Hotels Cheating On Quality Scores (Bribing Guests)

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A LoyaltyLobby reader forwarded me an email today that he had received from the Four Points by Sheraton San Jose Downtown-hotel.

Hotels often try to get their quality scores up, but I have never seen anything this blatant in WRITING:

quality-score-cheating

Here’s the email on text format:

We appreciate your having chosen us, and hope your stay is as memorable and refreshing!

Please let us know if we can do anything to make your stay more enjoyable, or call our Front Desk staff or the Manager on Duty immediately if we missed anything. If we fell short of your expectations, please let us know before you depart so we can resolve any issues to your satisfaction.

Shortly after you depart, you may receive an email inviting you to critique your visit. We hope that our services and accommodations meet or exceed your expectation, and earn us a “10” rating (on a 1-10 scale).

As an added bonus, an overall “10” score will earn an additional 500 points deposited to your SPG membership account. Please allow 3-5 business days following the completion of your survey for the points to be reflected.

So, the hotel is giving you additional 500 Starpoints IF you get targeted for the after stay survey and you give the hotel the best 10-rating.

The brands have advised hotels absolutely NOT to do anything like this. As a matter of fact, they should not even mention to their guests that they would like them to give hotel the best scores if they get a survey after the stay.

A couple of weeks back, one InterContinental Hotels Group property was promising me and a colleague a dinner IF we did the survey after the stay and gave the property the best scores.

Sometimes hotels staple small notes (not money!) to the folios reminding guests to give them the best possible scores.

Many hotels have their front desk employees wearing buttons that may say “Give Us 10!”.

Conclusion

It is usually the hotels that have some sort of service or facility issues that are trying to jack up their quality scores, but it doesn’t do any good at the end. If the hotel get higher scores than what they should, it will only lead to more problems down the road.

The email example from the Four Points hotel is truly a blatant attempt to get their guests to give them the full scores by giving 500 Starpoints as a bribe.

When you do an after stay survey online that the loyalty program or brand sends you, the hotel also gets the information about who gave what scores. I have sometimes received emails from managers, when I have given less than 9 or 10 on a 10-scale, even when I have not given explicit permission to do so.

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