Comfort Inn - How Best To Complain??

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Sep 20th, 2004, 07:12 PM
  #1
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Comfort Inn - How Best To Complain??

I've been trying to contact the manager of a Comfort Inn in Texas regarding a stay in August. I've left four phone messages but none have been returned. The desk clerk admitted tonight that the manager never works a shift. The day after I did the online customer satisfaction survey but it yielded no results. I called 800.300.8800 hoping to deal with someone else in the chain besides the manager who obviously doesn't care only to have them forward the message to the "invisible" manager. He wrote me a letter that was a total lie regarding that he actually spoke to me while we were still in the hotel.

Any ideas of where to go next? I tried the 800 number again this evening but they were already closed for the night.

moldyhotelsaregross is offline  
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Sep 20th, 2004, 07:33 PM
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Without knowing a little more about the problem it's hard to say.

Conde Nast Traveler has an Ombudsman column - but they tend to deal with problems that are general or sizeable - not sure if yours would be appropriate.

You might try a letter of complaint to the local newspapers - to see if you can cause enough of a scandal that they respond - depending on what the problem is.

Or, you might file a small claims suit - if the funds in question are sufficient.
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Sep 20th, 2004, 07:38 PM
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Write Comfort Inn's corporate headquarters. Do an internet search to find the address.
Good luck.
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Sep 20th, 2004, 07:38 PM
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File your complaint with the Better Business Bureau. If they think that your complaint is legitimate, they will follow through for you.

www.bbb.org
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Sep 20th, 2004, 07:41 PM
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WRITE TO:

Choice Hotels International
10750 Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD, US 20901
Phone: (301) 592-5000

For Customer Relations: (800) 300-8800 (in the US and Canada) or email [email protected]

.

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Sep 20th, 2004, 07:44 PM
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BBB - what a terrific idea! It does give me a new option that I had not considered. I just checked their status. The particular location is not a member and has had two complaints in the last 36 months. I'm surprised there are so few complaints, but I didn't think of that idea either.

Thanks!!

Please continue with other ideas.
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Sep 20th, 2004, 07:49 PM
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Linda,

Thanks for the contact information. I've already called the 800 number you posted. Do you know is there any way to avoid dealing with the local manager and just speak to corporate offices? I fully believe that the local manager is a liar who is too cowardly to speak to me.
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Sep 20th, 2004, 08:39 PM
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You have to call the nationalized 800 number and ask to be transferred to guest relations. I am sure they have one. I was a Marriott manager for a while. All complaints are documented and they would fine the hotel for any lag in response time. This is the best way to go. Also make sure you document your complaint as fully as possible siting an estimate of the times you called. Depending on how upset you are don't settle for an apology. Honestly it was my job to give the customer as little as possible to satisfy them. Maybe a little more. Don't sell yourself short. You deserved a great stay and they can't give you that time back. I hate to say this (I feel like i have gone to the dark side) but the more a person complains the more compensation they will get. Make sure you tell them how ridiculous this is, and how upset you are.... (so glad i am out of the bus...) (you can always try to refute the ccd charges!, you won't believe how many people do this, in the least they have to find your old paperwork and fax it back the ccd company. Its a pain. Nothing happens to you. It is really annoying from their end. If they can't produce the proper paperwork (your original signiture and check in papers)the ccd company won't charge your card. Good Luck.
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Sep 21st, 2004, 04:03 AM
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Actually, I signed NOTHING. My friend arrived before I did and just handed over the keys. I had done an online check in via the national Comfort Inn website. When I went to check out, the desk clerk told me it was all done automatically when I reserved via the internet.

