Giving Feedback When Checking Out Of Hotels…

Giving Feedback When Checking Out Of Hotels…

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I just had what I’d describe as disastrous service at an otherwise amazing hotel. To be clear, it’s not that any one specific horrible thing happened, but service was just consistently poor from start to finish, and this is a hotel where you should expect exactly the opposite.

I’ll have a full review soon, but wanted to talk a bit about the general way that hotels solicit feedback, talk about how I share feedback with hotels, and hear what OMAAT readers think.

How hotels solicit feedback at check-out

Hotels are all about getting feedback nowadays, given that they’re very concerned with the reviews that people leave online, which can make or break their business.

When checking out of a hotel, I find that associates take one of three approaches to soliciting feedback:

  • Some hotels don’t ask for feedback, or how everything was with a stay
  • Some hotels ask how everything was with a stay
  • Some hotels ask what could have been done better

If you stay at a hotel that falls into the third category, you know you’re in for a treat. It’s a bold question to ask what could be done to improve, because it changes the feedback dynamic. Rather than just hoping people say a stay was “fine” or “good,” you actually want to know what people really think, and what could be better. The last hotel I stayed at where I was asked for this kind of feedback was the Waldorf Astoria Dubai DIFC, which also had the best service of any hotel I’ve stayed at in Dubai.

The second category is the trickiest, in my opinion. It’s of course good to ask for feedback on how a stay was, but the associate needs to be ready to respond if the answer is anything other than “great.” You shouldn’t be asked how something was, have feedback or share what went wrong with the stay, and then have the associate say (without asking any details) “sorry to hear that,” and nothing more.

The associate needs to either be ready to escalate the issue to a manager, note the feedback by asking specific details, or give contact information for someone you can get in touch with who can offer help.

In that sense, I actually prefer (and don’t mind) when a hotel simply doesn’t ask how a stay was at check-out. That makes my life easy. The reality is that for most hotels there’s a post-stay survey during which you can provide feedback. So while it’s good to ask for feedback, that only applies if something is done with the information. If it’s just a rhetorical question, don’t ask, in my opinion.

Hotels take different approaches to soliciting feedback

Do you share hotel feedback at check-out?

With the above out of the way, I thought it would be interesting to talk about under what circumstances it even makes sense to provide feedback at check-out. Personally I hate complaining in general, and will only do it if I feel strongly about a situation, and if I feel like my feedback can improve the experience for future guests. “Tear the place down and fire everyone” isn’t exactly constructive feedback.

Obviously I blog about hotels and review them, and I pick up on both the good and bad aspects of hotels. But in general I try to either enjoy my hotel stay best I can, or just commit to not returning to a hotel if it’s an experience I didn’t enjoy.

When it comes to providing feedback about a bad hotel stay, I’m of two different minds, as I think there are some issues that are worth addressing on property, and some that aren’t.

If you have a small number of very specific issues that can be rectified during your stay, and/or if you have non-service issues that can be fixed, I think it’s worth addressing those concerns while on-property and before check-out, so that the hotel is given an opportunity to take action and address those concerns.

This could include service issues with a particular employees, being assigned a noisy or dirty room, air conditioning not working, etc.

It’s other types of issues that I find to be more challenging to deal with. If you have a bigger picture issue that can’t be resolved during your stay, and if you decide not to check-out early, then I personally prefer taking up those issues after the fact. This includes consistent service issues throughout the property (the whole hotel staff can’t be retrained in one day), the hotel not being as advertised, issues with policies & procedures, etc.

It could be worth taking this up with the general manager while on property, if you have the time. However, many people just want to make the most of their hotel stays, and don’t want to spend their limited vacation time in conflict mode. Similarly, it can be awkward to complain about something big-picture, and then have the staff be aware of it. Lastly, many people are just better at expressing their thoughts in writing, rather than having a discussion about these kinds of topics.

I think that sums up why I’m not a huge fan of feedback at check-out. Either I’ll deal with an issue before I check-out (so that issues can be rectified), or I’ll deal with an issue after I check-out (where I can easily get in touch with someone in a senior position). The worst is when you’re proactively asked for feedback at check-out, provide said feedback, and then are brushed off.

Then there’s the whole issue of when the management is the problem (like what I experienced at Aegon Mykonos, for example), where you sometimes have to pursue other channels, especially when a hotel belongs to a major global hotel group.

Not all issues can be resolved on-property…

Bottom line

Given the internet, hotels nowadays are hyper-focused on soliciting feedback, in hopes of getting positive reviews. I always think it’s telling how hotels go about asking for feedback at check-out. Truly great hotels that want to improve will have associates ask what can be improved, or will at least solicit feedback and take action based on that feedback.

If hotels aren’t going to take one of those approaches, I’d rather they just don’t ask. Asking for feedback, receiving feedback, and not doing anything with it, is the worst.

What’s your approach to sharing feedback when you have issues at a hotel?

Conversations (64)
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  1. Mike Hinshaw Guest

    I try to review most of the hotels, restaurants, airline or cruise companies that I use, especially when I am sent a survey requesting my opinions. This includes both negative and positive feedback, as I feel the establishment desires to hear my honest thoughts. If possible I name service personnel, most definitely when they have extraordinary service. If on a cruise I try and tip individuals separately from the obligated amounts, if I feel they...

    I try to review most of the hotels, restaurants, airline or cruise companies that I use, especially when I am sent a survey requesting my opinions. This includes both negative and positive feedback, as I feel the establishment desires to hear my honest thoughts. If possible I name service personnel, most definitely when they have extraordinary service. If on a cruise I try and tip individuals separately from the obligated amounts, if I feel they have give great care.

