Need advice, banned from HIexpress

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Feb 22, 2016
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#1
I may be over reacting, so I ask here.

I went to a small (15 people) retreat for a craft from Chicago to Oldsmar FL. The Holiday Inn Express rates were $100 a night. The first night was hot and humid, and my room didn't cool, I asked if the system was ok, an engineer came to the room, and showed me a printout that the system was working (it cooled to 70, I had hoped it would get it cooler, the wall thermostat didn't go below 68) I realized nothing would be done, so I asked if there were any other rooms. The manager and director of sales came to the room. They did tell me they could "walk me to another venue" but I noticed cool air was now coming out of the unit (the engineer did take off the lid and stick his hand inside) and the temp was going down.

The next day I found out 2 other people had problems and were treated much kinder, and the unit worked better. I wrote a hand written letter thanking them and letting them know it worked and I slept better!

Fast forward to getting home, getting an email that I responded. I gave a "10" to the shuttle service driver, a "10" to the housekeeping (which I tipped $5 each day!) I did give a 3 for the food, and mentioned that the trash wasn't taken out unless I a participant asked for it, I mentioned the a/c seemed to be overloaded and didn't cool the room. Now, this was in a response to their email! I did not post on yelp or trip advisor!

I just got an email from the leader of the Craft Group, she went to sign a contract for next year, and was told I was banned from returning! because of my bad review negatively impacting their ratings!

I feel horrible and wold like to fix it! I see that my review is on their Holiday Inn Express Oldsmar FL - but I can't delete it. I don't want to make it worse for the other participants, or the leader. and I don't want to be taken as a trouble maker! I just thought I was giving honest feedback - I had no idea the impact it has on me returning - and can they ban me from all Intercontental properties!
 

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
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KSNA
#2
This one is interesting. Was the survey from the craft group or HI Express? Who's banned...just you, or the entire craft group? And, did HI Express impose this ban? The wording of your post is somewhat ambiguous; I want to be sure we correctly understand the facts.

Big picture, you should not be bullied into revising your opinion. I presume the parent corporation for HI Express is certified to the ISO9002 Quality System, which is a global standard for the service industry. A key element of any Quality System is receiving and acting on negative feedback and "defects". (You can't improve if there is no negative feedback!) If a local property is doing what you've experienced, Corporate will be jumping down their throat for not following written policies and procedures that ISO requires.

But I'm getting ahead of things...please clarify the questions in the first paragraph above, and we will probably recommend our email escalation process, starting with the manager at the local property.
 
Likes: reader234
Feb 22, 2016
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#3
Thank you for responding

I apologize for the confusion.

As far as I know I'm the only one banned. The Leader emailed me and said I should call the director of sales and can have the review taken down.

I'm not sure where the review was generated from, it appeared in my inbox and I answered, what I felt was honest, and only my opinion. I'm not sure what my response was I generally uncheck boxes so it's not posted. But I may be trying hard to remember something I gave little thought to.

The leader sent me an email saying if I chose to come to the 2017 retreat, I would not be allowed to stay at the Holiday Inn Express because my review gave them a 6 and negatively impacted their score
 
Aug 10, 2013
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#4
I went to the IHG website and looked at the reviews, because I was curious. Based on your description, I think I found it. If I'm correct, there is absolutely nothing in this review that would even kind of be seen as offensive or complaining. You have an overall rating of 3/5 stars and even said you would recommend the property. You gave 2 employees compliments.

I'm just flabbergasted. I honestly don't have words for how absolutely ridiculous this is. You need to report this to corporate. I have a feeling this franchise is going to get into a LOT of trouble, and I hope they do.

https://m.ihg.com/hotels/holidayinnexpress/us/en/hotelreviews/oldfl

its a holiday inn


as long as there are no problems you're good to go. I highly recommend the shuttle - just ask the day before, but the driver is so respectful and meets the needs to a 10! so appreciated. Cindy was great to work with in the convention area - but I do not understand why garbage was not addressed - I as a participate should not have to ask the garbage to be taken out every morning. When its hot and humid expect a/c to be overloaded and the staff not sure how to deal with it!

Recommend this property:
Yes
 
Likes: technomage1
Aug 10, 2013
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#5
I should add. This is a rare case where I would start right with the executive contacts. I wouldn't go to the normal customer service channel. Go straight to the executive that's first on the list and send a copy of the email saying you can't stay unless you change your review.

