Compensation Clinic: Bad Room Maintenance & Lack Of Staff Coordination at The Stones Legian, Bali (Marriott Autograph Collection)

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Sunday is Compensation Clinic day and this time we feature a case from The Stones, Autograph Collection Hotel in Bali where I had troubles with certain room features including the air condition.

the-stones-bali

This was my first stay at The Stones and overall just the second staying at an Autograph Collection hotel from the Marriott family of hotels.

You can access The Stones website here.

Since we were hotel hopping a little bit while in Bali I decided to give the Stones a try since I heard some good things about the property that got me curious about the concept the have there.

I was able to secure a decent rate at this location which was about $140 tax included. As a Marriott Rewards Platinum member I was entitled to an upgrade as well as breakfast in the restaurant which was included in my rate anyway however.

Upon arrival I was impressed about the professional flow of procedures at the front desk. We were also upgraded to one of their suites overlooking the swimming pool area. All rooms feature a generously sized balcony which also accommodates a large bathtub that can be curtained off to prevent other guests from watching you tubbing. It was actually really nice. The problems started in the evening.

First the light system wasn’t working properly and it was impossible to shut off all the lights. Even a housekeeping employee couldn’t figure out how to resolve this issue. We ended up disabling two lamps manually and left a third on.

After a few hours (around 2am) I noticed the room was still unusually warm. The Air Condition was not in proper condition either and the max temperature you can cool the room down to was 24.5 degrees Celsius. I usually sleep at 19-20 degrees at max. Before you say the this is common for the tropics such as Bali: Wrong. All other hotels were able to provide proper air conditioning (and one can assume other units at The Stones as well).

The next morning I mentioned this to the Director of Rooms who came by during breakfast (one of the best hotel breakfast buffets I have seen in quite some time by the way). I said I’d be in touch later regarding this as we planned to leave the hotel in the afternoon. When I asked for her again an hour before checkout she was nowhere to be found even after waiting for 25-30 min.

When departing nobody mentioned anything at the checkout, just when loading the baggage into our drivers trunk someone came and said the supervisor had arranged a complimentary transfer. This was at no point mentioned and we have our personal driver anyway who we like and pre-booked. Why come up with this out of the blue?

A week after being back home another issue developed as the stay wouldn’t post to my Marriott Rewards account. I called their hotline and after an hour on the phone the CSR said they had the second guest as the main Guest, obviously not matching my account. The reservation was always under my name and a second name was never even added until we arrived and the associate asked for our passports, then probably added her name to the registration. It took over an hour to get all of this resolved.

I opened a case with Marriott Customer Service and requested 30,000 Marriott Rewards points to be added to my account, equaling a complete refund for the one night in points. They replied a file was opened and the hotel needs to reply which they never did. Two weeks later I called back and a supervisor promised to resolve the issue within 48 hours and then contact me afterwards which never happened.

The next time I called I requested a Supervisor right away and asked her to escalate the matter. She sent me an email with the contact information for Mr. Marriott’s Office of Consumer Affairs, the highest level of Customer Service within the company:

… Mr. Marriott’s Office of Consumer Affairs can be reached, Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Central Time, at the following telephone numbers.

Marriott, Renaissance: 800-621-0999
Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Springhill Suites: 800-422-0728
Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites: 800-422-5560

This office is the highest escalation point within the Marriott organization.

Thank you for choosing Marriott.
Safe travels,

Tracey P.
Guest Experience Supervisor
Marriott Customer Care

I never got any reply from them after I talked to the lady on the hotline who duly noted my complaint. However at some point the requested 30,000 Marriott Points showed up in my account. Ironically again with a very strange posting title.

mar-credit

I didn’t ask any questions and was happy this case had finally been resolved after way too much time and energy invested into this complaint. It might be that they transferred the 30,000 into a wrong account first and then transferred them over? Who knows…

Conclusion

I feel that one night refund is a fair outcome for this. They could have either refunded points or cash but of course I feel that points have far greater value especially when you redeem them them as part of a Marriott Travel Package as I just did (270,000 MR for 132,000 United Miles + 7 nights at a Cat 1-5 Hotel).

The only unfortunate thing is that it seems to be totally chaotic on the Marriott side as far as structure goes where often the left hand doesn’t know what the right one is doing. Of course it’s a big company but this experience was extremely frustrating. This could have easily been resolved at the property even before checking out but local management seems to have no interest in handling any complaints and duck away. They didn’t even reply to the requests from Customer Care and I think that tells you all there is to know.

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  • LoyaltyReader

    So because you were upgraded to a suite that didn’t get cooler than 24,5 degrees, you feel the only fair compensation is free night? That’s ridiculous!

  • Sean Bailey

    I hope this is a joke … he is not entitled to 30K points. None actually. This guy is the guy that complains about everything in hopes of getting something out of it.

  • stacey

    please tell me you’re not a real person … you get upgraded to a suite, have the best hotel breakfast, yet believe you’re entitled to a refund because the air conditioning doesn’t go below 24.5 degrees and you need to manually turn off two lamps?!

  • Monica Matherson

    Come on ! Do not make trouble out of nothing !
    This guy’s greedy behavior is very shameless !
    Inferior behavior !

