Enjoying the sweet hotel life to get away from the stress you face in your everyday life can be quite expensive. This is the reason why many people are always on the lookout to get free discount coupons to crash down the costs of their hotel booking, including signing up for hotel loyalty membership freebies, among other tactics.

For the most part, these tactics produce results a greater percentage of the time for many people who deploy them, but there are other people, who want more than just discounted or loyalty membership deals. To these people, getting a hotel room totally free is the best deal, and their go-to tactic to get it is usually by complaining.

Complaining to get a free hotel room can be difficult, but is totally doable given the fact that most hotels will do anything to make the experience you have with them memorable. After scouring through the internet to research various ways to go about it, here is a compilation of tips and tricks on how to complain the right way, in order to get a free hotel room.

Complain About Something Reasonable

As much as you have every right to complain about the services of any hotel, it is important that you ensure your complaint is reasonable or legitimate. This is because hotel staff have experience with receiving outrageous complaints, as they get many complaints from customers every other day. Hence be sure that they can tell when you are trying to use a lie to get freebies.

Complaining about an issue will only earn you a free hotel stay if it warrants it. Therefore, you might want to refrain from making complaints about small issues, or complaining about events that are beyond the hotel’s control such as flight delays or the occurrence of harsh weather conditions.

You stand the chance of getting a free night’s stay if your complaint is legitimate and within reason. For example, if you have genuine grievances about your stay such as hearing disturbing noises from the room next door or broken fixtures in your room, the hotel will certainly be able to resolve them or be more willing to compensate you for the inconveniences caused.

Complain at the Right Time to the Right Channel

The last thing you want to do is complain to the wrong person or channel about your grievances. If you have any complaints, it is advised that you voice them out immediately, if possible. Sharing your concerns with the right staff will increase your chances of getting a successful resolution of your issue, including getting considered for a free stay as compensation.

The front desk staff is usually best equipped to resolve complaints, but in the event that they can’t fix your problem or aren’t taking it seriously, you can ask to speak with one of the hotel managers, or someone else with a higher authority, or ability to address it.

If you happen to go through all the appropriate channels, but are yet to get your complaint satisfactorily treated, you might want to consider contacting the corporate headquarters of the hotel to present your case with names, dates, photographic or video evidence, including any other supporting details that can help with the prompt and effective treatment of your case.

Complain in a Respectful Manner

Respect, they say, is reciprocal. Having said that, complaining rudely or in an unreasonable way to the hotel staff will certainly reduce your chances of getting compensated with a free room. The hotel staff will feel more encouraged to listen to your complaint and luckily compensate you for any inconveniences caused if you approach them in a polite manner.

However, if being nice doesn’t work, you can always escalate the issue on social media or simply go public with it. Many companies, including hotels, tend to respond faster to complaints and offer compensation when customers complain about their services on social media because they have a reputation to protect, and also because a happy customer is a returning customer.

Be Discreet When Complaining

Combined with a respectful approach, observing discretion when making your complaint is also important to increase your chances of getting a free hotel room. An example is you not complaining your way into getting a freebie in the presence of other customers. Everyone else will also want the same benefits if they gave you, so they’d obviously refrain from giving you.

It is also worth emphasizing that you should refrain from outrightly demanding a free hotel room when you lay your complaint. The most effective approach is to give them a reason to offer it to you. Asking for a free room outrightly will only make the hotel staff suspicious of your motive as they are most likely well aware of similar antics by previous customers from experience.

That said, a better approach you could adopt would be to wait for your chance when there is no one else present at the front desk aside from you. Only then should you lay your complaint, but remember to do so respectfully and also persistently, if necessary. Hopefully, your complaint will be heard and you’ll be offered a hotel room to stay in for free as compensation.


Generally speaking, the only time hotels actually get to hear from customers is usually when they’ve provided bad service. Most of the time, they never get feedbacks from customers when they are able to resolve their issues successfully.