And, honestly, if I were you, I would show this review to the group leader. Let them see how ridiculous the hotel is acting and potentially take your business elsewhere.
 
Likes: jsn55
Feb 22, 2016
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#6
Yes, that's my review - I took a screen shot of it.

But in the email from the Leader she was told that I gave them a "6 out of 10" and so I don't know if there is another review floating out there!

My DH thinks it is ridiculous and said that Sunday Morning did a story on how negative reviews are no longer being tolerated, so he said that I should stop reviewing! After this experience, I agree!
 
Feb 22, 2016
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#7
Here's a copy of the email that the leader copied to me!
(Names are changed)

“Hi (Leader)

We gave (reader234) a free night and she still gave us a 6, which negatively affects our guest service scores. Unfortunately she will not be able to stay here next year per our hotel management team.”

And I don't feel they "gave" me a free night - I feel the manager said he would, but when I got the bill I still had to argue for that night!
 
Aug 10, 2013
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#8
I assume that because some sites (like booking.com) use a 10 point system, it's just scaled up. Or maybe the hotel gets it as a 60%?

I just am honestly amazed that would happen at a large chain like that. You would think only independent properties would do things like that. Or at least that's the only time I've read about it in the news.

I can think of 1 other time I've advised someone to go straight to an executive. And this one I'm even more sure about it. Sounds like a rogue franchisee to me. I really do think corporate will have a problem with this, and I'd like to think they'll resolve it.
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#9
I am with Rebecca, write to corporate. This is ridiculous that they are attempting to ban you over an honest, and honestly, not a bad review. Do not take an honest review down. Just the fact that they gave you a free night means that something was wrong, therefore, no 5 star or 10 review. A free night makes up for a mistake, it does not alleviate the mistake to begin with.
 
Likes: jsn55

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#10
I find this absolutely ridiculous. I would write to the executive we have for Customer Care for Holiday Inn on our contact list.

Explain the situation exactly as you have here and add a copy of the review showing them that you gave them 3 out of 5 stars and have been banned from the property. This is terribly unfair. Tell him you were honest and recommended the hotel and were still banned.

See what he says and if it's still negative, write to the rest of the executives one by one. If they still ban you, this one would be VERY interesting for Chris to spotlight on the website.

I wonder what would happen if you made the reservation directly? Is there another hotel nearby you could stay at as well?
http://elliott.org/company-contacts/intercontinental-hotels/
 
Feb 22, 2016
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#11
Thank you for the advice.

I need a day to process this. It's nice to hear that I'm not crazy, and it is ridiculous. I just imagined if I could be banned by this Franchise HIE, could I be banned by all of the intercontinental hotels - that is a frightening thought to me.

I will write a rough draft, as I know I have a tendency to say too much, and not make perfect sense to the reader.

I doubt if the Group Leader would be willing to move, as this hotel meets the needs of the small group. (And I'm sure she is probably getting benefits we're not aware of - a free executive room maybe, it's the nature of the retreats)
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,409
11,874
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
Thank you for the advice.

I need a day to process this. It's nice to hear that I'm not crazy, and it is ridiculous. I just imagined if I could be banned by this Franchise HIE, could I be banned by all of the intercontinental hotels - that is a frightening thought to me.

I will write a rough draft, as I know I have a tendency to say too much, and not make perfect sense to the reader.

I doubt if the Group Leader would be willing to move, as this hotel meets the needs of the small group. (And I'm sure she is probably getting benefits we're not aware of - a free executive room maybe, it's the nature of the retreats)
But why can't you stay at another hotel and just attend the show? What do they do with crafters who may live in the area they hold the show and don't need a hotel? I know when I go to events where there is a hotel stay as well, I don't have to stay at that particular hotel.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#14
I think this hotel is breaking IHG acceptable procedure big time. Please do draft a letter to corporate and let us have a look at it. You later mention you argued and got a free night? Everything about your situation needs to be stated in your letter, because I think corporate will go after this hotel. The letter needs to be concise and complete, so we will be glad to edit it.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#15
I would probably tell this entire group to get lost and find a new one. Why are they so into staying at this Holiday Inn, when one of its members is being treated this way. I would tell the holiday inn and this leader to take a hike. You spent the night sweltering. A 3/5 is average, probably generous. What do they want, a Michelin Star?