UPDATE: Before you read this blog (which was posted on Saturday the 8th), I’d like to give an update. I was contacted by John, the Director of Customer Advocacy at the Marriott Hotels. He contacted me when he heard of my complaint. He handled the situation with concern and professionalism. He also made the matter right in the best way I think he could. All companies make mistakes, attempting to make it right says a lot about a company. Thanks John for your follow up.
Just yesterday I wrote about the great experience I had at the Apple Store in Southern California and now one day later I have a great example of how NOT to treat a customer. I’ve been staying at the Marriott Desert Springs Vacation Villas in Palm Desert for the last several days. I brought more than a dozen members of my executive management team here for a 3 day strategic planning meeting during which time we had all our meals on site, some golfed on site and some used the hotel’s spa facilities.
Checkout for the facility is at 10am (10am—how many hotel/villas have a 10am checkout!?). OK, it doesn’t matter—I called more than an hour before checkout time and asked for an 11am checkout. The Marriott recption desk attendant said, “Sure, if you want to pay an additional $50!” Really? $50 more to check out at 11am?!!! I told Melissa at the front desk that I brought more than a dozen people here for the last three days and charging me $50 to check out at 11am didn’t really seem appropriate. She said they charge everyone—period.
Now here is where it gets really interesting. I told her, “I brought 12 people for three nights and put them up in three – 2 bedroom villas and you won’t give me an hour later checkout? If that is the case, I’ll never come back here again. If you’re OK with that, I’m OK with that.” And her answer was… wait for it… wait for it…. “Yes,” she actually said: “I’m OK with that.”
So let’s go back to the “experience.” This employee could have acted like she cared and maybe even asked her manager (which I requested). But no, her answer was a “No,” end of discussion.
It wasn’t the $50 that was the big issue for me. After spending thousands to bring my team there – $50 was not a big deal. What really frustrated me was the fact that she didn’t seem to care if we ever came back or not. It was not important to her. The quality of customer service is so different from company to company and even locations within a company. My experience here—was bad. And Melissa should be happy to know that she has motivated me to not come back again. Well done, Melissa.
Oh, if only Apple ran a hotel. That would be an amazing place to stay.