How to Complain to a Hotel to Get Results

 In Chicago, News, Travel

This topic came up on CNNTraveler recently and it got us thinking about the best/most effective way to complain to a hotel to really get results. We found the answer: follow this advice from a former hotel front-desk manager and you’ll have the issue straightened out in no time.

Here are some common scenarios you may have run into:

Situation 1: “Can you please arrange a wakeup call for me?”

Situations 2: “Can you please have someone pick up my laundry?”

Situation 3: “Can you please have someone service my room?”

Situation 4: “Why is my TV not working?”

The front desk and the hard-working desk agents are truly the heartbeat of any hotel. They get called upon day and night to handle all kinds of requests and situations – whether it’s in their job description or not. So keep that in mind when calling down with an issue or request.

So what’s the best way to get the front desk agent on your side? Here are some tips for effectively complaining to the front desk:

  1. Be specific about your complaint and provide as many details with regards to time and place as possible. The more information you can give about what went wrong and when it went wrong, the more the front desk can help you. They will take this information to the other departments who can also assist in righting whatever went wrong.
  2. Try to remember names. If not, try to remember faces. While this seems an odd thing, it is really helpful for front desk staff to follow up with guest requests. Simply saying “I spoke to someone about my car service”; or “There was a girl here yesterday” is just as helpful as saying “I spoke to everyone.” Being more specific not only speeds up the follow-up process, but also gives your query more credence and things can be taken care of more efficiently.
  3. Follow up! Yes, this is the job of the hotel, and it is done most the time. But sometimes, front desk staff doesn’t hear whether the guest is really happy with the outcome of their efforts. On your way out of the hotel, stop by the front desk and give them an update. This also helps the agents remember you even more.
  4. It’s ok to ask for management to step in when things get really, really bad- but don’t jump to that right away. If your complaints have gone unheard or unattended to, now is the time to ask for senior management to get involved. The most effective way to do this is by clearly stating the times and staff with which the complaints were filed. This allows the hotel to immediately fix the problem while also going the extra mile and providing a complimentary amenity. It also allows the hotel to learn from those mistakes and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
  5. Stay polite. Don’t talk down to or look down upon front desk agents or mock their level of English, intelligence or remark about how they are doing their job. Remember, front desk agents are some of the most qualified and skilled multitaskers in the industry. They not only know how to communicate effectively with guests, but also how to get things done, from making sure the concierge has the right information to make restaurant bookings to updating the housekeeping department on the right time to service the rooms.

These tips originally ran on and we thank them for their insights! If you’ve already booked your flight and hotel stay here in Chicago don’t forget to book your chauffeured ground transportation too! Book easily online by creating your own reservation portal login or contact us on the Contact page for a quote or quick booking call back.

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