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And Don’t Come Back!

15 Nov

We are finally slamming the door on the few remaining church convention members that have been in the city the past 7-10 days.

They’ve been coming to St. Louis for the past three years, and most of them aren’t happy about it.  They miss their usual host city of Memphis, so when they get here, they have a slight chip on their shoulder.

And nothing we do can please them.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a handful of them that are extremely appreciative of our customer service, and are quite happy with all the freebies included in our room rate, but they in no way make up for the incredible amount of them that aren’t.

These people swarm into the hotel, dressed in their finest.  They arrive in expensive suits, adorned with extravagant jewelry and showy hats.  They have boxes of clothes and hats and shoes shipped to the hotel, because they won’t fit in their vehicles.

They demand help with their luggage, (we are not a full-service hotel, so we don’t staff a bellman – we use whoever is available), and they’ll happily tell us if whoever is available is not good enough.  One time, the person available was me.  I got looked up and down with the most condescending eyes, before I explained to her that I may look little, but I can manage this overstuffed luggage cart just fine.  (And I did.)

A different group however, demanded a male to help, even though our female houseperson was waiting for them and more than capable.  A few of us desk agents defended her, but they were having none of it.  So we sent her away and called for a male.  I’m sure you can guess how I felt about that.

Each room we checked in took at least 20 minutes.  Every single group demanded a lower rate than their already discounted rate that they agreed to.  Many of them didn’t have full payment for the room at check-in so were forced to wait for their roommates to arrive before they could check-in, or would use multiple forms of payment to cover their 7 night stay.  Quite a few of them paid with cash, which requires even more steps in the already long check-in process.

Throughout their stay, they complained often, and then would blatantly ask for compensation because of it. We are normally a 100% satisfaction hotel, and have no qualms about giving money back if we did not meet their expectations or if we were unable to fix a situation.

But with these people, we knew they would be trying everything in their power to get something for nothing. So we weren’t caving easily.

This “church” convention loves to stay at our chain of hotels because we offer free hot breakfast and free cocktails and appetizers at night.  They love free.  Although they did not take us up on our free cocktails, they totally made up for it in the amount of food they would eat.  We’d witness the same families taking up multiple plates of food over and over again.  Who were they feeding?  My guess?  They were loading it into their fridge for lunches or snacks later on, or for friends staying in different hotels.

Of course, we never said anything, but today, the last family to leave, had the nerve to take the entire box of bananas one of our team had placed briefly up on the counter.  She was so flabbergasted, that she just let them do it.  And the day before, a different member of this family asked for some hot chocolate.  When she was given a couple of packets, she demanded that she get the whole box!

Who does that??  I mean really!  At what point does it become stealing?

Again, not everyone acted this way.  Quite a few were more than generous with their praise, and we soaked that in whenever we could.  Because the ones who complained and demanded so much without any appreciation were enough to wear us normally customer service oriented people out.

Our management was fed up as well.  Many of the guests want to return again next year, but a few of them will be surprised to hear that they are not welcome in our hotel.  Either they trashed their rooms, or they complained about every little thing in hope for compensation, or they demanded an extreme amount of unappreciated service.  We’re all about repeat business, but when there are guests who cost us financially as well as emotionally, it’s just not worth it!

One of our desk agents straight out told a guest, “This city dreads when you all come into town. You are customer service’s worst nightmare.”

Maybe not something that should have been said out loud….

but absolutely dead on correct!

 

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13 Comments

Posted by on November 15, 2012 in The Hotel

 

Tags: , ,

13 responses to “And Don’t Come Back!

  1. Rock Chef

    November 15, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Hm, maybe next year you could arrange for a re-telling of “The Feeding of the 5000”?

    And Jesus said “What a greedy, ungratefull bunch of b”£$%&$%!”

     
    • shadowrun300

      November 16, 2012 at 5:09 am

      Haha! Well said! 🙂
      Their behavior was not what I would expect from a christian group, that is for sure!

       
      • Rock Chef

        November 16, 2012 at 11:51 am

        I must say that we have a very strong Christian group at our Uni and they are great, but most other church groups that I have encountered are very mean spirited and, as you say below, seem to think that just going to church makes them better than everyone else regardless of how they act. It has helped me to form the view that although I have Faith, I don’t have Religion.

         
  2. Abby

    November 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    LOL at Rock Chef, but that’s what I was thinking!

    Those people are the reason we stopped going to church. Seriously. Praise the Lord, they’ve left.

     
    • shadowrun300

      November 16, 2012 at 5:15 am

      I wonder sometimes if people who go to church think it automatically makes them good people, so they don’t have to worry about how they act outside of church. These guys wouldn’t DREAM of having an alcoholic beverage, but they’re okay with being condescending, bossy, selfish, gluttonous……
      I am absolutely singing praises now that they are gone!

       
  3. meleahrebeccah

    November 16, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    OMG WTF is wrong with people?

    “Many of the guests want to return again next year, but a few of them will be surprised to hear that they are not welcome in our hotel. ”

    GOOD! Bye-bye jerks!

     
    • shadowrun300

      November 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      There’s definitely something wrong with these people. They’ll be coming to our city one more time and we’ve got a list of who’s not welcome. We plan to fill the hotel with people who are appreciative and respectful instead. Hopefully it’ll be a little better next year.

       
  4. territerri

    November 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    These are CHURCH people? Christians? I think all of the hotel staff should have worn those WWJD bracelets. Sounds like these Christians needed a reminder about how to treat other people.

     
    • shadowrun300

      November 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      WWJD bracelets! What an awesome idea! I’ll stock up for next year!

       
  5. agg79

    November 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    And these where supposedly Church going, Christians? I bet they stole all the bibles in the rooms (or highlighted passages). I feel sorry for the hotel staff when I attend conventions because of those kinds of customers. You have to deal with all sorts of arrogant jerks/idiots on a grand scale. I like Terri’s WWJD bracelets but I’d take it to the next level – hand out bracelets to all the guests or put up posters in the lobby or breakfast area. Speaking or breakfast – you should have served them fish and bread for the masses.

     
    • shadowrun300

      November 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Too funny! I think we should just TEACH them to fish, and they can make their own dang meals.

       
  6. Jules

    December 10, 2012 at 12:39 am

    “This city dreads when you all come into town. You are customer service’s worst nightmare.”
    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I know the convention you’re talking about and I can’t stand them. The same exact stuff happened at my hotel too, and I swear if this one certain guests tries to book with us next year – we are refusing his reservation. Oh it makes me angry just thinking about it so I”m going to go read another blog. lol.

     
    • shadowrun300

      December 10, 2012 at 12:48 am

      I KNEW you’d understand! We have a long list of people we will not let come back. In fact, we’re not allowed to make reservations for them. They all have to go through our Sales Dept and the GM.

       

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