No longer as truthful as should be deserved, some names, places and events deliberately vague to protect identities that aren't mine

Sunday, 1 January 2012

A room with a view.

New Year summary post coming up, but in the meantime, here's a few things to keep you going.

The 5* hotel in Hong Kong my parents were staying at for New Years fucked up their booking.  This was a mistake.  My parents are customer service staff's worst nightmare.  I learnt well.  Old flatmates of mine are terrified of me just from the one side of phone conversations they've heard that I've had with estate agents who have pissed me off.  My mother managed to get places on a plane out of Rome for herself, my cousin, and 5 Americans she'd never met before during the week the Pope died.  This is the email my dad sent me about the HK hotel story, I also take this moment to point out, my mum is a 4'9" woman, intimidating in stature, she is not...

Arrived HK at 6.30am. At the Shangri La at 7am with early check in requested, and indicated for 8am with no guarantee. We also mention that on Tuesday we will be leaving early for an 8am flight.
At 8 am mum secures a breakfast whilst we are waiting. This is a 1 star Michelin restaurant so to be fair, a yummy brekie.

Still no room at 9.30 so Mum secures a room in which we can shower and change, which we do and around 10.30 we go for a walk round the hotel and shopping malls for as long as we can.
We return to the Horizon Lounge. Still no room. We sit and wait. Room will be ready by 2pm.
At 2.15 I enquire. During this time, no updates and no tea or coffee, in fact the staff are ignoring us. I am told the room is not ready and am offered a complimentary late check out as compensation. I remind the lady that we are leaving around 0545hrs....

I say I am not happy and walk off.
At this point Mum gets involved. I ask to speak to the duty manager.
She disappears.

The Horizon Lounge assistant manager arrives, nice young lady, very pleasant, explains what they are trying to do and I reply I am not her problem, my wife is and she has disappeared. The AM is aware that Mum has gone downstairs.

The day manager arrives, very concerned, explains that he has found a room (we were previously offered a smoking room, which we declined) that meets our requirements and is getting it prepared. I again state that I am not his problem, my wife is.

At this point Mum appears out of the lift with FOUR of the senior management in tow. She has made an absolute scene in the hotel lobby/main entrance and when the front desk manager appeared and tried to ask her what the problem was she just replied, it’s my husband that you need to talk to, follow me (and they all do back up to the 56th floor!)

He spends 15mins listening patiently (no doubt allowing time for his staff to get a room ready!) and then says it’s unacceptable service and what can he do to put things right. Mum rightly points out it’s not for us to ask; it’s for him to offer.

So here we are in our lovely harbour view room waiting for the fireworks. He could not provide an upgrade as the hotel is full tonight, but offered a suite upgrade for tomorrow night and said the staff would move us. I declined and said it was too much trouble.

We didn’t want a free dinner as we had planned not to eat anyway after the Horizon Lounge cocktails and canap├ęs.

What we have got is
Bottle of red wine plus chocolates
2 bottles of beer plus chocolates
Jasmine tea and fruit
Plate of nougat
Limo service to the airport on Tuesday morning
Champagne and a big box of chocs just sent to the room with a letter of apology from the front desk manager
Every member of Horizon Lounge staff know our names, jump when we appear and ask if there is anything we need.
90 min massage each in the Health Club/Spa tomorrow night

We have a full day here tomorrow, should be interesting.

Like I say, you don't piss off my parents if you basically offer any form of customer services.  And I learnt from them.  Be warned...

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