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  • A Caffeinated Christmas Miracle
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  • Category: Hotels & Lodging

    A good hotel prides itself on providing a decent service to all its guests. But when its guests are our stupid customers, there is very little they can do to remedy the situation except pray they’re fully booked the next time they come around!

    Extra Reserves Of Stupidity

    | Fairfax, VA, USA | Hotels & Lodging, Transportation

    (I’m about to move into a new apartment. The parking situation at this complex is pretty relaxed. It allows guests/non residents to park there during the day, in any spot that isn’t reserved for residents who pay extra for their spots. I go to the leasing office to pick up my keys. I’m about to go up to the counter, when a woman bursts into the office and yells at the receptionist.)

    Woman: “Excuse me! I think my car was just stolen!”

    Receptionist: “Stolen? Oh my gosh! Where was your car?”

    Woman: “I was at my friend’s home for just a few minutes. I come outside, and my car is gone. It’s just gone!”

    Receptionist: “Well, do you think you may have parked it in a reserved space? We have a tow truck come in to clear cars in reserved parking spaces.”

    Woman: “What? No one told me not to park in such a space! Besides, my friend is out of town so she couldn’t even tell me not to park there. And besides, I was only inside for a few minutes!”

    Receptionist: “I really do apologize, ma’am. Let me find out what I can.”

    (The receptionist tries her best to calm the woman down, and calls the contracted tow company. She gives them a description of the car.)

    Receptionist: “Yes, ma’am, they did tow your car. You had parked it in a reserved space.”

    Woman: “This is ridiculous! I have an appointment in 30 minutes; I shouldn’t have to be dealing with this!”

    (The receptionist is trying to be as accommodating as possible. I end up taking a seat, realizing I’m not going to be getting any help until this is resolved. The receptionist disappears into the back office to get approval to order a cab, and even have the property offer to pay for it. As soon as she leaves, the woman looks at me.)

    Woman: “It’s like we’re living in a police state. It’s totally unbelievable! People are waiting in the bushes for the littlest things. You know, I was just feeding my friend’s cats! No good deed goes unpunished.”

    Me: “I’m moving in today, and a few weeks ago when I came here for the first time, I knew better than to park in a space that had ‘RESERVED’ written on it in large letters.”

    (The woman shuts up and waits for the girl to come back. She was not necessarily calmer, but she did tone down her ranting!)

    Not Behaving Like An Adult

    | Pine Grove, PA, USA | Hotels & Lodging, Money

    (I have just checked a guest in at a discounted rate. After 20 minutes, the guest calls me at the front desk.)

    Guest: “You’ve charged me $199! You said my rate was $109!”

    Me: “Okay, sir, let me bring up your reservation to make sure I didn’t make a mistake.”

    (The guest grunts, but lets me check.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but it looks like I didn’t make a mistake. You will see an authorization for $136.36 until your card is actually charged. We authorize for more just in case you have any incidentals at the end of your stay.”

    Guest: “Listen to what I’m telling you; I’ve been overcharged!”

    Me: “Please come to the front desk so I can see your receipt.”

    (The guest comes down, and slams a receipt on the desk that doesn’t look anything like what we give out.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but this receipt is for [Adult Store]. You must have gotten the receipts mixed up. Here is a new one for your stay here; have a great night!”

    No Proof In Purchase

    | Wiltshire, England, UK | Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Hotels & Lodging, School

    (We have a school prom in our function room. Whenever we have a prom, we run a ‘dry’ bar. We will not serve the students at the main bar. One of the teachers approaches the bar and slams a bottle down on the counter.)

    Teacher: “I just took this from one of my students. He is 16!”

    Me: “Ma’am, it’s—”

    Teacher: “This is a disgrace; you’ve broken the law. Who served him! Was it you?”

    Me: “It’s a—”

    Teacher: “I want to speak to your manager.”

    Me: “I understand why you’re upset, but—”

    Teacher: “We won’t have another prom here! Selling alcohol to kids—”

    Me: “It’s a non alcoholic beer. There is no alcohol behind the bar tonight and no one here would serve anyone underage anyway.”

    Teacher: “Oh, God. I’m so sorry. I’d better give this back to him.”

    Some Customers Are Beyond Belief

    | VA, USA | Hotels & Lodging

    (A harried young woman enters our hotel and approaches the front desk. She’s holding a voucher that I know we don’t accept.)

    Me: “Hi. I’m sorry, but we don’t accept that voucher.”

    Young Woman: *in dismay* “Really? This one?”

    Me: “Yes. Plenty of others before you have tried to use that, and my manager says no. The other hotel on [other street] uses it.”

    Young Woman: “What?!”

    Me: “We don’t accept that voucher.”

    Young Woman: “I must make sure. Can you give me their phone number? Can I use your phone?”

    Me: “Um… okay. But like I said, this has happened many times before and they’re the only ones who take those.”

