This week Compensation Clinic visits Candlewood Suites Phoenix where a LoyaltyLobby reader was unable to check in because doors were closed and nobody was picking up the phone.
You can access Candlewood Suites Phoenix website here.
READ MORE: Compensation Clinic: Crowne Plaza Belgrade
The reader first contacted Ambassador service center by phone and then sent the email:
Opened a case over the phone (bad idea/waste of time in retrospect) and the agent was uninformed/completely unhelpful, and offered me 5k points which I declined. She said she “couldn’t prove my side of the story” at which point I terminated the call and sent this email.
Here’s copy of the email:
I am a Platinum Ambassador with hundreds of room nights consumed over the past few years. Normally, all my stays are exemplary. However, I have had an extremely unsatisfactory experience with the Candlewood Suites Phoenix.
I had a confirmed reservation for Thursday, April 16. I arrived Friday at 5am to checkin, and the door to the lobby was locked with a sign stating the front desk was closed. There was a phone to dial the front desk, which I dialed multiple times. I could hear the phone ringing through the wall and no one answered. I tried dialing the property directly from my phone and nobody answered. I waited around for about 15 minutes before finally giving up. If there is any doubt as to whether I was there for 15 minutes, feel free to check the security cameras.
As my confirmed reservation was not honored, I am requesting compensation in accordance with the brand standard for a dishonored resevation. I request my original reservation be cancelled, the offending property pay for my new reservation at the Holiday Inn Phoenix for 15,000 points, and 10,000 points for a future night at an equivalent rate of the offending property, for a total of 25,000 points.
Please let me know when my reservation has been cancelled and the 25,000 points posted to my account.
Here’s the reply from the Candlewood Suites Phoenix’s operations manager:
Hope the day is treating you well.
I want to apologize for the situation you had at our property this morning.
I do see IHG Rewards credited back your 10,000 points to your account for the situation and the inconvenience. We here at the hotel would like to offer you 5,000 points for your inconvenience.
Was IHG Rewards able to find another hotel for you?
Thank you and have a great day.
Here’s reply from the reader to the operations manager:
When I contacted IHG, I was offered 5,000 points as compensation, however; this really is insufficient considering the severity of the matter. I am on a cross country trip and detoured over 10 miles specifically to stay at your property after confirming reward availability. Had I known that your hotel would be closed, and no one would reply after waiting around for over 15 minutes, I would have stayed somewhere along my route and not driven out of my way.
In a situation where a confirmed reservation is not honored, the brand standard requires the offending property pay for alternate accommodations and provide additional compensation equivalent to a future stay at a comparable property. In this case, I called the front desk multiple times and heard the phone ring through the wall, called the property on my phone, and tried the door and waited around for 15+ minutes before finally giving up and seeking alternate accommodations. Therefore, this is truly an equivalent situation to a confirmed reservation not being honored. I had a confirmed reservation and not only was I not given a room; I was not even allowed to enter the property.
As such, I request compensation in the amount of 25,000 points. 15,000 points would cover the cost of my alternate hotel and 10,000 points would cover a future stay at a property equivalent to yours.
Please let me know when the points have been posted.
Here’s the reply from the operations manager:
I want to apologize again for the issue at hand.
Yes, our Lobby doors are locked from 11:00PM to 7:00AM. The hotel does have a staff member on property 24 hours a day. In the event of your arrival to our property the cordless phone malfunctioned and was not receiving calls. Our Team Member at the time did not know the phone was not operational. The Team Member was away from the desk at the time of your arrival handling a guest situation. The Team Member was made aware of the phone not being operational at the time IHG contacted the hotel about your situation. The issue with the phone has been fixed so your situation will not happen to another guest.
I understand you were not able to check in for your reservation at our property and IHG Rewards had to find alternate accommodations for you. In this case you had a prepaid reservation, using your IHG Reward points. The points you used for our property have since been refunded back to your IHG Rewards account.
I would be more than happy to accommodate you for first night at the alternate hotel IHG Rewards provided for you because of the situation at our property.
Please provide me the Confirmation number and receipt for your stay at the alternate hotel IHG Rewards provided for you. I will refund accordingly when information is provided and confirmed.
I would like to offer you a Complimentary one night Voucher for our property. This Voucher can be used for one night room and tax at our property in the future. We want to show you how much we truly value our guests.
And here’s the closing from the reader:
Thank you for your reply. I accept your offer of a refund of the points used for my alternate stay. Again, the price was 15,000 points. I stayed at the Holiday Inn North Phoenix under confirmation number (removed). Additionally, I look forward to giving your property another try using the voucher. Thanks for your time in addressing this matter.
The LoyaltyLobby reader must have read through the piece and the IHG manual how to handle walks (meaning hotel is oversold and they must move some reservations to other hotel) that I have written about here.
It is great that the reader was aware of what he was entitled to and that the property promised to refund the points used for the alternate property and offer a free night certificate towards a future use.