    I have been in the food business several times in my life and probably am more critical of seating time, attention of the server and obviously quality of the meal. I cannot imbibe anyone for medical reasons so I cannot comment on wine and alcohol offerings. If the food isn't prepared correctly I immediately inform the server, but in most cases I don't return it to the kitchen. Too many issues can happen if you do.

    With hotels I generally walk the room initially and if I am on a FAM trip or in a reputable chain, I inspect the cleanness of the room and bath, whether sufficient towels, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, drink if there's a mini fridge and the general overall condition. One time in Kuala Lumpur we were staying at a 5-star hotel in very high heat. The A/C wasn't working and I requested a change of room. A nice young hotel individual from the front desk worked with their R&M department trying to get it repaired. We checked in late and they could not raise anyone to come in and do the repair. At first I was told there were no more rooms. After two hours of this situation they magically found a room. The young man helped me pack my bags and carried them with me to my new room. He tested the A/C and went overboard to insure my comfort. In this case I tipped him extremely well since he stayed with me during the debacle. On the other hand the hotel did not receive a very good rating. In Prague my ex-wife and I stayed in a Conrad after a cruise with Viking Cruises to celebrate our anniversary. This hotel had a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and a dozen purple roses which was my ex-wife's favorite. This was done without my input. The mattress was like sleeping on goose down/feathers and we sank completely into it. I researched it and discovered even though it was a fantastic experience, it was a little out of our price range and I don't think they shipped to the US at that time.

    I grew up in the DFW area so I have been collecting American Airlines frequent flyer miles for almost three decades or since their beginning. I use these miles sparingly for trips to and from Asia, usually Japan where my oldest son and family reside. I had an experience though in Barcelona that blew my mind. I trained for six months to walk the Camino even though I use a CPAP I figured a way to carry it along with my 60L pack. I was in Spain anyway for the #TBEX Costa Brava in 2015. I left my Camino supplies in a locker and was going to exchange luggage and walk the Camino, but walking to the conference one day I stepped off of a curb or something and pulled my Erector Spinae muscle and had to cancel the walk. I tried taking a train to Sevilla and spent five days before giving up and coming back to Barcelona to fly home. A very nice ticket agent noticed my discomfort and asked what transpired. When I told her the story she said, sir I am going to gift you a Business Class ticket from Barcelona to London and then a Business class ticket to DFW. I was blown away by her kindness. AA attendants have gone back and forth for me, but I find if you are nice to them they are usually nice to you. There was a few years before the pandemic when I encountered several attendants with very bad attitudes, but recently after the pandemic they have gone back to being great again, at least for me. Lastly prior to the merger I had a couple of issues and became acquainted with the VP of Customer Service. For about five years I had a direct line to him, but I definitely didn't abuse the link. I only talked with him, if it was an issue that I thought he should know about. He never told me he couldn't help or kept me holding on the phone. I am an American Airlines patriot for life because of that VP and the ticket agent in Barcelona.

  2. David Guest

    Actually, I think the worst scenario is when the hotel asks for feedback and responds with what’s basically a F-you message. I had this happen this week after a routine stay at a Hilton in France. There were no serious problems, I didn’t complain while on property, but when they sent me the post stay survey, I went ahead and mentioned two things with which I was dissatisfied. In response, I got an email from...

    Actually, I think the worst scenario is when the hotel asks for feedback and responds with what’s basically a F-you message. I had this happen this week after a routine stay at a Hilton in France. There were no serious problems, I didn’t complain while on property, but when they sent me the post stay survey, I went ahead and mentioned two things with which I was dissatisfied. In response, I got an email from an assistant manager, so I know at least somebody read my survey, but no apology, no pledge to change anything, just excuses! Will definitely choose a different hotel when I return to that city. If they hadn’t sent the survey followed by the defensive response, I don’t think I’d feel so strongly against the hotel.

  3. Tina Guest

    I worked front desk for a “historic “ (old) hotel that had a lot of maintenance issues. I never asked “How was your stay” because I would get an earful of complaints about room problems that I knew were not fixable and I heard about them a million times. Guests will volunteer the information ! If the owner would not or could not fix, why should I take the compaints.

  4. Adam Simmons Guest

    I recently stayed at Ramada Heathrow East, which is very close to Hounslow Central underground station (I'm not a fan of airport hotel shuttles, as many of them are too infrequent). Arriving at HC, I managed to get my luggage down the stairs - there's no lift/elevator/escalator at that station. So, I did some research and found that there was a bus stop very near to the hotel with a direct route back to LHR,...

    I recently stayed at Ramada Heathrow East, which is very close to Hounslow Central underground station (I'm not a fan of airport hotel shuttles, as many of them are too infrequent). Arriving at HC, I managed to get my luggage down the stairs - there's no lift/elevator/escalator at that station. So, I did some research and found that there was a bus stop very near to the hotel with a direct route back to LHR, as there's no way that I was going to try and carry my luggage up the stairs to the platform.

    I got the standard feedback request from the hotel but I emailed the hotel directly, suggesting that providing information on the bus services could be useful to future guests. I never even got the courtesy of a reply!

  5. Dirk Diggler Guest

    About a year ago I stayed at a Marriott brand hotel in downtown LA. One that was advertising it’s extra cleaning measures to combat covid. Upon check-in I noticed roaches in my room and a used condom in the closet. I notified the front desk who said they would deal with the problems while we went out to dinner. Returned from dinner and neither issue had been addressed. Spoke to a manager who said roaches...

    About a year ago I stayed at a Marriott brand hotel in downtown LA. One that was advertising it’s extra cleaning measures to combat covid. Upon check-in I noticed roaches in my room and a used condom in the closet. I notified the front desk who said they would deal with the problems while we went out to dinner. Returned from dinner and neither issue had been addressed. Spoke to a manager who said roaches were just in ne ITA Lenin downtown LA. He told me the condom would be removed ASAP. On day three after twice daily conversations with the front desk, the condom was still there. I eventually checked out early and was offered a 50% refund.