Therefore, whenever you complain at any hotel about any issue and they eventually compensate you with a freebie such as a free hotel room, endeavor to thank them for the offer right after getting it and also when checking out. It would definitely go a long way in helping them improve their customer service further in the future

Another thing you should have in mind is not expecting complaining to always get you a free hotel room, upgrade, or any other form of compensation whenever you try. The strategy doesn’t work all the time. However, whenever you do use it, we emphasize once again that you ensure your reason is reasonable and genuine because they might find out eventually. So, be careful!

18 thoughts on “How to Get a Free Hotel Room by Complaining”

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  3. Hello, my family and I need help feeling whole after an absolute nightmare experience. Any and all advice is welcomed. We ended up totally canceling our trip and coming back home after months of planning.
    Below is an email my husband sent to the manager of the hotel. No response from her as of yet. Thank you for taking the time to read my message.
    Have a great day.

    “ Susanna McCoon,
    My name is Shane Robinson and I booked and confirmed 2 rooms at the Holiday Inn Express Midtown- West for the dates of 3/3/2022-3/8/2022 through Priceline on November 2,2021. What I experienced has left me feeling violated. I am beyond unsatisfied and have been told four different stories (from hotel staff) as to the reason and events behind my mistreatment. I want steps to be taken to effect a policy change which would prevent anything like what happened to me and my family from ever occurring to anyone again.

    We booked two rooms to accomodate my four children (ages between 4 and 11), my 73 year old mother and my wife and I. We are not wealthy and have a large family. Financially speaking and logistically to get everyone together with time off is nearly impossible. Our last family trip was in 2017. So, you see this trip for us was a trip of a decade, if not a lifetime. We did everything we were supposed to and had a small Christmas as this was to be a big gift for everyone. We bought winter clothes for everyone, and thick winter coats. We booked months in advance and planned out daily itineraries along with affordable eats and family entertainment. The children helped plan and this was part of the adventure. I personally called the hotel 3 times before we left. We planned everything ,we paid for everything.

    On the day we landed our flight was about 2 1/2 hours late from Orlando, Florida. I called the hotel right away to let them know we would be checking in late. On the phone a gentleman by the name of Daniel informed me my reservation was canceled due to a COVID emergency. He said I should have been contacted and that Priceline was notified and that the hotel would not relocate us. I called priceline, they said they were never informed of any COVID emergency or any cancellation on behalf of Holiday Inn Express. Priceline called the hotel and said since it was a COVID emergency that they wouldn’t relocate my family either. They could only issue a refund that would take five days to process and would leave me with no way to book a hotel for my family. At which point I called the hotel again and tried to get them to help me find another accomodation as is customary. This time I was told they became a quarantine hotel by another staff member. This staff member checked at a hotel next door but was told they were booked. I attempted to secure other lodging on my own at least for the night but at the last minute in NYC the prices at affordable hotels were 3-4 times the amount I initially paid. In addition, we were in need of two rooms. Without the refund available on our credit card for another 5 days, another hotel was impossible to obtain since no hotel we contacted accepted cash. The next morning while still at the airport, we called and were told that you were overbooked, and a few days later we called again and were told that this location has been a Covid shelter for over a year.

    These may seem like poor people’s problems to some, but because of negligence and lack of empathy. Our only recourse was to cancel our vacation on the spot and book the next flight home available to Orlando for the next day at noon. That flight also required a 10 hour layover in ATL. Our 4 small children and my 73 year old mother had to sleep with my wife and I on top of our luggage in LGA. Had someone from your hotel informed Priceline or myself as protocol suggests, I would have never dragged my entire family thousands of miles away from home without secured lodging in New York City in the winter. My family was left out in the cold with no help and no effort from anyone. I feel like my family’s vacation has been stolen, my daughters were crying, my elderly mother was in unbelievable discomfort the entire time. We feel horribly wronged, this was a nightmare. We can’t get this back. I just know something should change at this hotel so that no one ever has to go through this again. Whatever anyone thinks or says this just isn’t right.

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