I have been travelling this week and stayed at a new hotel in Lagos. On the face of it looks okay. Nothing extraordinary, fairly interesting architecture. Simple black and white colour scheme, geometric theme running through carpeting, paintings and even room shape.
Then there was an incident. I ordered room service and was asked to pay for it immediately, even though I was on a corporate account and, anyway, it’s not normal for a resident to be asked to clear a bill immediately. It was first order, day 1 of a planned 5 day stay!
Anyway, I was tired and not in the mood for drama, so I let the guy who was sent to my room with a PDQ machine he didn’t know how to operate, and so he fumbled around for 10 minutes before the transaction was finally done. I got my payment slip but he went off with the invoice and did not return it.
Next morning, on my way out, I asked for it, because I would need it to lodge an expense claim. The reception desk did not have it, but said they would fetch it. Come evening it was still not found. So I lodged a complaint.
That’s when the drama began.
First a got a note through my office that they would reimburse the payment.
When I insisted that I needed the invoice until I could confirm the reimbursement, I got an apology from the General Manger, wine and canapes to boot.
Still, no invoice, and no reimbursement (their suggestion).
Then I got another apology from the F&B Manager,(why? I did not complain about the food!) asking me to call about my ‘incident’.
It began to feel like a project. And all I asked for is the invoice.
I left one day early, but not before another Manager called me to apologise, still, without the famous invoice!
It’s only on check out that I got the famous document. And by the way, the payment wasn’t reversed.
The guy at the check out asked if I was happy with my stay, and when I said no, and he asked why, I thought ‘oh no, another project!
If you run a hotel, just remember, however new your hotel is, your travellers aren’t necessarily ‘new’ as well. They have expectations and standards.And, please, listen to what they need then respond to the request. For me, at least, that’s what matters.