This week the Compensation Clinic case is a resolution for a Reader Question that I had back in May (read more here).
Remember that you can always email me, send me a Facebook message or Tweet me about the issues you have with hotels, airlines and other travel providers. We’ll feature one new Compensation Clinic case each week.
You can access Hilton Long Island/Huntington website here.
Here’s what happened:
I am a Hilton Honors Gold member and as I live in Thailand where a lot of branded goods are rather expensive,when I travel to USA I often order stuff on online (amazon etc) and consign to one of the hotels I am staying at,and up to know I have never had any serious issues.
However on my most recent trip I consigned a travel bag costing about $260 to Hilton Melville/Long Island, along with some other lower value items.
On checking in, the lower value items were there but the bag was missing.
I checked back on line and printed out the amazon proof of delivery and gave it to the staff on the front desk to try and locate the package.
Here’s what happened next:
Front desk denied the person who signed for the package worked for the hotel (Don’t know her)
Another front desk employee confirmed the person did work for the hotel,but tried to suggest I may have already received the item at check in as it might have been combined with the others. I explained there were 3 seperate POD’s and they had not been combined (different tracking #s)
Front desk Manager said package definitely lost,Hilton would accept responsibility and to talk to Christian in the morning to find out how to resolve
Day 4 (Checking Out)
Christian brings in another manager (F&B Manager,for some reason) and they say they cannot reimburse me or deduct from the accommodation charges as they must claim back from their insurers. I argue and say I need the amount credited now,they point blank refuse and ask me to send them an e-mail detailing the loss and they will process the claim. I’m running out of time to get to the airport so I back off and subsequently send the e-mail to both of them on 12th May.
On my way to the airport it occurs to me that I have nothing in writing from them acknowledging the loss or accepting any kind of responsibility.
To date,10 days later,and 3 e-mail follow ups, no reply.
I have given them 48 hours to respond before I escalate to HH Guest Assistance.
What’s your view on this,do I have a valid claim,or would I be better off claiming non receipt with Amex, the credit card with which I paid for the transaction?
Any advice on how to handle this would be welcome.
Here’s what I suggested the reader could do:
It is indeed crazy that many of the goods manufactured in the Asia are cheaper in the US!
This is not a valid reason to do a chargeback with Amex because the merchant delivered the goods to the address provided by the reader. Some Amex cards include variety of guarantees that may apply for lost items. The reader should investigate if his Amex includes one.
When hotel employee stole money from my bag (read more here), I walked to the police station to file a case. The reader should have done the same. Visit a police station and file case for theft. Obviously the police doesn’t do anything, but the reader would then have further proof for the claim.
Considering that the hotel has now stopped communicating with the reader, I believe that they just hope him to go away. The reader should email email@example.com and ask them to open Guest Assistance case. Reader should include all the relevant info while being as brief as possible at the same time.
I would ask the hotel to reimburse the value of the goods that they lost (or likely employee stole) and request Be My Guest certificate or compensation points for the hotel’s failure to follow up on this despite the promises made.
Shipping goods to a hotel where you will be shortly staying at doesn’t come without possible issues that the reader just encountered. It is rather easy for hotel employee to steal stuff if the property is not well organized. You also have to bear in mind that some hotel charge rather high fees ($15++) for each package received.
Just had a looked on TripAdvisor and this hotel Hilton Long Island/Huntington that is in Melville has very low rating. I would leave a two star rating including the information above to warn other guests. If an employee stole from this guest, they certainly have from others too.
Here’s an update:
I e-mailed you about this a couple of weeks back.
I followed your advice and contacted Hilton Gold Service and within a few days the hotel contacted me,very apologetic,saying they had not received my original e-mails!
After that things moved forward quickly,and the claim has now been settled at full replacement value.
I’m actually happy with this, but I do believe that had I not contacted Hilton Gold that the hotel would have continued to ignore me.
Do you think I should go back to Hilton Gold and push for some points as compensation for my wasted time etc, or let it go?
Seems that this hotel is very badly organized if they didn’t receive emails that you sent them directly but promptly replied when you contacted with Hilton corporate. I guess that most people simply give up and don’t do what I suggested you should.
I am glad to learn that they settled for the full replacement value. There is nothing wrong asking for compensation also for the hassle factor that you had to go through. I would have mentioned this, however, with the communication you had with the hotel after they received the note from Hilton.