I’ve always thought that the best way to complain to a travel provider was to be concise, stick to the facts, leave out extraneous details and minor annoyances. And if possible, ask clearly for what respoinse you believe is warranted.
Often on Flyertalk, on Tripadvisor, and elsewhere you’ll see long rants about the taxi ride to the airport as part of a complaint to the airline. Those are just beside the point, they make it harder to get through the letter andundersand the point. And usually the complaints are being read by customer service center agents who aren’t equipped to decipher complex arguments. You want to make it as simple as possible for the person reading your complaint to digest it, put it into the appropriate category, and act.
And yet… I read this complaint from PointsWizard about the Crowne Plaza Long Island. It’s full of just the kind of extraneous detail that I would have avoided. And yet… it worked, he got a full refund and then some. And yet.. he’s somehow still not satisfied.
Complaint #1 was that the hotel was hard to find. Ok, perhaps there’s constructive criticism but it had an address, the hotel website has directions, and Rich had a GPS, how difficult could it really have been?
Then it took him a long time to find a parking space. As we’ll see later, the hotel was booked solid.
Then check-in was “slow” but this isn’t defined. How long did it take? What seemed to be the problem? Was there a long line and not enough staff, or did the staff member just seem confused?
He got his room, apparently went inside but couldn’t lock the bottom lock. The hotel said they were sold out so they were going to fix the problem instead of just sending him to another room. But since the problem couldn’t be fixed quickly and easily they assigned him to another, better room.
His complaint? The hotel must have lied about being sold out, since they were able to change rooms for him (umm… no they just wanted to fix the room rather than re-assign him, since they expected to be full), and shouldn’t he have gotten the better room from the start? It has a microwave and a refrigerator! (Now, there’s no mention of Priority Club status, he’s staying on points, and the hotel is sold out. He’s complaining that he was moved to a better room..?)
But wait.. the new room isn’t better! The old room had real glasses, the new room just styrofoam cups! What kind of establishment are they running here??
And there’s no backup roll of toilet paper in the bathroom! And only decaf coffee was free in-room, you had to buy a $2 cup of regular downstairs if that’s what you wanted!
The priceless conclusion?
I received points because I was a Hilton Honors member I guess to try to win my business – If this is an example of your hotels would you even want to stay in this one?
Well, good to know that he’s a Hilton HHonors member, but this is a Priority Club property. And somehow Priority Club decided that they’d refund all his points and give him an additional 10,000 points.
But what does he think of this rather generous response from Priority Club?
That was a poor response knowing someone complained to IHG corporate office.
If your trying to get people to try your hotels and there is a problem you should go out of your way to make them happy not angry
Everything I thought I knew about complaining was wrong.