What to Do When A Hotel’s Account of a Situation Is Inaccurate & You Can Prove It! (Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore Edition)

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Hotel Misrepresents What Happened

I travel quite a lot every year and the vast majority of my experiences are positive ones. I would say excessively positive. Every once in awhile something happens that needs to be rectified, but again it generally always is. I’m not someone who asks for points or compensation often, because I like to resolve any issues during my stay and move on.

One thing I have never had happen though is for a hotel to misrepresent and mischaracterize something that happened. Well it has never happened until I met the Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore. While I won’t share the full details at this time (I will later), I arrived with a hotel reservation from Citi ThankYou/Connexions booked through Expedia using ThankYou points.

This booking was a rate much lower than their normal rate, however it was honored for many people and my booking appeared confirmed. In the end I wasn’t able to get a resolution with Citi or the hotel and ended up having to go to the Grand Hyatt Singapore. I promise to release the full details later, but that should be enough to give you the basics for this post.

Trying For A Resolution

Anyway, as part of the process of trying to get this resolved, my family wasn’t exactly treated nicely by some of the managers in our opinion. Eventually I did get to speak to the Hotel Manager, although the General Manager refused to ever acknowledge me either in person or later via email.

To fast forward, just before I left some 3 1/2 hours after arriving and after all but being shown the door, (to their credit the Ritz did provide us complimentary transport to the Hyatt) the Hotel Manager said he would send me a detailed version of the hotel’s account of what happened. I told him that I welcomed it and we both agreed to be 100% truthful in documenting this. Then, the next day that account came and it was full of inaccuracies and misrepresentations in my opinion.

Discrepancies In Their Story

I want to be clear that I am not saying he lied or did anything intentionally, but that what he wrote didn’t match what I experienced. Specifically there were 8 different points which I believe were inaccurate. Thinking this was a mistake, I emailed him along with the General Manager back with the 6 points I was able to provide direct evidence for. The other two were a matter of opinion.

Awhile later I received an email stating the General Manager would not respond to me saying, “These emails appear more to be of an official claim and accusation. If so, we have a legal team that represents us and they will take over the case if any legal actions are taken.” The emails he is referring to are the ones containing the 6 points along with the evidence provided. I had connection issues and it resulted in me having to send a few emails with the info.

Note I always told them I would pursue this with Marriott/Ritz and even told them I would write about it, but I never threatened to sue them. I honestly felt this email was threatening to me, but am not sure how to take it. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt since I will concede it is not a direct threat in any way.

The Situation Left Me Perplexed

All of that aside, the Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore is a super high end luxury five star property in one of the finest luxury hotel cities on the planet. I simply didn’t expect first for this to happen, second for their representation of what happened to be inaccurate and third for the General Manager not to even acknowledge me in any form whatsoever.

Keep in mind the situation with the reservation is a complicated one where the blame doesn’t rest solely on the hotel (for the record they don’t feel they have any blame or responsibility), but the way we were treated and more specifically how they decided to try to document this blows me away.

I have simply never encountered anything like this and so I ask all of you. Has this ever happened to you and how did you pursue it? The thing is I have been trying to enjoy my time with my family while traveling and haven’t wanted to get wrapped up in drama, but this is also something that shouldn’t be dropped and the hotel should be accountable for how they treat people and for the initial situation to some extent.

So now the trolls are chomping at their keyboards waiting to post comments telling me how terrible I am for a million reasons, but the truth is I have no problem releasing the full version of events and my responses when the time is right, but at this point I need to find a resolution. The Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore and its General Manager should really be ashamed.

The Situation Is Still Unresolved

The GM’s name is on LinkedIn meaning with a quick Google search I could have emailed him directly from the beginning, but I chose to go through his chain of command in an effort to respect his time. Apparently that was a mistake since he feels I am not worthy of even a simple reply.

I’m not pretending that I’m not pissed about what happened and I’m not pretending that I am not going to be asking for compensation. This hotel did us wrong in many ways, but when I presented the errors I saw in their account and was then told about their lawyers, I knew this is a luxury hotel that one should avoid if there is ever even a potential of a problem. They simply don’t care or at least that is how it seems to me.

Oh and they don’t even participate in the “Bonvoy” loyalty program so why would you want to stay there anyway?!? 🙂

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31 COMMENTS

  1. If someone books a mistake rate, how do they really know it’s a mistake? I have been traveling the world my whole life and have seen all kinds of promotions. Some mistake rates are on purpose to get media coverage and how are we supposed to know when they are legit, mistakes, or promotions. In Asia especially, I have seen all kinds of crazy promotions including $1.00 flights and hotel rooms. It’s not the traveler’s job to determine if a rate is a mistake or promotion. If a hotel, airline, or other service provider sends out a confirmation it should be honored if not cancelled within 24 hours. If they don’t the rate should be honored.

    I appreciate all the hard work that is involved in setting up a blog and all the time it takes to write the articles and stories. I probably travel more than most bloggers and could make a lot of money doing the same but I’m just too lazy to do all the work that is involved.

    I will continue to ready all the blogs and gain as much info out of them as possible. Because of this story, I know what to expect at the Ritz Carlton Singapore if I ever get a rate that seems to good to be true. I did stay there for 7 nights about 15 years ago and paid about $350.00 a night for a suite and felt that they were stuck up then so I have never stayed there again even though I have been to Singapore 7 times.

    Thanks again for all your blog posts and keep up the good work.

  2. @Mike Saint, Actually you are wrong on one point. If they have their own blog it does give them the right to post when angry, sad, happy, delirious, or any other emotional state. We just do not have to read.

