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An "Upgrade" Not Appreciated

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Breakfast Diva

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We've discussed this topic in the past, so I thought I would share what just happened on our vacation which affirms that upgrades should not be automatically given so you can fit another reservation in.
We were just victims of an unwanted room upgrade. We just returned from a wonderful but far too short tropical vacation. We had booked an ocean view suite which was already a room upgrade from the regular room and had requested an upper floor and would have been perfectly happy with any floor other than the bottom. We had made our reservations 4 months in advance.
When we checked in, we were informed we were in a swim up suite and it was a complimentary upgrade. Many people would have liked the upgrade, but we have always felt that there was not enough privacy with that type of room. If we had wanted that type of room, we would have reserved it! We told them we didn't want the upgrade, but their answer was that there was nothing else available. The best they could do was to move us on our 4th day there. We were there for 7 nights and there was no way I wanted to unpack, then pack again and move mid-week so we stayed in a room we didn't want and didn't reserve. It definitely made us feel that they put other's needs before ours.
Did it ruin my vacation? No, but it definitely changed our experience and affected my view of their customer service. It affected us enough that we would never go back to that resort because we couldn't trust that they would delivered what we ordered. It's an important lesson we'll remember the next we are tempted to shuffle a room to accommodate another guest.
 

bbinnsitters

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BD, good reminder! So sorry that happened to you - did you try asking (a manager)what happened to the room you booked and requested 4 months in advance? - why it "wasn't available"? If you requested an upper floor and got a bottom floor that is just wrong!
You can always do what one of my friends does under these circumstances - she writes a letter to the powers that be at the establishment and 9 times out of 10 she ends up getting some sort of compensation. Tell them you had already upgraded to an upper floor with ocean views and felt like you were downgraded to a lower, noisier floor.
The older I get the more I realize that I have to stand up for my rights cos no one else will. You probably spent a lot of money on that vacation and like you said it didn't ruin your vacation, but it definitely changed it.
 

JBloggs

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Thanks for sharing.
The reasons for not wanting a more expensive room may be simple, we never know. Like the more expensive is on the north side of the house that is not the sunny side, or closer to the kitchen. I believe majority book the specific room and have put thought into choosing. Appreciate your story.
 

Alibi Ike

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We just had guests who were the only folks here. They usually get a very simple room so I told them they could have any room they wanted for the same price. They took their simple room.
I will, however, move a guest who has booked one night to make room for someone who wants more nights. And I state that clearly on the reservation form. I certainly wouldn't move someone who was booked for a week, or even two nights.
 

white pine

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We just had guests who were the only folks here. They usually get a very simple room so I told them they could have any room they wanted for the same price. They took their simple room.
I will, however, move a guest who has booked one night to make room for someone who wants more nights. And I state that clearly on the reservation form. I certainly wouldn't move someone who was booked for a week, or even two nights..
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
 

Alibi Ike

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We just had guests who were the only folks here. They usually get a very simple room so I told them they could have any room they wanted for the same price. They took their simple room.
I will, however, move a guest who has booked one night to make room for someone who wants more nights. And I state that clearly on the reservation form. I certainly wouldn't move someone who was booked for a week, or even two nights..
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
.
white pine said:
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
I let them know but it's generally not an option to pick a different room as it usually happens when we're close to full. I do ask that they tell me certain things when booking and will give them a similar room, if possible. Sometimes moving one guest for one night doesn't work and I will ask the guest who wants the room second to move around while they are here. That is almost impossible to accomplish as, for some reason, guests think it is a pile of work to put their toothbrush back in their kit bag and let me schlep the whole mess across the hall. (No one unpacks here so it is seriously only putting toiletries back in the bag, and I move everything for them.)
And having to completely clean a guest room so I can move someone around for 3-4 days is a pain in the butt.
Which is why I will move a one-nighter.
 

