This week Compensation Clinic visits Starwood affiliated Four Points Bangkok where yours truly have stayed several times right after it opened few years ago.
Remember that you can email me your compensation cases with travel providers and I feature one case every Sunday.
You can access Four Points Bangkok website here.
Here’s the email that the LoyaltyLobby reader sent to the General Manager of the property:
I would like to contact you as the General Manager of the Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok in regards to my most recent two stays at your property.
While I have visited the hotel many times in the past even before I actively collected points and became SPG Platinum member, my previous two stays were everything but pleasant.
When I was a guest at your property the last time 22nd September I encountered multiple issues in the room (Sewage smell, spotty internet), the hallways (room service trays with food on it in the hall for hours) and the breakfast restaurant (several items missing and not being replenished).
I brought the matter to the attention of the Front Desk Management during and after my stay. No attempt has been made other than formally apologize to make up for these issues. In retrospect I should have plain and simple refused to pay for that night because there was no value in any way which would have warranted a payment. I was however assured that my next reservation would be upgraded and looked after. Not really a strong signal of apology in my opinion as I should always be upgraded as a platinum member to the best available room incl standard suites anyway as you and your management team well know.
The next time I checked in to the hotel was on Friday for a brief one night stay. After checking in I was given my room key for No 647 which I looked for without success, only to be told there is a second wing where my room was located. When I finally found it it was just (again) a plain standard room. No proper SPG Platinum Upgrade and no fulfilled promise from my last experience to make up for it.
I returned to the front desk and inquired about the matter together with the notation that I would leave the hotel. I stayed at the Park Plaza instead where my Benefits as a status member are valued as per program terms and conditions.
Dear Mrs Koh, as we are now talking about two nights which pretty much are in dispute of value and in my opinion due for refund or alternate form of compensation (one night was a paid rate, the other paid via 4,000 Starpoints) I would like to ask you personally for a resolution in this matter. The fact that I have to deal with it this way and escalate it up to this level is pretty sad evidence for the state of the front office management in my opinion.
And here’s the reply from the property:
Thank you for taking time to share your comments with me, and please allow me to apologize for not meeting your expectations during your stay with us. I personally was disappointed to hear that we did not deliver our promise of an upgrade to you during your stay in December.
Just to clarify on the upgrading issue, I checked and noticed that Junior Suite was not available on 5 Dec, thus upon your arrival at the hotel, our front desk managed to upgrade you to a Comfort Premium Room (32-38m2) instead. Your same day reservation was made for Comfort (28-32m2), and since upgrading is subject to availability, our front desk did not managed to deliver this communication well to you.
As a gesture of our sincere apology, we will refund 4,000 Starpoints to your account, and please allow upto a week for this transaction to go through. Meanwhile, I will have my Director of Rooms, Christopher Stedman, to conduct re-training for our front desk associates to avoid future recurrence.
When the hotel first opened and had the Australian lady as the General Manager (I hope that I got the nationality right), the Platinum treatment was inline with other Starwood hotels in the city.
Platinum members received complimentary happy hour with some snacks at the BeerVault and the breakfast buffet was included as well without having to choose it as a Platinum amenity. These are both gone by now.
The Platinum upgrades at this property have always been challenging and seems that nothing has happened. I have had my ups and downs with the front desk as well.
If you look at the email that the GM sent, both the Comfort and the Comfort Premium rooms can actually be exactly the same size (32 square meters). Seems that the Comfort Premium rooms might be “imaginary” upgrades so that they can say that the guest have been upgraded, although no material difference.
There are so many better SPG options in Bangkok that take care of the Platinum guests that I have not returned to this property and not planning to, unless they change their mind and reinstitute the Platinum benefits that were withdrawn.
Not sure why this property even is associated with the Starwood, as their main clientele appears to be package tour guests and those that tend to book only via OTA’s.