The success of a holiday depends on so many things, from the way you travel to how comfortable the bed in your hotel room is. They all add to the greatness of a vacation or to its fiasco. One of the things most travelers complain about when it comes to their travels is the hotel rooms they get. No wonder why since it is of great importance to enjoy a comfortable and clean bed after a day of walking and sightseeing, a well-equipped bathroom, and so on.
If you’ve experienced unpleasant moments because of the hotel room you booked, more precisely, because of the difference between what you saw in the hotel presentation pictures and what you actually got, here are the most important steps you need to take in order to complain about your hotel stay.
Although complaining about your hotel stay seems something easy to take care of, the real issue when it comes to that is to make sure you get heard and changes are made in order to remedy that particular problem. Therefore…
Let the hotel staff know about your complaint
The first thing to do is to deal with the hotel staff directly. If you are there experiencing some unpleasant issue, then seize the opportunity to talk to the hotel personnel. Contact the person at the front desk of the hotel in order to lodge your complaint or ask for some rectification. You can take this step during your hotel stay or even after.
Remember to approach the hotel person calmly and politely and state the problem you had clearly. Once you stated the issue, let the front desk person know what you would like them to do in order to remedy the problem. Now, be realistic about the solution you come with. If bed bugs ruined the clothes in your luggage, it would be recommended to ask them to refund your stay than to ask for a compensation for getting new clothes. Keep in mind the basic rules of polite conversation. Always listen carefully and speak when it is your turn to do so. Don’t interrupt the other persons when they are speaking.
If the person at the front desk can’t help you with your problem, ask for the manager on duty. If you are not at the hotel and you want to lodge a complaint, then call the hotel and ask for the manager. If you still can’t solve your problem after you talk to the manager on duty, ask for the general manager. You might encounter some hesitation from the part of the hotel staff when asking for the general manager’s contact information. Make sure you insist politely until you get the information you need.
Once you have such details, contact the general manager and explain the nature of your problem. Large hotel chains will usually help you with your issue and refund you one way or another. Things might be a bit more difficult with small independent hotels.
In case you are still not satisfied after taking all these steps and you want to escalate your complaint beyond the hotel, you might want to contact the corporate entity. You should find corporate contact information on the internet. Send them an email or a letter letting them know politely and clearly about the problems you’ve experienced during your stay. If possible, you can call the corporate entity and try to get in touch with the customer service department.
If you booked your hotel stay via a booking website or a travel agency, you can contact that particular business in order to complain about your problem. Again, make sure you state your issue clearly and be ready to provide evidence such as photos, names of the hotel representatives, police reports if any, and so on. Plus, make sure you have your receipt or transaction number at hand as you will likely need it. Unfortunately, many such travel websites won’t solve your hotel stay problems because of the high volume of complaints and work they have to deal with.
If all that fails to work, you are left with two last options. One of them is posting a negative review about the hotel on the travel website you used to book your stay. This way you will share your unpleasant experience with other people and help them avoid the hotel or keep such problems at bay by paying attention to the rooms they book. Then you can escalate your complaint far beyond the hotel or travel website and contact any relevant regulatory body, for instance, the local health department if your complaint concerns a health or sanitation problem. You can also contact the department of hotels and restaurants in your state or region.
Share your experience with others
One thing you can do for yourself and for other travelers is to post a review and write about your experience with the hotel in question on travel websites. Try to reach as many people as possible in order to let them know about the issues you encountered. Some travel websites might remove or censor your review because of the relationships they have with hotels. That’s why it is best to make yourself heard by posting on various websites and not limit your review only to travel websites. Go even further than that and file your complaint on bbb.org (Better Bureau Business website) or on consumerreports.org.
Moreover, you can let your friends or acquaintances know about your experience if you know they want to visit that hotel. Don’t exaggerate your experience but don’t embellish it either if you have nothing positive to say about it. Last but not least, try to avoid unpleasant experiences by visiting hotels you’ve tried before and that are highly appreciated. Try to gather information about the hotel before booking. Read reviews and see what other people experienced. This way, you will know what places to take out of your options list.