Compensation claim, being ignored by all executives and staff

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Status
Not open for further replies.
Aug 11, 2019
12
0
1
43
#1
Hello,

I am writing to you as I have so far been left highly disappointed by IHG's response to my complaint regarding the Holiday Inn Montego Bay. My family and I stayed there for 3 and a half weeks in November/December and received terrible service. Though we complained at the time the hotel staff were disinterested and extremely rude telling us we could leave.

I went through the usual complaint routes and was either dismissed, ignored, or in one case, offered $100 but when I persisted I was again ignored. I have also been transferred to the insurance company who then passed me back to the original company.

I have tried to previously escalate this to informing heads of IHG of the situation but was surprised at a lack of response from the 'primary contacts' when it comes to handling an unresolved complaint.
Please note, I have contacted EVERY contact you have listed and even gone to the Jamaica Tourist Association who also ignored my emails.

The most important points are as follows:

The hotel offers a 'hospitality promise' which reads: 'making your stay a complete success is our goal. just let our manager on duty or front desk staff know if any part of your stay isn't satisfactory. we promise to make it right or you won't pay for that part of your stay'.

We had an entirely unsatisfactory stay due to:

* Being promised a quiet room, yet there are no quiet areas within the resort. We had constant disturbance from staff in corridors, and in rooms next door.
* Due to the lack of provision for quiet areas in the resort, guests were noisy and disturbed us morning and night, even when in our room.
* The noise in the dining areas hit 90 decibels regularly, the same level as a rock music concert. And yet the resort promises 'laidback dining'.
* Our daughter was exposed to Disney cartoons despite kids club staff being told she reacted badly to this.
* She also had an accident which was undocumented in the kids club despite the fact she injured her toe.
* Our daughter was never offered water and was dehydrated from being in the kids club. They fed her processed food (without our permission or knowledge) when she only ever eats fresh, healthy food.
* Food in the buffet was unsafe to eat and was regularly cold. Hairs were found in the food.
* Tours were regularly quoted at different prices even within the hotel by different staff who were clearly trying to make extra personal income.
* The drains were regularly blocked in the resort and in our room the toilet leaked effluence onto the bathroom floor.
* We raised our concerns with Winsome Hooper and Clark Lobban the guest services and hotel manager. They were exceptionally rude and dismissive and told us we could leave if we didn't like it and did nothing to help us or fulfill the hospitality promise.
* We were never able to 'Stay Impressed' as per the Holiday Inn slogan.
* The resort was unpleasant to stay in and felt dangerous.
* We have photographic and audio evidence of the worst aspects of our stay and are well aware of the legal compensation available in such a situation.

In this case I am seeking compensation due to our experience there. So far we have been told a variety of different things, from a meagre offer of compensation to an assertion that we will not be given anything because it would go against 'policy', yet clearly policy has not been followed elsewhere.

The original complaint dates back to December 18, 2018.
We travelled to the hotel for the 17th November and stayed for 24 nights.
We paid $3652.80 in total for our trip. I think in this case a reasonable percentage of this fee in return would be applicable.
I would be hoping for at least half given our experience and the time spent trying to gather compensation.

Thank you so much for your time and help.
Paul Stenning
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,799
17,000
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#3
Aug 11, 2019
12
0
1
43
#4
I have already used the contacts above.
I could not go home early, we were on a 3 month vacation and everything was meticulously planned. There were no other options in Jamaica which covered the dates we were there except for 5 times the price.
 
Aug 11, 2019
12
0
1
43
#5
Here is an email I sent to one of the executives:

Dear Mr Zoloth,

I am writing to you as I have so far been left highly disappointed by IHG's response to my complaint regarding the Holiday Inn Montego Bay. I believe you should know about the conditions at this property and your guests' experience there.

The most important points are as follows:

The hotel offers a 'hospitality promise' which reads:
'making your stay a complete success is our goal. just let our manager on duty or front desk staff know if any part of your stay isn't satisfactory. we promise to make it right or you won't pay for that part of your stay'.

