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Accor's inability to follow through twice soured initially good service "recovery"

Accor's inability to follow through twice soured initially good service "recovery"

Old Dec 6, 18, 6:52 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 31
Accor's inability to follow through twice soured initially good service "recovery"

I now have two active cases where I first felt that I've received great service/"recovery" from Accor, but where they have then failed to deliver on promises and stopped responding to communication. Perhaps there is someone here (Amy?), who could give some pointers on what I need to do to have these things sorted. While it really should not matter, I guess I should mention that I stay a lot in hotels both privately and for work and that I am a big fan of the Accor brands: I am a Platinum member several times over (with almost 3 times the required status points for Platinum) and have just in the last two years spent €20,000+ in Accor properties.

First case: Mama Shelter Prague
In July this year, I stayed 4 nights with my girlfriend at the new Mama Shelter in Prague just as it opened. I'm probably exactly the person the Accor focus groups imagined when they created the Mama Shelter brand, hitting all the right buzzwords: "a design-conscious ex-hipster millenial with decent disposable income". So, yes, I was excited to stay at the new Mama Shelter in Prague, especially since it's in a really cool and unique Eastern bloc building. Unfortunately, it very quickly became clear that the hotel was nowhere near ready for its opening date. There was still significant construction ongoing in the hotel, paint cans in the hallways, only one functioning elevator etc. But more importantly, there was no hot water for half of our stay and the air conditioning did not work at all. Our room (according to the room thermostat) reached a very uncomfortable 29C (85F) and it was so hot that it became difficult to get any sleep at all. The breakfast room with its massive windows was even worse and we ended up spending as little time as possible at the hotel. Totally unacceptable for a hotel with this level of ambition.

I raised these concerns to the reception desk and, to my surprise, the General Manager of the hotel offered to sit down with me for a discussion. The GM turned out to be a very nice man, Mr. Dobson, who was very understanding and quite visibly embarrassed himself by the issues the hotel was facing. He offered to refund the part of the stay I had paid with points, which honestly was more than I expected. As he, being a new Accor GM, was still not familiar with the Accor IT infrastructure, he gave me his email address and told me to reach out to him personally if the points were not refunded. All in all, I was very impressed by both the fact that he took the time to hear my concerns and by the fair offer of compensation. I really felt that my Platinum status was acknowledged and made a difference.

So, the issue? The refund has still not materialised, 5 months later. As instructed, I have reached out to Mr. Dobson without any response. I have been in contact with Accor Customer Care who have only given me, repeatedly, the same standardised response that the "case has been forwarded to the relevant department". I have reached out to Accor over to the phone, who have only told me that I should contact the hotel directly. I have contacted the hotel both via e-mail and phone, who have promised to get back to me but which has never happened. Safe to say that I have spent way more effort and time on this issue than these points are worth - but at this point it's more a matter of principle, I just want Accor to make good on the promise that was given to me.

Second case: Best Price Guarantee (Pullman Tokyo)
For Christmas, I am staying at the Pullman Tokyo. I had considered the Pullman for a while, and two months ago when the price for my dates suddenly jumped by quite a bit I decided to just book it in case the price would continue to increase. The next morning, I happened to see that Expedia was still selling the same room for the price before the jump, so I decided to submit a "Best Price Guarantee" claim, sending in the required screenshots etc.. In the past, I have not had very good experiences with (other chains') best price guarantees - so I was quite honestly wow'ed when the very next day, I received an e-mail saying that my claim was approved! And that I would receive a 10% discount on the lower price (that Expedia still offered)! All of a sudden my quite expensive stay became somewhat of a bargain - especially considering it was over the Christmas period. Good job Accor!

So, the issue (again)? The refund has still not materialised (again), two months later, and my trip is in just two weeks now. Accor Customer Care is not responding to e-mails on this topic, so I've called the call center twice. Both times, I have received the same response - "someone in another department is looking into this and will reach out to me directly". No one has. I am starting to suspect that the issue is that the rate ended up being low enough that the hotel is not willing to honour it. As I have already received confirmation that the claim was approved, I any way expect to receive the refund.

