I’m having an AOL moment here

I’m editing this on 12/11/07 to share that Embassy Suites finally handled this issue.  Bo called me on behalf of general manager Luis Arellano and handled the issue very courteously, if not just a bit late.  So I say “thank you” to them, but leave the post up regarding the general bad experience.

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In yet another example of customer service nightmares, I am very disgruntled by the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

We had some client work postponed until January of next year and so I canceled some hotel & car reservations a number of weeks ago. Everything has gone through except for the Embassy Suites. We have a reservation cancellation number which I’ve been told is ‘unaffiliated’ with any confirmation number. I’ve been calling about every other day now for a week and a half trying to get help on this. I’ve left 4 messages with accounting, 2 with managers on duty and no one has returned my call. I even gave our 1-800 number. C’mon guys, we’ll pay for the call! Worse yet, when I did catch one manager on duty I was promised Iaxa Berreos would return my call in the morning. No call from Iaxa. Thanks Irene, for making a promise you couldn’t come through on.

It’s rough because we were planning to stay there when we go back in a few months, but I may have to strongly advise against that. This whole thing reminds me of the AOL customer service incident involving Vincent Ferrari. (Here’s the NBC video link if you haven’t already seen it.) Customer service wouldn’t help him cancel an account he wasn’t using anymore. His was a valid request. Sure, losing the account was bad for AOL, but the sunken consumer confidence and following class-action lawsuit were far worse than that $9.95/month. I haven’t been badgered on the phone yet by the folks in San Juan, but being ignored like this is pretty frustrating. Enough to blog about, and that’s where Vincent started.

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