We had an entirely unsatisfactory stay due to:

* Being promised a quiet room, yet there are no quiet areas within the resort. We had constant disturbance from staff in corridors, and in rooms next door.
* Due to the lack of provision for quiet areas in the resort, guests were noisy and disturbed us morning and night, even when in our room.
* The noise in the dining areas hit 90 decibels regularly, the same level as a rock music concert. And yet the resort promises 'laidback dining'.
* Our daughter was exposed to Disney cartoons despite kids club staff being told she reacted badly to this.
* She also had an accident which was undocumented in the kids club despite the fact she injured her toe.
* Our daughter was never offered water and was dehydrated from being in the kids club. They fed her processed food (without our permission or knowledge) when she only ever eats fresh, healthy food.
* Food in the buffet was unsafe to eat and was regularly cold. Hairs were found in the food.
* Tours were regularly quoted at different prices even within the hotel by different staff who were clearly trying to make extra personal income.
* The drains were regularly blocked in the resort and in our room the toilet leaked effluence onto the bathroom floor.
* We raised our concerns with Winsome Hooper and Clark Lobban the guest services and hotel manager. They were exceptionally rude and dismissive and told us we could leave if we didn't like it and did nothing to help us or fulfill the hospitality promise.
* We were never able to 'Stay Impressed' as per the Holiday Inn slogan.
* The resort was unpleasant to stay in and felt dangerous.
* We have photographic and audio evidence of the worst aspects of our stay and are well aware of the legal compensation available in such a situation.

In this case I am seeking compensation due to our experience there. So far we have been told we will not be given anything because it would go against policy, yet clearly policy has not been followed elsewhere.
I will certainly be continuing to pursue this matter if necessary but do hope to liaise with yourself as to the best way forward in these circumstances so that we may come to a mutually satisfactory conclusion.
I attach our full original complaint letter for your reference below.

Thank you so much for your time,


Paul Stenning
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,369
2,303
113
#8
Just out of curiosity, did you happen to read any reviews of the hotel prior to booking? I just popped on to trip advisor and it isn't getting stellar comments. It sounds like it could be a systemic management problem.

My suggestion: limit your complaints to only three of the most dreadful in your eyes. When execs receive a laundry list of issues yet are told the guest stayed for their entire three week booking, it begs the question, how bad could it have been? Focusing on things like drains clogged and toilet leaked on to the floor as well as your daughter sustaining an injury that went unreported are substantive, while saying the hotel felt dangerous is not. Especially in light of the fact that you stayed the entire booking. If I felt unsafe somewhere, regardless of meticulous planning, I would leave and find safer grounds.

I would make one last attempt to write to the top exec with a pared down complaint list and request a couple of nights refund. Unfortunately, I think that is the best you are going to get.
 
Sep 27, 2017
121
170
43
49
#9
How did you know the dining area reached 90 decibels? Did you have an app or other equipment? And I've never heard of a child being adverse to Disney movies or cartoons. Can you explain? (If only for my benefit, as I am a teacher and would like to look for signs in my students if faced in a similar situation).
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,793
2,677
113
#10
First, thank you Paul for posting the email. Usually what I look for are red flags in the actual communication that may have resulted in no replies. While your tone is generally pleasant, which is a staple of advice dispensed here, I found a number of concerns for you to consider "down the road":

Specificity
When you include things like "Being promised a quiet room", "the resort promises 'laidback dining", and "Food in the buffet was unsafe to eat", more detail is needed to establish validity. In other (most) cases you were very clear.

Derogatory declarations
While "staff who were clearly trying to make extra personal income", "They were exceptionally rude and dismissive", and "clearly policy has not been followed elsewhere" may be accurate, these are inflammatory and place you immediately in a bad light with those reading your emails. I always encourage guests in the forum to let the facts lead them to logical conclusion. For example, you could have stopped with "Tours were regularly quoted at different prices even within the hotel by different staff", "We raised our concerns with Winsome Hooper and Clark Lobban the guest services and hotel manager", and "told us we could leave if we didn't like it". Those are powerful and specific statements that can lead to action items. The rest will be unprofitable I think.

