T-Mobile’s CEO Really Really Cares About His Room Service (Deleted Tweets)

T-Mobile CEO John Legere, in a since-deleted tweet, declared to his 3.5 million followers that lack of a full room service menu overnight at the W Hoboken is ‘cray’.

He apparently private messaged the @SPGAssist twitter account. He did not, however, like their reply.

Those tweets were deleted as well, perhaps because it likely comes off as entitled which isn’t the image you want when you run the nation’s third largest wireless carrier with about 70 million subscribers. It makes you seem out of touch with your customers, when you’re trying to create a down-to-earth image offering service and plans to ‘disrupt’ the industry. It also might not play well with his bosses at Deutsche Telekom.

However I do think that he has a point, to a certain extent. Now, there are clearly room service options that he dubs ‘snacks’. But overnight in a pinch you can make a meal out of snacks. He wasn’t going to go hungry. This is the W not the Peninsula or Four Seasons.


W Hoboken, Credit: Starwood

And he could quickly google “Hoboken 24 hour restaurants” and come up with something like this. After all Postmates is 24 hour. Or check out Yelp’s Best 24 Hour Delivery in Hoboken.

Still, W Hotels used to aggressively promote that their service line was “Whatever/Whenever” whatever you wanted, any time, they’d get it for you.

Though they promoted stories of crazy things they did for guests in the middle of the night, it didn’t usually work out so well. I once hit the Whatever/Whenever line at the then-W San Diego around 5:15 a.m. and asked for coffee. I was told that was simply not possible before 6 a.m. What-ever. I walked several blocks to Starbucks.


    W San Diego Extreme Wow Suite Living Room

Something I learned years ago from Randy Petersen about customer service. When I first visited his office on Frequent Flyer Point in Colorado Springs he had a small training room and a printed sign said to never say ‘no,’ that should be replaced by “what I can do for you is…”

The W Hoboken should have listened to what Legere wanted, worked to understand it, and helped to come up with the best approximation within constraints including his budget. @SPGAssist should have done the same.

When I was a kid, my late father — who had been a DJ on the radio at one point — told me you don’t go on the air and talk about your golf game. Now, I violate that rule every time I write about flying first class using miles, but our audiences are different. Flying first class with miles is sort of the point of this site. Radio listeners wouldn’t connect with a DJ’s golf. And T-mobile customers wouldn’t connect with his inability to get whatever food he wanted whenever in the middle of the night.

(HT: Reid F.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Let’s also note he was expecting instant perfect responses in the middle of the night from a corporate Twitter handle.

    Why not just call the manager on duty and push for someone to get him delivery???

  2. “The W Hoboken should have listened to what Legere wanted, worked to understand it, and helped to come up with the best approximation within constraints including his budget.”

    Seriously? The hotel should give in the demands of an over-entitled CEO whining on social media? How is it the hotel’s fault that he flew all day, and couldn’t be bothered to get food? How is it the hotel’s fault in this day and age that a tech CEO can’t use any of the myriad of online resources to order himself some delivery?

    Come on. There’s a menu. He didn’t like it. End of story.

  3. I’m probably in a distinct minority, but taking customer service advice from Randy Petersen, to me, is like taking advice on effective Tweeting from Donald Trump.

  4. What a whiner. Life is full of small disappointments. No need to rant like a child on twitter about it. #growupcrybaby

  5. @Bob what he’s paying for at an upscale hotel isn’t just a bed, it’s support to make him more comfortable and effective. It’s not ‘giving into demands’ it’s ‘listening to what their customer needs and, as an experienced local guide, helping to figure out how to meet that need.’ As I say that might be as simple as “we found these restaurants open and Postmates will pick up from there.” They know the local terrain he doesn’t.

  6. In the grand scheme of customers, this CEO came nothing close to entitled. I would’ve let the tweets stay up – they further validate the account as the CEO’s authentic, unfiltered, personal voice.

    As to the substance of the complaint – I don’t use room service, but if I did, I would certainly be dismayed that a full-service hotel in a very large metro area cannot provide in-house meals 24 hours a day. Even my undergraduate dining halls served up hot wings, burgers, and fries until 2:00 a.m.

  7. Gary: what you are saying is that because he didn’t like the room service options, the hotel needs to help him as a service. That’s b.s.

    He’s obviously adept at modern tech as he’s able to whine on twitter. Get on yelp…find some delivery.

    The fact that he’s on twitter rather than calling the concierge desk shows that he’s more interested in complaining than in getting help. The hotel going out of its way to cater to his whining just encourages the behavior.

    I stayed 100+ nights in hotels this year, I understand the concept of hotel service.

  8. Tweeting is not the most effective approach, but I agree that the complaint is valid. One of the reasons I always opt for a luxury category hotel is the availability of 24 hr room service–which that hotel and the W brand do advertise. If the W brand wants to consider itself in the luxury market, then it needs to deliver on that promise–and mere snacks do not meet the standard.

    I’ve been there (but not at that hotel). I’ve complained. I’ve had some resolution in some places and none in others. I respond by staying where I’m treated well.

  9. Just how hard is it to have staff who can cook up a meal 24×7? Not very. Raise room rates $1 a night and you’d pay for it. I don’t use room service very often, but when I do, it’s usually because it’s late, I’m tired, and want something in my stomach after a long stressful day. Seems exactly the situation Legere was in – he was fully justified at being irritated at not being able to order something decent at an upscale property.

  10. The entitlement attitude here is hilarious if not surprising. Essentially people are siding with John because the hotel and twitter support wouldn’t be his b***h.

    Then again im on a travel blog about first class flying, so its to be expected.

  11. If this was anyone else and not a CEO, they wouldn’t be calling him names and saying he’s acting like an entitled brat…but of course, then it wouldn’t be news right? I gotta say it, I cannot count the number of times (and I’m not a frequent traveler as much as I’d like to be) I’ve arrived in a place only to find NOTHING substantial to eat at the hotel, no delivery available or none available after 9 pm, etc. and while you may not expect much at a budget property but at higher end properties, you do. Don’t know what the rate is there, but seriously, what is the difference between a Best Western, Comfort Suites, Mariott, W or various hotels? The so called quality of the property, location of course, better linens? better food? ON SITE FOOD? I don’t expect a restaurant at a Motel 6. I would expect it at a W. And if you book a room thinking it will have room service, you have a long, tiring day, you want to just go to your room, grab some decent food (not a bag of chips) and relax…..it doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO or the salesman from Cleveland, you just want that and sometimes it just feels better to complain when you don’t get what you were expecting! Come on give the guy a break!

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