Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Helpdesk – The Oxymoron – Holiday Inn case

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I think we can all tell tales of bad service.  A recent case was Holiday Inn made and accepted a reservation for a hotel. It reminded me days before of my reservation … but there was a catch, the hotel was closed.  How did I find out? When I tried to drive into a closed parking lot of a very dark building at 10pm … whose Holiday Inn sign was down.  (How do you find it a hotel that is  down and dark, when you expect it to be there?).

By the time, I got through being on hold with “Guest Relations”, I had driven to another hotel, checked in and unpacked. What we found out after emails-calls, the hotel owner decided to close, renovate and go to a competitor.  It closed on Jan 1, and I was booked for Jan 3+.

In Holiday Inns eyes, all fault lies with the franchise owner.  No action is required on their part, they are sorry .. nothing more, just sorry.

My eyes, fault includes the reservation system.  How do they accept a reservation for a hotel that is closing-closed. If I made the reservation before they closed, upon notification, do they not have a process to go back, stop reservations and notify customers of a change of status.

If I miss a reservation night, I pay for it.

If they miss a hotel, nothing.

Yes, on January 3, I could still go to the website of the closed Holiday Inn.

What was I looking for, from Holiday Inn?  (No money, but please acknowledge my booked 3 days for continuing my “platinum status”), and more importantly correct the procedural error so I can book with confidence.  What did I get, ‘Sorry, it is on file, the fault lies with the hotel owner’.  Yes, it is on file, and the assurance that Holiday Inn has no responsibility or fault.  Effectively .. Any opportunity to correct the reservation system goes into the wastebasket. 

Q: Do they try an prevent this repeat itself the next time a hotel closes to me or you?  A: No

Q: Can I believe Holiday Inn will have a room or even a hotel when I make a reservation?  A:  No.  Unfortunately, niether should you.

Q: Is this really Help?

It is easy to get frustrated with the person on the phone, but once you recognize they are place in a bad position to accept the blame for others, with no authority to correct or improve things, hopefully you  will have empathy with the person, and recognize the issue is above them – recognizing the need to address unusual faults and provide structural corrective action.

Q: Have I continue to use Holiday Inn?  A: Last week it was the Marriott.  This week it will be Sofitel and the following back to the Marriott.

Enough (for now) about bad Helpdesks.  There will be another subject next time, but for now, it is time to get to my gate (off to Dubai, via Frankfurt). Safe Travels.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2011/01/22 at 22:07

Posted in Helpdesks, Work Travel

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