This week’s Compensation Clinic case comes from my stay at the Starwood affiliated Park Tower – Luxury Collection property in Buenos Aires.
This hotel is co-located and shares facilities with the Sheraton Buenos Aires Convention Center hotel to the extend that you can access the Sheraton Club lounge using the Park Tower elevators.
You can access Park Tower’s website here.
READ MORE: Compensation Clinic: Four Points Bangkok
1. Check In
The check in is the most important element of the stay. If the experience is bad, it is very difficult to turn the stay around.
Guest Relations manager introduced herself and asked if it was my first stay in Buenos Aires. This was a faux pas considering that I had even stayed at this hotel and at their co-located Sheraton both previously.
When I was checking in, I also found out that my MasterCard that I was going to use for the authorization wasn’t working (it had been cloned in Brazil that I was not aware of at this point read more here). I told that I would be paying cash the following day anyway after I had done the exchange on the Dolar Blu market. The person made a he fuss that he needs to check with the revenue manager if I can pay using cash instead of credit card because he was supposed to charge the rate of the spot (didn’t made any sense really).
And I just hate when hotels don’t have working wireless and cannot fix them on the spot. The wireless internet was so bad that it made even opening web page impossible.
Called the operator and asked them to bring a wireless access point, so that we could use the wired connection instead. The hotel didn’t have any spare wireless access points that they could install to guest rooms.
The hotel tried to troubleshoot the connection for two hours without any success. I have one travel router that is built in to a power adapter and decided to hook it up to the wired internet. The download and upload speed were then both in the 7 MBPS range.
Spoke with one of the managers the following day before checking out and accepted 5,000 Starpoints for the inconveniences caused. This was a paid (albeit Best Rate Guarantee) stay. Rates on the 3rd party sites were more than 40% less than what was available on SPG.com.
I just hate when the internet doesn’t work at the hotel. It shouldn’t be the guest’s responsibility to resolve their IT issues and carry wireless access point with them just in case if the hotel’s network just doesn’t work.
And I don’t believe that merely pointing these issues is enough. Unless enough people complaint and request compensation, I doubt that the hotel is going to do anything. Once the issue start hitting the bottom line and the guest satisfactory scores go down, there is incentive to fix these.
When you stay at a “Luxury” Collection hotel, you just expect that this work and that there are no issues. Park Tower may have been a luxury hotel 10 to 20 years ago, but that is certainly not the case in 2015.