The Anti-Rant – SPG & Hyatt Customer Service Issues Solved

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Customer Service Issues - Anti Rant
Too much negativity is a bad thing. Photo by Karl-Ludwig Poggemann

Follow Up On SPG & Hyatt Customer Service Issues

After thinking back to the last couple of weeks, I realized that I wrote two complaint posts about customer service issues on this blog. For those who are new to the blog, that is a rare event for me. I just am not a fan of being negative.

Since I did publicly complain about customer service issues with both SPG and Hyatt over the course of a week or so, I thought I would post a quick follow up to those situations in fairness to the companies.

Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale – You Can’t Use Your Wife’s Status

Customer Service Isssues - Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale

I wrote a couple of weeks ago that my SPG Gold status had somehow been downgraded (or never upgraded at all) and how I was treated pretty poorly by the front desk at the Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale. They openly accused me of trying to use my wife’s Gold status even though she wasn’t there. (And didn’t believe that I actually had Gold status myself.)

After making me jump through hoops to get my status upgraded again (through American Express), I was promised 500 points for the inconvenience. To be honest I was just glad to get everything fixed and wanted to get out of that hotel. T

The next morning when I checked out, I was never addressed by a manager or apologized to at all. I think this reflects poorly on the hotel, however I was thoroughly impressed with the SPG phone agent. With that said, had this been my first or only Starwood or Sheraton experience, I would have left with a very bad impression.

Thankfully I travel a lot and can put this into perspective. This year I have stayed at a few Starwood properties and have had great experiences. Starwood does a pretty good job and their properties are generally top notch. I am still puzzled about why everything happened the way it did, however I won’t hold it against the company in the long term.

Hyatt Regency Tulsa – Stay Credit Issue

Customer Services Issues - Hyatt Regency Tulsa

My customer service issue with Hyatt was seemingly a simple one. The last stay that I needed to post for my Hyatt Diamond Challenge wasn’t showing up. To fix it, I simply emailed Hyatt’s customer service. I thought it would be resolved within minutes.

Unfortunately it took several days to hear back and I was told that my stay wasn’t eligible. I had booked directly through Hyatt and thus it was eligible, however the hotel had apparently changed my booking code to make the stay look ineligible.

Eventually after three email exchanges and 16 DAYS I heard back from a manager who apologized for their mistake and credited me 3,000 bonus points for the problem in addition to the points for the stay.

To be honest I am still shocked at the quality of this customer service experience, however I weigh it against the phenomenal experiences I have received at 15 other Hyatt properties this year. It is just a blip on the radar.

Anti-Rant

Which brings me to the point of this post. I don’t want to complain about customer service issues without at least putting it everything into perpsective in the scope of my life. Sure Hyatt screwed up, but I forgive them since they have done well so many other times.

Mistakes happen and we should have every expectation that they will be fixed promptly, but that is it. I didn’t ask or expect either of these companies to compensate me, rather to just fix the problems. I know many people will disagree with that, however I prefer to ask for compensation only when a severe issue has arisen.

Takeaways

Sometimes I experiment and try to see what a regular customer would go through when contacting a company. That was the case with Hyatt and why I chose to email instead of using Twitter. (Where they see that I am a blogger.) I now believe that is a mistake not only for me, but for anyone.

Most Twitter teams are U.S. based and empowered to solve problems. I have no doubt that had I tweeted Hyatt about the issue, it would have been resolved within a day. Instead I had a frustrating experience. It shouldn’t be that way, but that is the unfortunate reality.

Conclusion

It is important to remember that mistakes happen and it is ok to forgive and move on. In my case I have forgiven both SPG and Hyatt for their mistakes. I am blessed to travel all over the world and life is too short to complain all of the time.

I will continue to post about huge issues I have with travel companies, but hopefully with a better perspective and with the goal of helping others to learn the best way to get their problems solved!


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3 COMMENTS

  1. Shawn, thanks for sharing, sorry to hear that you had a bad experience at SPG and Hyatt hotels at that time, but glad that you got over it.
    Question, when the guest/customer service at the hotel treat you poorly like not recognizing your status and on top of that accusing you of stealing your wife’s status, when you argue with them, do you think it’s a good idea to speak in calm, but firm tone and mentioned that you will bring this to their executive or management level (such as writing or call the corporate level to elevate the issue) and mention your gold/platinum/diamond status and never been in your life experience this kind or treatment that made you totally disappointed and then you said something like “ok so I think you cannot help me and as a diamond member I have never been disappointed and treated this way, I think I need to elevate this to higher level at your corporate main branch, let me record and document everything, mr/mrs……” (and then you pretend to write the guest service’s name on your phone or notes so they will be scared and try to accommodate and apologize to you).
    Sometimes we need to be serious and pressure them firmly a bit if they don’t want to help although we talk in friendly way….

    What do you think on this?

    • I think it is ok to do what works. I generally don’t do say “Do you know who I am” at the front desk, but I have told agents in a few situations that I am documenting everything so I can relay it to the corporate office. In the SPG case, I simply walked away since I had to call corporate to get my status fixed anyway.

      It was clear that no one at that hotel had properly been taught how to handle customer service situations since I felt genuinely accused of trying to use her status even though, 1. I had my own status and 2. I didn’t ask for any benefits. Either way it is in the past and I won’t let it color my opinion of SPG, because the good experiences outweight the bad ones.

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