Huge Hyatt Customer Service Disappointment

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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.

Hyatt Regency Tulsa exterior.
Hyatt Regency Tulsa exterior.

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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6 COMMENTS

  1. You mean you WILL be a top level once this posts? Or have you completed the 12 outside of this last stay since then?

    Perhaps the lack of service is due to you still being a non-diamond

    • With the Hyatt Diamond trial you receive the status right away. I am Diamond through the end of October whether or not I complete the trial. Either way, having status shouldn’t make a difference. This is a mistake that is easily fixed.

  2. I’ve been a long time SPG Platinum and I am overall very, very pleased with them. Yes, I have had a few bumps in the road once every year or two, but I’ve never had a major issue.

    I signed up for the Hyatt Diamond Trial in 2011. During my first stay (Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando) I had a confirmed suite night upgrade. During check in the property told me that they oversold the suites and couldn’t honor the confirmed suite night upgrade… Ok, no big deal. Later on that day I went to the front desk to get an additional key and the person in front of me received a comp upgrade from a basic room to a suite (without using a upgrade cert) so I pulled up hyatt.com to find out they were still selling 5+ suites for my dates. After pushing the front desk they told me that they don’t like to upgrade “government” rates (granted, it was discounted but a fully upgradable rate). I emailed customer service when I returned home and not only did they not understand the issue, nor did they care.

    In the end, I found Hyatt’s customer service to be horrible. It isn’t you, it is them. They aren’t the chain for me. I haven’t been back in a Hyatt property since 2011 and don’t think that I’ll ever return. I’ll gladly give my money to SPG, Marriott, and Kimpton.

  3. NOTHING makes me angrier than CS people who can’t/won’t read the message I carefully compose to describe a problem and the solution that I want. How can these ignoramuses work in CS? I realize that corporations know that a certain percentage of complainers will lose interest when they get a dumb response. I do not go away, I just keep repeating my message over and over until I get an intelligent response. My favorite is an online travel agency who wants me to CALL them to get my problem resolved. No, this problem was created electronically and it will be solved electronically I am not going to repeat my story 7 times to people who can barely understand English and have no problem-solving skills.. I remember once being so annoyed that I responded with “Please give this complaint to someone who can read”. Not surprising, I didn’t get a response!

  4. Just my two cents, as I’m a very happy Hyatt Diamond member. I have no experience e-mailing Hyatt about issues but have always found their phone agents very helpful. You might consider trying that route to resolve your issue.

    • I agree that a phone call may have helped, however I was on a cruise during the majority of this time and it wasn’t convenient. This was such a simple issue that it shouldn’t have taken two weeks to figure out. If their email support isn’t willing to put the effort in, then it shows some sort of structural issue. I generally still like Hyatt overall, however they dropped the ball on this. It was such a simple and easy fix.

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