Seaching for a room - as a guest

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Copperhead

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You would think that the major hotels would have things fairly well figured out by now... after all they are the big chains, have the bucks and can hire the experienced pros to get it right! Right?
I spent much the morning looking at the big boys - they make it easy to find a room, select from the list of room types, discounts for AARP, AAA, Corp, Point redemption..... but what about the policies, what about the 'extra charges' I had to DIG to find out check in /out times, if there is a safe fee (that I won't use) if they allow pets (I don't want a room that pets have been). ETC...
I finally find one that answered most of my needs just wanted to ask a question regarding location, so I call. I figure I will book while on the phone and save myself time, right? Wrong!
Does this major chain want guests? Do they just want guests that will book online?
My call was answered by an auto Sally - What night can I look up? I answered. Sorry I did not understand... on the 3rd attempt they offered me to key in the date. (Uggg) Then what city. 2nd attempt it got that right. I can't recall the 3rd question but after that was told to wait for a rep. (yeah, a human). But not before hearing a speal about staying on the line afterwards for a brief survey - they have got to be kidding!
The time spent with the rep - who had to search to answer my question, was very short. Are they saving time getting auto Sally to get that tiny bit of info? MAYBE But how many potential guests are they LOOSING during this process? Had I done this at the end of my day instead of early morning, I would have hung up after the first 'I did not understand'... and I did contemplate doing just that anyway.
 

seashanty

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is it possible they are short staffed because of the weather so that you can't get to a human who can speak to you? i agree, as much as possible is automated now ... but i always speak to a person when i stay at marriot if i call.
 

Joey Camb

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long and short? it is cheaper to have you speak to a computer and loose 1 in say 100 bookings because of it than to employ someone to answer the phone its simple maths.
 

toddburme

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I recently read a book by the owner of Zappos. He had a philosophy that an internet company only has so much contact with its customer so make those contacts count. I wish more companies thought that way.
 

Generic

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Did you call the hotel directly or did you call a toll-free number? Anything toll-free is answered by a central, it's part of the branding package... cheaper than making their own reservations.
 

Joey Camb

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Also you are labouring under 1 important misapprihension that they actually care about each booking they don't. We do it is our bottom line and why we got into the game in the first place. Round here we have various chains
1 - most staff don't speak english as a first language
2- 80% don't speak English more than yes no this is your room
3 - they have about 8 reservation people for the chain and they only deal with bookings over 40 people
4 - their reservations only work 9-5 so don't expect a person outside those hours as it then diverts to reception who are far to busy checking in 2 coach tours at the same time who will all be in the wrong rooms because reservations have no clue what the actual hotel is like! This is reinforced by an example of the Holiday Inn opposite me who rang at 8pm last night to say have you a room as a coach tour has turned up and there is more of them than we were expecting.
and these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
 

Copperhead

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Called hotel directly, they answered my other questions then patched me to reservations - national that is when I got the canned Sally.
I do not think that it was due to weather related abundance of calls, sounded like the way they handle their business... what company? Inter cont inental.... not a fly by night or low on the rate scale by any means....
 
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