white pine

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We just had guests who were the only folks here. They usually get a very simple room so I told them they could have any room they wanted for the same price. They took their simple room.
I will, however, move a guest who has booked one night to make room for someone who wants more nights. And I state that clearly on the reservation form. I certainly wouldn't move someone who was booked for a week, or even two nights..
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
.
white pine said:
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
I let them know but it's generally not an option to pick a different room as it usually happens when we're close to full. I do ask that they tell me certain things when booking and will give them a similar room, if possible. Sometimes moving one guest for one night doesn't work and I will ask the guest who wants the room second to move around while they are here. That is almost impossible to accomplish as, for some reason, guests think it is a pile of work to put their toothbrush back in their kit bag and let me schlep the whole mess across the hall. (No one unpacks here so it is seriously only putting toiletries back in the bag, and I move everything for them.)
And having to completely clean a guest room so I can move someone around for 3-4 days is a pain in the butt.
Which is why I will move a one-nighter.
.
Can fully appreciate the problems from the inns side; the policy makes good sense. Just trying to understand the factors that make the guest unhappy. As you say, the move is actually no big deal, unless the guest has specific needs, but I think basically people just resist change. May have to blog on that.
 

Don Draper

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I'm sorry to hear this happened to you, the "upgrade" sounds nice in theory but they definitely should have listened to you when you stated you wanted the room you had booked. Makes me wonder how exactly they decide this...someone booking a longer stay, or the other folks just checked in sooner? I wonder if it makes a difference if you call the day before to double check/confirm everything. With big resorts I'm sure there are a lot of factors that go into this kind of decision.
You should definitely write a letter to the powers that be explaining your disappointment. Even if you get nothing from it, it might make them reevaluate the way the make the decisions.
At any rate I am thrilled to hear you got a tropical get-a-way, hope the weather was perfect for you!
 

Breakfast Diva

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BD, good reminder! So sorry that happened to you - did you try asking (a manager)what happened to the room you booked and requested 4 months in advance? - why it "wasn't available"? If you requested an upper floor and got a bottom floor that is just wrong!
You can always do what one of my friends does under these circumstances - she writes a letter to the powers that be at the establishment and 9 times out of 10 she ends up getting some sort of compensation. Tell them you had already upgraded to an upper floor with ocean views and felt like you were downgraded to a lower, noisier floor.
The older I get the more I realize that I have to stand up for my rights cos no one else will. You probably spent a lot of money on that vacation and like you said it didn't ruin your vacation, but it definitely changed it..
Oh, I definitely stand up for myself. Some may say too much! LOL This is one of those times where I felt that starting a battle or coping an attitude would further put a damper on my vacation and it just wasn't worth it. At no point was it or is it about receiving any compensation, it's about providing me what I wanted. By the way, this is a #1 rated, all inclusive resort that is very exclusive and the customer service from all other areas starting from housekeeping to waitstaff/room service/barteners was phenominal.
I've already filled out a comment/survey form while I was there and may send an e-mail. At the time, they definitely knew that we were not happy. We were also lied to. On the first morning I returned to the club lounge ask they to once again see if anything else was available and after a phone call in Spanish to supposedly the big boss, which I couldn't understand, was told the option of moving in a few days. The reason told to me why they couldn't switch us, was that everyone checking in that day in our club section were all checking into swim up suites, so there was no one to switch us with. Later that afternoon, we witnessed several couples with their bellhop going up the elevators and checking into upper floor suites. That really upset us, because we were lied to.
 

Alibi Ike

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We just had guests who were the only folks here. They usually get a very simple room so I told them they could have any room they wanted for the same price. They took their simple room.
I will, however, move a guest who has booked one night to make room for someone who wants more nights. And I state that clearly on the reservation form. I certainly wouldn't move someone who was booked for a week, or even two nights..
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
.
white pine said:
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
I let them know but it's generally not an option to pick a different room as it usually happens when we're close to full. I do ask that they tell me certain things when booking and will give them a similar room, if possible. Sometimes moving one guest for one night doesn't work and I will ask the guest who wants the room second to move around while they are here. That is almost impossible to accomplish as, for some reason, guests think it is a pile of work to put their toothbrush back in their kit bag and let me schlep the whole mess across the hall. (No one unpacks here so it is seriously only putting toiletries back in the bag, and I move everything for them.)
And having to completely clean a guest room so I can move someone around for 3-4 days is a pain in the butt.
Which is why I will move a one-nighter.
.
Can fully appreciate the problems from the inns side; the policy makes good sense. Just trying to understand the factors that make the guest unhappy. As you say, the move is actually no big deal, unless the guest has specific needs, but I think basically people just resist change. May have to blog on that.
.
It is very hard for me to get guests to move rooms for a longer stay. Say 2 nights in one room, 2 nights in another? No. They would rather keep looking. And it is not that they even seem to have too much of a problem with the individual rooms themselves, they just do not want to move once they are settled in.
And, I've had guests who have actually stayed at another inn and then come here rather than move rooms here. How does that make any sense at all? Pack up the car and drive over here but not walk across the hall? Of course, if someone is willing to move rooms, I will try to make their stay in just one room if someone in either of those rooms cancels for the appropriate nights. (Less work for me!)
 

