Sunday, May 15, 2011

Don't get mad, get points

When you receive poor service at a hotel, ask that the hotel to comp some portion of your stay.  I've found that often the front desk has limited leeway on comping the daily rate, but they'll often take incidentals off your bill.  If they won't do that, then see if they'll give you points as compensation.

Some recent examples:

I found out a few weeks after the fact that a hotel had charged me for an extra night by mistake.  This wasn't on my folio when I checked out - I only found it by looking at my credit card bill.  When I called the hotel, they reversed the charge and gave me enough points for a free night's stay at that property.

Once, at a Westin, they checked me into a room that hadn't yet been cleaned from the last guest - the bed was still unmade. This was a hassle because it was 11 p.m. at night and I had been up since 4 a.m.  The front desk put me into a clean room and gave me 5,000 Starwood points - worth about $100 to me.

At a Hilton in Hartford, CT, we had a real fire drill - they made the whole hotel evacuate.  I emphasized how my two kids had been sleeping and how I had to carry them both down 11 floors of the fire escape.  They comped three days of valet parking charges.

The worst the hotel can do is say no.

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