This week Compensation Clinic is the case of a reader of the Holiday Inn Los Angeles Gateway in Torrance, CA where the guest stayed for several days and didn’t have a great experience.
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Holiday Inn is not a brand that I would normally associate with top notch properties, but they have improved in recent years and regardless of the brand, certain qualities such as cleanliness, working air conditioning and Responsible hotel management should always be the minimum. standard with any international chain such as IHG.
Our reader Kevin has stayed at this property for several nights and at the start of the stay on the second day he noticed that the air conditioning unit was leaking, essentially soaking the carpet. He reported the problem to reception, but it was never fixed. He then recontacted the hotel management without much success.
Here is his summary of the incident:
…I expressed some concerns about my stay at the front desk and was hoping to hear from the General Manager or Duty Manager of the Holiday Inn Torrance regarding the wet carpet and floor flooding near the air conditioning unit in bedroom. I had mentioned this night in my stay and two days before departure and was assured that maintenance would take a look at it, but it seems nothing has happened since.
I mentioned it again at checkout and asked if they could offer points as compensation for the problem and also for the unavailability of getting change for the coin-operated washing machines. There was nothing the cashier could do but assured me that the general manager would call back after lunch management returned. Nothing happened for a few days.
After calling back, I received the following email:
“I’m really sorry for the delay in communication!
My front desk agent brought this issue to my attention, but I didn’t get a chance to respond to the request. I was able to deposit 1000 points into your account for the inconvenience, I’m so sorry the issue was never resolved during your stay with us. I made sure to follow up with the engineering department so they could address the concerns of this room.
Regarding points, please allow a few days for these to reflect in your account.
If there’s anything else I can do to help you, please don’t hesitate to contact me by replying to this email!
Deputy Front Office Manager
1000 points was unacceptable to me. What is that?? The hotel averages 20,000 a night and I stayed there almost a full week.
“…I’m honestly a little insulted by your offer of only 1,000 points after all the inconvenience and trouble I’ve had regarding this incident. As a Spire Elite with IHG and over 20 nights at your property so far this year and with great service so far, I really expected more. Looking at the points required for this property going forward, it averages 20,000/night with many nights requiring more than that. 1,000 points is not even 1/20th of a night. I am asking for 10,000 IHG points as compensation which is not even enough for a free half night based on the point requirement for many nights in the future. I really hope you can address my concerns and that I don’t have to contact IHG Corporate about this.
I gave up dealing with the hotel and called customer service and they offered me 20,000 points compensation which I accepted.
Stay away from this hotel!
It sounds like a lot of trouble to solve such a problem. Eventually, the reader was able to get 20,000 compensation points, which is equivalent to one free night on this multi-night stay, but it really was like pulling a tiger’s teeth.
When a problem as described by the reader occurs when a leaking air conditioning unit floods the room and the carpet is soaked, hotels normally send maintenance immediately before more extensive damage occurs and the Water doesn’t even seep through the ceiling into the room below.
Usually the room will be changed immediately (whether the guest wishes or not) to allow the hotel to make the necessary repairs and dry the room as soon as possible. Why it wasn’t done here is anyone’s guess. Such inaction usually causes a lot of problems downstream and the condition of the property will suffer greatly over time.
For the second issue, I have never heard of a place let alone a hotel that was unable to provide change for the on-site laundromat. Either reception should be able to change banknotes or there is a money changer in the laundry room itself. The Hyatt House LAX I stayed at recently moved to a fully app-driven system, which wasn’t ideal either because a) it was expensive [$5] and b) you had to install an app, add a credit card and go through the whole process just to start the washing machine.
Offering proper compensation for this major inconvenience here should be the least management can do, but it seems maintenance and guest relations are not the hotel’s top priority.
Offering 1,000 points to a guest is frankly ridiculous. From what I understand the guest was also staying there with points and spent almost 100,000 points for a week (5 nights). Reimbursing at least one full night is the minimum I would have asked for and it looks like IHG customer service took the same position they gave the reader 20,000 compensation points which is equivalent to one night.