This week’s Compensation Clinic is a reader’s case from the Holiday Inn Los Angeles Gateway in Torrance, CA where the guest stayed multiple days and didn’t have a great experience.
Holiday Inn isn’t a brand that I would normally associate with prime properties but they have gotten better in recent years and no matter what the brand is, certain qualities such as cleanliness, properly working air conditioning and responsible hotel management should always be the minimum standard with any international chain such as IHG.
Our reader Kevin stayed at this property multiple nights and at the beginning of the stay on day two he noticed that the air condition unit was leaking water, essentially soaking the carpet. He brought the matter up at the front desk but it was never fixed. He then contacted hotel management again without much success.
Here is his summary of the incident:
… I expressed some concerns about my stay at the Front Desk and was hoping to hear back from the General Manager or Duty Manager at the Holiday Inn Torrance regarding the wet carpet and the flood on the floor by the AC unit in the guest room. I had mentioned this one night night into my stay and two days before checkout and was assured that maintenance would take a look at it but it appears that nothing happened ever since.
I mentioned it again at checkout and asked if they might be able to offer some points as compensation for the issue and also for the unavailability to get any change for the coin-operated laundry machines. The person at checkout was unable to do anything but assured me the GM would call back after management got back from lunch. Nothing happened for a few days.
After I called again I received the following email:
“I am very sorry for the delay in communication!
My front desk agent did bring this issue to my attention but I did not get a chance to respond to the inquiry. I was able to deposit 1000 points into your account for the inconvenience, I’m very sorry the issue was never addressed while you were staying with us. I’ve made sure to follow up with the engineering department so that they may address this rooms concerns.
In regards to the points, please allow a few days to pass so that these may reflect in your account.
If there is anything else I could do to help please don’t hesitate to contact me by replying to this email!
Assistant Front Office Manager”
1000 points were unacceptable to me. What is this?? The hotel costs an average of 20k/night and I was staying there for almost a full week.
” … Honestly though I’m a bit insulted with your offer of only 1,000 points after all the inconvenience and trouble I’ve gone thru regarding this incident. As a Spire Elite with IHG and over 20 nights at your property so far this year and with great service up until now I really did expect more. Looking at the points requirement for this property going forward it is averaging 20K/night with many nights requiring more than this. 1,000 points is not even 1/20th of a nights stay. I am requesting 10,000 IHG points for compensation which isn’t even enough for a half of a free night based on the points requirement many nights going forward. I really hope you can address my concerns and that I don’t have to follow-up with IHG Corporate regarding this.”
I gave up dealing with the hotel and called customer care and they offered 20k points compensation which I accepted.
Stay away from this hotel!
This sounds like a lot of trouble to get such an issue rectified. Eventually, the reader was able to secure 20,000 points in compensation which is equivalent to one free night on this multi-night stay but that was really like pulling a tiger’s teeth.
When an issue such as the reader describes happens where a leaking air condition unit is flooding the room and the carpet is soaked hotels normally send maintenance immediately before larger damage happens and the water even seeps through the ceiling into the room below.
Usually, the room will be changed immediately (if the guest wants to or not) to allow the hotel to do the necessary repairs and to dry out the room as soon as possible. Why this wasn’t done here is anyone’s guess. Such inaction usually causes a lot of problems downstream and the condition of the property will suffer greatly over time.
For the second issue, I never heard of any place let alone a hotel that wasn’t able to provide change for the laundromat facility on site. Either the front desk should be able to change banknotes or there is a money changer machine in the actual laundry room. The Hyatt House LAX where I stayed recently switched to a system that was entirely operated by an app which wasn’t ideal either as a) it was expensive [$5] and b) you had to install an app, add a credit card and go through the whole process just to start the washing machine.
To offer appropriate compensation for this major inconvenience here should be the minimum management could do but it seems that both maintenance and guest relations aren’t the top priority of the hotel.
Offering a guest 1,000 points is quite frankly ridiculous. From what I understand the guest was staying there on points as well and has spent close to 100,000 points for one week (5 nights). Refunding at least one full night is the minimum I’d have requested and it seems that IHG Customer Care took the same position as they gave the reader 20,000 points compensation which equals one night.