Apologies for the long post. Any tips on what steps I should take on this are very much appreciated.

Last edited by Nander; Dec 6, 18 at 7:28 am
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Old Dec 6, 18, 11:11 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
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Your first case depicts a picture where a full refund of the whole stay should be offered, along with some compensation. The Hotel fell very short by offering a 50% discount, just verbally, without any actual reimbursement. A sad story, without any positive spins.

A basic hotel offers a/c, internet, hot water and a clean room within cleaning premises. The property you stayed at fell short in several points, thus a full reimbursement, along with a compensation as a Platinum member, is in order. Guests should have been transferred to a functional property, that simple.

In my experience at a Ibis, GM acknowledged a serious issue and within the same day points were posted in my account. This simple.
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Old Dec 6, 18, 11:39 am
  #3  
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Thank you for the reply, pb9997! To be clear, the part paid with points was more like 75% of the full rate, but you are probably right in that I should have requested at least a full refund. I fully agree with you that while shiny and nice on the outside, the Mama Shelter Prague failed to deliver on the basic requirements of a hotel. Judging from the Tripadvisor reviews it seems like they have straightened out most of the teething issues by now (they also seem to have decreased the rates by quite a bit now, but that might also be that demand for hotels go down in winter in Prague).

Do you have any suggestions for how to proceed with this, given that neither Accor Customer Care nor the hotel seems to be willing to help?
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Old Dec 6, 18, 12:05 pm
  #4  
sfo
 
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problem solved
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Old Dec 6, 18, 12:09 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by sfo View Post
Your first encounter.I won't go into details, used points for my entire stay. Had problems, hotel contacted Accor, a month and a half past and Accor sat on their hands. Hotel refunded the entire number of points back to my account. Outstanding service from the hotel, certainly not from Accor
Was this also at the Mama Shelter Prague? How did you reach out to the hotel to get them to refund the points directly?
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Old Dec 6, 18, 8:45 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Nander View Post
Thank you for the reply, pb9997! To be clear, the part paid with points was more like 75% of the full rate, but you are probably right in that I should have requested at least a full refund. I fully agree with you that while shiny and nice on the outside, the Mama Shelter Prague failed to deliver on the basic requirements of a hotel. Judging from the Tripadvisor reviews it seems like they have straightened out most of the teething issues by now (they also seem to have decreased the rates by quite a bit now, but that might also be that demand for hotels go down in winter in Prague).

Do you have any suggestions for how to proceed with this, given that neither Accor Customer Care nor the hotel seems to be willing to help?
Hi Nander, sorry to hear about your issues.

I posted this in another thread, but thought I would copy and paste it here, too.

You could try finding the email addresses or contact names for the CEO or COO of AccorHotels Europe, or that of a regional General Manager. I'm not entirely sure on how the Accor management structure works. Perhaps a Google search with Linked In might help. You can find the Executive Committee team here, which does list the CEO of Europe. I could not find information for who might be COO. Accor upper management email addresses tend to be [email protected]

In my experience with some issues that the hotels and/or Accor 'customer service' were very slow or unwilling to act, regional-level management have been very willing (so far) to act and resolve the issue promptly.
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Old Dec 12, 18, 3:29 pm
  #7  
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Short update on this: this post or (more likely) the Tripadvisor review I also posted had effect. The General Manager for Mama Shelter Prague reached out to me over e-mail and we also talked briefly on the phone: he claims that the issue has been with Accor not refunding the points but that they have done it now. No points in my account yet though, but I guess I will wait for a few days at least before following up.

I also heard back from Accor on the Best Price Guarantee, where they said that the rate "will be regularised at your departure day in the hotel regarding the final invoice". The price has not updated on the Accor page, so I am preparing for a discussion on check-out in Tokyo but now I at least have an e-mail from Accor stating exactly what the rate should be.

Lesson learned? You need to make things public to get any kind of action from Accor.

Thank you for the suggestion on reaching out to more senior management, Maelstrom - while hopefully not needed for this case, it might be good to keep in mind for future interactions with Accor. The tip on email structure is very handy!
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Last edited by Nander; Dec 12, 18 at 3:40 pm
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