February 19, 2007

speak up, get free hotel night (or the equivalent of)

This past Friday, I went up to Boston to meet a client for dinner and a show (he's a comedian and part of an improv group). I got up there in mid-afternoon, and after checking in, called down to the hotel's concierge to arrange for a cab.

When I went downstairs at the pre-arranged time to meet my cab, no one was there. I asked the concierge if the cab had been confirmed and while she said it was, it actually turned out not to have been the case. Long story short, no car ever showed up, I had to flag down a regular cab (who also tried to scam me, but that's a story for another blog), and I ended up leaving the hotel 45 minutes after I planned. Thankfully, the client was understanding and there were no ill effects on that relationship.

At the end of the night, when I returned to the hotel, I decided to speak to the manager to voice my displeasure. I recapped the story, and the manager was very sympathetic. So much so that she decided to give me enough points for a free night at their hotel (I'm a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest program). Needless to say, I was very happy.

The concierge showed poor customer service (after I asked her to re-confirm the cab reservation, she asked me to give her a minute and she took that time to help two other guests make dinner reservations, even though I was already very late). Her manager, however, showed tremendous commitment to service, and was able to turn an unhappy customer into one who's sharing the "win" on his blog. =)

My moral of the story: It pays to speak up. You may get a free night out of it.

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