(And stupid me wanted to "pay it off quickly" so I put it on my debit card and not a regular credit card. Who knew I'd have a complaint.)
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Sep 21st, 2004, 04:37 AM
  #10
Dan
 
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I don't know what the problem is with this hotel, but I personally wouldn't spend hours of my time trying to get a free night at Comfort Inn or even my money (less than $100?) back. Don't get obsessive about it. Post an appropriate review on tripadvisor.com and fodors.com and then move on if nothing else seems to be working. Life's too short.
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Sep 21st, 2004, 06:04 AM
  #11
emd
 
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I don't know if it applies in your case, but Choice Hotels have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I stayed at a Sleep Inn Suites (brand new) in VA this summer and had some problems- tub wouldn't hold water, sink was falling away from the granite countertop and as a result the sink drain didn't work at all- we couldn't wash our hands or brush our teeth in the sink at all, and couldn't take a bath which was a deal for us as my daughter has a skin condition that required bathing in a prescription solution at night before bed. I went to the front desk and tried to get moved to another room but couldn't- they were full. They had a little deal in the room about the chain's "100% Satisfaction" program for all Choice Hotels. It said 100% sataisfaction or you don't pay. I took it down to the front desk when I checked out, and left a message w/the manager. I was credited for the stay on my credit card. If you go to www.choicehotels.com you will see a notice about the 100% satisfaction guarantee on the front page of their site. You could potentially invoke that when you write to the corporate offices. But you must have notified the front desk during the stay and give them the chance to correct the problem before you can use the guarantee- that is a part of their offer. I guess it will be your word against the manager on that.
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Sep 21st, 2004, 06:07 AM
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It really would help to know the extent of your complaint. While people assume companies always believe in the mantra "the customer is always right", the practical reality is "the customer is often right, but not always."

Many Comfort Inn hotels are owned by franchised operators. Chances are fairly high that the hotel you stayed at was one of them. The manager who wasn't there and didn't work a shift, might simply be the owner.

Choice Hotels reaction and their willingness to get involved really will depend on the nature of your complaint. Something the signals a clear violation of their franchise agreement or is a repetitive complaint regarding that hotel might be of more interest to them - and might result in your getting some level of compensation.

I apologize if I'm being blunt, but they will point to the fact that you left the hotel and paid the bill. Automatic debit or not, you accepted their charges, didn't ask for a notation of your displeasure on your bill and unless you can provide proof, it becomes your word versus their relationship with that franchisee and their history with complaints from that hotel.

I will also tell you that many customer driven businesses, like banks, credit card companies and hotels, have made a choice to pick their spots. They will use your history as one of their customers to decide a course of action. The reality of customer service today is that software programs allow firms to have a fairly good ability to understand who is a profitable, desireable customer and who is not. Because of profit concerns, many firms have simply made the decision to pick their spots when it comes to resolving disputes.
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Sep 21st, 2004, 06:13 AM
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I've used this website (for complaints and compliments) in the past and gotten results. http://www.planetfeedback.com/consumer/
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Sep 21st, 2004, 06:15 AM
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I would add that even assuming that you have a legit compliant, calling people "liars" and "cowards" might not exactly endear you to the people you are trying to work with to rectify a situation.
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Sep 21st, 2004, 06:34 AM
  #15
emd
 
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Just to further clarify: In our case, everything was cordial on both ends at the hotel and afterwards. They would have moved me if they could have, but they coudln't. However, I felt that they must have known about the problems in the bathroom, because the desk clerk said "they haven't fixed that yet?" when I first went down to talk to her. It seemed that they had put us in the room knowing it had a sink and tub that were not usable. The desk clerk was not authorized to just not charge me at all for the room. She said the deal was that she had to charge me and then discuss it w/the manager who was not in at that time. She did that the next day, and that is when my credit card was credited for the amount of the stay, and she called me to tell me that.
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Sep 21st, 2004, 07:33 AM
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Sounds like you have actually gotten pretty extraordinary customer service. She acknowledged the problem, was unable to move you, followed her procedures, and even followed up with you to tell you what was going on. That seems pretty remarkable.

I agree with others that maybe it's time to let this one go if your next few attempts to contact management fail.
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