We received a phone call from James Smith from Advanced Travel Systems / HDMC Group offering block rooms at a discounted rate for a trade show we attended in San Francisco, CA (SPIE Photonics West). After reviewing their information, we decided to book rooms through them at a small hotel called Hotel Vertigo. Everything seemed fine until we were double charged on our credit card. No big deal, we thought, this stuff happens and we’ll get it taken care of. nWhile our accountant was working on getting refunded for the double charge, we had the first of our party arrive in San Francisco and try to check in only to find that the hotel had no reservation for our party. This was a Saturday but I assumed that some mistake had been made and tried to contact HDMC Group to get it worked out. Their phone had a busy signal and no one responded to emails. I tried dozens of times throughout the rest of the weekend to get them to respond to no avail. Meanwhile our party had booked themselves rooms under their personal credit cards (luckily there were some still available). nThe following week, we tried repeatedly to get in touch with the HDMC Group and got no response. At this point, it’s clear that Advanced Travel Systems / HDMC Group is a scam. DO NOT BOOK though them. We lost thousands of dollars and had to deal with a giant problem upon arrival at the trade show.
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