    1. Dirk Diggler Guest

      Should have proof read before posting. Meant to say “Spoke to a manager who said roaches were just inevitable in downtown LA.”

  6. Henry Young Guest

    Beware cultural and legal differences. In Thailand a negative review can be considered defamatory irrespective of the truth. You risk having an unwelcome conversation with the local police and even being deported and black listed. Loud American complainy is not how much of the more dignified world operates.

    1. J. MeHoff Guest

      LOL because I have never heard Thai people complain about service. There is no such thing as a "more dignified world". But thanks for being judgey and pretentious

  7. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    The problem is only Hyatt seems to consistently send a survey out after every stay. IHG does a survey for me maybe after every second or third stay. But not every stay. IHG does, however, allow you to post an IHG.com review for every stay. Marriott DOES NOT send surveys for every stay. I do 125-150 nights with Marriott. I get maybe a half-dozen per year. Like Hyatt, you also can't leave a review on Marriott's website unless you received a survey.

  8. LovetoFly Member

    I checkout on line or via automated mechanisms in the room (ie tv), so never talk to anyone. If there is an issue I try to get it addressed soon after it is noticed. In the vast majority of cases, most hotels don't want or care about the feedback. They know its a numbers game, so losing a customer is a non-event since there are so many others.

    On the other hand, I've had...

    I checkout on line or via automated mechanisms in the room (ie tv), so never talk to anyone. If there is an issue I try to get it addressed soon after it is noticed. In the vast majority of cases, most hotels don't want or care about the feedback. They know its a numbers game, so losing a customer is a non-event since there are so many others.

    On the other hand, I've had 5-6 lower end hotels (Fairfield Inn, Hampton Inn) reach out after my stay to request feedback. I've responded and actually had a follow up email or phone call to discuss. It seems the more the hotel costs, the less they actually care about the customer, or maybe thats just been my experience.

  9. jash01 New Member

    i recently stayed at the sheraton dubrovnik. great stay but was stuck in the elevator twice during the stay (reported) and housekeeping took my travel mug and it took a lot of follow up to get back. no special comp from the hotel despite being ambassador. anyhow at checkout they asked if everything was ok and i basically said "yes it was a great stay and i cannot wait to be back despite being stuck...

    i recently stayed at the sheraton dubrovnik. great stay but was stuck in the elevator twice during the stay (reported) and housekeeping took my travel mug and it took a lot of follow up to get back. no special comp from the hotel despite being ambassador. anyhow at checkout they asked if everything was ok and i basically said "yes it was a great stay and i cannot wait to be back despite being stuck in the lift twice and the issue with my personal belongings taking forever to be found once taken by housekeeping." when asked about the lift i said "well this has already been reported but i have been stuck in an elevator 4 times in my life, twice this weekend at this hotel" and the response was "thank you for understanding"

    i was a bit perplexed and all i could sputter out was "i did not say i understand, these things need to be addressed" it was part culture perhaps and part surprise but i left lol'ing to myself.

  10. Disgruntled. Guest

    Man, this is a right load of waffle over basically nothing.

    Just give it or don't - simple.

  11. They Guest

    It’s asked in a robotic manner and meaningless. Find the on-site manager or let it go.

  12. René Krosse Guest

    Actually I m pretty honest with my feedback on check out and an disappointing experience and the according comment to it while check out was leading once to a invitation for a free weekend at the same hotel. Since then this hotel is one of my most beloved hotels for a weekend or stay with friends and I never had a disappointing experience with this hotel again.

  13. eaci Guest

    I've only criticized a hotel in this sort of situation one time, ever.

    My wife and I stayed at a hotel several years ago (I honestly do not remember which or where), and they had placed the head of the bed immediately under the smoke detector, which had a bright, white, consistently flashing LED. It managed to keep me up the entire night (it was bright enough that closing one's eyes was insufficient).

    Upon checkout,...

    I've only criticized a hotel in this sort of situation one time, ever.

    My wife and I stayed at a hotel several years ago (I honestly do not remember which or where), and they had placed the head of the bed immediately under the smoke detector, which had a bright, white, consistently flashing LED. It managed to keep me up the entire night (it was bright enough that closing one's eyes was insufficient).

    Upon checkout, we were asked how our stay was, and I said that the flashing light immediately over the bed prevented me from sleeping. The response I got: "That's how you know it's working."

    1. ArthurSFO Member

      That's savage. True BDE right there. I would've lost my mind in your situation.

  14. CA Gifford Guest

    Hotels are franchises. Quality varies greatly among the brands. I am so tired of automatic surveys that never initiate a call back to me, we travel for leisure pre covid 70 nights plus a year last year 40. I immediately notify front desk of problems to be fixed: cleaning, broken items, dirty fans and vents, hear,ac, etc, I give front desk a list of other issues on check out. If I have a big complaint...

    Hotels are franchises. Quality varies greatly among the brands. I am so tired of automatic surveys that never initiate a call back to me, we travel for leisure pre covid 70 nights plus a year last year 40. I immediately notify front desk of problems to be fixed: cleaning, broken items, dirty fans and vents, hear,ac, etc, I give front desk a list of other issues on check out. If I have a big complaint such as a do not disturb sign on the door and the maids knock on and try opening the door before check out I make sure the mgr knows and I get compensation (Courtyard by Marriot in Albuquerque ). If I have a dead bolt that does not close, it is time for a room change. A one week stay last year at a Residence Inn in Michigan warranted daily complaints with no remedy : no building locks, elevator did not work but desk told us to jump up and down and maintenance said it had not worked for 5 months, no milk for breakfast nor juice, filthy stained carpets and furniture, holes in kitchen flooring, marijuana in the halls. I could not leave due to a very sick friend and no vacancy at other hotels. I had a list of 19 complaints I sent to VPs at Marriott headquarters. I called and customer service was great but I had no response. No one cares. No one trains, no one asks the customer. Marriott CEO said last year that Marriott was focusing on their customers the owners! Not us the paying customer. So we continue to complain and only return to those hotels and brands that are responsive to the paying customer.

