Complaint Against Standard of [email protected] Crown Plaza SW Peachtree Atlanta

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Aug 12, 2019
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#1
  • On July 24, 2019, I wrote a letter to Intercontinental Hotel Group's Corporate Office. A liaison followed up with me and directed me to the general manager of that particular hotel who would not initially take my calls. The general manager has been most unhelpful and apparently the only one that is in a position to help. What else can I do to obtain a refund for my awful and stressful experience? Below is a copy of the letter and a response from the general manager. He did call on August 7th and said that he would look into the matter and get back to me that day. I have not heard from him since.
  • I am writing concerning my recent hotel stay at Crown Plaza SW Peachtree City 7/15/19 to 7/20/19 (Reservation # 24710196). It was more than unpleasant, to say the least. I booked the Crown Plaza because I was attending Kingdom School of Ministries, a Trimm International annual event.

    I arrived 7/14 which was a day early. I found out a few days prior to the trip that there was an orientation that I needed to take prior to classes at Kingdom School of Ministries. I asked to be accommodated for the night with a room. I was told that they could cancel the current reservation and re-book at the regular rate. I was not up for cancelling the current reservation because I received the Trimm International rate. I wanted a room for the night-- regular rate would have been fine. However, I was not given the opportunity to book a room for one night at the regular rate. I found to my distress there were no other hotels around in which I could book a room for the night.

    7/15 - I asked if I could check in early because I was attending classes in the main building. The classes were intense and I took breaks according to the instructor's schedule. I was told the earliest I could check-in was 2:30 (No problem). I came back at 3:00 (due to class schedule) only to learn that the system was down. I was given a credit authorization form to which I could not fill in the credit card information because I did not have it. After about an hour or two I was able to be checked in and given a room. The front desk was holding our bags because we had no place to put them while we attended class. We asked if we could use a rolling rack to get to our room and were told there wasn't one with good rolling wheels. After about 15 minutes a man comes to assist us. I am not quite sure what got him upset-- but the next thing I know is-- after speaking harsh words to Ms. Hightower, whom I checked into the room with-- he stomps off behind the desk. After another 10 minutes, another man comes to help us. He gets the bags to the room without incident.

    7/16 -- Needed assistance at the front desk. Left because I was not attended to and I needed to return to my class. The room was not cleaned this day. After seeing several people with to-go containers from the restaurant I decided to go over with the notion that I can purchase my food and return to get started on my assignments. I was told that they don't give to-go containers.

    7/17 -- The room was not cleaned this day. Later in the evening, the class was told that we could use the restaurant TWO O1, but it would be best to bring the food back over. We were told that they would accommodate us. However, we got over to the restaurant we were told that they were out of to-go containers. A manager allowed us to wrap up our food.

    7/18 -- I lost my room key. I went to the front desk. They could not find me in the computer. The lady at the desk told me--" I know I checked you in." After about 15 minutes another woman came over and assisted. She could not locate me in the system. After a while she said, "Okay let's just give her another card." That was a total of 30 minutes out of class.

    7/19 -- After leaving the restaurant and obtaining a ride on the trolley, the driver (who was driving much too fast), reversed the vehicle and backed into the wall and curb causing injury to Ms. Hightower who was taken to the emergency room.

    7/20 -- I arrive at the front desk with all of my belongings. No one was at the front desk. I called out, "Excuse me." A woman comes out and I ask if I could leave my luggage until I left for the airport. She begins to complain about how she didn't get any of her paperwork done. I explain that I have to complete final exams in the auditorium and that I have nowhere else to leave them because I needed to be checked out at 10:30 a.m. Eventually, she gives me a tag. I put my name and take my half. She takes the bag.

    In addition to all of this, several times throughout the week when we needed a ride to and from Woodlands there were long waits. We understood at times it was busy. However, the delays caused parts of the classes to be missed. Not only did we experience difficulty with the front desk, but we also had problems with the restaurant. Several nights we ordered from DOOR DASH because the restaurant could not accommodate us even though arrangements were made with Trimm International. It was in the restaurant that I learned (from my colleagues)-- to-go containers are only given when you order from the menu. After being given the run around the entire week none of the staff mentioned that. They only said, "We don't give to go containers or We ran out of to-go containers. This makes no sense from a business perspective. We would have ordered from the menu if it meant we could take food out! We needed the convenience.

