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I had an onsite interview two months ago. I was offered the job, but I received a better offer so I declined this one. It's been two months since then, but I haven't received my trip reimbursement.

I called them, emailed them, and finally they told me that I shouldn't have stayed an extra day. I flew there the day before the interview, my interview was scheduled in the noon of the second day, and I flew back on the third day.

What should I do next?

closed as off-topic by Dukeling, gnat, Michael Grubey, Masked Man, Mister Positive Jul 5 '17 at 11:48

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  • I'm not sure I understand "my problem was that I should not stay one more day." So you stayed two nights when they think you should have only stayed one? They should still be reimbursing you for your flights and one hotel night. Do you have a written agreement that you would be reimbursed for travel costs? – David K Jul 3 '17 at 17:10
  • Before my trip, they didn't tell me that I should only stay one night. I do have a written agreement that I would be reimbursed for travel costs, and I already forwarded them the email. I'm worried that this happened was because I declined the offer. – Jen Karm Jul 5 '17 at 9:40
  • Have they refused to reimburse you for any travel costs or just for the extra night? – David K Jul 5 '17 at 11:59
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The company made it clear in their most recent communication that they were expecting you to stay one night and you stayed two. In this case, I think you are pretty clearly in the wrong.

Normal business travel etiquette is to fly out the night before and leave the last day business is conducted. If you're being reimbursed, it's on you to communicate any deviation: You want to tack on a personal trip to the beginning or end, the meeting ends such that same-day travel isn't an option, you are staying with friends and don't need a hotel or car, etc. Any added costs are your responsibility (The flight out on Friday is $100 and the flight out on Sunday is $500, you pay $400.). Depending on company policy, any savings may be yours as well (A hotel is typically $150 but you're staying with family, you may be able to claim that $150 or expense $150 in host/hostess gift, meals, etc.).

Revise your reimbursement request to subtract a night at the hotel, any additional car rental costs (including gas, if reimbursed), any food or drink for the 3rd day, etc. I don't know of any way to look up historical flight prices, but hopefully a flight out the following day wasn't substantially more expensive. However, if the company is able to provide evidence that the flight was more expensive, reduce your reimbursement request accordingly.

Provide the new request to the company and apologize for your mistake.


There are two mistakes that led to your current predicament.

  1. You paid for your own travel. Why in the world is the company not scheduling and paying for the airfare and lodging up-front? Expecting a potential hire to float hundreds of dollars just for the privilege of interviewing is a good way to scare off candidates. Any company/opportunity that requires you to put down money up-front has a high likelihood of being a scam, though it doesn't sound like your current situation is a scam. If you get any money back, consider yourself incredibly lucky and never make this mistake again.

  2. You and the company were not transparent about your expectations for what this trip entailed. The company likely expected you to fly out in the evening after the interview, but they didn't communicate this expectation to you (or they did and it's your mistake). This causes an issue of an extra hotel night and possibly different airfare costs for the next day. You didn't properly communicate with the company to learn their expectations and/or understand the reimbursement policy.

  • Lots of possible scenarios. I once had a job interview where the company said there would be a paid ticket waiting for me at the airport, but when I got there, the ticket hadn't been paid for. The plan was that I was going to fly out early morning, so while I tried to call their office no one was in yet. So I went ahead and paid for the ticket. They did reimburse me no problem. – Jay Jul 4 '17 at 6:14
  • How do you know that they "made it clear" that they were expecting him to stay one night? Maybe they did and maybe they didn't. In any case, if I was in that position I think I'd just say, Ok, whatever, at least reimburse me for the one night and the plane fare. – Jay Jul 4 '17 at 6:15
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    Thank you Chris and Jay. They did not make it clear that I shoud only stay one night before my trip. And they only gave me 5 days to book everything before my interview. I also told them that they can subtract the expenses of the last day from the reimbursement, but they are delaying and delaying to pay me back. I'm worried that they're delaying my reimbursement is because I declined their offer. – Jen Karm Jul 5 '17 at 9:46
  • @Jay I updated the first sentence. By"made it clear" I was referring to after the fact, not beforehand. – Chris G Jul 5 '17 at 13:30
  • the overwhelming lesson here is "Why in the world is the company not scheduling and paying for the airfare and lodging up-front?" Indeed, never - ever - ever - pay for your own travel. – Fattie Jul 5 '17 at 13:52

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