  15. Carrie Member

    My policy is to alert/inform/direct the appropriate person to any issue requiring attention during a stay but what I find disconcerting is when I simply do not like the hotel and at that point, no feedback, however well intentioned, would be constructive ........ and I resolve never to return. It is for this reason that I read all reviews with a degree of cynicism as one man's poor service/lack of amenity/distasteful décor is another man's idea of perfection.

  16. Stuart Guest

    They don't care. It's just "noise around the edges."

  17. Jasmine Guest

    It's funny you posted this today. Just stayed at the Ritz Carlton resort in Naples, FL. I was part of a conference. On one night, 20 of us got together for dinner. 4 servers approached each of us to get our room numbers to charge us individually for our meals to our respective rooms. My server was amazing from beginning to end, but the server for a fellow guest began complaining rudely to her about...

    It's funny you posted this today. Just stayed at the Ritz Carlton resort in Naples, FL. I was part of a conference. On one night, 20 of us got together for dinner. 4 servers approached each of us to get our room numbers to charge us individually for our meals to our respective rooms. My server was amazing from beginning to end, but the server for a fellow guest began complaining rudely to her about having to process 20 individual checks. Again, we didn't ask for this. The servers did it on their own so it made no sense for the one sever to start complaining, and it definitely shouldn't have been to a guest!

    The following day, I sat in the lobby, working on my laptop. The server in the area completely ignored me, even though I sat there for 4 hours. She asked every other person in the area if they needed anything but me. She asked people seated to either side of me, so it wasn't a question of my not being in her area. After 4 hours, another server started his shift and he came over to ask if I needed anything. I did. And for that, he got a $20 tip for a $12 check.

    At checkout, I was asked how everything was. I said your entire staff has been amazing but there were 2 disappointing events. I waited for her to ask what happened, but she just said, oh, I'm sorry, and didn't inquire any further. What was the point of her asking if she wasn't going to find out what happened?

    This lowered my impression of that Ritz Carlton. I'm tempted to post this comment as a review there.

    1. 305 Guest

      Good on you for being respectful about it, but this is a double-down on the negative points brought up with the tipping posts from the other week. It’s a shame that someone not doing the work required in their job description makes a customer feel the need to tip extra for the person simply doing their job as required.

    2. Morgan Diamond

      Would have definitely said something and escalated it

  18. Bob Guest

    I try to write very detailed ways to improve service. In general after my stay as you say don't want to deal with it on my trip. One time however at a very 5 star hotel where I stayed for a family wedding, my stay was a mess where I didn't get food at the wedding and the staff refused to accommodate. At one point I asked for a tuna sandwich and they just said...

    I try to write very detailed ways to improve service. In general after my stay as you say don't want to deal with it on my trip. One time however at a very 5 star hotel where I stayed for a family wedding, my stay was a mess where I didn't get food at the wedding and the staff refused to accommodate. At one point I asked for a tuna sandwich and they just said the kitchen has no more food. I ended up getting room service that night (why couldn't I have just gotten that at the wedding). At checkout, I told them how furious I was considering my wealthy family was hosting the wedding and I told them that I ended up with room service that I fully expected them to refund. For their part they were very apologetic and followed up with an apology letter. Didn't really make it better for my experience though. I told them it never should have gotten that far and because I didn't want to cause a scene at my families wedding I waited but considering their facility I expected a lot better.

    1. LovetoFly Member

      This highlights why hotels get frustrated with customers. I'll break it down for you:

      1. The wedding had a preset menu. Ordering from the kitchen is not an option. The fact that you didn't get food means you were not at the table....at all...so you should be fed after the fact?
      2. Mentioning your "wealthy family" absolutely unbelievable (ie Do you know who I am!)!

      How about you sit your rich butt down at...

      This highlights why hotels get frustrated with customers. I'll break it down for you:

      1. The wedding had a preset menu. Ordering from the kitchen is not an option. The fact that you didn't get food means you were not at the table....at all...so you should be fed after the fact?
      2. Mentioning your "wealthy family" absolutely unbelievable (ie Do you know who I am!)!

      How about you sit your rich butt down at the wedding like every other family member and guest, eat the meal the wedding party selected, and stop being such a pretentious princess.

    2. J. MeHoff Guest

      Nothing says bougie douche like the phrase "my wealthy family". Thanks for role modeling what no person should ever hope to be

  19. Richard G Guest

    If there were small discrepancies during my stay, things like a dripping faucet, lamp light out, that didn't make me address them immediately, I will inform the front desk. My reason is to have the items corrected before the next guest checks in and throws a hissy fit.

  20. tda Guest

    “I just had what I’d describe as disastrous service at an otherwise amazing hotel.”

    Hopefully your star rating for the hotel will reflect this… but given your history, I’m guessing you’ll give it 3.5 stars.

    1. Super Gold

      Disastrous service, AA literally flew a plane into my room, management hated me, but it was super pretty and I liked the food. 4 out of 5 stars.

