Hotel issues (NYC) – in stay resolution?Back to Forum
Anonymous31 Aug 2013
Hoping that those of you about this weekend, can suggest a best course of action:
Currently at the back end of a two week US trip, and chose to spend the last two nights in NYC at the upscale chain of one hotel brand (I won’t name names, but lets call is Brand C). For the majority of the trip, I’ve stayed in hotels with my preferred hotel group (Brand A) and that of another group (Brand B). I’ve got ‘Gold tier’ membership (i.e. second from top) with all three brands.
Whilst all the hotels from Brands A & B – multiple different property types within each portfolio – have been excellent, with loyalty recognised and in room benefits (as simple as tea and coffee provided), that of this property has fallen way short of expectations – no tea/coffee/kettle, no fridge, bedside lamp not working, lack of plug sockets (and being fobbed off that there are only three sockets because more would be a fire hazard vis-a-vis no less than 10 in Brand B’s hotel, three days ago), no welcome gift (as per Gold status), as well as a couple of more specific things I won’t disclose on here.
Would anyone suggest the best course of action to raise these during the stay, or afterwards, or both? I know that others (Martyn, you spring to mind), have had success with ‘in stay resolution’. Am only here until Sunday, but would hate for the last hotel to be the last memory of an otherwise successful trip.31 Aug 2013
Ask to speak to general manager and explain your disappointments, reset your expectations and ask them if they can help you.
Leaving it until afterwards means they will have to compensate by cash, which impacts their bottom line, providing a better service is probably much less expensive and your complaint can be validated, as your are still there and can show broken lamp etc.31 Aug 2013
First step – speak to the hotel manager, outline concerns and give them a chance to address them. Things like a bedside light and tea/coffee facilities should be easily fixed. I had a case in Dubai a while back and the hotel delivered a tea tray within 5 minutes of me asking.
Are there better rooms you could move to? If there are only three sockets in every room clearly there is a challenge – the excuse is nonsense, I have just counted 10 in the room I am currently in.
I must say I generally don’t do chain hotels for this reason, loyalty programmes that talk a good game but aren’t always bought into properly by the individual properties. I much prefer independent hotels where I am remembered and my loyalty is recognised without the need for a coloured piece of plastic in my pocket.31 Aug 2013
The best course of action is to speak to the GM – however, most hotels will say, its the weekend, he/she is not here and you may be fobbed off with a 3rd line manager.
On occasions (well once), I have asked for the GM to come into the hotel on his/her weekend off to resolve an issue, which did happen in the 90’s when I had an extremely bad stay at The Grand in Brighton (TF, if you were with Centurion at the time, you may remember this as the police were also involved).
As most of you know, I am SPG through and through and generally this is a big advantage. After most hotel stays, I send a thank you to the GM and copy in my Ambassador. I know most of you will say the thank you’s should be the other way round, (i.e. hotel thanking me for my business) but I take the view that the relationship is 2 way. So when things aren’t right, or there are problems, a quick email to SPG or a GM will generally resolve matters.
I am currently in the Westin in Frankfurt (there goes my anonymity for the weekend). Most SPG stays get an email in advance with any special requests. Decent shower, desk, plug points, airconditioning, water, close to exec lounge (not the case here) etc etc are all standard room requests for me. Generally , these are all received.
As for service recovery – FDoS is spot on, Enhanced Service is the cheapest option for the hotel and this is what I go for every single time. Sure I like discounts and money back, but enhanced service wins for me hands down.. I really am too embarrassed to right on here ALL the benefits I receive at The Westin / SPG, which also includes a very nice birthday gift, sent to my home.
If you are not likely to be back in New York, Jordan, there really is not a lot you can do, but going forward, I can not recommend SPG highly enough which really does, in my case, cover all the issues you are having.
Now, please don’t tell me the hotel chain in question is SPG!!! 🙂
Have a safe trip home and hope you enjoyed the 2 weeks….31 Aug 2013
Well, funny you mention that Martyn …
Sadly, yes the chain in question was SPG, and the hotel was one of their W properties in New York (I won’t point out the individual one, as some issues were resolved and I intend on taking up the remaining ones within the organisation).
I did contact the management, and spoke with the ‘Manager-on-Duty’, who admitted the GM wasn’t about. They resolved some of the issues, fixed the light, apologised for some service areas, but were unable (my note: I say ‘unable’, as I’m not going to say ‘unwilling’ where there was a modicum of attempt to assist) to assist in others. One important area they fixed was ensuring that my internet provision was free, something that had been denied to me, *despite* it being my preferred Gold status ‘welcome gift’.
Hopefully the GM will respond to my e-mail positively and resolve the remaining issues – I do intend to return to NYC and would like to hope that this most recent experience (my first at a ‘W’ hotel) isn’t indicative of a more general attitude!
One positive tale of service recovery from earlier on the trip – one hotel where I hold only their most basic loyalty level (iPrefer’s Silver status) failed to correctly process and manage an element of my booking. On checking out, a bottle of wine was waiting by way of apology, along with a personal note. Genuinely touched, and far in excess of my expectations. So chapeau to them.3 Sep 2013
I have so far avoided W brand due to cost – would not expect there to be service issues..
Really sorry to hear that it was SPG – please do let us know how if they make a satisfactory “recovery”, especially in terms of the time it takes….3 Sep 2013
Martyn – so have I; in fact the only reason I booked the W in question was because I found an excellent rate for the two nights – far lower than I would expect and in fact lower than some mid-tier Hilton properties. I can only suppose that it had to do with the fact that NYC was quieter due to the Labor Day Weekend.
I will of course update once I hear a response.3 Sep 2013