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Complaints?

So... after all the uproar over a previous entry here from a guest with a list of complaints... I thought I'd post this. Many people thought that entry shouldn't have been posted (And I personally agree... but that's besides the point) while a few apreciated the 'constructive criticism'. So here I am to gather opinions from all of you in hopes that perhap other travelers might read this and pick up some tips.

What do you all think is the best way for a guest to deal with various problems at your hotel?

I know there are many different property sizes represented here, all with different staffing issues, so some things are going to be handled differently. I just think it'd be nice to give the travelers tips on how best to deal with things. Though I'm asking for everyone elses thoughts and opinions, I'm including my own as well.



Mind you, these thoughts go in no particular order...

-Deal with problems as they happen. That's why there's usually someone on staff at all times, to deal with things as they occur. If you have a problem with your room at check in, whatever it may be, do NOT wait until checkout the next morning to let us know. It's quite likely we would've been able to fix the issue, whatever it may be. In my opinion, if you take away our chance to fix your problem, why should you be compensated for it?

-Don't book through internet sites that offer you dirt cheap fares. You really do get what you pay for. If you must book through the internet, use a hotel's brand website. They are much more reliable. Not all problems with these reservations are the fault of the front desk, believe it or not. The discount websites are very misleading. They would sell you a cot in the basement of the hotel if they could.

-Many hotels strive to be something like your home away from home... but we are still a business. It is our job to sell rooms. You do not get to dictate who goes where, what rooms well sell, etc. If for some reason you have special needs, make them known up front. Perhaps you are a light sleeper? If you let us know in advance, we can try to accomodate you. A room off in the corner somewhere is going to be more quiet than one smack in the middle of the hotel. If you prefer not to be around groups.. make that known as well. I know not all travlers (if any) know when something is going to be going on at the hotel, so it doesn't hurt to ask. We won't point and laugh at you, we promise. We really do try to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

-Again, we want you to feel at home, but we are not your home. Do not behave like an idiot, even if you behave like that at home. We do not babysit children.. we do not babysit adults, either. Don't let your kids run wild in the lobby or all over the hotel, and expect the front desk person to keep a constant eye on them. We have other work to do. While I'm sure no desk agent would stand by and watch little billy try to stick a fork in the light socket and not do anything, we can't be everywhere, watching everything. Our main focus is to watch the desk, not your child. If you're an adult and you chose to get hammered, please do so as responsibly as you can. We can't keep an eye on you, either. Also, do not become complete and utter slobs. Don't trash your room just because you aren't the one that has to clean it up. While I'm not saying you need to keep your room sparkling clean.. if you wouldn't want to clean the mess up yourself, don't make it.

-Please have all your information ready at check-in or when you make a reservation. Things go MUCH more smoothly, and it really does avoid a lot of problems. When you make a reservation most properties, if not all, require your dates of stay (you'd be surprised how many people I've spoken to who aren't sure about this), your name, address, phone number, and a credit card to guarantee the reservation. The more information you can provide us at once, the better, and it's less likely to cause problems later on. If you need a special type of room (handicapped, wheelchair accessible), or even prefer to be on a certain floor, it's best to give this information when the reservation is made rather than waiting until you show up. It's less likely (though not impossible) that we will be able to accomodate your needs if we are not given any prior notice.

-Upon checkout, once you get your receipt, actually look at it. If you don't understand it, ask. Though it may take a minute or two extra, it saves a great deal of headache later on if there is a problem. The longer you wait to notify us of a problem (incorrect charge, charged to the wrong card, etc), the harder it is to fix. Often if the problem is caught the day of checkout, it's quite easy to fix. Once it runs through audit things get a tad more difficult. If you have had problems in the past with your card being charged twice, or if you booked through the internet and are concerned about your card being charged instead, ask which card was charged at checkout if your receipt doesn't show the last four digits of the card number. Sometimes it is not printed due to security reasons, but the desk agent should be able to tell.

