Novotel, can you say sorry properly?

Say Sorry Properly
Say Sorry Properly

A facebook colleague has had appalling service from a leading hotel chain.  (Read her story below – taken from Facebook with permission)

Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour are missing a classic opportunity to “say sorry properly”. So many businesses (owners and staff) treat an opportunity to say sorry as a personal attack and go into justification or attack, instead of viewing it as an opportunity to delight a customer and create a raving fan.

Really, for this accomodation corporation a refund of her costs and a (couple of?) free nights in a sister hotel is negligable and might have made Lenore a raving fan!

Business is business and it need not be a reflection on our personal selves when we make a mistake (and let’s face it, the best of us make mistakes). Delighting Customers isn’t about giving good service, it is about stepping out of ordinary situations and making the customer feel amazing.

This situation calls for stepping out of the ordinary. I am hoping that this is not the end of it and that someone higher up the Novotel management chain will step in a resolve it.

How would you say sorry in this situation?

Here’s the story so far

Where Never to Stay while Visiting Sydney:

I rarely make negative comments about businesses, and always attempt to resolve issues quietly and directly with the business. However the Rockford Novotel at Darling Harbour has convinced me to break my own rule.

I stayed their last November for 2 nights whilst at a conference, it was comparably expensive and the room of a very poor quality given it’s rating – on top of this, the staff were rude and unhelpful.

Whilst I stayed at the Rockford I paid for my car to be valet parked – during this time not only was I told my car was going to be towed for being illegally parked (the hotel had told the council it was abandoned out the front of the hotel, whilst they themselves held my car keys) I was also fined for for being illegally parked (this came in the mail much later)

The hotel promised to pay my fine, and my mistake was believing them – which resulted in a further $65 penalty.

The hotel is refusing to pay the $164 I am now out of pocket – on top of the $80 they charged me to park for 2 days (they claim they paid the originally $99 fine however are unable to produce a receipt and the SDRO has no record of the payment)

When I mentioned the amount of time I had wasted following them up – the response by the hotels relationship manager- ‘this is a waste of my time too’

Oh they have offered me 10% off my room charge next time I visit…..hilarious!

they can rest assured I will not take up their offer or any of their staffs time in the future.

and then the update:
I have been on the phone to their guy today’ and just got an email telling me I am wasting his time. hence my post 4 months is patient enough!
* I shake my head in sad amazement!

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