This week the Compensation Clinic case comes from a LoyaltyLobby reader’s stay at Hilton Diagonal Mar hotel in Barcelona.
You can access Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona’s website here.
Here’s the email that the reader sent to the hotel after his stay:
Me and my girlfriend visited the hilton diagonal mar hotel on days 4.-8.7.2015. We were on a 2 week holiday trip and the first week we were on a road trip in Scotland and the second week in Barcelona. We were the first three days in Barcelona at hotel rekord which was a nice little city hotel and we used the days for getting to know the city. We booked your hotel to be the grand finale on our trip and that we could just take it easy with lounge accesses etc.
We really enjoyed our stay at the hotel but there were several issues, some totally unacceptable, that didn’t leave as good image as it could have been.
Here is the list of problems that we had:
On the check in we were given a wifi code and told that our luggage would be brought to our room. We were also told that we could take 2 bottles of water from the minibar as I am a hhonors silver member. We went to our room and I noticed that the wifi is only for public areas and there is a 8 hour limit. We waited for the luggage for 20 minutes and then called the reception about them and asked if we could get slippers because there were none in our room. The slippers were brought almost immediately but no luggage. I asked the worker who brought the slippers about the luggage and he said that he will call the reception. We waited another 15-20 minutes and I went myself to get the luggage from downstairs but at the time I got down the luggage had went up. Later I also asked about the wifi and was told that I am entitled to the better wifi because I had booked vie hilton webpage.
On the first morning, which was sunday, we were woken up by the room radio / alarm at 7.30 a.m. I tried to close it in the dark and got it silenced but after 10-15 minutes it started ringing again and I had to put all the lights on to work out how to turn it off. We hadn’t put any alarms by ourselves so it wasn’t a nice surprise. On the same day we were on our room when suddenly someone (cleaner I suppose) opened our door and said hello? I jumped out of bed and said hello and the person just quickly slammed the door shut and went away. I didn’t get to see who there was on the door and I didn’t go to check if there was still someone on the corridor. There were no door knockings or anything else, the person just opened the door. I was laying on the bed at the time and my girlfriend was in the bathroom. The next day happened almost the same but there was a quick knocking on the door and I again went straight to the door but the door was opened before by the cleaner and she just asked if she comes to clean now or later. We found this really disturbing because we thought that our privacy wasn’t respected at all.
On Monday we were starting to head to the beach and I went to the executive lounge to wait that my girlfriend gets finished with her morning routines. I tried to use the keycard to the elevator but it rejected it, I tried couple of times but had to go down to reception to get a new one. Went to the lounge and after a while I started to wonder what was taking so long with my girlfriend. I went back to the room and there were nobody and headed to the reception and found her there with a nonfunctioning keycard. My girlfriend isn’t very good in english so I had to solve the problem. We also had an issue with the elevator one morning when it didn’t get us and 3 other executive floor visitors to the rooms from the executive lounge, but just stopped twice in the 16th floor and headed to first floor. On the second time all of us jumped quickly off the elevator and told the reception that the elevator isn’t working.
Our bathrooms roof wasn’t at the shape it should have been, took photos and have them attached to this e-mail. One evening I heard a noise like water was dripping somewhere in the structure. I tried to flush the toilet couple of times and the dripping went off as the water tank filled but started then again. I went to reception to say about it and the receptionist asked if it was okay if maintenance comes to check it out ( it was like 23.00 p.m.) I said that it is okay and went to room to wait. We waited for 1 – 1.5 hours before getting to showers or anything else but there were no maintenance guys or any info to us from the reception. We heard nothing about this even later on our trip and I didn’t bother anymore to ask.
At the check out we were tried to bill the two waters from minibar that we were supposed to be given as a welcome gift. I said about it and they were taken off from the bill.
I know that this e-mail seems like a big rant, but we really enjoyed our stay at the hotel and would probably visit there again if comes a possibility. The executive lounge was really nice and the staff at the lounge were extremely kind and helpful. Some of the problems on the other hand were so severe that we would really like to be compensated some way because we paid full cash on the executive room and service.
