By Kurtis Ming

A Vacaville woman made hotel reservations online through a third party website. When the website cancelled her reservation, she called Kurtis.

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Toni Staniewicz booked a room online for a trip to Red Bluff but the company later called her and said the hotel was over-booked. (credit: CBS13)

She was headed to Red Bluff for an annual horse event. Just a week out, cancelled her reservation, saying the hotel was overbooked.

How can this happen?

Toni Staniewicz is a horse enthusiast.

“Other people have dogs, I have horses,” says Toni.

Every year in January, she attends the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale with her friends and family.

A couple of weeks before the event, she booked a room through She paid $179.75 for three nights.

“Everything was done, the rooms were booked, I had my confirmation and everything,” says Toni.

But a few days later, Toni got a call from the website, saying her reservation was cancelled because the hotel was oversold.

“This is not happening. I felt like it was my worst nightmare come true,” says Toni.

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Hotel Plus offered to find her another hotel but Toni says the rates were three times as much.

“Wow, well she definitely has a case,” says Stuart Talley, a consumer attorney with KCR Legal.

Talley says there’s a California law called Consumer Legal Remedies Act, keeping companies from over-selling rooms.

“You can’t overbook a room and if you do, you’re responsible as a company, you’re responsible for any damages that are caused by that,” says Talley.

We contacted Hotel Plus, based in Orlando, Florida.

In an email, they blamed the error on the hotel itself, saying:

“All information, including rates and inventory is managed directly by each hotel. … It was their oversight that resulted in the sold out state.”

M Star Hotel, the hotel in question here, admitted to us they did have a computer problem that caused the overbooking.

After a last-minute cancellation, the hotel was able to accommodate her for that lower price for two nights.

“I’m glad that it finally turned out the way it needed to,” says Toni.

Since Toni’s original booking was with the website, Hotel Plus did offer to give her a coupon for a future stay.

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For anyone booking a room, it’s always a good idea to call the hotel directly to make sure the room is really there, even though you have a reservation.