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ATLANTA (AP) _ As many as 26,000 people who recently stayed at Holiday Inns and its sister hotels were charged 100 times what they owed because of a credit processing error.

The glitch eliminated the decimal points in bills for about half the guests who stayed at a Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express or Crowne Plaza hotel from Oct. 24 to Sunday, said Carolyn Hergert, spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Six Continents Hotels, which owns the hotel chains.

A charge of $100, for example, would have been billed as $10,000.

Hergert said the mistake was made by First Horizon Merchant Services of Englewood, Colo., which processes credit cards used by hotel guests.

Six Continents said First Horizon had contacted the credit card issuers, which were reversing the billing errors.

Six Continents also set up a hot line for customers: 1-800-621-0555. Callers should ask for Operator 28.

Overcharged guests will get two free nights at any hotel operated by the three chains, Hergert said.

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On the Net:

http://www.sixcontinentshotels.com