For the most part, my experiences travelling have been extremely positive. Even in the best hotels, however, things do occasionally go wrong. So here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way that can help make the entire ‘complaint experience’ a better one.
1. Look at the problem from the perspective of the hotel clerk. They get paid money to help you with things. Sometimes that money isn’t enough and they feel little incentive to help you so appeal to them as people, or a friend. Pretend like your hotel room is actually you’re friend’s spare bedroom. You can tell them the bed isn’t that comfortable or maybe there is a smell but be nice and don’t make a big entitlement deal out of it.
2. Suggest solutions that would make you happy if the hotel doesn’t suggest anything. Complaints aren’t very good unless there’s an easy solution. Have a smoky room? Ask if you can move to another. If there’s something wrong with the entire hotel, say too much construction noise, ask politely if there are any partner hotels nearby they would recommend. Many times a hotel will be happy to move your reservation to a nearby hotel they are partnered with free of charge.
3. Keep it cool. Even though you paid for something the individual concierge doesn’t owe you anything. They didn’t put bed bugs in your room, they didn’t break the thermostat. Don’t get angry at them for things they have no control over. The big bosses who do have control over the properties condition probably aren’t even there! They took your money, provided a shoddy service, and then left for a vacation in Bermuda while the underpaid employees have to deal with the fallout.
4. Fix it yourself. Just do whatever you need to. If the room is too cold run the shower on hot for half an hour. If there’s an odor in your room bring in some scented candles or incense. Sometimes these simple low cost solutions are better than trying to negotiate your way out of a room.
Follow these tips and remember shouting and getting angry is rarely the best way to get what you want. Be reasonable with the hotel employees and they will be reasonable to you. There is a lot they can do above and beyond what they are told to, but they only will if they feel a personal connection with you as more than just a customer.