Our weekly Compensation Clinic comes from the reader who recently alerted us about the inconveniences caused by labor action at the Westin Moana Surfrider in Waikiki, HI.
Two weeks ago one of our readers forwarded us a set of pictures with a situation report from the Westin Moana Surfrider where he stayed while a good number of employees there were engagin in labor action, picketing and disrupting pretty much any comfort aspect one expects when visiting a resort in Hawaii.
The strike has ended in the meanwhile (see John’s article here) and the guest changed hotels after the first day as it was extremely inconvenient and relaxation was completely impossible apart from several outlets being limited in operation or closed entirely which the hotel didn’t disclose on it’s website.
Our reader is a SPG Lifetime Platinum and 10+ year veteran at this hotel with multiple stays per year and he was told by one of the employees to officially ask for a refund which he did through customer relations. I initially suggested to him to deal with this on property and not leave it to CR to resolve this matter as the outcome if anything but certain and honestly I wouldn’t have expected Marriott setting a precedent of compensating customers for strike action at their hotels.
Nevertheless he contacted them and they responded positively to his request for a refund in points:
… The team is working very hard to return to full service and clearly we did not accomplish that while you were visiting The First Lady of Waikiki. We could try to explain every point in your note, but simply put, we did not notify you and we did not deliver on what was promised.
As a token of our sincerest apologies and in appreciation for your loyalty to Marriott we have processed 60,000 points to your loyalty profile ending in XXXX…
That is a very generous compensation and reflects one free night at this property (paid rates are in the mid $200 range) and I was positively surprised from Marriott though I think a lot had to do with the longstanding customer relationship the reader had with this property.
Nevertheless our reader did good by leaving the hotel after one night. Who wants to pay for this?
It’s extremely annoying for the guests who come all the way to Hawaii to relax and then be bothered with this. The hotel should have indeed notified ALL customers about what’s going on but of course that would have cost them a fortune in cancellations so they decided against it and basically screw the guests over who used their savings for a Hawaii holiday.
There is no way guests should accept this behavior in this instance or any other similar case. It’s 2018 and there is a phone number plus email on file for each guest. Also the website should reflect all foreseeable disruptions which was clearly not the case here.