-If for some reason, you don't notice the problem until later, use common sense in trying to get it fixed. Call during normal business hours. Most of the time when it comes to issuing credits and whatnot, it has to go through a manager anyways, so if you call at 11 p.m., chances are that staff member, even if she or he knows how to do it, is not going to be able to without a managers approval, and it will have to wait. Please also understand that different properties opperate differently. Sometimes just asking for the manager will get your problem solved. Sometimes, especially with larger properties, you may have to speak to someone in an accounting department. It's best just to state your problem, and then ask who you should speak with. Don't assume the first person you talk to is going to be able to solve all your problems. If, for some reason the person you need to speak to isn't available at that very moment, please don't get cranky. There are many things that go on in a hotel, and often times they are understaffed so people have to be several places at one time. We can't just wait by the phone for someone to call. If you don't wish to leave a message, ask for the best time to call back, and then do so.

-We know problems frustrate you, they frustrate us as well. Please try to remain calm in trying to get your problem fixed. We really do appreciate kindness. While I hate to admit that there are some people we don't want to help... it's true. If you yell and scream and pitch a fit, it really doesn't make me want to listen to you, at all. Don't think that if you yell louder, it will make me work faster. It won't. However, if you are nice and understanding, I'll do all I can to help you as quickly as possible to get you back on your way.

I'm sure I could write more, but I don't want to bore you all with a mile long entry. Anyone else have any contributions?



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Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
angelsdemise
Apr. 26th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
This is more specific to my particular property but...

- Try and realize that when we say we are the only two people who work here, that we really are the only two people working here. We don't have the luxury of a 50 person staff to deal with everything at once and we try and deal with things in order of their severity. If you're having a problem with your remote control that is going to come well after someone who had a shower door fall out.
wasabikyo
Apr. 26th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC)
I think that applies to a lot of properties represented here, but especially yours. I honestly don't see how you do it. I'm amazed by your talent.. or patience.
angelsdemise
Apr. 26th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
Haha, thanks! I'm amazed by it some days too.

Lots of alcohol and casino gambling close by help, lol.
gwoman8920
Apr. 26th, 2007 03:16 am (UTC)
When you check in, please don't hold up the line by asking usless questions. I wold be more than happy to give you directions, but as a coutesy please ask me once the other ten people behind you have checked in. It will only take me four minutes to check them in. be kind and wait.
bkmichele
Apr. 26th, 2007 04:24 am (UTC)
Don't try to explain the mechanics of a jacuzzi to me. If you think the jets aren't powerful enough, ask me if there is something my maintenance guy can do. I don't understand mechanical shit and even if you explain it to me it is not going to get it fixed because I am not going near the sleazy jacuzzi. Not after my security guard found the homeless guy taking a bubble bath in it!
kylephoto760
Apr. 26th, 2007 08:20 am (UTC)
You say homeless guy and I start thinking of the Bumfights videos. Hmmm.....
solastsummer66
Apr. 26th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC)
LISTEN. Most of the stuff you are asking about, I already explained. ESPECIALLY HOW TO USE THE KEY. I can't tell how many times I've gone through "Ok, you're in room 203 on the second floor just up those stairs to the right" only to have someone be like "What room? Where? How do I get there?"
renne
Apr. 26th, 2007 05:34 am (UTC)
In my opinion, if you take away our chance to fix your problem, why should you be compensated for it?

That's a really, really good point. Because oh man, there's nothing that pisses me off than guests coming and complaining at check out about stuff that could have easily been solved if they'd let us know when the problem happened.

This goes for other guests being noisy too. If you don't call reception then we can't tell them to be quiet. We only have a night manager who is awake the night shift on weekends, so there is no one to go out and monitor noise levels in the courtyard. If you call reception however, the night manager during the week will get up and come and tell off those making the noise, because they don't like their sleep getting disturbed either.
lesleykajira
Apr. 26th, 2007 09:31 am (UTC)
Realize that while it's true that my hotel let's ANY of its employess help you with ANYTHING, chances are, the housekeeper is still a person who knows cleaning best, the sales people are going to know prices better than a maintenance guy, and the maintenance guy will know more about the hole in your ceiling than the business center lady.

It's okay to come to ANY of us and say "there's a hole in my ceiling". We will have it fixed. Just don't expect the person you spoke to to whip out the plaster and drywall tape. i'm sorry, but you will have to wait a LITTLE bit. i'm not even talking HOURS...just 30-45 minutes - IF THAT, but there won't be any teleportation.

Go enjoy the pool, or the work out room, or take a carriage ride. Come back, and it will be fixed.
sullivanlane
Apr. 26th, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
My biggest one is:

DON'T LIE. If you have stayed here twice in the past five years, don't say "I stay here every other week, and I get X price for a suite ALWAYS."