Alibi Ike

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Is the resort on Twitter? If so, it appears you can get exactly what you want by tweeting immediately that you are unhappy with the situation. (After attempting to resolve it as you did.) Apparently the PTB (powers that be) do not want an unhappy guest tweeting during their entire 7 day vacation that they were not given the room they booked, other guests were seen to be taken to those rooms when you were told there were none available, you specifically booked 4 months in advance to have a choice of rooms, etc, etc, etc.
 

Breakfast Diva

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We just had guests who were the only folks here. They usually get a very simple room so I told them they could have any room they wanted for the same price. They took their simple room.
I will, however, move a guest who has booked one night to make room for someone who wants more nights. And I state that clearly on the reservation form. I certainly wouldn't move someone who was booked for a week, or even two nights..
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
.
white pine said:
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
I let them know but it's generally not an option to pick a different room as it usually happens when we're close to full. I do ask that they tell me certain things when booking and will give them a similar room, if possible. Sometimes moving one guest for one night doesn't work and I will ask the guest who wants the room second to move around while they are here. That is almost impossible to accomplish as, for some reason, guests think it is a pile of work to put their toothbrush back in their kit bag and let me schlep the whole mess across the hall. (No one unpacks here so it is seriously only putting toiletries back in the bag, and I move everything for them.)
And having to completely clean a guest room so I can move someone around for 3-4 days is a pain in the butt.
Which is why I will move a one-nighter.
.
Can fully appreciate the problems from the inns side; the policy makes good sense. Just trying to understand the factors that make the guest unhappy. As you say, the move is actually no big deal, unless the guest has specific needs, but I think basically people just resist change. May have to blog on that.
.
white pine said:
Can fully appreciate the problems from the inns side; the policy makes good sense. Just trying to understand the factors that make the guest unhappy. As you say, the move is actually no big deal, unless the guest has specific needs, but I think basically people just resist change. May have to blog on that.
I really don't think that we have the right to decide for someone else if it's a big deal or not. There are so many variables why people choose the room they do. At least Alibi states the policy on the website. If I were looking to book a room there and it were a 1 night special occasion for myself and I saw the policy, I would book elsewhere because I wouldn't be assured to get "my" room. Why show all your rooms on your website if you don't guarantee that room to the person who booked it? It's certainly not a big deal in a property where all the rooms are the same, but one of the main reasons that people stay in a b&b is that they want an experience and find the place/room that fits their personality.
 

wendydk

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In my days as hotel manager (at a beachfront resort), upgrading people to the first floor from an upper floor (even unexpectedly and not by request) was always a happy day for the guest. Most people requested first floor rooms, and had to settle for the upper floor balcony room when the first was booked. A good number requested to be waitlisted for the first floor anyway. We would have been very suprised if someone were unhappy with an unexpected 'upgrade'.
Perhaps this resort you stayed at experiences the same thing. I know, doesn't make you feel any better!!
 

Breakfast Diva

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In my days as hotel manager (at a beachfront resort), upgrading people to the first floor from an upper floor (even unexpectedly and not by request) was always a happy day for the guest. Most people requested first floor rooms, and had to settle for the upper floor balcony room when the first was booked. A good number requested to be waitlisted for the first floor anyway. We would have been very suprised if someone were unhappy with an unexpected 'upgrade'.
Perhaps this resort you stayed at experiences the same thing. I know, doesn't make you feel any better!!.
I met several couples during our stay who felt the same way we did. I'm going to have to download my pics so I can show you what I mean and I think it will make more sense. All of the suites in the club section have double whirlpool tubs inside the suite AND another one on the "private" balcony/terrace. There is no way we would ever use the tub on our terrace and we also kept the sheers closed all the time.
Give me a few minutes and I'll try to get a picture.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I'm sorry to hear this happened to you, the "upgrade" sounds nice in theory but they definitely should have listened to you when you stated you wanted the room you had booked. Makes me wonder how exactly they decide this...someone booking a longer stay, or the other folks just checked in sooner? I wonder if it makes a difference if you call the day before to double check/confirm everything. With big resorts I'm sure there are a lot of factors that go into this kind of decision.
You should definitely write a letter to the powers that be explaining your disappointment. Even if you get nothing from it, it might make them reevaluate the way the make the decisions.
At any rate I am thrilled to hear you got a tropical get-a-way, hope the weather was perfect for you!.
Thanks Don. We really did enjoy our 80 degree weather and beautiful surroundings. There was fabulous food and drink and I read 4 books while relaxing. A week went far too quickly. Now I get to fantasize and plan one for next year.
 

