linden_jay: (Kitten--bites his thumb at you)
[personal profile] linden_jay
This story has two people. We will call the first person Mr. Crabby, and the second person Mr. Awesome. The reasons why will soon become apparent.

Our hotel does a lot of conferences and group events, so it isn't unusual for us to have very high occupancy, particularly in our lower end rooms. Mr. Crabby phoned us and asked if we had a room available for the night. He asked for our smallest, cheapest type of room. We told him that due to the conference and high occupancy, we didn't have any of that type of room available, but we did still have a higher level room available for a higher cost. He said okay, we completed the reservation, and he said he'd be in later that night.

Between making the reservation, and his arrival at the hotel, we managed to move some things around, and were able to book him into the basic room, at the lower cost (as he had originally requested). He arrived, checked in, and went to his room.

A few minutes later, the phone rang. It was Mr. Crabby. He didn't like the room, felt that it was small, dingy, and inappropriate for his needs, and he wanted to know if the room we'd originally said we could give him was available. It wasn't. But we decided that since we had reassigned the room we'd promised him (because we'd been able to give him what he asked for in the first place!), we would upgrade him to an even better room--a suite--but at the rate we would have had to charge him for the first room we booked him. So, slightly more than the basic room, but not at all what we ordinarily charge for the suite. Off he goes with keys to that room.

About half an hour later, another call to the desk. This room, he says, is not very good. It's in the older part of the hotel (we have the original structure, and a new wing. We're gradually renovating the older section, so one half is newer than the other, but the suites are still suites, and pretty big), and he says that it's dingy, why can't he have a room in the new side of the hotel, he's paying all this money, on and on and on.

We tell him that unfortunately, we don't have any availability in the new part of the hotel (we had told him over the phone that we were at high occupancy, and that we had a conference, while on the phone), and he sighs, and says that he'll stay where he is, and he'll talk to the manager on check out. (Oh, and incidentally, the rate difference between the room he's in, and the room rate we charged him? About fifty bucks. So. There's that.)

Enter Mr. Awesome. He's made his reservation in advance, and he shows up at the desk with a big smile, even though it's late, and he's traveling with a ten month old baby. He and I chat about our kids while I check him in, and he asks if we can see if it's possible to get a late checkout so that the baby can take a proper morning nap. If it's not possible, that's totally okay, he says, but if it is, that would be great. I say dude, I hear you, no problem, he's thrilled, and he heads for his room.

Ten, fifteen minutes later, he's back at the desk, looking apologetic. He's so sorry, but the people next door are kinda loud--no big deal, and he doesn't want us to tell them to hush, they're just having fun--but it's making it hard to get the baby to sleep. Is there any way we could move them to a different room? He doesn't mind paying a higher rate in order to get something else, somewhere a bit quieter, if we don't have any basic rooms left.

We don't have any basic rooms left (stupid conference!), but I make an executive decision with my coworker that we're going to move him and his family into a suite, and charge them the same rate that they were originally paying, since we're moving them due to a noise complaint. Albeit a very polite noise complaint, but still. He offers again to pay for the higher rate, we say it's no problem, and my coworker helps him and his wife move their things and wee one to the new room.

Mr. Awesome and his wife are totally and utterly thrilled with the new room (suite), thank my coworker profusely, and ask again if we're sure that they don't need to pay for the upgrade. We tell them it's fine, enjoy your stay, let us know if you need anything else.

Ten minutes later, Mr. Awesome comes through the lobby to drop off his old room keys (even though we told him that he could just leave them in his room, or bring them down upon checkout), and presses a twenty dollar bill into my coworkers hand, tells us to split it, and thanks us again for our service and for putting him into such a great room.

The type of suite that we checked Mr. Crabby and Mr. Awesome into? Exactly the same room. Exactly. Identical. Same floor, same part of the hotel, same everything. Completely different reactions. Interesting, huh?
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February 2012

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