Compensation Clinic: Radisson Blu Sharjah 100% Satisfaction Guarantee?

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This week Compensation Clinic pays a visit to Sharjah that is a dry Emirate (no adult beverages) and short drive from Dubai.

A LoyaltyLobby reader had a less than stellar stay at Club Carlson’s Radisson Blu Sharjah Resort.

compensation-clinic-radisson-blu-sharjah

Let me start saying that I have not been blown away (most of the time) with the service that I have received at the various hotels that I have stayed at in the UAE.

You can access Radisson Blu Sharjah’s website here.

Most of the customer facing employees have been imported from the Philippines or from the poorer Arab countries (Egypt,Tunis, Morocco etc), while the upper hotel management is usually from Europe or Australia.

Here’s copy of the initial complaint:

Comment: I was looking forward to my stay at Radisson Blu resort in Sharjah what turned out the worst experience of my 100+ hotels stays world wide ever.

1. Communication with reservation team of the property. Some of my earlier email requests were not responded to, with the later explanation they were not received, or standard answer was provided
without reading my email properly.

When before arrival I needed to change my departure date, that wasn’t possible online for unknown reasons. So I attempted to call hotel directly. Apparently the person responsible for reservations was having lunch during that time. I was offered that the person will be calling me back shortly. So I left my mobile number, and repeated it for the sake of correctness. Unfortunately no one was calling me back for almost  2 hours, so I was forced to send reminder over the email, for what Ireceived a response that they couldn’t reach me (despite I was patiently waiting for their call and number provided by me was fully correct), and that I shall write email request to them. In the end, the change has been done over the email as requested, and my initial room price was reconfirmed as unchanged.

2. Check in. Despite the fact that we were only guests checking in that time and 2 staff were present at the reception, all the check in took about 20 minutes.

My Gold status was not acknowledged. The complimentary upgrade was not offered. It was only provided when requested by me. In between we have been allocated to business class smoking and smelling room on Supposedly non-smoking floor, despite my clear indication of non smoking preference.

Despite I have booked room for 2 adults and 2 kids, and only 1 adult and 2 kids were actually arriving, the attempt by the reception was made to charge for extra bed due to the upgrade for one of my kids.

3. Breakfast. I always find it unacceptable if 4 or 5 star hotels attempt to dilute the packed juice at the breakfast. I am even not hoping to see fresh juices at Radisson properties. The actual experience in Sharjah was even below that level: the pineapple juice was diluted to the extent that only color was present, and the colored water was far from the taste of pineapple. As I find that not only disrespectful to your customers, but also generally inappropriate for Radisson brand, I informed the restaurant manager in charge. Nothing changed the following morning!

4. Turn down service.I am unsure whether this is provided by that hotel. In my case it was missing.

5. Check out. This unfortunately was the most unpleasant experience. During the check out I was presented a bill where the room charges were inaccurately mentioned, and being even different for various nights! Despite me providing printout of my internet booking, no one was able to clarify to me the varying prices what were not the ones booked! After 25 minutes without due explanation, they charged my credit card some amount without further update, since I wasn’t able to wait any longer, as my taxi to the airport was waiting and I didn’t plan extra half hour for normally simple check out procedure. Not to mention, that two of the staff were involved, at the same time not fully dedicating their time to me, but also responding any other requests from other guests.

To heighten my frustration even further, even until today I have not received proper final invoice from your property emailed!!!

I find that checkout experience insulting and highly unprofessional! It is highly ironic to see the staff wearing pins with Yes-I-can or advertised 100% guest satisfaction on the desk. There was not the slightest sign of professionalism, neither I expressed any percent of satisfaction, and all this without proper reaction and, most importantly, action!

In the light of the above and due to major inconvenience caused, I request  50000 points as compensation, in addition to written apology for highly unprofessional action by the staff .

Club Carlson forwarded the complaint to the property that has 7 days to reply:

We appreciate your recent message.

We apologize for the problems you encountered at the Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah-United Arab Emirates, we know that this can be very frustrating.  We have filed a formal issue with the hotel addressing these problem.  We allow the hotel management 7 business days to research your situation and respond back to you with a satisfactory resolution.

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to assist you.

Seven days passed and not a word from the property:

We appreciate your recent message.

We have sent a reminder to the hotel to contact you regarding the issue.

We sincerely apologize for the delay.

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to assist you.

