Hostage Billing

As Jeneane’s recent experience shows, the hotel industry — it would be an overstatement to call it the hospitality industry, although some hotels can show hospitality (Margaret and I had a good time at the Metropolitan Hotel in our June trip to Toronto) — needs a thorough shaking. I’m still annoyed about our recent trip to South Bend, where a check-in clerk assigned us a room that the desk knew not to have working cold water in the shower. (I’m surprised to see that I didn’t blog about it; I think I must have wanted to wait till I could do so without losing my temper.)

The problem seems to lie with managers and executives who think of their hotels as pay toilets — they know you need to use it, and they reckon that they can extort payment from you because you’re in a hurry, or don’t see any alternative. Changing hotels causes more bother than putting up with inconvenience or overcharging. Somehow, though, I’d rather stay at an inn that thinks of itself in terms more commodious than “pay toilet with lumpy bed.”

When I temperately pointed out to the management of the venue at which we stayed that the clerk indicated that they checked me into a room in which they knew I wouldn’t be able to take a shower Saturday morning, I was accorded a twenty-dollar credit for the night’s lodging — a better deal than Jeneane’s been offered, but still way more than I’d have been willing to pay if someone had said, “We’ll give you this room without a shower for $50,” and more, I think, than I should be expected to pay for a nasty surprise. And Holiday Inns should positively hire Jeneane to work on their customer relations.

She’d set ’em straight about how to handle their internet connectivity, too, so Doc won’t be all over their sorry cases.

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