Alibi Ike

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We just had guests who were the only folks here. They usually get a very simple room so I told them they could have any room they wanted for the same price. They took their simple room.
I will, however, move a guest who has booked one night to make room for someone who wants more nights. And I state that clearly on the reservation form. I certainly wouldn't move someone who was booked for a week, or even two nights..
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
.
white pine said:
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
I let them know but it's generally not an option to pick a different room as it usually happens when we're close to full. I do ask that they tell me certain things when booking and will give them a similar room, if possible. Sometimes moving one guest for one night doesn't work and I will ask the guest who wants the room second to move around while they are here. That is almost impossible to accomplish as, for some reason, guests think it is a pile of work to put their toothbrush back in their kit bag and let me schlep the whole mess across the hall. (No one unpacks here so it is seriously only putting toiletries back in the bag, and I move everything for them.)
And having to completely clean a guest room so I can move someone around for 3-4 days is a pain in the butt.
Which is why I will move a one-nighter.
.
Can fully appreciate the problems from the inns side; the policy makes good sense. Just trying to understand the factors that make the guest unhappy. As you say, the move is actually no big deal, unless the guest has specific needs, but I think basically people just resist change. May have to blog on that.
.
white pine said:
Can fully appreciate the problems from the inns side; the policy makes good sense. Just trying to understand the factors that make the guest unhappy. As you say, the move is actually no big deal, unless the guest has specific needs, but I think basically people just resist change. May have to blog on that.
I really don't think that we have the right to decide for someone else if it's a big deal or not. There are so many variables why people choose the room they do. At least Alibi states the policy on the website. If I were looking to book a room there and it were a 1 night special occasion for myself and I saw the policy, I would book elsewhere because I wouldn't be assured to get "my" room. Why show all your rooms on your website if you don't guarantee that room to the person who booked it? It's certainly not a big deal in a property where all the rooms are the same, but one of the main reasons that people stay in a b&b is that they want an experience and find the place/room that fits their personality.
.
Breakfast Diva said:
If I were looking to book a room there and it were a 1 night special occasion for myself and I saw the policy, I would book elsewhere because I wouldn't be assured to get "my" room. Why show all your rooms on your website if you don't guarantee that room to the person who booked it?
I state pretty clearly that you will get the room you want if you state you must have that room. I'm a little more graceful in stating it to the guest than that. But I have had guests tell me they want that room for a reason, and I honor that reason even if it means losing another $500+ to do so. Personally, I think that is very generous on my part given I'll probably never see that guest again.
Because you chose a 'type' of room, you should have been given that room type, not another. Likewise, if a guest selects a 'king' room here I will not move them to a queen room.
 

Breakfast Diva

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In my days as hotel manager (at a beachfront resort), upgrading people to the first floor from an upper floor (even unexpectedly and not by request) was always a happy day for the guest. Most people requested first floor rooms, and had to settle for the upper floor balcony room when the first was booked. A good number requested to be waitlisted for the first floor anyway. We would have been very suprised if someone were unhappy with an unexpected 'upgrade'.
Perhaps this resort you stayed at experiences the same thing. I know, doesn't make you feel any better!!.

No doubt it's beautiful, but you can see how people on the other side of the pool and to the left the pool bar can look straight at your area and ultimately, straight into your room.


You can see here that there is also no privacy wall between our space and the next room's space
What I really wanted was a room up higher to enjoy the ocean view...not the pool view.
 