About two weeks from the initial complaint the first communication from the hotel:

Greetings from the Radisson Blu Resort Sharjah!

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback following your stay at our Hotel.

We are sorry to note that some of our services fell below your expectations, after receiving your comments we made an immediate investigation and follow-up. Kindly accept our sincerest apologies for unsatisfactory experience during your stay. It is unfortunate when situations like this arise.

Subsequentially, we finalized the decision for the compensation respectively, the management is debiting 25,000 points  to your Gold Tier Loyalty Membership. For the room rate concern, because of the oversight, we are going to provide you the reimbursement of your overcharge for the room rate. The room charges you incurred was 3 nights, which was 720++ per night total amount of Dhs. 2592 only. Since we had debited from your card Dhs. 2808 the amount of Dhs. 216 will be reimbursed thru your credit card. We will update you in receipt the soonest.

We take the confidence our guest place in us very seriously and work diligently to rectify any unsatisfactory experience. We hope you give us a chance in the future to show you how great our hotel is.

Here’s the reader’s response to the property:

Somewhat I am not happy with your response. I don’t feel the sense of regret and i don’t see answer, point by point, what will be improved to avoid potential issues for the future. It is rather enhanced standard reply template.

I also note that the response is not provided within 7 working days, as promised to me. In addition, I don’t see how your 100% guest satisfaction policy applies in my particular case.

In addition, I would like to remind you, that as basic compensation I have requested 50 000 points. Your offer of 25 000 is even not suitable for one nights booking in similar category hotel, as even your property requires 38 000 points!

More than a week passed and the reader reminded the property:

I do apologized for the delayed response to your below email as I need to finalize the matter with our departmental in-charge.  And I want to thank you for waiting to this response as patiently as you could.

I do understand your sentiments regarding the not satisfactory stay with the hotel and basically you are right when you say 25,000 is not even a night to stay in our hotel or any other property with the same category.   We would like to offer you for a one night complimentary stay in our property to give us chance for the unsatisfactory stay of yours recently or we can compensate back the 38,000 points.

As the refund of the oversight amount of Dhs. 216 has been debited to your credit card.  (Please find refund receipt from the bank).

Reader replied:

Thank you for your response.

I am not planning to stay at your property, therefore the only option is the 38 000 points.

However I still have not received your update, how your 100% guest satisfaction policy applies in this particular case.

Here’s the final response from the property:

Greetings from the Radisson Blu Resort Sharjah!

Kindly note that the reward of 38000 is already processed and there in your Club Carlson Account.

We do understand that have been failed to satisfy you on our satisfaction policies by not explaining each particular cases on what could have done & please accept our sincerest apologies.

Referring back to the cases:

Reservation: We do acknowledge for your call to the reservation and tried to call you back. Due to some technical reasons they could not contact you on your number. We do understand that we have lacked not to use our information resources to communicate with you. We have briefed our staff to be more active in direct communication with guests should there found any obstacles during the operation, so we can properly decide the best solution for both parties.

Check-In:  Prior to your arrivalwe have recognized you being a Loyalty Member to the brand as we make sure all the Club Carlson Members arriving for the day are marked & informed the  Reception. Unfortunately when you arrived, we had no choices in our hand as we kept a room specified in your booking as Business Class Twin Bedded. The receptionist missed the point to inform you that the room was smoking nevertheless she would not have other option than to wait for the availability on the same day.

Breakfast : As we are offering an Express Buffet Menu, we do offer only variety of packed juices but never diluted. On this matter we have to look on the quality of the packed juices we order so we may not have this kind of comment again and thank you for noting this matter.

Again, we would like to thank you for your feedback as it will help us provide better services. It is our company’s aim to satisfy customers. We would like to regain your trust and hope to serve you again in the future.

Radisson Blu 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

compensation-clinic-radisson-blu-sharjah-100-satisfaction-guarantee

It doesn’t seem that the staff at this hotel are empowered to act on the promise at Radisson Blu’s website for the brand (access here).

Conclusion

Companies often have (empty) promises up on their websites to appear as if they are striving for 100% guest satisfaction. Good luck trying to invoke the promises, however.

Obviously, the reader’s stay was not good and the property didn’t solve the problems on the spot or offer adequate compensation. Also, they took their time to reply to the emails that the reader and corporate sent to them.

The hotel refunded the overcharge and gave 38,000 points for the inconvenience. It never ceases to amaze me how the hotels sometimes happen to overcharge but never undercharge?

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