  21. Crow Guest

    I've very rarely been asked for feedback when check-in out

  22. D3kingg Guest

    I always take a deep breath and a day to think about it and see if the problem was fixed. If I’m tired and grumpy I give two stars on TripAdvisor and four stars if it was a good stay because all 1 and 5 star reviews on TripAdvisor are fake

    Now the email directly from the hotel chain impacts a hotel property and employees more. So the rare occasion I return a guest survey...

    I always take a deep breath and a day to think about it and see if the problem was fixed. If I’m tired and grumpy I give two stars on TripAdvisor and four stars if it was a good stay because all 1 and 5 star reviews on TripAdvisor are fake

    Now the email directly from the hotel chain impacts a hotel property and employees more. So the rare occasion I return a guest survey with one stars I usually regret it. Some manager on a power trip can use it to scold an hourly employee. Or a regional manager etc.

  23. Ted Kalota Guest

    The greatest marketing approach I've experienced recently in regards to feedback is when the front desk, management or maybe it's the landscaper texts me during my stay to inquire if everything is OK or if I need anything. This has been very useful and convenient to get what I want or express my concerns in real time. I usually get an immediate response and/or solution to my concern so I know it's working. I wish...

    The greatest marketing approach I've experienced recently in regards to feedback is when the front desk, management or maybe it's the landscaper texts me during my stay to inquire if everything is OK or if I need anything. This has been very useful and convenient to get what I want or express my concerns in real time. I usually get an immediate response and/or solution to my concern so I know it's working. I wish every property had this sort of real-time communication with their guests.

    1. Phillip Gold

      +1

      I have experienced this at two recent Intercontinental stays where I was contacted after the first night asking if everything was okay and if there was anything they could do to improve my stay. On both occasions it led to some excellent service recovery!

  24. dander Guest

    When I traveled alot for work, I would give feedback, like the room could be cleaned better or the sink was clogged or other issues. Lots of time people can't be bothered to give feedback so the next tenent has the issue.

  25. Donna Diamond

    I’ll complain if there’s a problem during the stay. If they correct the issue, okay. If not, my “feedback” for a bad stay is to never return. I don’t waste time filling out questionnaires or engaging with hotel employees after the fact. I tend to return to the same properties year after year for business travel so I know the staff and the quality of service is consistently high and reliable.

  26. Larry Guest

    I give feedback at the front desk mostly only if I think I may be get some kind of compensation like points or whatever if there is a significant issue, if it is a high end or well run enough property to actually do something about it, and if the person asking me seems to have the power or desire to actually do something about it if there is a problem. I almost never respond...

    I give feedback at the front desk mostly only if I think I may be get some kind of compensation like points or whatever if there is a significant issue, if it is a high end or well run enough property to actually do something about it, and if the person asking me seems to have the power or desire to actually do something about it if there is a problem. I almost never respond to the property's proprietary surveys because I think the main reason they are sent is to try to get you not to post your review on a public site instead. The times when I have responded to surveys I have never once had a property follow up with me

  27. Jeff Guest

    I feel like if you have feedback to give, checkout is too late. Generally if you’re unhappy or something has gone wrong, you probably want a solution, which can’t happen at checkout.

  28. BN Guest

    In general, I like to complain when it will actually result in some immediate change. If there is no change that would help, I'll just leave it alone and if it's bad enough, mention it at a higher level later. All very similar to Lucky.

    A coworker has the following in their email signature, which seems good intentioned but is a too close to soliciting compliments for me to do myself:
    If you’re happy...

    In general, I like to complain when it will actually result in some immediate change. If there is no change that would help, I'll just leave it alone and if it's bad enough, mention it at a higher level later. All very similar to Lucky.

    A coworker has the following in their email signature, which seems good intentioned but is a too close to soliciting compliments for me to do myself:
    If you’re happy with the service I’ve provided, let know.
    If you’re not, let me know so I can make it better.

    1. BN Guest

      grr. My brackets got lost. It reads:
      If you’re happy with the service I’ve provided, let "insert bosses name here" know.
      If you’re not, let me know so I can make it better.

  29. Gerard New Member

    Ben, you've clearly given this topic a great deal of nuanced thought - thank you for sharing your opinion on this. I think that many could learn from your approach here - both on the customer side and on the hotel staff side. Given all of that, I would be curious what you think about giving feedback at restaurants when wait staff ask you how the meal is going or how the meal was? I...

    Ben, you've clearly given this topic a great deal of nuanced thought - thank you for sharing your opinion on this. I think that many could learn from your approach here - both on the customer side and on the hotel staff side. Given all of that, I would be curious what you think about giving feedback at restaurants when wait staff ask you how the meal is going or how the meal was? I think there are some similar dynamics at play there, but obviously the meal experience is a lot shorter than a hotel stay.

  30. Raylan Guest

    I think that your opinions on feedback are excellent and I agree almost wholeheartedly. I honestly only give feedback in person when an issue is glaring and needs immediate attention, since I am able to be more composed and can communicate my thoughts more clearly in written communication.

    I can think of one of each of the two categories:

    1) at the Grand Hyatt Nashville, I had the Do Not Disturb placard on my door...

    I think that your opinions on feedback are excellent and I agree almost wholeheartedly. I honestly only give feedback in person when an issue is glaring and needs immediate attention, since I am able to be more composed and can communicate my thoughts more clearly in written communication.

    I can think of one of each of the two categories:

    1) at the Grand Hyatt Nashville, I had the Do Not Disturb placard on my door and had waived housekeeping when checking in on the Hyatt app. Not only did housekeeping enter my room while I was away, the changed the sheets on the bed and the new sheets were bloodied. Absolutely disgusting and needed immediate attention, even at 11 at night when I returned to my room. Hyatt effectively comp'd half of my stay and gave my 30k Hyatt points.

