Friday, November 21, 2008

The Renaissance Hollywood Hotel wants more money

I have been at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel this week as part 1,000 people attending the PhoCusWright 2008 Conference at this hotel. I have tried to be a good guest - no unnecessary demands of staff, tipping everyone that looks my way. I asked very nicely to be able to check out at 3pm rather than the 1pm they offered. "I am sorry sir but that will be an extra $25 per hour" was the reply. "But, I have been staying here for six days as part of a very large conference, surely you can be nice to me and extend my check out for no charge" was my polite reply. "Can't help you sir, we have to charge $25 per hour" was the response.

Clearly they do not have to charge me anything. But it is equally clear that they want to charge me more and have no need to reward me for a long stay. I see this an being greedy. The Renaissance Hollywood should give me two hours for nothing after six days of paying. What do you think I am being too demanding?

11 comments:

Stewart Haynes said...

You've requested, received and paid for 6-nights accommodation.

It would be reasonable to expect to pay for any amenities or services beyond this... There is a "cost" to the hotel to provide this service and they should not be an apologist for running a business. However, it is difficult for the hotel to communicate this to the guest.

I accept that it is debatable how much cost the hotel may incur. I can also understand from a customer angle their view of self-appointed entitlement (particularly after so many nights stay).

With this in mind, the front desk clerk should be given authority to make an exception to the rule, suck-in the negligible loss and provide a memorable experience for the guest...

Tim Hughes said...

@Stewart. Thank you for joining the conversation. I agree with you. I have no monetary or contractual right to ask for more time. They offered me a room at a rate, I agreed and I knew at check in what time they wanted me out. However, as you say there is a extra level of unexpected and (maybe) undeserved service that I think all companies (especially high end travel companies) should give customers that have made a significant up front payment - especially if there is no incremental cost to the customer and if there is little chance of the extra value being given setting a precedent with the customer. In my case the cost to the hotel was zero and it would not set any precedent with me as should I return (which is now unlikely) I would not be returning with the same booking pattern (ie attending a conference with a 6 night stay). But by giving me 2 more hours they would have won me over as a super consumer - someone that would advocate for the brand as one that goes further to satisfy a customer.

Anonymous said...

There is an obvious lack of focus on Customer Experience. For $25/hr, they could have lost you as a customer forever, and how many roomnights would that be? Maybe they count on you never to return to LA. It also comes down to staff empowerment. "We have to.." is a cop out. If you had booked their Panorama Suite, I wonder if they would "have to" charge you $25/hr for those extra hours.

Tim Hughes said...

@anon - agreed. This is a classic chance to have the customer walk out the door singing praises and instead they leave with singing a bad tune

May Fly said...

Sorry Guys, I have to disagree with you all on this one. Check-out time is check-out time; 1 day, 6 days or 16 days; Prince or pauper.
It has become acceptable practice to charge guests for the privilege of checking out late (many hotels in Australia now have it as an optional extra in their online reservation systems). You can probably blame the airlines for the ancillary charge idea. Apart from the commercial aspects, there are also a number of housekeeping issues to be considered. The charge is also used in some cases to discourage the guest from actually choosing a late check-out if there are high room turnarounds for the day.
There are just too many reasons why this may have happened to you on this occasion Tim.
I get your point regarding the happy guest is a returning guest, however, don't you think it's a wee bit unfair to threaten not to return based on this one relatively minor inconvenience....

Jimmy Ku said...

I think they should have given you the extra hours. I've noticed that it's exactly what you said... completely depends on the hotel and even the person you talk to. I've asked for an extension from one person and gotten denied. Called and asked another person who immediately got it done for me. You just never know.

Anonymous said...

why not just get a hooker, a cheap one, this way you pay upfront and know what u get.....managing expectations

Tim Hughes said...

@Anon (the non-hooker version of Anon:)) - I would agree with you if I had booked a discount ticket on an airline, or a super8 road side motel, or a easycar car rental. But in this case I am staying at a 4.5 star property and their occupancy is going from 99% during the conference to <40% the day after the conference. The actual cost to them in giving me 2 extra hours is zero. Maybe I am being too harsh. Maybe I am visiting my homesickness angst on a defenceless hotel. There is no obligation in them giving me the extra time. But many hours later I still feel that a business promises on its website to "make every guest feel like a star" could give me a couple of free hours.

Ilkka Kauppinen said...

I think that the problem is that the staff of the hotels are ordered to follow the instructions not to think.

Tim Hughes said...

@Ilkka I agree.

John said...

I think It won't happened if it's a 5 star hotel with 5 star services management. I know the hotel, they're more like selling a history from the past.