I’ve written about my tendency to complain when things don’t go perfectly. My friends think I go out of my way to the point that I’m being trivial and cheap. Each individual has his own threshold for when he should or should not voice dissatisfaction when something doesn’t go as it should.
For example, last week in Scottsdale I was annoyed that it wasn’t sunny for the pool on Sunday. Instead it was rainy and cold. The weather is clearly the hotel’s responsibility and I shouldn’t have to pay for the room if I can’t enjoy the amenities like the rooftop pool in late April. I voiced my complaints to the general manager about the weather and he said he could do nothing about it. Immediately I was on the phone with corporate trying to get a refund on my stay.
Granted sometimes things do not go according to plan. Sometimes the shower runs cold, the air conditioner doesn’t work, or the bill comes out higher than it should. Great hotels immediately recognize these problems and do their very best to rectify them. This could be something as simple as an apology, a couple of drink tickets, or changing rooms if the situation is that bad. Bad hotels ignore the guest’s issue, say they will follow-up, or overtly blame the guest for the problem.
Contentious front-desk staff take a small situation like hotel weather and turn it into a big deal with their apathetic responses and unfriendly demeanor. It’s after these encounters I feel that I have no choice but to regress into my eight year old tattletale self and invoke the famous words, “I would like to speak with your manager.” From there I move on to corporate and become a thorn in the side of everyone out of principle.
Why do hotels choose to fight with guests or ignore guests’ complaints is beyond me. It only results in bad publicity, irate TripAdvisor reviews, and more complaints from bloggers like me.
A little bit of humanity goes a long way.