Questionable Items
"The noise in the dining areas hit 90 decibels regularly".
.did you have a DB meter? A better example would be "I had to shout to be heard"
"Our daughter was exposed to Disney cartoons despite kids club staff being told she reacted badly to this". This seems normal for a kid's club.
"Our daughter was never offered water and was dehydrated from being in the kids club"
.unless she was in the club for 3 or more hours, this does not seem to be a problem (IMO). you would need proof I think.
"They fed her processed food (without our permission or knowledge) when she only ever eats fresh, healthy food"
.did they know this? they may be thinking you should not have allowed here to enter the kid's club

Threats
"I will certainly be continuing to pursue this matter if necessary" is, to me, a veiled threat that will do you more harm than good. Just be polite (as you were for the most part), specific, and reasonable.

Of course, even a "perfect" email has no guarantee of success . . .
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,799
17,000
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#11
So now the tough love- I think your expectations for a Holiday Inn were too high. You are looking for a Beaches or Four Seasons experience at a three star hotel. Was this your first family trip to a family resort?

A higher end hotel would have food choices that meet what you were looking for as well as a more personalized club. It’s like asking for a Ruth’s Chris steak at McDonalds. Their kids clubs at more expensive resorts are much better because they have more counselors per child than this resort probably does. There are minimum staff to child ratios that resorts with kids clubs must meet and less expensive resorts offer the minimum where a higher rated family resort has a small ratio.

Where on their website do they advertise quiet rooms? They might have given you the quietest room they had.What room category did you book? Did you offer to pay more to be moved to a better room? They offer many room categories - perhaps a different category would have had a quieter room. Did you call Security if the hall and room noises were too loud?

As far as kids club activities, the activities are for all the children, they don’t have the ability to stop all cartoons because your child didn’t like them. Did you try to sit in the kids club with your daughter and play games with her? The staff ration prevents one counselor from paying attention to one child- they have to watch all the kids in the club. Weren’t there other activities they did during the day such as swimming or playing outdoors or gymnastics?

Did you bring a water bottle for her to the club? Many parents routinely do this to ensure their children are hydrated during the day.

The true issues you have are the room drains and the quoting of different prices for the same Tours. A letter in bullet points with facts only and all derogatory remarks and emotions take out would be much more effective.

I’ve been to this resort and its a 3 star resort for families on a budget. You might want to go to Beaches next time for a shorter holiday because that would come closer to what you are looking for. Holiday Inn will never be able to meet your standards.
 
Feb 12, 2019
157
195
43
33
#12
My first thought was it sounds like a family of 3 at an all inclusive resort for 150/day is not going to be a top of the line resort. It's definitely a value resort as other AIs I've looked at are over 150/day per person. 50 a day to cover 3 meals, all the other amenities, and a room is not a lot.

I agree with everyone else on the issues to narrow down your complaint to.
 
Jul 30, 2018
81
151
33
48
#13
So now the tough love- I think your expectations for a Holiday Inn were too high. You are looking for a Beaches or Four Seasons experience at a three star hotel. Was this your first family trip to a family resort?

A higher end hotel would have food choices that meet what you were looking for as well as a more personalized club. It’s like asking for a Ruth’s Chris steakhouse at McDonalds. Their kids clubs at more expensive resorts are much better because they have more counselors per child than this resort probably does. There are minimum staff to child ratios that resorts with kids clubs must meet and less expensive resorts offer the minimum where a higher rated family resort has a small ratio.

Where on their website do they advertise quiet rooms? They might have given you the quietest room they had.What room category did you book? Did you offer to pay more to be moved to a better room? They offer many room categories - perhaps a different category would have had a quieter room. Did you call Security if the hall and room noises were too loud?

