So here’s a thing: I’m 37 years old, but there’s stuff I never learned how to do, or have done maybe once or twice but am not an expert at. And there’s stuff I just don’t like doing. I generally dislike cooking, for example, though I do feel satisfaction when I make something that tastes good. And I don’t have much experience dealing with money issues beyond paying bills and taxes.

Sean and I stayed at a hotel back in Nicholasville, Kentucky over Christmas. We’ve never had a problem there before, but this time things were weird as soon as we checked in. I’d reserved the room online, and at that point we received the quote for the full bill and a hold was put on our credit card for the deposit. When we arrived at the hotel, it was late at night. The woman working the desk frowned at her computer, said it couldn’t possibly be right, and started changing a bunch of things that I didn’t see.

At the end of our stay, the final bill that was slipped under our door was for a ridiculous amount of money, over $600 when the original quote was just under $400. I pored over the bill and figured out what had happened: the night desk clerk had tried to adjust our room rates (I belatedly remembered her muttering something about “we don’t do variable room rates!”) and had not removed the rates she was trying to replace—so we were double charged for three days.

I wrote all of this out and carried it to the desk to show the manager what our bill actually should have been. I also showed him the quote in my email that had the variable room rates. He adjusted everything, and the receipt I ended up with had the amount we were originally quoted. We happily went home and I resolved to check our account later to make sure we were charged correctly.

We weren’t.

When we checked in to the hotel, that hold that had been put on the card became an actual charge. And for some reason, the night desk clerk charged that deposit again. So we paid $209.46 at time of check-in. But after adjusting the bill, the manager did not subtract those deposits. This meant the total charged to our card was not $392.46, as it should have been, but $601.92!

I had felt pretty powerful at the hotel when I showed the manager my math and he adjusted the bill. I was not nearly as confident about dealing with the situation over the phone. But I called anyway, and I explained the error, and I told him the exact amount to refund. Once he understood what had happened, he processed the refund right then and there while I was still on the line. I just checked and confirmed that the refund came to our account.

Given that there was a time when I was terrified to use the phone to order takeout, this feels like a huge win for me. I’m really pleased that I was able to resolve this situation (and get our money back)!