Advice on approach / expectations and service recovery

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Old Nov 17, 17, 11:19 am
  #1  
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Advice on approach / expectations and service recovery

Here are some details of a night I experienced at an SPG property this week (worknight):
  • Fire alarm went off from 1.40am to 2.40am. Evacuated and stood outside until it was shutoff (false alarm)
  • Went back to bed, then fire alarm started again at 3AM
  • Alarm continued until it was shut off at 5AM
Called front desk at 4:30AM, was offered starpoints. At the time, I was not in the mood to discuss this, but asked what they were doing to help us sleep. Front desk offered ear plugs.

This is a property I have over 500 nights in. Service recovery email came from the front desk two days later stating that the fire alarm vendor has been fired and it was not the property's fault. Email offered 12000 points. One night at this property ranges from 10000 to 12000.

To me, it seems like a soft apology. Sure they recover the night's cost, but I'm not sure the offer covers the inconvenience caused at that time or the service failure. When I informed my ambassador, I made it clear that the property has treated me well in the past, but expected better from them. Thoughts?
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Old Nov 17, 17, 11:47 am
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It sounds like a one-off event that was reasonably out of the property's control where you were dealt with to the best of their ability at the time, as well as being offered an effective full refund for the night.

Obviously it sucked and I'd be really grumpy (I always am when there are fire alarms going off), but I don't think this is an opportunity to make some extra money or points.
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Old Nov 17, 17, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by teeceedee View Post
but expected better from them
What were/are your expectations from them for a full and complete service recovery in this situation ?
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Old Nov 17, 17, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Oxon Flyer View Post
What were/are your expectations from them for a full and complete service recovery in this situation ?
I was generally expecting around 20-25k as being fair. Maybe I put more emphasis on the inconvenience factor, but recovery for the night alone seems short. I don't entirely believe it was out of their control - buck stops with them when it comes to vendors, but the non-apology I received irked me a bit.
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Old Nov 17, 17, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by teeceedee View Post
I was generally expecting around 20-25k as being fair. Maybe I put more emphasis on the inconvenience factor, but recovery for the night alone seems short. I don't entirely believe it was out of their control - buck stops with them when it comes to vendors, but the non-apology I received irked me a bit.
You originally wrote 10-12k / night. If it's Cat 4 it's 10k, if Cat 5 either 12 or 16k. Check their category and request 16k if it's a Cat 5 property.

Without quoting their e-mail I'm not sure anyone will side with you more than this.
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Old Nov 17, 17, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
You originally wrote 10-12k / night. If it's Cat 4 it's 10k, if Cat 5 either 12 or 16k. Check their category and request 16k if it's a Cat 5 property.

Without quoting their e-mail I'm not sure anyone will side with you more than this.
Yes, I've seen award nights at the property for both 10k and 12k/night. I wasn't expecting anyone to side with me, I was attempting to level-set the difference between "service recovery" (points to recover the night) and the inconvenience factor. Thank you for your responses
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Old Nov 17, 17, 5:02 pm
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Generally I feel if the points offered cover a free night at the property then under the circumstances is probably fair. It seems the hotel maintained a contract with a company to look after the alarm and a fault was not rectified that occured over night. They have taken action against this to make sure it doesn't happen again. The fact you have so many nights at this property and it is not something that you have experienced before indicates it is not something the property has suffered previously and thus little blame can be put on them.

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Old Nov 17, 17, 5:12 pm
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I think enough points for one free night is probably reasonable since you lost a night, you're being given a free one in return. However, given your loyalty to this particular property, I would think they should offer something more as a gesture of goodwill. It's ridiculous to pretend that this wasn't the properties fault since it happened at the property. That would be like saying that a bad steak isn't a restaurant's fault because the beef that was supplied was of a lesser quality. The fact of the matter is that everything that happens on the property while you are there IS the responsibility of the property. If there is no hot water, it isn't the water heater manufacturer's fault, is it? So my sense is, you are owed at least the points for a free night and given your 500 nights at this one property, they should be doing a little bit extra as a gesture of goodwill.
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Old Nov 17, 17, 11:18 pm
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While I agree that it would be nice to get 200% of the value of a night's stay in points as a valued client, closer to 100% is more likely.

I've usually had anywhere from %33 to %50 for minor service issues for stays in the past.
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Old Nov 18, 17, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by Canada101 View Post
I... It's ridiculous to pretend that this wasn't the properties fault since it happened at the property. That would be like saying that a bad steak isn't a restaurant's fault because the beef that was supplied was of a lesser quality. The fact of the matter is that everything that happens on the property while you are there IS the responsibility of the property. If there is no hot water, it isn't the water heater manufacturer's fault, is it? So my sense is, you are owed at least the points for a free night and given your 500 nights at this one property, they should be doing a little bit extra as a gesture of goodwill.
I would have to respectfully disagree with the analysis. In both examples, the hotel is directly involved. It bought, transported, stored, cooked and served the steak. If the steak was, say spoiled, the due diligence in its preparation would discover that. Similarly, the hotel maintains the hot water on-site through its maintenance department. By contrast, a fire alarm is almost always maintained by an outside vendor. I doubt if the hotel can do anything beyond vetting the vendor. Since the OP has 500 nights free of any major incidence, I would say that the hotel has adequately vetted the vendor.

I would opine that since the OP has 500+ good nights at this hotel, I would not engage in any behavior that might be perceived as opportunistic. I would submit that the hotel has earned the benefit of the doubt and one night's worth of points is an adequate service recovery. Just my $0.02
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Old Nov 19, 17, 2:10 pm
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Like most others, I’d agree that the night being comp’d is appropriate and obvious.

I also agree that, due to your Plat100 elite status and 500 nights, the hotel going a little above and beyond isn’t inappropriate, either, but that absolutely depends on the brand. For a midscale or upscale hotel, I would not expect more; for a luxury hotel, I’d expect perhaps points toward (but not necessarily equivalent to) another free night or perhaps a food/beverage credit of some kind as an additional gesture of apology.

That being said, it is fair to get only get a free night credit, either by comp’ing the night in question or awarding points equivalent for another night.
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Old Nov 22, 17, 6:59 am
  #12  
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Thanks to everyone's replies - I like the suggestion that 500+ nights without incident is actually something that should encourage me to give the hotel the benefit of the doubt, so you guys did a good job talking me off the ledge.

The 12k points service recovery became 25k due in no part to any action i took. An employee at the hotel accidentally awarded 25k to someone else, and when the hotel manager found out he leveled me out.

TL;DR: Got 12k points, then upped to 25k points because hotel employee made a mistake
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Old Nov 22, 17, 9:00 am
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One night free is fair. You lost some hours of sleep, but got a free night out of it -- a free night that you can use on a personal trip and not a business trip (so it's really really free).
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