I'm staying in San Francisco for 2 weeks. When I arrived I gave my European debit card to the hotel, and they (at least, I thought so) withdrew the 5,000 dollars I owed them for the whole stay.
Yesterday, I noticed my debit card account went negative and I found out that the hotel charged me 3,000 dollars out of nowhere.
I asked them what was going on, and they explained me that when I gave them my debit card the first time, they just authorized the payment up to 5,000 dollars. Now the system automatically "took" 3,000 dollars to cover the costs up to today (and also said they are going to take the remaining 2,000 dollars in the next days).
On my internet banking website I see the first transaction has the status "blocked", and the 3,000 dollars one has the status "completed". But at the end of the day, I have 3,000 dollars less than what I was supposed to have.
Something like this never happened to me and I don't know if this is normal or if I should do something. I called my bank and they said all the money (5,000 + 3,000) is already in the hotel's bank account and that the hotel should either cancel the second transaction or send me a wire with this money.
What's the right way to proceed?
Update (Jul 23):
During these days I transferred more money on the card, but they "charged/blocked" (I'm not sure) me 3900 dollars, this time when I asked them the reason they said that was an error on their system and they provided me a letter to forward to my bank to get the transaction reverted.
I then transferred other 2000 dollars to cover the remaining cost of the stay, and this morning, before I presented at the front-desk to checkout, I discovered they did "block" me other 2000 dollars, so I again don't have the money needed to settle the balance.
Now they asked me to come back in the afternoon (my flight is this night at ~9), they said they will fix the situation...
Update (Jul 27):
That afternoon they said that everything had been adjusted, that they did release (from their side) all the blocked amounts and that I could just leave.
I obviously asked what to do about the remaining 2,000 dollars I owed them and they simply said "It's all okay".
After few days, I got back the 3,900 dollars that were "accidentally" blocked, and I have also been charged for the 2,000 dollars I still owed them. This charge happened without my authorization, so I guess they simply assumed it was acceptable to use the authorization they got when I first gave them my debit card.
I asked my bank about all the money that is still blocked and they see in the system that the block will automatically expire in approximatively 2 weeks, I guess this means they didn't release anything actually, apart for the 3,900 dollars for which I got a letter from them.
I think this story ends here. For the curious and ones that denigrated me because of not having used a credit card, I asked around few banks in my country, and the credit card that gave me the higher limit provided up to 4,000 euro/month, which obviously wouldn't be enough to pay such kind of stay in the future.