    2) at the Hyatt Place Madison, my concierge's request for an in-room crib was ignored and when I pointed it out to the front desk, all they did was drop off and not set up a crib, which we later found out was defective when setting it up ourselves. One of the retaining walls did not fully extend; though this defect did not materially impact safety, it is something that would have been caught had the crib been set up by staff, as is generally Hyatt policy on in-room cribs. I sent feedback on the stay to the hotel after check-out and received a sincerely apologetic response from management.

  31. Etraveler Guest

    I struggle with giving feedback on issues that I know the management can't do much about, and were more design flaws of the hotel. Something that really will bother me is when a hotel has little soundproofing, and you can hear noise from above or beside you. As a light sleeper, it really affects my opinion of a hotel and whether or not I would return, but after the hotel is built, there isn't a...

    I struggle with giving feedback on issues that I know the management can't do much about, and were more design flaws of the hotel. Something that really will bother me is when a hotel has little soundproofing, and you can hear noise from above or beside you. As a light sleeper, it really affects my opinion of a hotel and whether or not I would return, but after the hotel is built, there isn't a whole lot the management can do about that. Even with earplugs and a noise machine, some hotels can be so loud.

    1. ArthurSFO Member

      I agree with that. For stuff like that, the best you can do is post a review online or a short post on FlyerTalk to help guide your fellow travelers.

  32. ArthurSFO Member

    I read this post while sitting at the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Versailles after a one night stay where our room didn't have functioning AC. The AC wasn't weak, it simply didn't work at all.

    At checkout the employee asked how my stay was. I told her I was frustrated about the lack of AC. She responded with "sorry to hear that" and kept going with the checkout process as if nothing had happened...

    ...

    I read this post while sitting at the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Versailles after a one night stay where our room didn't have functioning AC. The AC wasn't weak, it simply didn't work at all.

    At checkout the employee asked how my stay was. I told her I was frustrated about the lack of AC. She responded with "sorry to hear that" and kept going with the checkout process as if nothing had happened...

    I politely but firmly said that the experience was unacceptable, especially at a WA. She went to talk to her manager, who only then offered to waive the 35€ on our folio. I once again insisted it wasn't enough.

    After waiting for the front of house manager, she offered to refund 50% of the cost of our reservation. I don't know if that was fair or not, but at that point, I just wanted to get on with my life.

    The worst part is that compensation after the fact never makes up for the poor experience. Even if I had received 100% of my money back, or even 200%, I would've far preferred to have had a more pleasant and comfortable stay.

    It sucks to look forward to a stay for a long time, only to leave with a bad taste in one's mouth. The rare exception are hotels that truly care, and show that with how they respond and act, making it much easier to overlook any issues or shortcomings.

    1. Alonzo Diamond

      Did you phone down from your room during your stay, saying your room had no AC? I find it hard to believe that you chose to stay in that room without AC and they couldn't move you to another room/have an engineer come take a look.

    2. ArthurSFO Member

      I don't know why you assume I would've chosen to stay in a hot room if there were other options. The techs had left for the night and the front desk person never offered a different room to us.

      We checked in at 10:15pm and went straight to dinner because the restaurant closed at 10:30pm. The room was very hot but I just assumed I needed to turn the AC up, which I did at...

      I don't know why you assume I would've chosen to stay in a hot room if there were other options. The techs had left for the night and the front desk person never offered a different room to us.

      We checked in at 10:15pm and went straight to dinner because the restaurant closed at 10:30pm. The room was very hot but I just assumed I needed to turn the AC up, which I did at that time.

      When we got back to the room around midnight it was still very hot. I called the front desk, and the person who answered the phone came up to the room to have a look. She couldn't fix anything and explained that the techs had already left for the night.

      She didn't offer any other options besides a fan. I could've pushed to sleep in a different room, but since we already had our stuff set up for the night, that would've been a hassle.

      I had something similar happen at the Grand Hyatt NYC but it was handled completely differently. The evening manager brought 3 fans to the room, the way he handled everything showed he cared, and he proactively offered enough points to cover a free night. At the time, I didn't even know that was a possibility. In the morning when we came down the manager came over to chat with us and apologize. I never complained or pushed for anything, but the staff handled the situation differently. They were fully booked (yes, at 1,100+ rooms if I remember correctly) and couldn't move me to a different room.

    3. Alonzo Diamond

      If I'm staying at a WA, I'm not only asking to move to a new room, I'm demanding it. Fully booked, nothing you can do. Otherwise, hell no I ain't sleeping in a warm room. I would have grabbed my toiletries and left, a bellmen can bring the rest of my stuff from the old room in the morning.

    4. ArthurSFO Member

      Yes, I definitely agree with that sentiment. I think this may be a broader issue with France, but I don't know.

      The AC at the Hotel de Paris in Saint Tropez wouldn't go below 18°C (65°F). With how hot it was (mid-80s), that definitely wasn't enough. They weren't too concerned about it, though. They also brought a fan, and at check-out I politely asked them to waive parking (35€/day for 3 days).

      The thing...

      Yes, I definitely agree with that sentiment. I think this may be a broader issue with France, but I don't know.

      The AC at the Hotel de Paris in Saint Tropez wouldn't go below 18°C (65°F). With how hot it was (mid-80s), that definitely wasn't enough. They weren't too concerned about it, though. They also brought a fan, and at check-out I politely asked them to waive parking (35€/day for 3 days).

      The thing is, I'd rather have the hotel proactively offer something, even if small (a bottle of wine would've cost 10-20% of the total parking cost) than me constantly being in a position of having to stand up for myself. And yes, I know that's what life and being an adult is ;).

