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To think this hotel response really isn't good enough?

(14 Posts)
Craphotel Thu 28-Mar-19 10:13:56

I recently organised a corporate function at a city hotel (part of a chain). A considerable amount of money (approx £15k) was spent.

Unfortunately there were a number of issues, the function room was not set up in good time by hotel staff so we had to start later than planned, the food was not as requested, some dishes were cold, and one option (which we had specifically ordered) was not provided. Wine bottles were cleared when still half full, and a number of people were given rooms that hadn't been cleaned properly or at all. There's other stuff as well but that's most of it.

We had paid in full for the event including wine, the food that wasn't provided etc in advance. So when we complained as a very minimum I was expecting a refund for those dishes.

All we have been offered is a fairly half hearted apology and a small discount on future events. AIBU to think this is pretty shoddy? There is no way anyone in our company will use the venue again so the discount is meaningless. But I can't believe this is their best offer...at first they didn't even offer that just a sorry the evening didnt meet your expectations!

VeraWangTwang Thu 28-Mar-19 10:17:33

Bloody hell, that's a lot of things to go wrong. I'd be complaining very strongly to their HO if they don't have a rethink

viques Thu 28-Mar-19 10:29:52

The hotel company will have a Twitter account. Use it. Name the hotel, list the problems.

LordVoldetort Thu 28-Mar-19 10:32:53

Who did you speak to at the hotel? Is it a big hotel or a privately owned one (can you get private hotels?)

I would be complaining up the ladder. For the amount you spent that is quite a lot to go wrong. I’m guessing as it was for business use it was organised with enough time for them to have known your specifications?

oh4forkssake Thu 28-Mar-19 10:36:00

Not at all. Complain to their head office (if it's a big group they may be a franchise) and then if you don't get anywhere, name and shame on social media.

CosyAsAToasty Thu 28-Mar-19 10:40:47

A few things - did you do a menu and wine tasting before you confirmed the menu? Were you early enough on-site to check all was in order? Did you give the hotel a running order? Did you check that you bought the wine, or was it on sale or return basis? Did you agree in advance on the amount of wine to be served. Did you sign a day rate contract with the hotel? Did you have a collective agreement on the hotel rooms? Did you demand a replacement for the cold dishes during the dinner, or did you complain afterwards? Same with dirty hotel rooms, did you ask for your guests to be moved to another room that was cleaned properly.

sorry, just lots of questions that spring to mind.

WhatchaMaCalllit Thu 28-Mar-19 10:43:30

First off - find out who was the duty manager on at the time of the event. Contact the Hotel Manager or the Area Manager and work your way up from there. Let them know that you're not satisfied with their response of a small discount on future events (which is unlikely to ever be used by you or your company because you've lost all trust in how they can plan and hold events), so you are looking for compensation as you have highlighted that rooms were not ready in time, food specifically ordered was not available even though you paid for it ahead of time and the event room wasn't set up in time. These things present a poor image of the hotel and hotel chain and wouldn't entice you to book with them ever again.
Don't forget that TripAdvisor is your friend in situations like this...but I'd only post there if I didn't get any satisfaction by dealing with the Manager of the hotel and if they can't sort it for you.

AnneOfCleanTables Thu 28-Mar-19 10:46:46

I agree with all of Cosy 's questions. Plus was someone actually managing the event for your company during the event? I've organised numerous events and I would have dealt with the issues as they arose on the night (having also arrived early to ensure everyone was clear on the schedule,the menu,the drinks, the room standards, etc).
You need to complain again with a breakdown of what financial compensation you expect. But you also need to be clear on how they were responsible.

Brilliantidiot Thu 28-Mar-19 10:47:42

I'd email the general manager and list everything that went wrong, and ask for a partial or full refund on the parts that were wrong. Dirty rooms need a full refund. Food not served - full refund. Late start - partial refund. Wine - partial refund (though you have no proof the bottles were half empty, might not get that) other things depending on what they are.

It sounds to me like someone forgot you were coming and what you got was thrown together. I've had it happen, someone forgets to forward an email and all hell breaks loose when people turn up expecting something you haven't prepared. The people who organise and plan these things often forget the set up staff aren't psychic and mistakes happen. However everywhere I've ever worked would have levelled with you when you arrived and negotiated a discount/refund on what wasn't provided.
Refuse to settle for discount off future bookings and mention
Trip advisor.
Facebook.
Twitter.
Usually gets them moving.
Go to head office if it's a chain.

And
(can you get private hotels?)

Yeah, I work in one. Quite often service and complaint resolution are better in independent hotels because they rely more heavily on good reviews than big household names.

Purplecatshopaholic Thu 28-Mar-19 10:55:18

Blimey. Tripadvisor, Twitter, Facebook, speak to senior management. No way I would put up with that. They may have been struggling for staff but was not your problem

Craphotel Thu 28-Mar-19 11:20:29

The event was booked about 6-8 months in advance and paid for in full several weeks before. The hotel had all our requirements from the outset although a few details were changed nearer the time, and they also had the running order (but didn't stick to it in terms of food service - another issue!). For about the last 4 weeks before the event I was in daily contact with the hotel events manager around the fine details.

All rooms were pre-booked and paid for, as was wine, food etc.

On the day I arrived 6 hours before our function was due to start and was assured everything was in hand. I did flag that the function room was not set up as had been promised - I was told it would be done in time (it wasn't).

Those colleagues given dirty rooms or cold food raised their concerns with staff at the time, food was replaced but for rooms they had to wait for these to be cleaned (this is despite many guests not being able to check in for an hour or so after arrival anyway!). I wasn't made aware of these issues until the next day, ditto the wine (some colleagues saw this being taken away on the night but assumed wine was sale or return, it wasn't). I didn't realise one of the dishes wasn't served on the night as I was doing a lot of other running around basically MCing the event.

All concerns were raised in writing a few days later to hotel manager (and reference made to the fact most of these were raised with staff at the time too) it is the manager who has made the derisory offer.

Craphotel Thu 28-Mar-19 11:23:24

Just to add its a big hotel, several hundred rooms although our booking was for over 90 rooms.

Brilliantidiot Thu 28-Mar-19 11:24:53

If you can go higher then do, if not (if it's independent) email back and say you're not willing to accept the offer, and they didn't fulfill their side. And if no resolution is found then you will write a truthful review on social media etc.

tardyheart Thu 28-Mar-19 11:51:38

I used to work in Hotels, and would say this is not good enough.

Some large chains have Guest Relationship departments and there normally is an Area General Manager, who will oversee the hotel's GM.
I would find their details and put in writing all your complaints and the response that you have received. How the problems impacted on the event and your company, and any future business with the group. Give them a reasonable time frame to respond to you & say how you will escalate it further - ie social media, small claims, solicitors letter

Put the names of the people you have interacted with, copies of the receipts, any correspondence & contracts signed. Be as factual and as detailed as you can, bullet-ing each issue helps. Try to have an idea what compensation you would be happy with, as this is sometimes what they will ask you.

From my experience the hotel will want to sort this out as cleanly and quickly as possible, any escalation will want to be avoided. They won't want to get into dispute with a good paying customer with a valid, well laid out and evidenced complaint.

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