Breakfast Diva

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We just had guests who were the only folks here. They usually get a very simple room so I told them they could have any room they wanted for the same price. They took their simple room.
I will, however, move a guest who has booked one night to make room for someone who wants more nights. And I state that clearly on the reservation form. I certainly wouldn't move someone who was booked for a week, or even two nights..
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
.
white pine said:
Curious to know if you inform them they are going to be moved, and if they are given the option to choose another room?
I let them know but it's generally not an option to pick a different room as it usually happens when we're close to full. I do ask that they tell me certain things when booking and will give them a similar room, if possible. Sometimes moving one guest for one night doesn't work and I will ask the guest who wants the room second to move around while they are here. That is almost impossible to accomplish as, for some reason, guests think it is a pile of work to put their toothbrush back in their kit bag and let me schlep the whole mess across the hall. (No one unpacks here so it is seriously only putting toiletries back in the bag, and I move everything for them.)
And having to completely clean a guest room so I can move someone around for 3-4 days is a pain in the butt.
Which is why I will move a one-nighter.
.
Can fully appreciate the problems from the inns side; the policy makes good sense. Just trying to understand the factors that make the guest unhappy. As you say, the move is actually no big deal, unless the guest has specific needs, but I think basically people just resist change. May have to blog on that.
.
white pine said:
Can fully appreciate the problems from the inns side; the policy makes good sense. Just trying to understand the factors that make the guest unhappy. As you say, the move is actually no big deal, unless the guest has specific needs, but I think basically people just resist change. May have to blog on that.
I really don't think that we have the right to decide for someone else if it's a big deal or not. There are so many variables why people choose the room they do. At least Alibi states the policy on the website. If I were looking to book a room there and it were a 1 night special occasion for myself and I saw the policy, I would book elsewhere because I wouldn't be assured to get "my" room. Why show all your rooms on your website if you don't guarantee that room to the person who booked it? It's certainly not a big deal in a property where all the rooms are the same, but one of the main reasons that people stay in a b&b is that they want an experience and find the place/room that fits their personality.
.
Breakfast Diva said:
If I were looking to book a room there and it were a 1 night special occasion for myself and I saw the policy, I would book elsewhere because I wouldn't be assured to get "my" room. Why show all your rooms on your website if you don't guarantee that room to the person who booked it?
I state pretty clearly that you will get the room you want if you state you must have that room. I'm a little more graceful in stating it to the guest than that. But I have had guests tell me they want that room for a reason, and I honor that reason even if it means losing another $500+ to do so. Personally, I think that is very generous on my part given I'll probably never see that guest again.
Because you chose a 'type' of room, you should have been given that room type, not another. Likewise, if a guest selects a 'king' room here I will not move them to a queen room.
.
"I state pretty clearly that you will get the room you want if you state you must have that room."
Ok, that makes a big difference! Thanks for clarifying.
 

Alibi Ike

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In my days as hotel manager (at a beachfront resort), upgrading people to the first floor from an upper floor (even unexpectedly and not by request) was always a happy day for the guest. Most people requested first floor rooms, and had to settle for the upper floor balcony room when the first was booked. A good number requested to be waitlisted for the first floor anyway. We would have been very suprised if someone were unhappy with an unexpected 'upgrade'.
Perhaps this resort you stayed at experiences the same thing. I know, doesn't make you feel any better!!.

No doubt it's beautiful, but you can see how people on the other side of the pool and to the left the pool bar can look straight at your area and ultimately, straight into your room.


You can see here that there is also no privacy wall between our space and the next room's space
What I really wanted was a room up higher to enjoy the ocean view...not the pool view.
.
Wow! That is gorgeous! And, yes, I would have wanted to be up on a higher floor as well. I had a 'poolside' in Jamaica and even though there was a walkway and shrubs between me and the pool, I never felt like I could sit outside in peace.
 

white pine

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I agree, there are many factors that go into what makes something a big deal to some folks. As AI stated the physical move and effort was very small. Lots of variables go in the mix. No criticisms here.
I have been thinking about logos, branding, and the PAII better stay initiative. I think all of this relates. With a "brand" you know you will always get the same thing. Might not be great, but you will know what you get. This is why so many people stay at hotel/motel chains and eat fast food. In the past, staying at a b&b they are were unsure of what they are getting. Now that most places have a website, the public needs to know that there is a choice out there.
I think for this reason, the upset of a surprise "upgrade" might be greater at a b&b because the guest made a choice , and may feel it was not honored. That is why I asked AI if they let the guest know in advance.
 
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