  33. Bobo Guest

    I have mixed feelings on this. As a Hyatt Globalist, I always get a survey email a day or so after I check out. I want to give constructive, actionable advice on what they can do better. But I do not want to penalize the usually-good property with a low rating on items that could be improved (without major capital expense which I know won't happen). I have an understanding that they get penalized on...

    I have mixed feelings on this. As a Hyatt Globalist, I always get a survey email a day or so after I check out. I want to give constructive, actionable advice on what they can do better. But I do not want to penalize the usually-good property with a low rating on items that could be improved (without major capital expense which I know won't happen). I have an understanding that they get penalized on anything that isn't rated a 9 or 10.

    And I don't want to penalize them for things that are not "wrong" but merely not to my taste; for example, last weekend the Andaz 5th Avenue NYC was dark and dreary throughout the public spaces, so much so that the agent couldn't even read my ID at check in.

    Hyatt hotel management is usually GREAT at giving a personal reply. I do feel valued and listened to.

    I don't post on tripadvisor becasuse I don't trust it not to be gamed. But I do post on Google maps because I find their ratings to be accurate.

    1. Ethan Guest

      9/10 acceptable definitely diminish the meaning of the rating a lot, when 8 is a middle finger to hotel.
      I hope at least give me options like “above & beyond”, good, passable, and bad.

  34. GoAmtrak Gold

    You left out the fourth and even more grating category of check-out feedback requests which is soliciting TripAdvisor reviews (which as we know can be gamed by management). I always say something like, "I don't do TA reviews and I'm sorry they make you ask that of me, it actually lowers my view of how this property is managed."

  35. TCO Guest

    I can't remember the last time I had a problem with a hotel, at least one that rose to the level of affecting my mood/experience in any serious way. Perhaps I've been abnormally lucky in that regard. (The front desk at Le Roch-Paris probably came the closest, but all I did was grumble to my P2, which I'm sure helped no one, hah.)

    I do go out of my way to leave positive feedback though....

    I can't remember the last time I had a problem with a hotel, at least one that rose to the level of affecting my mood/experience in any serious way. Perhaps I've been abnormally lucky in that regard. (The front desk at Le Roch-Paris probably came the closest, but all I did was grumble to my P2, which I'm sure helped no one, hah.)

    I do go out of my way to leave positive feedback though. I recall exceptional service at the Hotel Brick (2021, on a Hyatt points stay), PH Place Vendome (2022, points/globalist), and Sofitel-CDMX (2022, on an Amex FHR stay - seriously this was perhaps the best service I received from any business in my life), which resulted in me giving fawning praise at check out. I ended up emailing the GM's of each and communicating how fantastic everything was, and followed up with reviews of each property on whatever website I was directed to.

    I guess it's a byproduct of working retail/service jobs in the past (plus P2's current job, in retail pharmacy, which results in her being held accountable for reviews on surveys emailed to customers that often arise from wholly non-pharmacy related complaints, but i digress).

  36. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The issue is bigger than hotels. It is part of the non-customer service mindset which has spread from the US to many parts of the European extracted west. Some companies will do a better job of adapting to a less customer-focused mindset
    There are significant labor problems in much of the west and governments aren't working well either; I just experienced a hotel that was the victim of a failed water main that cut...

    The issue is bigger than hotels. It is part of the non-customer service mindset which has spread from the US to many parts of the European extracted west. Some companies will do a better job of adapting to a less customer-focused mindset
    There are significant labor problems in much of the west and governments aren't working well either; I just experienced a hotel that was the victim of a failed water main that cut water to the hotel for 24 hours. They personally sent people to the job site to get workers to get the water back on since hotel guests were ready to leave.
    I far prefer providing written feedback after the fact; if a company is serious about receiving feedback, they will respond and many have tried to apologize for what went wrong.

  37. Ross Guest

    Many hotels will email a request for a review as soon as you check out -- because they control which reviews are posted, or whether they are posted at all, and they know most people don't write two reviews. The purpose of asking for reviews is not to act on them, but to keep them internal so other travelers never hear the story.

  38. TurningLeft Guest

    I just have to leave feedback if there is an issue that's big enough to affect my stay experience. When you pay high enough money, you expect everything to go perfect, but hotels are run by people, so mistakes will be made. I keep that in mind. Even if I don't pay a premium for your rooms, I adjust my expectations based on the service level the hotel typically provides.

  39. JonO Guest

    Just had deplorable service at Park Hyatt Sydney from start to finish - but not the first time. Asked at check out for any feedback but honestly why bother when it is “cultural” and clearly a management or lack of management issue.

    1. Andrew Diamond

      Is the HR Sydney any better? Considering a trip next year, and I've had similar reservations about another PH Sydney stay.

    2. JonO Guest

      It’s a heck of a lot easier to stomach bad service at $250 a night rather than $1000

  40. Bob Guest

    If I felt strongly enough about it, I will leave feedback - and the results have been mixed but mostly good.

    Here are some examples:
    1. Kempinski Vier Jahrenzeitzen Munich - asked specifically for no housekeeping, and kept the Do Not Disturb sign on the whole time. Hotel staff entered the room anyway to deliver an Amazon package (good intention), and left a bottle of champagne as an apology (good intention again -...

    If I felt strongly enough about it, I will leave feedback - and the results have been mixed but mostly good.

    Here are some examples:
    1. Kempinski Vier Jahrenzeitzen Munich - asked specifically for no housekeeping, and kept the Do Not Disturb sign on the whole time. Hotel staff entered the room anyway to deliver an Amazon package (good intention), and left a bottle of champagne as an apology (good intention again - but defeat the purpose of the 'no entering the room' ask). Left a verbal feedback during check out and wrote a hand written note addressed to the GM and pointedly leave if w the duty manager.