As far as kids club activities, the activities are for all the children, they don’t have the ability to stop all cartoons because your child didn’t like them. Did you try to sit in the kids club with your daughter and play games with her? The staff ration prevents one counselor from paying attention to one child- they have to watch all the kids in the club. Weren’t there other activities they did during the day such as swimming or playing outdoors or gymnastics?

Did you bring a water bottle for her to the club? Many parents routinely do this to ensure their children are hydrated during the day.

The true issues you have are the room drains and the quoting of different prices for the same Tours. A letter in bullet points with facts only and all derogatory remarks and emotions take out would be much more effective.

I’ve been to this resort and its a 3 star resort for families on a budget. You might want to go to Beaches next time for a shorter holiday because that would come closer to what you are looking for. Holiday Inn will never be able to meet your standards.
My thoughts exactly! OP's expectations commensurate with a higher end resort, not this one.
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,811
6,392
113
49
#14
I believe this is a situation of asking and expecting too much.

An all inclusive resort for 2 people for an average of $150 a night -- I am guessing that the child is free -- is not going to be a luxury experience. I am a picky eater and like quiet which is why I have never gone to an all inclusive resort.

And then to ask for at least 50 percent back is just too much.

would be hoping for at least half given our experience and the time spent trying to gather compensation.

I would not expect a mid tier family resort in Jamaica to be a quiet and tranquil space.

A laundry list of complaints often gets ignored.

Complaining about Disney cartoons and processed food in a Kids Club in a middle market resort hints at unrealistic expectations. What was the processed food -- processed meat? Chicken nuggets? Would one expect organic unprocessed foods at such a place? Perhaps a group club is not the best place for the child if there are concerns about diet and disney cartoons if a child is particulalry sensitive or if the parents disapprove.

How was the child's toe injured? Did someone step on it or was there a cut? Was medical attention needed? Are there any medical fees incurred?

How often did the toilets leak and the drain get clogged? Did maintenance help at all?

The letter is long but lacking in specifics; it is better to focus on a few issues and not ask for at least 50 percent back.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,397
8,503
113
San Francisco
#15
Such a shame, Paul, I'm sorry your expectations weren't met. My colleagues have furnished you with a great deal of information about how things work at a place like a "Holiday Inn in Jamaica". Hopefully you see how things like noise, nonpersonalized treatment of your daughter and unhelpful staff may be the norm at this property. You might want to read the reviews of this hotel to give you some perspective on your stay. To experienced travellers, "all-inclusive" is not particularly a positive unless it's a very high-end hotel. Nothing about an all-inclusive stay is really wonderful, the best you can expect is "acceptable". I agree with Patina about pulling just a few of your complaints and dropping the rest. Unless you left specific instructions, complaining about the type of food your daughter was fed, or the noise of other guests and staff will tend to diminish the real issues. Unfortunately, your letters were probably set aside. I hope we have given you some good guidelines on how to proceed from here.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,799
17,000
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#16
I believe this is a situation of asking and expecting too much.

An all inclusive resort for 2 people for an average of $150 a night -- I am guessing that the child is free -- is not going to be a luxury experience. I am a picky eater and like quiet which is why I have never gone to an all inclusive resort.

And then to ask for at least 50 percent back is just too much.

would be hoping for at least half given our experience and the time spent trying to gather compensation.

I would not expect a mid tier family resort in Jamaica to be a quiet and tranquil space.

A laundry list of complaints often gets ignored.

Complaining about Disney cartoons and processed food in a Kids Club in a middle market resort hints at unrealistic expectations. What was the processed food -- processed meat? Chicken nuggets? Would one expect organic unprocessed foods at such a place? Perhaps a group club is not the best place for the child if there are concerns about diet and disney cartoons if a child is particulalry sensitive or if the parents disapprove.

How was the child's toe injured? Did someone step on it or was there a cut? Was medical attention needed? Are there any medical fees incurred?

