Explaining Bad Service So Even A Corporate Jackass Can Understand…

Unless distilled into bullet form and supplemented by graphs and matrixes, the average corporate executive can not even being to feel this human emotion called ‘empathy’ for their customers.

Tom Farmer knows this. That’s why, after DoubleTree Club Houston gave away his reserved, guaranteed hotel rooms in 2001, Tom thoughtfully prepared a Powerpoint Presentation entitled ‘Yours Is A Very Bad Hotel’ explaining the problem in a fashion that even a corporate weasel could understand.

A truly brilliant exercise in scathing consumerist sarcasm. Thanks to Upgrade Travel for pointing our attention to it.

Yours Is A Very Bad Hotel [Powerpoint Presentation]

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  1. bambino says:

    Damn that was hilarious. Horrible customer service is one thing, but horrible customer service + rude attitude + unwillingness to rectify situation = money spent elsewhere. If only companies could get that through their collective skulls…

  2. Pelagius says:

    This post desperately needs some follow-up, courtesy of B&PR via FGIA:
    “Within a month, “Yours is a Very Bad Hotel” had garnered thousands of supportive e-mails for Farmer from as far away as Australia and the Middle East. Farmer’s treatment, and his World Wide Web response, even spurred an editorial in the trade publication Travel Weekly. It also generated a response from a Hilton management team much more concerned than Mike the Night Clerk.

    When offered a complimentary two-night stay at his choice of Hilton hotels, Farmer declined, asking instead that the company make a donation to Toys for Tots in Houston. But making Farmer a satisfied Hilton guest wasn’t enough for management – they also wanted to ensure that all customers would be treated better in the future.

    To that end, and as a direct result of one man’s opinion posted on the Internet, Hilton Hotels created a new set of directives to improve employee training, as well as re-evaluating its overbooking policies. Also, the Houston Doubletree, in particular, has instituted a, “complete retraining of the entire staff,” according to General Manager Joseph Crosby. “My employee failed to provide empathy. That’s a quality needed now more than ever.”

  3. Thanks a bunch for that, Pelagius, I was very curious as to the final outcome.

  4. AcidReign says:

    …..Interesting that this powerpoint was published in 2001. In October,2001, we had the distinct displeasure of staying at the “DoubleTalk” (my name for them) northwest in Atlanta. At the time, I was willing to chalk it up to post-9-11 travel business stress, but… We did have a few petty, forgivable (or arguable-out of) issues: like them trying to add $50 a night to our “guaranteed,” pre-arranged reservation; the “free continental breakfast, which amounted to burnt, luke-warm coffee, no sugar or cream, melba toast; and the 10 smelly cigarette butts left in the wastebasket in our non-smoking suite.

    …..Our biggest beef was that they advertised that they had an indoor pool. When we take kids with us during cold months of the year, we always book a hotel with an indoor pool. It’s a sort of reward for them, for behaving well on the trip. And so, with the outdoor temp hovering around 45 or so, Doubletalk’s “indoor pool” turned out to be an outdoor one with a partial overhead car-port-like shed. Free hypothermia with every room booked!

    …..Doubletree IS a very bad hotel.

  5. Hawkins says:

    Lesson: even if you have confirmed reservations, call the hotel as soon as you know that you’re going to be late, and tell them not to give away your room.

    Yeah, yeah, you have a confirmed-for-late-arrival reservation. So what? If it’s after midnight, and you’re not there, and you haven’t called, and they can make an extra night’s rent off somebody else, then that’s a risk that Dickwad Mike was probably instructed to take.

    I’m not excusing them. But a call to the hotel might have prevented this debacle (although it would have deprived me of the hilarious powerpoint presentation).

  6. ModerateSnark says:

    That was only the third time I have run PowerPoint since 2001. It was worth it.

    And thanks again, Pelagius. I always like to hear a “one person can make a difference” story.

  7. dozerdude says:

    That was a great read. A true Consumerist “GOTCHA!!”

  8. mschlock says:

    For the PowerPoint challenged, Snopes has a web-based one on their site.

    http://www.snopes.com/business/info/badhotel/frame.htm

  9. Note also the main Snopes page on the subject:
    http://www.snopes.com/business/consumer/badhotel.asp

    The abovementioned General Manager Joseph Crosby would presumably be the same Joseph Crosby who, at roughly the same time he was blathering about “complete retraining” and “empathy”, was being a dick to Cory Doctorow:
    http://www.craphound.com/misc/doubletree.htm