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Old May 17, 10, 5:09 pm   #1
 
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Do Not Disturb, means, Do Not Disturb!

Hi all,

Rather a lengthy email to the GM of the Tampa Airport Sheraton Suites. Two weeks has gone by and not ever an acknowledgement, or anything. I am not looking for compensation, I am looking for him to say we need to fix this so it doesn’t happen to me or anyone else. This is a franchisee so all I can do is speculate they don’t really care if I come back, but I expect the same service from them as I do any other Sheraton. I know the letter is kind of rough, but they need to fix their root causes, just say I am sorry. Of all hotels, an airport one should know how to respect a DND sign.

Thoughts/Comments?


Dear GM,

I stayed at your hotel on Saturday, May 1st for one night. I need to share with you my experience which I wasn’t thrilled about by any means, quite frankly it wasn’t an accident, it is a training issue that needs attention. I am rather straight to the point, it is your issue, not mine, accidents happen, but this wasn’t an accident. I heard a number of apologies, but quite frankly it could happen again from what I saw.

We flew into TPA and took the shuttle over, (Driver’s name) was great, picked us up, took us over to Intl Plaza that evening, had an enjoyable evening.
• We put the do not disturb sign out Sat night.
• Sunday morning after breakfast I went to check out the health club and told my wife to get a 2:30pm checkout.
• She called down and was told 1pm was the latest.
• I went back to the room , she told me and I said what? Anyhow I called down.
• I am not sure who I spoke to but after I thought about it I think it was (Supervisor1) (although not positive).
• I was told oh you are Platinum so I’ll put you down for a 4pm checkout, you can leave when you like (right answer). I said no 2:30pm we will be gone so just do that, I appreciate it, but we will be gone.
• Around 1pm I went to go get a rental car, a maid knocked on the door, my wife answered and she apologized and said oh I am sorry I didn’t see the sign. Now there is only one knob on the door so it is hard to miss if you look.
• I got back, my wife never mentioned it, but someone knocked on the door about 1:45pm. I answered it and it was the Housekeeping supervisor.
• I said do you see that sign, yes she said, but I wasn’t sure if you were checking out today. I continued down the path of well did you call the front desk we have a late checkout did you call the front desk. Then came the apologies. In a polite and very direct way I said that sign is there for a reason a number of times.
• I called the front desk and asked for a Manager, (Supervisor1) answered (by the way when you hit zero it took a long time in both cases I called to the tune of 10+ rings). I explained and she wasn’t familiar with what happened, but again more apologies. Then she looked it up and said whoever took the call didn’t enter it into the computer. OK, why does that make it my problem, if it wasn’t a housekeeping issue, it sure wasn’t my issue. Actually it became my problem, but it was caused by the hotel.
• I said I’ll tell you what, I will stop by when I leave at 2:30pm, go ahead and figure out what happened and I will ask for you on the way out.
• On the way out, Supervisor1 was nowhere to be found. A couple people looked for her for 10 minutes. Now again I think she failed to put it into the computer, but I am not positive, but she knew I was coming down so while she continues to do her job she should have known to expect me.
• Anyhow I spoke to the Front Desk Supervisor who was very nice and once again apologetic. She did a fine job of saying yes we shouldn’t be disturbing you etc.
• I asked for your card, she got it for me, and I left.

There are a number of process problems you have quite frankly could happen again. I shouldn’t have to experience the problems but while an apology is nice is doesn’t fix the root cause:
1. You have a training issue, if someone calls down for a late checkout first of all, 1pm isn’t for Platinum that I am aware of especially when it is evident you aren’t at 100% capacity. Even if you will be 100% the next night the odds of 100% of the people being there by 5pm are slim at an airport property.
2. When I called down if it needed to be put in the computer I am leaving at 2:30pm then put it in, do whatever you have to do so it works. I understand you want to get the rooms cleaned, sure you do which is why I said 2:30 so it doesn’t sit dirty till 4pm.
3. Knocking on the door once is really bad, but twice, beyond ridiculous.
4. The housekeeping supervisor said to me she wasn’t sure if I was checking out that day. Well my reservation was for one day, she obviously never called the front desk or vice versa she would have known. Now even if a late checkout was in the computer, she still would have knocked because it is apparent she never called down, just checked her sheet which I have no idea what it said, all I know is she knocked on my door to ask me is I was leaving when I know full well the front desk knew that answer. Lack of communication.
5. I spoke to Supervisor1, she should have known I was stopping by on my way out, where did she disappear to? I know she is doing other things but she should have available, but all I can guess is didn’t want to deal with the concerns I had or it wasn’t important in her mind.
6. The Front Desk Supervisor did a good job of trying to address it but as I told her you have process problems, yes someone can see I am Plat, but apparently that means nothing to the maids, nor do they communicate with the front desk.

The analogy I used is it is illegal to go through a stop sign without stopping. So you do it and get caught and say to the Officer I am sorry and come up with a bunch of excuses, not only did he see you did it once, but twice. Guess what, it is illegal, you can’t do it at anytime of the day or night. While this isn’t illegal, it isn’t right.

