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Wish You Could Throw Customer Service Out The Window

, , , , , , | Right | November 28, 2017

(I work front desk at a hotel and I get a call from an in-house guest.)

Customer: “Yeah, I’m in 417 and all my light bulbs are burnt out. I have no light in here and I’ve got work to do. Can you send someone up here to fix them, please?”

Me: “Absolutely, ma’am. I’ll be right up.”

(I highly doubt that all of her bulbs are burnt out, so I grab only two spare lights and head upstairs to see what the problem is. I get to her room and knock.)

Me: “Hi! So, which lights are not working?”

Customer: “None of them! They won’t turn on; I’ve tried everything.”

(I walk over to the first lamp, turn the switch, and the light comes on.)

Customer: “Oh…”

(I go to the other lamps on either side of the bed, turn the switches on each of them, and they both turn on. I repeat this with each light in the room, turning knobs and flipping switches; they all work.)

Customer: “Well, I feel stupid now.”

(In my mind I’m thinking, “Well, that’s because you ARE stupid,” but of course, I don’t actually say that.)

Me: “Oh, no worries; those lights can be pretty tricky sometimes. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Customer: “Yes, actually, can you close that window for me? I had trouble getting it to open all the way, and now I can’t close it.”

(I go to close it and notice right away that the window is open ABOVE the little plastic piece that normally keeps the window from opening more than seven inches.)

Me: “Well, this is odd.”

Customer: “Yeah, I had to force it open; I hope I didn’t break it.”

Me: “Yeah, I’m going to go grab a screwdriver to try to fix this. I’ll be back in a moment, okay?”

Customer: “Sure, no problem. I really hope I didn’t break it.”

(I go put away the two unused light bulbs, grab a screwdriver, and head back upstairs. As soon as I try to fix it, I see exactly what the problem is.)

Me: “Well, it looks like someone forced this window to open above the plastic guard. See that plastic bit that the window was resting on? That is supposed to stop the window from opening any further. Somebody forced the window up past it, and now the mechanism is broken. See here?” *I point to a large, cracked piece of plastic on the window itself* “It’s cracked and broken, and the little mechanism inside is stuck. I won’t be able to close it. I think you did, in fact, break it when you forced it open, so most likely you will be billed for the damage.”

Customer: “Oh, but I never forced anything! It was already like that when I checked in; the window was already open!”

Me: “But you just told me you hoped you didn’t break it because—”

Customer: “No, I never said I had trouble opening the window, or that I forced it. I never told you those things earlier. So… Can I get a new room?”

Me: *sigh* “Yes, ma’am, I will get you a new room.”

(We only had one other room of that kind available, but the customer didn’t like it because there was no desk in it. She insisted on a room with a desk, so I ended up upgrading her and increased the price accordingly. She fought with the manager the next morning, and eventually my boss gave the upgrade for free and decided not to bill her for the damage. His logic was that the guest would be happy and come back. She ended up leaving a very negative and false review of our hotel, and she never came back. She was a one-shot guest who caused more trouble than she was worth.)

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