This week’s Compensation Clinic was sent to by a reader who stayed at the Hyatt Regency Churchill in London as a Globalist member and didn’t exactly receive stellar service there.
The Hyatt Regency Churchill is a rather popular property with travelers who stay in Metropolitan London and the prices have been somewhat reasonable in the past depending on the season (and outside peak dates).
Award stays have now increased to 25,000 points/night for a standard room which is on the high side, meaning it’s a Cat 6 property.
Our reader Kevin booked a stay at the Churchill using points, but service has been lackluster.
I’m currently staying at HR CHURCHILL on points, and it seems like they don’t appreciate guests booking with points here. The entire service has been useless so far and I’m about to check out soon.
Problems in short:
- Housekeeping just entered the room at 3 p.m. despite the ‘room occupied’ [Do Not Disturb] sign
- Only the business lounge is open. Regular club lounge closed for construction
- Only two elevators are in service. One in repairs.
- Asked for suite upgrade at check-in. They’re selling in the app but said they are sold out of suites. Lies!
- Asked for more OJ at 11:05 which was 5 minutes after breakfast closed. Waiter said ‘sorry they already put it away can’t get you a refill’. Seriously??
- The person emptying the tray or croissants into a basket was using his hands to scoop them in!
How should I handle this? I think this is compensation-worthy.
Thanks for your input!
As the reader was about to check out within the hour, I suggested raising these issues on property with a manager on duty and requesting compensation on the spot.
Housekeeping not observing the DND sign is one of my pet peeves, and whenever this happens, I automatically ask for a 50% refund on the rate.
The other complaints are at least partially valid as well. If the property sells suites, including the standard suite, then there should be no reason to not assign one at check-in to a Globalist member.
That being said, their regular rooms are quite nice as well, but that doesn’t make it much better.
Defective elevators can make a big mess of a busy hotel, and with only two of them in operation, I can only imagine how long it takes to go up and down during peak hours. Sometimes, I wish there were stairs available for reasonably low floors.
The breakfast situation is also messed up. On one hand, 11 a.m. is considerably late for breakfast to close, and the reader should have ordered timely enough to have enough juice before they close down.
I often get to breakfasts 15 min before closing time, fill my table with items I want to eat/drink, and then take my time. On the other hand, is it really that difficult to grab some juice for a guest? I highly doubt they have them under lock and key past 11 a.m.
The reader later reported back that the situation was resolved by the Manager on Duty:
… Just spoke with the manager and relayed that this experience was more than poor. As to compensation, they agreed to credit me 10,000 points back to the account. I accepted.
Thanks for your prompt reply so I got this out of the way!
This is about the amount I suggested, 10-15k would be the standard compensation that hotels would suggest for such a complaint that is reasonably reconcilable.
Hotels really should have their operations under control, but these days it’s hard to find professional hospitality staff, even in Europe. If you start cutting corners out of necessity when it comes to hiring policy and people aren’t trained much then this is the result. But the fish often stinks from the head, and it appears that management at the Churchill isn’t what it used to be either. Otherwise, facilities and policies would be handled better.
With prices going up everywhere and service levels going down I wish that more guests would complain to relay that certain ways of treating guests aren’t acceptable. I’m glad the reader reached on out short notice to ask how he should handle it. I always suggest to try and solve it at the hotel first before calling Hyatt Corporate which has become a pain.