough to know how to apply pressure calmly but purposefully. It’s this type of behavior that exemplifies women’s rights–confident that your position is justified and the self-esteem to pursue your objective.

  2. Atta girl, Christina. If I were you, I’d ask Hilton to host your entire wedding party, and your wedding, at another of their properties as far away from Taylor Swift and her fans as possible. But that’s just me.

    • If Taylor Swift has any regular girl left in her, she would instruct her PR person to inquire about the sudden room price change and how terribly disappointed they are at being gouged, emphasizing how the gouging contributes to high ticket prices thereby hurting the locals, etc.

      Then remind the Hilton that WCVB has taken an interest in the entire situation and would like to do a follow-up. Swift could begin doing something like this at most of her gigs.
      Lower overhead should translate into lower ticket prices.
      If her PR person is any good, her adoring fans would adore her even more.
      Never let a crisis go to waste, even a mini crisis.

      • I doubt she has any control or input, Caped Crusader. I bet her people already have a deal with Hilton’s people to split the overage on the room rentals in the area. Her people have certainly spoken to Paris Hilton’s people.

        By the way, Taylor Swift grew up across the street from my law school moot court partner, a contemporary of my moot court daughter’s, in Reading, PA. My moot court partner is a long-time, extremely professional and competent, judge in Reading, PA. Too bad Taylor went to the dark side.

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