How often did the toilets leak and the drain get clogged? Did maintenance help at all?

The letter is long but lacking in specifics; it is better to focus on a few issues and not ask for at least 50 percent back.
I have never been at an all inclusive that doesn't have processed food somewhere . A kids club serves kids meals that are usually processed. It is possible to take your child out of the Kids Club and take them to eat with you in most restaurants if you don't like the food in the kids club. Then bring them back to the club after lunch.
 
Aug 11, 2019
12
0
1
43
#17
How did you know the dining area reached 90 decibels? Did you have an app or other equipment? And I've never heard of a child being adverse to Disney movies or cartoons. Can you explain? (If only for my benefit, as I am a teacher and would like to look for signs in my students if faced in a similar situation).
Yes we used an app to measure it. Look up the subliminal mind control programming behind Disney and you'll understand. I am sure many children have adverse reactions to Disney but parents don't believe it to be a factor.
 
Aug 11, 2019
12
0
1
43
#18
So now the tough love- I think your expectations for a Holiday Inn were too high. You are looking for a Beaches or Four Seasons experience at a three star hotel. Was this your first family trip to a family resort?
That's funny, my family and I do this occasionally as mystery guest hotel auditors, so it's hardly our first trip. We know what we are talking about, and in fact this whole process has been very educational. You are quite wrong in your presumptions and estimations, which is an issue for people looking at this from a supposedly helpful vantage point. Patronising and judgmental is not helpful, especially when you are wrong, which you are on most points here.
 
Aug 11, 2019
12
0
1
43
#19
Overall I think many of you are missing the point. Why is it presumed that just because it is a budget option that we do not expect our child to be taken care of safely so that we can relax? We home school so we are with our daughter day in and day out so our holiday is the only time we have on our own. It would not be reasonable therefore to have to supervise her care in the kids club. All of the staff were made aware of our requirements and we were told it was not an issue.

And it's also not unreasonable to expect some of the options from the main eating areas (where the food was actually very good) to be also given as an option to the kids, as opposed to hot dogs and nachos. You might all think (God forbid) that this is perfectly ok for children but it really is not.
3 hours without water is ok in 35 degree heat? How is that opinion even remotely justifiable?

Likewise with TV to placate children. If they are properly entertained (as advertised in all the literature) then the TV being on for any length of time is not necessary.

Many of you also seem to think that if you pay more you get better service. We have stayed from Mauritius to Bahamas and live in Cyprus. We know high end accommodation and services and it is definitely NOT the case that the higher end automatically gives you better. Even within the hotel as suggested above it would not be a case of "paying more" for a quieter or better area, we were already in that area and those who had paid more to be on the other side of this, where they were closer to a pool, were also subjected to a huge amount of noise.

I am very surprised and disappointed that the comments here are much more against the person claiming towards the issues rather than helpful ways (though there are some and thank you) of actually addressing our complaint. You want to find fault with the person's outlook or expectations rather than realising where a hotel like this needs to address its issues. Surely that is what you are here for? Where for instance are the comments as to why executives ignore emails completely? Whatever happened to the customer being valued and responded to come what may? And I am not talking about faceless, template emails which say "we understand your frustration, however..." and the like. These are the things you should be focused on, not why I am wrong to expect a hotel "like this" to have safe areas, quiet areas, and healthy options for children, not to mention following the things they promised they would.

Or the terrible service we encountered from management and why, in Jamaica, it all seems to be whatever happens in Jamaica stays there. We've seen issues at five star hotels in Jamaica too, so it's nothing to do with the star rating. The issue is the attitude which surprisingly has been expressed by moderators here as well as in the resort.
 
Aug 11, 2019
12
0
1
43
#20
And just to underline this a little more, when I first posted this on the forum the moderator told me to follow the link to the contacts, which if he had read my post properly it showed I already had done. He then told me following up that there was nothing more you could do. So, had I not mentioned Dwayne Coward I might not have received any more replies on this. Not exactly helpful and customer focused.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.