Following the lead of the airline industry, hotels are increasingly imposing no-refund rules on discounted rooms. For anyone not paying attention, it's easy to get burned. Cy Yavuzturk, chairman of the mechanical engineering department at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, booked a low rate at the Dupont Circle Hotel on for a Department of Energy meeting in Washington, D.C., last month. The three-day reservation totaled $868 and was charged to his credit card. When the DOE canceled the meeting, Mr. Yavuzturk was left paying $868 for nothing—a heavy cancellation penalty. "I'm 50 years old and I've been traveling a long time, and this has never happened to me," he said. He called Expedia and the hotel several times to complain, but "it was just, 'We're sorry. We're not going to give you a penny back.'" Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal (free content)