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Bad service

June 24, 2008

I spent an hour yesterday calling up hotels and serviced offices in town to see if they could rent me a meeting room for a couple of days. We needed to get away from the distractions of the office to hammer out a super important document. Most of the hotels were professsional enough but there were a few that made me wanna puke.

Hotel #1 (4 star)
After being passed to the business center by the switchboard.
Me: Hi is this the business center?
She: Ah? You want to speak to who?
M: Anyone from the business center.
S: What? This one not business center liao. This is housekeeping!
M: Ok can you pass me back to …. <click>
She hung up on me.
Dialed the general line again, told the receptionist what happend and told her to pass the line correctly this time. So she passed me on to … you guessed it … the same harried lady in housekeeping!

Hotel #2 (5 star)
Feeling smarter now, I decided to cut the crap and ask for the sales department.
Me: Hi, is this sales?
She: Yes, can I help you?
M: I’m calling to see if you have a boardroom available for rent in your business center or even a small function room.
S: Ok. who’s on the line please?
M: I’m Damien Tan.
S: Can I have your email address, phone number and fax number
M: Ok (I rattled them off to her)
S: What’s your designation?
M: (I gave that too)
S: What’s your company name and your mailing address?
Getting a little exasperated.
M: Lady, you haven’t asked me what I needed. Why should I give you my details?
S: Sorry sir but its the procedure so we can send you a quotation. Just another 5 or 6 more questions sir.
M: Look I just have a simple question. Do you have a room or not? If yes, how much?
S: Sorry sir, hold on.
She covered the mouthpiece and I could hear her telling someone in panic that she didn’t know how to answer my question.
I hung up. 5 star my ass.

Serviced Office which costs 4 times more than a 5-star hotel for a meeting room
Me: Hi can I enquire about your meeting room rates?
She: Yes, I just need a few details. May I know who’s on the line please?
M: Yeah, this is Damien Tan.
S: Can I have your email, fax, mailing address, etc etc etc (jeez what is wrong with these people)
M: Look lady, I am NOT giving you my details until you answer a simple question. Do you have a room or not?
S: Yes we have, but I need your details to send you a membership form.
M: But I don’t want to be a member. I just want a room for 2 days, after that I will disappear and you will never hear from me again!
S: Ok, yes we have a room and the charge is $1,600 a day. And $200 a day per person for internet.
M: Wow, does that come with a swimming pool and a Japanese buffet?
S: (Laughs) No sir. Just a basic meeting room big enough for 5 people.
M: Ok, thanks.
Hangs up. Maybe they’ll throw in a free trip to the Bahamas if I got a room for 10.

This last one is a killer.

Hotel #3 (4 star)
After being transferred to the sales manager.
Me: Hi, I’m enquiring about renting a meeting room.
He: Ok, got. Lei oi miyeh fong ah?
M: Meeting room for 5 people, with internet, for next Wednesday and Thursday.
H: Ok, tang yat chan ah….
And for the next 5 minutes I would speak to him in English while he replies back in Cantonese. And my Canto sucks. If my hands could reach through the phone I would have strangled him.

Honestly, what is it with these 4 and 5 star hotels?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2008 11:37 am

    Hahhahaa, teruk. It might be better to just rent a community center. lol

  2. June 24, 2008 12:17 pm

    what the heck?! these called 4/5 star hotels?? my house is 6 star then! i think you can just rent a room which with internet access(i know its silly. =S).. definitely better than answering their crap!

  3. Damien permalink*
    June 25, 2008 7:40 am

    @KY, great suggestion. I might even try that.

    @huifen, I actually did consider getting a suite but for the dates I had in mind, none of them seem to have one with a table big enough for 5. So we decided to do the ultimately sacrifice and do the meeting at Starbucks. 🙂

  4. June 25, 2008 10:09 am

    On a regular basis, business hotels do have small meeting rooms at their business centres. I find it odd that none of these hotels mentioned have any. Yes, it’s VERY annoying that they’d ask you for your details FIRST before knowing what you actually need. I hate that.

    Where I work we provide conference room rental. It’s only RM120 per day, and we’d throw in coffee tea and cookies! 😉 Only thing is you’d have to fly yourself and the other 5 to get to where I am. 😀

  5. Damien permalink*
    June 26, 2008 7:54 am

    @dee, ya most of the hotels I called do have business centers. I only wrote about the ones that made me laugh/curse. I would happily pay Rm300 a day but for Rm1,600 for 8 hours (Rm2,600 with internet) for a 8’x10′ room that one place wanted to charge me, I think they’re operating in the wrong country.

  6. tinytapir permalink
    June 26, 2008 10:47 am

    Damien, I would be interested in knowing which hotels these were… very distressing!

  7. Damien permalink*
    June 27, 2008 9:03 am

    @tinytapir, I’ll give u a hint. The 1st hotel is somewhere in PJ. The 2nd & 3rd was somewhere off Jalan Ampang. The last one was a hotel near Federal Highway.

  8. angeles permalink
    July 13, 2008 2:44 am

    i think the hotels should be named! 😉

  9. Damien permalink*
    July 13, 2008 8:05 am

    If it happens to me a second time, I definitely will. 🙂

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