And the reply from the hotel:
First of all I would like to thank you for choosing the Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona during your visit to the city, as well as for giving us your opinion. After reading the unfortunate incidents you had to go through while staying with us I first and foremost I would like you to accept my most sincere apologies. These are obviously not the kind of comments that we would like to receive from our guests as we would have preferred that your stay with us surpassed your expectation, but I must admit our mistakes so I will try, in the best way, to renew your faith in our hotel.
I wanted to personally reply to you and I have to say that all your comments make sense and I am already working with the different head of departments to analyze and redirect all what has been unsatisfactory for you in order to improve the services and products we offer. We have considered all your comments like a constructive criticism and in this sense, I have to thank you for letting me know your concern and your point of view about your experience during your stay. Certainly this is not the kind of service our guests expect from us since our commitment is to provide the best service and all the equipment and conditions in perfect order, for this reason I feel sad knowing that we have not been able to fulfill your expectations so please accept my most sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused during you stay.
The problems you have mentioned regarding the delay in the luggage delivery, the alarm clock, the inconveniences caused by the cleaner, the keycards and the condition of the bathroom’s roof have been brought to the attention of all my Key Executives in order to immediately address the various situations you witness and to make sure that such things do not occur again in the future. There is no excuse for what has occurred, though; the lack of service you experienced is unusual at our Hotel. The Hilton standards and our team members aim to consistently deliver a professional and hospitable service to our customers because your satisfaction is our priority, so once again, please accept my deepest apologies for the inconveniences that you suffered.
I am conscious that nothing will compensate you for the disappointing experience, but my desire would have been that you had a wonderful stay so, I would like to offer you a two nights (bed and breakfast for 2 people) on complimentary basis at your earliest convenience to give you the opportunity to enjoy your time in Barcelona with us and in the same way give us the opportunity to recuperate your trust in Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona .
Please let me know if you are able to accept this offer and you can coordinate the booking through my Personal Assistant, Mrs. Yolanda Llorca by sending an e-mail at: (REMOVED) in order to personally take care of your reservation and to assure that you have a memorable stay at the Hilton Diagonal Mar. Of course, an upgrade and VIP treatment will be guaranteed. This offer has not any expiration date; it is just subject to our availability so you can enjoy it at your earliest convenience.
Please be confident that we will follow-up on the points you have outlined to avoid recurrence. The time taken along with the effort made to share your comments with us is most appreciated because the feedback from our guests is vitally important in our mission to be the first choice of the world’s travellers.
We want you as our guest and are hopeful that you will afford us the opportunity to provide lodging services in the future.
Thank you for staying with us at the Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona
Here’s further reply from the reader:
Thank you for your reply. First of all I accept and thank you for your sincere apologies. I have no doubts that the issues are being taken care of. As I said we really liked your hotel and the problems didn’t ruin our trip.
We would love to come there again, but unfortunately as we live in Oulu, Finland it isn’t so easy to get there. We would have to switch planes in Helsinki and fly from there to Barcelona so on a weekend trip almost all the time would go to the trip there and back. So it would have to be almost a week for the whole trip before it makes sense. As I work as entrepreneur my time is limited and my summer holiday was the two week trip that we made. In winter we have thought of travelling to asia and for next summer we have been thinking of going to Croatia. So I can’t yet tell at all when we would be coming there as we like to see different places of the world. But some day in the future we are definetely coming back to Spain and Barcelona.
So my proposition for the situation is that, if possible, I could get the hhonors points as the compensation from the problems that we had. I have three upcoming stays in the next few weeks in hilton hotels and the points could help me more with the future bookings that I make. I am getting hhonors gold membership after the next three stays and of course I am going to continue to use hilton hotels after that. I would gladly accept the 2 nights as points if it is taken in notice that we payed for executive room with cash.
And the reply from the hotel:
I fully understand the situation so please be informed that we have proceed to return the quantity of 80.000 HHonors points to your account which is the equivalent to 2 nights at Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona. Please be advised that the points refunded will be available in 6-7 business days.
I remain at your entire disposal so please do not hesitate to call on me, shall your trips bring you and your family to Barcelona again in a near future and I will certainly make sure personally that you have a most enjoyable stay with us.
Hotels often try to offer free nights or some extras on a future stay, as this approach wouldn’t cost them a penny and many probably not end up using them. It is the right approach to ask for points compensation instead.
Glad that the reader was able to come up with acceptable solution for both parties and they can use the 80,000 points the way they later choose.