    GM wrote back apologizing, and front office manager provided a gift at check out as token apology (box of pralines).

    2. Waldorf Astoria Orlando - left hand-written feedback to the GM since the agreed pre-check in requests were missed. Duty manager responded and waived a bunch of fees.

    3. Doubletree Edmonton - left feedback during the stay at check out since HVAC did not work properly and we had to switch room in the middle of the night. Hotel GM actually called back and informed me that all charges were waived and comped the whole stay with a direct verbal apology.

    I guess I've been lucky, that most of the hotels where I gave feedback, they were serious about it and they made an effort to at least respond and owned up to the concerns.

  41. Khatl Diamond

    Hotels on check out asking "how was your stay?" is a little like people greeting you with "how are you?" Rarely do they expect anything other than short statements that include the words, "good", "fine", "great" etc.

    Definitely should always raise issues when they occur. It has multiple benefits: (1) gives the hotel the opportunity to rectify the problem, (2) often will highlight other problems as the original issue doesn't get remedied (and can get...

    Hotels on check out asking "how was your stay?" is a little like people greeting you with "how are you?" Rarely do they expect anything other than short statements that include the words, "good", "fine", "great" etc.

    Definitely should always raise issues when they occur. It has multiple benefits: (1) gives the hotel the opportunity to rectify the problem, (2) often will highlight other problems as the original issue doesn't get remedied (and can get worse), and (3) helps you obtain reasonable compensation if the problem is not remedied (because it's not an issue you only reported at check out that they can no longer fix).

    The problem I have more recently had is that a hotel, after failing to remedy the issue more than once, then offers me compensation... but then fails to deliver the compensation exacerbating the problem. Had that happen multiple times in the past year; may be a staff shortage issue.

    Generally in the past 18-24 months, and again may be a staff shortage or lack of experienced staff issue, I'm having more and more issues at hotels. In fact, I've not stayed anywhere in the past couple of years where the experience has been better than I could reasonably have expected. And it's been too regularly below expectations compared to pre-COVID.

  42. Creditcrunch Diamond

    I will feedback throughout my stay if there is an issue rather than clump it all together at the conclusion, also with a lot of hotels pushing express checkout I find I hardly ever need to go to check in desks. Most hotels send a post visit survey by email which I will complete, often if there are negative elements to the survey someone will reach out and offer a service recovery solution like complimentary night, evening meal etc.

  43. Mantis Guest

    If I really want action on an issue, I give feedback immediately when the issue presents itself, I don't wait until checkout. During checkout, it's as you say normally just a polite, rhetorical question. Post stay surveys seem to be only for statistical analysis, I've never had anyone reach out to me to rectify an issue, so now I just don't bother with them either.

  44. 9volt Member

    I never leave feedback. Maybe it's the cynic in me, but I just feel like it'll fall on deaf ears and I'm wasting my time.

    1. John Guest

      You're not the only one. I feel that unless management/owners are really invested in the hotel, then nothing much will come out of feedback. Especially at big chain hotels.

    2. ConnGator Member

      Cough **Marriott** cough

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Jasmine Guest

It's funny you posted this today. Just stayed at the Ritz Carlton resort in Naples, FL. I was part of a conference. On one night, 20 of us got together for dinner. 4 servers approached each of us to get our room numbers to charge us individually for our meals to our respective rooms. My server was amazing from beginning to end, but the server for a fellow guest began complaining rudely to her about having to process 20 individual checks. Again, we didn't ask for this. The servers did it on their own so it made no sense for the one sever to start complaining, and it definitely shouldn't have been to a guest! The following day, I sat in the lobby, working on my laptop. The server in the area completely ignored me, even though I sat there for 4 hours. She asked every other person in the area if they needed anything but me. She asked people seated to either side of me, so it wasn't a question of my not being in her area. After 4 hours, another server started his shift and he came over to ask if I needed anything. I did. And for that, he got a $20 tip for a $12 check. At checkout, I was asked how everything was. I said your entire staff has been amazing but there were 2 disappointing events. I waited for her to ask what happened, but she just said, oh, I'm sorry, and didn't inquire any further. What was the point of her asking if she wasn't going to find out what happened? This lowered my impression of that Ritz Carlton. I'm tempted to post this comment as a review there.

5
CA Gifford Guest

Hotels are franchises. Quality varies greatly among the brands. I am so tired of automatic surveys that never initiate a call back to me, we travel for leisure pre covid 70 nights plus a year last year 40. I immediately notify front desk of problems to be fixed: cleaning, broken items, dirty fans and vents, hear,ac, etc, I give front desk a list of other issues on check out. If I have a big complaint such as a do not disturb sign on the door and the maids knock on and try opening the door before check out I make sure the mgr knows and I get compensation (Courtyard by Marriot in Albuquerque ). If I have a dead bolt that does not close, it is time for a room change. A one week stay last year at a Residence Inn in Michigan warranted daily complaints with no remedy : no building locks, elevator did not work but desk told us to jump up and down and maintenance said it had not worked for 5 months, no milk for breakfast nor juice, filthy stained carpets and furniture, holes in kitchen flooring, marijuana in the halls. I could not leave due to a very sick friend and no vacancy at other hotels. I had a list of 19 complaints I sent to VPs at Marriott headquarters. I called and customer service was great but I had no response. No one cares. No one trains, no one asks the customer. Marriott CEO said last year that Marriott was focusing on their customers the owners! Not us the paying customer. So we continue to complain and only return to those hotels and brands that are responsive to the paying customer.

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305 Guest

Good on you for being respectful about it, but this is a double-down on the negative points brought up with the tipping posts from the other week. It’s a shame that someone not doing the work required in their job description makes a customer feel the need to tip extra for the person simply doing their job as required.

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