  • Richard

    He needs to be banned from hotels! All he ever does is find a small thing to complain about and then he asks for a full refund for the night!
    He is a real person, albeit a total joke!

  • Gary

    John, another reason to terminate little Sebastian just as I and many others have been saying. And after all, what’s Christmas without complaints and demands from this prissy, effete, and entitled snob?

    • Name calling is not accepted on LL.

      • Gary

        Thanks for your reply, John. Clearly, your readers are telling you what is and isn’t acceptable… and that we are fed up with Sebastian.

        • Len Gattsche

          Well stop reading his comments then. Your not forced to.

  • Dave

    “Her” name? You’re not fooling anybody Sebastian you leave my ladyboy alone! You Cheap Charlie you get the hotel room comped and she said you make her take the bus won’t even spring for a taxi!

    • GaySeb

      Hahaha everybody know shes gay.

  • Arthur

    How could John terminate little Sebastian that would be like cutting off his little self? Sebastian’s guide to compensation — soon people with major legitimate complaints will get no help in resolving problems from hotels as Sebastian took all the possible free nights that they could spare .

    Expect to see future compensation clinic complaints use the word a reader instead of Sebastian as the aggrieved party.

    At some point hotel chains may also ban John Sebastian, as Richard partially suggests.

    • Note that criticism is fine but calling other people by names is not.

      • Christopher Brown

        You’re allowing your writer to run a pretty good blog with his petty complaint and unjustified claims for compensation. You are known by the company you keep, John

  • Len Gattsche

    Good reading, I to have stayed there, nice resort, but never had any problems. (Breakfast was the best).

  • Christian

    Sheesh, what vitriol. The only thing that the guy really did wrong is that he didn’t check the a/c in the room upon arrival, and anybody can make a rookie mistake once in a while. Between that and the light problem a refund in points or cash is totally justified. A comfortable room with a good night’s rest is what you’d expect, but he sure didn’t get it. Should he have gotten up, dressed, packed, and moved to another room at 2 AM?
    I’ll be the first to admit that Sebastian has made some compensation demands that I think were wildly inflated, but this was certainly not one of them. At least save the insults for a more obvious situation.

  • cscasi

    While I agree with most of the commenters here, what is wrong with a hotel ensuring its rooms are in proper working order before placing guests in then? If the air conditioning is supposed to operate between certain temperatures, then it should do so. If the maids/housekeeprs did their jobs properly, the the lights would work or they would call maintenance and have them fixed before they were rented out again. As a Marriott Lifetime Platinum Elite member, I do expect everything to be in order when I check into a room. Normally everything is in order, but if something is not right and it cannot be immediately fixed, then the hotel should offer to transfer me to another room.
    Personally, my wife and I like to sleep with the temperature set about 70 degrees F.
    I agree that Sebastian seems to figure out a way to get compensated in many hotels in which he stays. Perhaps that way he saves his money to spend on other things.
    I will say that what some find trivial, others may consider them more than that; hence the discussions about what is or is not trivial. That said, I also believe that 30,000 points was not warranted. Nonetheless, perhaps his running around the world making sure his rooms and hotels are 100% may be of benefit to others, like yourselves, when you check in to the hotels and find them to be what you expect. Who knows.

    • Len Gattsche

      Well said.

    • Flyboy

      Normal Marriott rewards Platinum members know how to treat hotel staff like friends and address issues without throwing a tantrum. I was at the Putrajaya Marriott last month and was less than pleased with some issues. But you know what, I let it pass. Because there has to be more to life than just complaining about nothing.

  • stvr

    Sometimes I get the anger about compensation but I’m confused by the angry readership on this one. Non-working A/C is a total deal-breaker. If my AC did not get 20, I would ask for compensation as well.

    • penny

      I completely agree, I’m hot by nature, can’t sleep if the room is much above 66-68 degrees which is what I keep my home set on. Strange about the lights too, but again, a lot of us cannot sleep with lights on. If you complain at the time then an effort should be made to fix the problem, all too often, we don’t realize there’s a problem until we return back to rooms much later in the evening then no one can be found to fix the problem. Particularly at many hotels these days, check in is so late, by 4 pm check in, most maintenance is leaving at 3 pm to 5 pm depending on their shift so no one is available until the next day and then you’re checking out if it was only a one night stay and no one bothers to fix the problem.

      • I have stayed at this hotel several times and do like the location and the upgrades they give to Platinum members.

        I had problems with lights on my most recent stay as well and had to get technician to fix them at in the middle of the night. Some of the lights in the bedroom wouldn’t just turn off. Got it fixed.

        The problem is that the hotel is often used by tour groups/package tourists. Nothing wrong with that per se but it somewhat affects the ambiance.

      • Flyboy

        You’re hot by nature is probably because you are too Yang in your body. You need to change your diet. No fried foods, no sugary drinks. It might help with the other emotional issues you might be experiencing too. Like irritability… Just a suggestion.

    • Flyboy

      You’re in Bali, for freaking sake… Otherwise, don’t go to a warm and humid place at all. Why not just open the windows and enjoy the warm night air with the smells of Sedap malam in the air…

  • Flyboy

    Please go do some charity work for your troubles. Or rather the trouble you make for people with your petty complaints. Prima donna ? Why make mountains out of molehills.