Sunday, November 3, 2013

From great to lousy in customer service

Last night I was trying to make a hotel reservation for my trip to Ohio. I have a particular hotel I liked and the chain was running a promotion for "Choice Club Members" where if you made the reservation on line, you'd get a 30% discount.

I had to have my club member number to take advantage of this and finally got that coordinated so I was at my computer with my card at the same time.

So I reserve the room, put in my number (holding the card in my hand) and the web site asks me to put in my username and password. There's just too many fricking usernames, but I put in the one I always use, and it wouldn't take it. Try. Try. Try. Try different things.

I call the 800-number and I have to say the guy was rude and impatient. I was pretty mellow but finally I told him to calm down. He would insist it would work, and I'd insist that it wasn't. The telephones for the Choice Club member only were open until 8 pm which seems odd for a hotel chain.

Anyway, I went ahead and made the reservation thinking I'd call the Choice Club number today and ask for the discount. Considering the time I'd invested in this reservation, I think I'd earned it.

As it turned out, and I figured this out myself -- I have a Choice Club membership but I did NOT have an online account. I don't know anyone who is active on the internet who can remember where we have accounts and where we don't. If it asks me my Username, I took that as a clue I *have* a username with them.

So I set up the online account. Then I asked the guy, really still nicely, if he could give me the 30% discount.

And that's when I went crazy. He immediately said no and started the corporate blah blah which is like nails on a black board to me... that sing-songy "this promotion is only for reservations that are made on line..."

So I said "Stop!" Then I said, "I don't want to hear the corporate line. You've said no and that's the end of it" and hung up. It sounds juvenile, even to me, but it seems so crazy to take your best customers (frequent guests), woo them constantly via email and then when you have a chance to impress them and do right by them, you treat them with no caring.


Mary said...

I'm glad you yelled at him. I get sick of the self righteousness of some of these people, as if they are doing you a favor by allowing you to buy what they are selling.

Pat said...

It did feel good to just not listen to the bull. I KNOW!!! it was for reservations made on the Internet. I also tweeted Choice Hotels and said I had 2 bad reps and they both need more training. No response yet.

Barbara said...

I hope they respond, you really deserve the discount.