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Customer Service Should Not Be An Afterthought
For those who don’t know my background, other than being a globetrotting father and miles & points expert, I have a business degree and a history in sales and finance. Before all of that, I worked my way up from being a busboy to a General Manager at I.H.O.P by the time I was twenty-one. I know a thing or two about customer service. (And pancakes!)
When you travel as much as I do, mistakes happen. Sometimes the mistakes are my own and often times they are the fault of the company I am dealing with. The truth is that I let most of these issues go. Sometimes I have to email a company to fix a problem, but usually it is resolved quickly and I move on. Unlike some people, I rarely ask for compensation.
Hyatt Regency Tulsa Is Not A Shining Star
I wrote last week that I had completed the Hyatt Diamond trial. 11 of the 12 nights posted within 24 hours to my Hyatt account, but my stay at the Hyatt Regency Tulsa still has not posted. I stayed there on August 31, 2014.
First off, the Hyatt Regency Tulsa was easily the weakest of the Hyatt hotels that I stayed at over the past couple of months. While some light renovations have been done, the decor is tired and the room rather basic. (But still comfortable.) Still, as a Category 1 hotel, I don’t judge it too harshly. My small issues with the hotel began at check-in when I was told they don’t offer a Diamond Amenity. Since it was late at night I just shrugged it off and assumed I would get my 1,000 points instead.
I was staying at the property on a Points + Cash rate of $50 + 2,500 points. This reservation was booked directly with Hyatt via their Diamond line. (On the same call as two other stays which have already posted.) When I checked out of the property in the morning, the agent didn’t quite know what to do. Apparently she hadn’t seen a combination rate like this before. After calling over the supervisor, I was given a receipt showing my total was $50 with no tax charged. Usually they charge tax on the $50 rate, however every hotel does things differently, so I didn’t give it a second thought.
Hyatt Customer Service Really Disappointed Me
About a week after the stay, I emailed Hyatt and asked why it had not posted. The initial response I received was that I needed to send them a copy of the bill. Since I was traveling on a cruise and didn’t have reliable internet, I inquired as to why this was necessary. Surely they could look it up themselves or contact the property? While I never received a response to that question, a few days later someone did email me back.
In the response the agent said upon further “review”, it appears I booked an ineligible rate. She then went on to say that in the future I should book my stays directly with Hyatt to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Now that pissed me off. It was obvious that she didn’t even take a minute to look over my situation, plus I had already mentioned in the original email that it was a Points + Cash booking and those can only be done directly through Hyatt.
Why Boiler Plate Doesn’t Work
I receive responses like this from time to time with boiler plate language. Language that makes it clear that the agent didn’t take more than 30 seconds to look over my case. It infuriates me. I worked in call centers for years and always made sure to learn about a problem when I got involved. There is nothing worse than showing a customer you really don’t care and that is what Hyatt did in this case.
After the last Hyatt email, I simply asked to hear back from a supervisor who could help. (I was nice even though I didn’t want to be.) That was FOUR DAYS AGO and no one has responded yet. I am not too worried about the resolution as I did book an eligible rate and have other avenues to escalate this if need be, but the point is that I shouldn’t have to. I don’t really fault them for screwing it up initially, but for me to have to put this much effort into getting it fixed is ridiculous.
To say I am disappointed in Hyatt is an understatement. This is a luxury hotel brand and I am a top level member in their loyalty program. (Although that shouldn’t matter in this case.) Not only were the responses I received unsatisfactory, but the fact that I have had to go back and forth several times is unacceptable as well.
Between my issue with SPG a few weeks ago and this problem with Hyatt, perhaps it is time for me to stay home for awhile!
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