You’re right, that’s pretty excessive for a “no show.” Normally, you only have to pay for a night. Hotels.com should have reviewed the recordings of your reservation, and when it refused, you were right to contact me.
A miscommunication like this is easy to avoid. If you’re booking by phone, ask the representative to repeat the dates of your stay. Then check the dates on your confirmation, and if they don’t match your itinerary, contact the online agency immediately.
Crossed wires can happen easily when you’re dealing with an offshore call center, so my recommendation is to use the computer to make your booking. After all, a site like Hotels.com is optimized for Internet bookings, and I’m sure if it could avoid having a call center, it would.
Getting a form letter rejecting your request isn’t the end of the line. You can appeal to Hotels.com through its website or directly to the property, and failing that, you can dispute the charges on your credit card. Fortunately, none of that would be necessary.
I contacted Hotels.com on your behalf. It investigated your case and found it made “an error on our side.” Hotels.com changed your reservation, so you’ll be able to stay at Cedar Breaks for Christmas, after all.