Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hyatt Hotel - a Major Don't

Tuesday evening
I'm at a conference and staying at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. This is what you think of as a very nice hotel, right? They have been jerking me around since I arrived and there seems to be no end to it. They are now at the bottom of the list for "nice" places to stay in my book. If I never see the inside of another Hyatt I won't be unhappy. This is by far the worst customer service I've received at any place in a long time - and I don't mean hotels - I mean from ANY business.

I arrive yesterday and give them my name and they check me in. I go to my room and it's nice. Small, with no desk, but nice. Good view. I'm relatively happy although balancing my laptop on my lap is not the most comfortable way to write. I pull out a dresser drawer and make do. I'm crafty - I can manage.

I go out to dinner and return to find neither of my keys to the room work. I make the long hike back downstairs where they tell me I have to move to another room. Huh? I'm at a conference and the national office made the arrangements. Apparently I'm sharing a room with a lady who checked in after me. But, instead of putting me in a double room in the first place, they made a mistake and put me in a single. But, of course, now at 10 p.m. it's my problem to repack everything I just unpacked in the afternoon, and move. I raise enough fuss they tell me to stay that night and move tomorrow. My plan is to complain the the manager the next morning and tell them I don't want to move. They made the mistake. They should absorb the cost of the extra room and let me be.

I make the long hike back upstairs. I go to check my email. The wireless doesn't work. The wireless I have paid $9.99 for. I call. They know nothing about it. But I'm welcome to come down to the desk and check my email there. Oh yeah, that's why I bothered to carry my laptop with me through the airport, and pay for the priveledge of using your wireless that you say is everywhere that doesn't really work, so I can hang out in the lobby to check my email. Yeah, that's good thinking.

This morning I get up and repack all my stuff and they move it to the other room. The manager is pleasant, but they will not take responsibility for their mistake and absorb the cost of the room. The woman was "in training" who sent me to the first room. As if, somehow, it is my fault that their training is insufficient.

They've given me a key to the room. So, at my first break I come up to make sure they moved my stuff. They key doesn't work. I make the hike back downstairs to get the key rekeyed. I come upstairs to check my email and my wireless signal is very low - I can't. I call - yet again. I can go use their business center for 53 cents a minute. Did I mention that I PAID for wireless again for a daypass. She wants to know if I've moved around the room. Well, no, I'm at the desk. Well, wireless isn't consistent, she says. Like I'm an idiot. They'd be happy to give me a dialup modem. Oh, great - that's why I have a wireless capable laptop and paid for wireless access - so I could wait for an hour for my email to download. This, of course, is the wireless they are promoting so heavily that it's the ONE card they have at the front desk. T-mobile - in case you're wondering.

While I was writing this, there was a knock at the door. I thought maybe they were coming to do someting about the computer situation, but no - they were coming to work on the TV. Apparently the TV doesn't work. I didn't even know that. First there were two repair guys - then three - eventually five - and when I left for a meeting there were six guys working on the TV. I don't care about the TV. Fix the wireless. Not their department.

Needless to say, my opinion of Hyatt Hotels has plummetted since my arrival and continues to go down with each passing moment. And, as far as I can tell, they could care less that they have one very unhappy customer.

Wednesday - late morning
I have an hour break. I came upstairs to check my email and find out about some work things. I can't get on. My roomie can't get on either. I call the front desk - as if that will be helfpul. You would think I would have learned by now. After 17 rings, they finally deign to answer the phone.

They transfer me immediately to T-mobile where I spent 34 minutes on the phone to find out that they cannot give me signal on the floor I'm on. They're testing the equipment. It's not working. Duh. I knew that already.

Their solution is for me to get an adapter from the front desk. I call the front desk back. Yes, I know, I'm a slow learner. 23 rings later, they answer. However, I actually get someone helpful this time. What a pleasant change of pace. Not that she seems to actually be able to accomplish anything, but she does care that I'm unhappy. And says I'm far nicer than she would be in the same circumstance.

But, there are no adapters. Tmobile hasn't sent them yet. Add them to the list of companies I don't like. However, I will say that I spoke with someone who could communicate in English and who was very nice. Like everyone he apologized way too much. I finally told him and the front desk person to stop apologizing to me - that just pisses me off - people think apologizing is a substitute for actually fixing a problem. I don't want an apology. I want the problem fixed.

The front desk woman calls the business center to see if I can borrow one of their adapters. No. So, she's looking for somewhere I can go where I can have signal. Gosh, let me think, where would that be. Oh yeah, the freaking room I was in in the first place.

She will call back in about 10 minutes.

Wednesday - late afternoon
Well, long after 10 minutes was up I left for my Capitol Hill appointments. I'm now back and I have very limited access - very low signal strength - which means it could disappear at any moment. The lobby is full of people working on their laptops. Apparently they don't have any access either. I'm not comforted by the misery of others.

I never got a call back. I have no message. Maybe my roomie got it, but somehow I doubt it.

I've gotten far better service at Econolodges. I'm starting to long for one. They have real wireless. It's free. The $9.99 I'm paying a day for this "service" is one of the worst ripoffs I've ever seen, not to mention the nearly $200 a night national is paying for the room. That's a HUGE ripoff. I suppose they could be less interested in customer support, but I can't think of how off the top of my head.

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