    Young Woman: *calls anyway* “…That’s what the hotel I was just at said about you!”

    (She calls and they confirm they take it. I give her the address and call her a cab.)

    Young Woman: “Thank you so much for your help!”

    Me: “No problem.”

    Young Woman: “I didn’t mean to disbelieve you earlier, but I just had a bad day and had to make sure!”

    Me: “That’s okay!”

    (She smiles and wishes me a good night I do the same. Too bad more people can’t make an effort to be pleasant even after a long day like her!)

    Lodging A Compliment

    | Truro, England, UK | Awesome Customers, Hotels & Lodging

    (I work on the reception of a large hotel chain. We do a deal where you can get cheap nights at a hotel under three circumstances: 1) you book and pay in advance, 2) you don’t alter the booking in ANY way, and 3) you book online. As there’s minimal person-to-person interaction, there are plenty of people who tick the ‘terms and conditions’ without reading them. The biggest catch is that if you cancel, as you’ve paid in advance, the hotel still charges you the stay.)

    Me: “Hello, this is [hotel and chain] and I’m [name]. How can I help you today?”

    Customer: “Hello, I’ve made a booking for the 21st until the 23rd but I’ve changed my mind, and I’d like to come the following weekend instead. Could you change this for me?”

    Me: “One moment, sir. I’ll just bring up your booking…”

    (I take his details and quickly notice he’s on this deal, and therefore I cannot make any changes.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, it’s not possible for me to change it. You’ve booked through our [offer system] and therefore we can’t make any alterations to the booking.”

    Customer: “What do you mean? I just want you to change the dates. What’s so difficult?”

    Me: “I understand, sir, but you’ve made this booking under the deal, and part of the contract of that is that there cannot be any changes to the booking.”

    Customer: “What?! What contract? I signed no contract!”

    Me: “The details of the offer are in the Terms and Conditions when you made the booking. We do advise you read those.”

    Customer: “Fine! I don’t want to come to your hotel now at all. Just cancel the booking.”

    Me: “Of course, sir, but you must know that we’ll still charge you for the stay. That’s also in the terms and conditions. If you cancel for whatever reason, [chain] will still charge the money.”

    (The customer explodes down the phone at me, and I have to hold the phone away from my ear because of the noise level. He begins threatening to go to the media, ruining the chain’s reputation and generally being abrasive. At this point, two women walk into the reception and I ask them politely to wait as I’m currently dealing with the customer on the phone. They both lean on the counter and can clearly hear the man on the other end shouting at me. Finally, he calms somewhat.)

    Me: “I completely understand your predicament, sir. I have been wondering if my system would allow me to change the dates of the stay in such an event but haven’t been able to do so for obvious reasons. The only thing I can offer you is that I, out of curiosity, change the dates on your booking. I warn you, I have no idea if this will be successful, as I’ve not attempted it before. If I change it you may still be charged. This is the best I can offer you. Do you understand?”

    Customer: “Yes, I understand. You’re going to try to change it, but your system might not allow it?”

    Me: “Yes, sir.”

    Customer: “And if the system doesn’t allow it, I may be charged.”

    Me: “Yes, sir.”

    Customer: “Let’s do it, then!”

    (I change the dates and luckily, it allows it. He is still on the offer, but on different days. I explain this to him.)

    Me: “So, you’re booked in for [dates] which will cost you [price] and I do suggest that, next time, you don’t use this offer. It’s quite tempting, but if you aren’t absolutely certain on the dates of your stay, it’ll cost you extra.”

    Customer: “Thank you so much! I’ve written down your name, I’ll enjoy meeting you. You’ve been such a help and I’ll bring you a bottle of bourbon for you when I get there.”

    (I end the call, and make a note of his attitude on his booking, as warning for other receptionists that might encounter him. I look up sheepishly at the two women still waiting to be checked in.)

    Me: “How can I help you today?”

    Woman #1: “Get your manager down here right now.”

    (I call down the manager, knowing what they’ve heard me do is against company policy, and that I could be in a lot of trouble for doing it.)

    Manager: “What can I do for you, ladies?”

    Woman #2: “This girl has just shown the best customer service we’ve ever seen.”

    Woman #1: “Yes, we stay in these hotels all the time, and I’ve never seen anyone handle a bad customer like that.”

    Woman #2: “It was amazing! You should’ve seen it! She deserves a medal for keeping her cool. Definite customer satisfaction, and she hasn’t even checked us in yet!”

    Manager: “Thank you, ladies, I’ll make a note of it. If that’s all, I’ll leave her to check you in?”

    (I got a commendation from head office for my conduct, although they weren’t entirely clear on the details of why I should get it. It’s not monetary reward, but having ‘outstanding customer service award’ from one of the leading hotel chains in the UK does look rather good on my CV… and all for breaking company policy!)

    (P.S. The man didn’t bring me the bourbon after all!)

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