Why do you have those signs if they aren’t respected? Do not disturb means exactly that. I am fine if at 2:31 they knocked on the door, but not before. I understand people forget to take them off, well I don’t but don’t make everyone else’s issues mine. Just because someone is Platinum doesn’t mean you can’t knock on the door, but when they call down, ask for a late checkout, and the whole process fails, then it is time to fix the processes. If I don’t ask for a late checkout and the sign is on the door at 12:01 by all means knock on the door, it is your right because I am supposed to be gone.

1K_From_SNA
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Old May 17, 10, 6:39 pm   #2
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This is indeed one of my gripes and seems to be a common problem at many hotels. However, no offense, but the tone of your letter comes off very DYKWIA
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Old May 17, 10, 6:46 pm   #3
 
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Just last week I had my "Do Not Disturb" sign on while I was out for the evening, yet when I returned a floral centerpiece and bottle of water with assorted snacks were delivered and my bed was turned down.

Even though I appreciated the amenities, they should not have entered my room and that I was very unhappy about -

Does a delivery override clear instructions?

Btw, OP I have had some very overzealous housekeepers continually knock on my door asking when I'm checking out - they too ignore the sign. So irritating and you're right it's a training issue.
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Old May 17, 10, 7:17 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by FetePerfection View Post
Btw, OP I have had some very overzealous housekeepers continually knock on my door asking when I'm checking out - they too ignore the sign. So irritating and you're right it's a training issue.
Succinctly put.
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Old May 17, 10, 8:03 pm   #5
 
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sounds like my experience at some properties
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starw...until-1pm.html

now i call down to make sure housekeeping knows that I don't want service and/or late checkout.
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Old May 17, 10, 9:02 pm   #6
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About 6-7 years ago, I was at the Westin ORD and had the DND sign on the door. Since I had room service there was still a tray in my room. It was a big room with the bed far from the door. About an hour or two after I ate, with the DND sign on the door, someone came to the door, knocked once and entered immediately, I jumped up and yelled, he slammed the door and ran out!! I ran out the door in shorts with no shirt on and he went down the stairs by my door, I yelled to him, he stopped and gave me his name and said he was coming for the tray. I called hotel security, the manager came up and apologized and gave me 10,000 points for the incident.
I still to this day think it was not just a tray issue and always put the bar on the door now.
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Old May 17, 10, 10:36 pm   #7
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http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starw...turb-sign.html
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Old May 17, 10, 11:20 pm   #8
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Originally Posted by 1K_From_SNA View Post
The analogy I used is it is illegal to go through a stop sign without stopping.
My two cents says comparing traffic violations with not heeding DND signs is reaching. FWIW my MHO is all bets are off with DND signs beyond normal check out times.
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Old May 17, 10, 11:54 pm   #9
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To be quite blunt, if I got this letter, I might not bother responding either.
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Old May 18, 10, 12:41 am   #10
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
To be quite blunt, if I got this letter, I might not bother responding either.
Well if you stay in a hotel twice a year I could understand that. CPWhatever if you stayed in hotels a lot then you would agree with the OP.
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Old May 18, 10, 12:44 am   #11
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
My two cents says comparing traffic violations with not heeding DND signs is reaching. FWIW my MHO is all bets are off with DND signs beyond normal check out times.
Get some hotel status and you will see that normal hotel check out times should not and do not apply to you. Stay 25-50 nghts a year at Starwood properties and then decide.
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Old May 18, 10, 1:04 am   #12
 
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Well if you stay in a hotel twice a year I could understand that. CPWhatever if you stayed in hotels a lot then you would agree with the OP.
I stay in hotels a lot (circa 100 nights a year) and I agree with CPRich, so that assumption doesn't stick.

This is a genuine complaint and should be addressed properly by the GM, but the issue is the email to the GM. It is far too wordy and has too much information and background context IMO. My suggestion would be to cut it down a bit and stick to the important facts of what the problem was (DND was not observed despite a late check-out being agreed) and what the OP wants the GM to do. (Investigate, review training policy etc)
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Old May 18, 10, 1:14 am   #13
 
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Dont mean to be rude, but I would ignore the email in the hope you would avoid staying at the hotel in the future.
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Old May 18, 10, 1:37 am   #14
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Originally Posted by RAPC View Post
I stay in hotels a lot (circa 100 nights a year) and I agree with CPRich, so that assumption doesn't stick.

This is a genuine complaint and should be addressed properly by the GM, but the issue is the email to the GM. It is far too wordy and has too much information and background context IMO. My suggestion would be to cut it down a bit and stick to the important facts of what the problem was (DND was not observed despite a late check-out being agreed) and what the OP wants the GM to do. (Investigate, review training policy etc)
So basically what you're saying is send the e-mail, the complaint is valid but make it more concise? So technically you agree with the Op. Great, thanks for your input and your eglish lesson. I for one did not realize that the whole point of this post was to help the OP draft a more concise or articulate complaint letter, but if that is the case, i totally misunderstoon the OP. The OP should have been more expilicit to us that he wanted people who stay circa 100 times a year to help him/her draft the complaint letter, now it makes sense, thanks for the clarifcation.
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Old May 18, 10, 1:40 am   #15
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Originally Posted by EuroHannibal View Post
Dont mean to be rude, but I would ignore the email in the hope you would avoid staying at the hotel in the future.
This is not rude at all. It is demonstrating to us that you have certain client service attributes that most of us would not want to see in hotel or any person for that matter that works in client service.

Wouldn't it be great if all client service reps / managers followed this policy when we complained about something?
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