Here is my scenario and then I will tell you what some of the experts say.
I checked in early via my Marriott app. I always do this because then I know if the room will be ready early. In addition, our kids started to be a bit under the weather the day we left for an overnight trip. The weather was lousy and we just wanted to rest and get some delivery dinner. The app told me they would be ready for me at 130 Pm. We arrived at 145 Pm and in fact they were ready except I got talked out of taking the room. For whatever reason, I bought into it. She said the room they had only had a view of the freeway. I didn’t really care and asked about noise. She said they had great windows so no noise. She really insisted that I come back and they would have a better room available. I asked if I came back in an hour or hour and half? She said although check in officially is 4, that yes it should be ready by 3. On a side note, I have never been made to wait to an official check in time before that I can recall.
So off we went to pick up some cold medicine and other supplies and returned at 315 PM and the room wasn’t ready. I made sure they knew what the previous gal had said since she wasn’t there. I was told in a little bit. Luckily the hotel had media pods which had a nice sofa and TV which was your own personal area. Needless to say, a couple more times checking with front desk and a hour and a half later we had a room at 452 PM. We got to our room and ordered dinner and all seemed fine.
Come to find out there was still trash in our trash can in the room, a bathroom area that had sop many spots on the closet mirror you didn’t want to look at it, bread crumbs all over the cabinet that had a toaster in it, and lipstick on a glass in the room. Not to mention at bedtime when we went to make the sofa bed for our daughter there were no clean sheets, just a wadded-up comforter and pillow in the closet. It looked as if it hadn’t been checked.
It put a bad taste in my mouth, but after waiting 3 hours for a room, I didn’t think saying anything at the time would do anything. Why? Wait for another room? I had kids that just needed to go to bed and we found these items spread out throughout the evening. I did contact Marriott via twitter and mentioned this was my worst stay at a Residence Inn or any Marriott.
Eventually I was put in contact via the manager and Marriott was proactive in contacting me before I got home even. I am curious what would have happened had I complained at the time vs when I got home and could send all the details with pictures? I felt they should have comped my night. What I got was an offer for a free night back at that same hotel. I love free travel but I am not sure I would take it at this point. I get the concept; let us show you how great our hotel can be but after an experience like that why visit again? It’s in a large city with plenty of Marriott branded hotels. I may have been comped had I complained in person, who knows. They did admit there was a housekeeping issue and possibly being short staffed. I would have liked to know that from thre beginning instead of front desk acting like they didnt know why our rooms werent ready. They kept sayign things like, "Oh I guess we have a lot of check outs today". Keep in mind winter weeknight with low rates and a hotel I guess was at least half empty if not more.
So, I researched what the experts say to do and here’s some things I discovered:
- Be specific
- Attempt at lowest level first
- Have manager step in when required
- Don’t act like your above others or flaunt status and money
- Don’t talk down to staff
As far as exact steps, USA Todat Travel puts it best in one of their articles:
Address your complaints immediately when the problem arises. For example, if your room is dirty or otherwise doesn't meet your expectations, walk down to the front desk right away to ask for a better room.
Ask to speak with the manager if the desk clerk or customer service representative doesn't do anything to fix the situation. The front desk clerk typically has some power to give you a refund, room upgrade or other options, but if you have a major problem, you may need to get the manager involved.
Explain exactly what you're complaining about, using facts rather than emotional outbursts to make your point. Remain calm as you describe why you are dissatisfied with your room or the stay at the hotel.
Tell the hotel staff member how you want the problem fixed. For example, if your room is in a noisy pool area, let the front desk clerk know that an acceptable solution would be to move you to a different part of the hotel. Keep your expectations realistic and in line with the problem. If the accommodations are truly unbearable, a full refund may be a logical solution, but for something minor such as a rude staff member or a noisy room, the hotel isn't likely to give your money back.
Document the conversations you have with staff members if the complaint isn't immediately resolved to your satisfaction. For example, if the hotel promises to refund the money to your credit card, document the date, time and name of the person who made this agreement in case the refund doesn't appear on your credit card statement. Take photos if relevant, such as in the case of a dirty room.
Follow up with a phone call, email or letter to the corporate offices of the hotel if necessary. Explain the situation with the same factual details, as well as the information about any conversations you had with hotel staffers about the problem. This keeps the corporate offices in the loop about what is happening in the hotels, and could result in a satisfactory resolution to the situation.
So as I stated I should have said something at the time. Im not a picky person and small things don't bother me, but they piled up on this stay.