  3. I really enjoy your blog and posts but I agree with all the other posts. You seem angry and not able to think objectively (just human nature). But it’s impossible to comment as you provided almost no details which in and of itself probably means you shouldn’t have posted this.

    Just because people have blogs doesn’t give them the right to just post when they are angry.

    I’d say just chalk this up as a loss and don’t waste anymore time and energy on this. Life is too short.

    I used to own one of the largest property management companies and I can tell you that the customer is not always right.

    Good luck and safe travels.

  4. What, specifically, are you hoping as the outcome of this post?

    And what, specifically, are you hoping for as an outcome from RC and/or RCMS?

    At this point, as others mentioned, I think you need to focus. For now, you’re just venting.

  5. This feels more like a warning shot intended to be seen by someone at the hotel checking up to confirm whether or not there would be actual fallout from their actions.

    Which is fine if it is, but I would have preferred more direct approach. Like the others I feel for you but there’s nothing to hold on to here as far as understanding what happened. As I was reading through it I kept thinking it was leading to some sort of social commentary on click bait or something (not making the accusation or trying to incite them, just saying it reads a lot like the articles you see on Social Media that make a claim on the headline and then spend a lot of time repeating trivial facts that don’t actually move the narrative forward).

  6. Not going to get a lot of sympathy unless you release more info. To quote Gene, “It sounds like you took advantage of a mistake rate and the hotel refused to honor it.” Maybe take the GM up on his challenge, “we have a legal team that represents us and they will take over the case if any legal actions are taken.”

  7. I’ve read everyone’s comments and fair enough. I’ll do my best to have a follow up soon with all of the details. I guess I didn’t realize it would be so hard to follow and apologize for that. Any future post about it will be complete with all of the information.

  8. Agree with the others. You ask us to weigh in, but we cannot do so without knowing the facts. So this post seems more like personal venting than anything else.

  9. Chances are you’re perfectly correct or maybe completely wrong, but it’s hard to tell which since in speaking your piece — at least to your readers — you had nothing to say. Did you happen to mention anything specific when writing to the hotel?

  10. Sounds like you showed-up after purposely not verifying the mistake rate beforehand (i.e., “appeared confirmed”?) So they were less were less gracious in showing a non-guest the door after demanding to see the GM?? But still gracious enough to pay for your transportation.

    Mistake fares/rates are always a risk. Is this really worth making a scene?

    • I verified it with Citi and Connexions but not with the hotel until right before arrival. Citi and Connexions did confirm it and it was booked through Expedia which is a direct partner of all of them.

      • Don’t you always contact a chain hotel where you have elite status as I mentioned above to see about an upgrade? Given that things were unusually precarious, wouldn’t it have been more important than usual to do this?

        • It is the same deal that PDXDealsGuy got, so Shawn may think it is good to go after confirming with Citi and Connexions plus the successful stay for PDXDealsGuy. However, your question is a great reminder for hotel booking.

      • Confirming a $17 or $37 suite rate with the TA or OTA is not the same as confirming with the hotel. Going by that FT thread people got cancelled pretty quick. Just because a few got thru doesn’t set a precedent.

        It’s great when these things work out but without knowing the details it’s tough to know how it played out. My guess, until you shed more light, is you showed up and the wouldn’t accommodate you, you pushed back, they aggressively didn’t back down and now you feel slighted. I think if they have and offer you comp it would be based more on your blog than on the merits of the case (assuming what I can piece together)

  11. Sorry this was such an unpleasant situation for you. In answer to your question, I can’t think of ever being accused of something at a hotel that was inaccurate. Let’s hope this is your one and only.

  12. Kind of hard to answer if this has ever happened to us if we don’t know what you’re talking about. Sounds like they wouldn’t honor the mistake rate? Speaking in generalities though, have I ever been accused of something that I didn’t do at a hotel? No, can’t say that I have.

  13. It sounds as if your at an impasse and coupled with your comment “told them I would write about it” this comes across as a veiled threat… you have a public platform that you want the hotel to see (this post) and if they don’t cooperate you will use it to the fullest extent.

    I think you should just be transparent and either provide all the details or don’t bother until the situation has come to an end.

  14. Yes this is a fairly standard customer-service practice when you are talking to someone and want to stop talking to them:

    Trick them into saying that they’re so gosh darned angry about things that they are going to sue.

    This is a great trick because once you get them into the Legal blackhole you can stop talking to them and not be breaking any customer-service-quality related policies.

  15. You should have waited to write this until after you’re willing to share more details. Sounds like you’re just venting here but providing nothing for your readers.

  16. I’m as confused as Gene. I don’t understand how whatever the issue was, it was so impossibly complicated that you believe the GM was wrong on 8 different points related to the issue and how they treated you.

    I really want to be on your side and believe that you flew across the world with a valid reservation that the hotel refused to honor. But you should have waited to ask for advice/sympathy until you were ready to provide more details.

  17. It’s basically impossible to comment since I have no clue what you are talking about. Sounds like something that should be dropped. Move on. Life is too short. It sounds like you took advantage of a mistake rate and the hotel refused to honor it. What are you going to do, sue them?

    • +1. I vaguely remember some obviously mistake rate being mentioned about this hotel. You’ve given pretty much zero details, so it’s tough to say more. I’d venture a guess that either they treated you poorly because you booked the rate or outright refused to honor the rate. One thing that you’ve mentioned doing in the past is contacting the hotel on some superficial premise to see about an upgrade. If they had a problem, they should have said something then. Frankly, I think that they should have sucked it up if I’m correct, but with Marriott illustrating how Bonvoying the customer is not only condoned but encouraged, it’s not surprising that the hotel followed suit.

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