Harvey evacuees accusing Jennings motel of price gouging; manager responds

JENNINGS, La. (KLFY) – Some Hurricane Harvey evacuees from Orange, Texas who had to relocate to Jennings are accusing the Budget Inn of price gouging.

“I don’t hold no grudge against him cause I can’t. My Lord wouldn’t be happy with me. I’m praying for him, that he don’t do anyone else like this. We didn’t deserve this,” said Julia Cross, a Harvey evacuee from Orange, Texas.. julia cross – harvey evacuee

Fighting to hold back tears, Cross and her sister Linda Hopkins claim that the manager of the Budget Inn in Jennings charged them for donated food and water, as well as took money from them.

“We didn’t ask for Hurricane Harvey. We’re not free loaders, you know, just treat us fair. We don’t want anything free. When we evacuated, we knew we was going to have to pay. Not knowing $1500 plus you took my $225 off my card, then you charged me for food. Where does it end?,” said Linda Hopkins.

Alicia Dolford had the same experience at the Budget Inn. She said she paid for the first night at the motel, and then the group ‘Cajun Riders,’ was going to pay for the next three nights, but the manager of the motel kicked them out at 8 a.m., before the normal 11 a.m. checkout time.

“We did not know anywhere else we could go. We only had the room for one night, so after that one night before they stepped in, we were told we had to leave,” Dolford said.

News 10 decided to get answers as we went over to the Budget Inn to get their side of the story.

“I’m not charging for any donated foods or waters, or what the people have been thinking right now,” said Peter Patel, the owner and manager of the Budget Inn.

He says they have vdeo proof that they did not charge evacuees for donated items, which he showed News 10. Patel also showed the individuals’ receipts, which he says proves that the motel owes the evacuees nothing. He also stated that it is against his policy to kick out guests before checkout time.

“Our check out time is at 11. Legally we cannot kick anyone out before 11,” said Patel.

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