My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: New York
I stayed at hotel for 5 weeks in Albany-NY. The hotel was smoke free hotel. I used to smoke in my car and put the butts into the water filled bottle. I used to throw it into trash located outside after parking my car and before getting into the hotel. But one day I forgot to throw the bottle into trash outside and left the bottle with me and brought it to my room. I naturally threw it into trash of the room. It was happened 1 week before checking out the hotel. I saw during check out in the morning that they charged $250 for smoking in the room. I did not so much time argue with hotel manager because of being about missing international flight in the morning. They showed me a picture that showed a butt on a white background and they said that the photo was taken in my room. I sent an email to GM and other responsible people to explain that those butts were not there because of smoking in the room. but the answer was that there were still smoke odor so they could not hire again this room for following 3 days after I checked out . so they refused to refund the money back.
it is the story. here are my questions.
1. can finding a butts be an evidence to blame someone smoking in the room?
2. Is taking a photo in my room when I was not in and without my permission ethic ? Do hotel management have a right to take photo or record video without my permission when my personal documents were in the room? can I sue them to attack my privacy?
3. According to hotel management; intensive smoke odor caused not to hire room again for 3 days. of course it is not true. I must smoked lot of cigarette to have that much smoke odor for 3 days that must have activate the smoke detectors. it only shows that I did not smoke in the room. all those things sound unreasonable.
even if there is smoke odor do they have a right to charge money. smoke free means smoking in the hotel is forbidden. it is not forbidden to make the room smoke odor.
4. is it acceptable to be informed this status during checking out? the event occurred 1 week before I checked out.but they did not warn or informed me at that day and wait till checking out day when I did not so much time to discuss the details.
which way should I follow to get my money back? I do not live in US but come to US 3 times a year. how can I kick off o court or sue issues while I am in my home country.?