If you have never made a reservation before, tell me instead of getting mad because I asked you for a credit card or because I told you we don't have rooms with four double beds and a kitchenette.

If you made a mistake, tell me and I will try to fix it. Don't say you did one thing and "the computer" or "the internet" or "the incompetent reservations agent/front desk supervisor/whoever" is the one who screwed it up. 9 times out of 10, you're lying to me and making it harder to help you get what you need. JUST APOLOGIZE, TELL THE TRUTH and I WILL FIX IT.

For meeting planners, READ THE DAMN CONTRACT. All of it. If you have questions on it, ask the sales manager. Otherwise, you're not allowed to ask "what is attrition?" after your group has checked out.
blueashke
Apr. 26th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
Well since this was posted, I do have a question for you guys. I greatly enjoy reading this community (the good and the bad) despite not working in the hotel industry.

My question is this: While I agree that you shouldn't get angry or combative about an issue not being resolved when you didn't let the staff know there was a problem, I'm a very easy going person. I may notice a problem with a lamp or something, shrug it off, and mention it as I'm leaving.

I don't expect compensation, but how can I best let the staff know that? It wasn't important enough to me to get it fixed when I was just going to sleep and then leave in the morning, but I know the next person may bitch and moan all over the place.

Also, a question I never remember to ask, what's a good standard on tipping housekeeping? I've never known.
ex_dragones
Apr. 26th, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
Just tell whoever is at the desk, "this wasn't a big deal to me but I wanted to let you know that the lamp in my room had a bad bulb in it." As long as you let the FD know that you aren't expecting compensation they'll probably just apologize for the inconvenience and say they'll leave a note for engineering.
blueashke
Apr. 26th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
Cool, thanks!
shyinga72
Apr. 26th, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
Just say this, "It wasn't an issue for me, but you might want to check the lamp in room 122, it wasn't working". Most people will apologize and thank you. If you don't make a big deal out of it, they won't. Let's face it, no one wants to give service recovery. If they offer it, say that's it's not necessary, that you had a great stay, and wanted to give them a heads up so they could fix it between guests.

Often when I offer 100%'s to some of my guests, they'll decline it, because their company pays for it anyway, and they want the extra points.
shyinga72
Apr. 26th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
My #1 is: BE NICE! The nicer someone is, the more I'm willing to do for them. Don't be a jerk to me at check-in, while I'm smiling and trying to be helpful, then expect me to do you a favor. The more abrasive you are, the less likely you are to get your way. We are understanding if someone is tired, hungry, frustrated... but if that's the case, be polite, take your key and walk away. If there is a small problem with your rate, information-point it out-don't act like I just stole your wallet. People tend to make much adeiu about nothing. Treat someone like you expect to be treated.

#2 Don't accuse us of being a thief. We don't want your cell phone charger, Kate Spade bag with your vibrator (even though you said it had ipod charger and sunglasses, the one I mailed to you had a vibrator and several other sex toys... we referred to it as the "Dildo Bag"), or a pair of dirty tennis shoes.

#3 While I'm at it, how about... Don't be a thief!! Sure our pillows are wonderful, but don't feel free to take it with you when you leave. Those are the same people who then bitch about how high our rates are the next time they stay.





ex_dragones
Apr. 26th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
Here's one!

Don't stay at a three star hotel and expect four/five star service.

I've worked for three star chain hotels and a four star luxury hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, where we had a concierge, and I've noticed that guests expect the same kind of service in both places. The difference is in the four star hotel I was paid to call taxis for guests, make their dinner reservations, know the area and make recommendations, etc. We bent over backwards for our guests because we were PAID to do it. At the chains... not so much, yet for some reason guests still expected me to act as concierge and cater to their every whim. (I didn't mind doing it in some cases if I was slow anyway but that isn't the point.) If you want four/five star service pay more and stay at a four/five star hotel.
redarc1
Apr. 26th, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Complaints?
Yes Yes Yes.. to all the above! lol - Guests would be smart to do some reasearch too, almost every hotel has a website of some kind and describes to a degree what amenities they offer or anything that's going on at the hotel(such as renovations). If the website doesn't have the answer, call the hotel and ask.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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