    This level of service is unacceptable for the Crown Plaza which is supposed to be an upscale hotel. I am requesting a full refund of my stay. Many of my colleagues have requested that Trimm International not use Crown Plaza for Kingdom School of Ministries.

    I expect that you would take the necessary actions and bring up your standard of service. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Yours,

    DeAnna Smallwood, MSED

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#2
I have a lot of questions.

1. You arrived a day early with no reservation. Why didn’t you call as soon as you knew you were going to need an extra night and book it instead of waiting until you arrived? Was the hotel sold out? Where did you stay for that night?

2. Was the hotel room in your name and paid for by you? It is not unusual that there is no early check in. You finally were checked in so I think you need to remove that from your complaint. Also, not every hotel has a porter available on demand to bring your luggage to your room when you want it. You could have left it there for them to bring up when they had a free minute (sometimes they wait until they have several rooms of luggage and bring it all together) or you could have brought the bags up yourself without a luggage cart if they’d was broken. I happen to prefer bringing my own luggage to my room so I don’t have to wait for it.

3. Did anyone leave the do not disturb sign in the door? They won’t clean the room if the sign is on. If there was no sign- you have a legitimate complaint here. And to go containers not being available? Perhaps they ran out? Couldn’t you have brought the food up on the dishes yourself?

4. Who is Mrs. Hightower?

5. A hotels shuttle is not an Uber that provides rides on demand. The shuttles are there for all guests, not just you and they are also out picking up and dropping off other guests- thus waits. You need to call for an Uber if you needed to be someplace at a certain time.

Many of your complaints sound as if you were impatient and in a rush or you had expectations for the hotel that just couldn’t be met. You need to see the contract the school had with the hotel as far as what you were suppose to receive by staying for classes. There might be a disconnect between what their contract contained vs. what you expected.

You can use our Company Contacts for IHG but I would take out about half your complaints because it seems more that you had unrealistic expectations for what you were suppose to receive as part of the group. I would request information from the school on what was included in the contract they signed with the hotel and only include complaints about anything that was contracted for that you did not receive.
 
Feb 16, 2018
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#3
You arrived a day early without a reservation for that night, I'm assuming that you had some sort of a group rate reservation for the other nights. In this situation they would not be able to extend the group rate. Also, depending on what room type you had reserved, they may not be able to let you stay in the same room for the whole stay.

I'm wondering how you ought you were going to get food from the restaurant if you weren't ordering from the menu. If there was a prepared buffet line for your group many times there are rules that the organizer agreed to in the contract. Even though it seems odd, the restaurant and conference food service are separate entities, so there rules in place that the employees must follow.

If you are expecting a full refund, I'm afraid you will be out of luck. If you did not personally pay for the room, then the refund may not be given to you directly anyway.

If you haven't already sent this yet, you should cut out all but the first reference to Trimm, they only need that once to know which group you were with. Let Ms. Hightower make her own complaint if she feels it is necessary, adding other people's complaints to your letter makes you seem like you are reaching.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
I am sorry but this is a complaint I would expect from the Marie Antoinette society.

The OP arrived early without notice — whose fault is that? What prevented making a reservation either by phone or online?

So the next day there is a computer mishap — and the hotel has to go old school with paper- exactly how would one check in without ID and credit card? If class was so important why not wait until it was over for the day?

Complaining about lack of take out containers after they ran out? Really? They accommodated you. And if it was a buffet or sit down that was arranged by the group then the group organizer should have

Ms. Hightower should make her own complaints.

The OP lost a key and then complains that verification took some time —

So what is the only complaint — that room was not made up one day.

The shuttle is not a personal chauffeur. If the free service is not adequate pay for a private service.

To ask for a complete refund is ridiculous and unwarranted. If these are the types of complaints I doubt the Crowne Plaza would ever want the group back.

I think a reality check is in order — if this is an awful and stressful experience then count blessings as this is a charmed life.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#5
With respect to your request for a full refund, it's important to understand that you did receive six (6) nights stay (14th thru the 19th) with meals, about which you offered no criticism (of the room or the food). Your complaint seems to center around your disappointment with various services you received at this hotel.
  1. One instance where they could not find you in the system after you lost your key
  2. One accident while on their trolley
  3. Two instances of harsh words from an employee
  4. Two consecutive days where rooms were not cleaned
  5. One night for which you were charged a higher rate
  6. One instance where their system was down, which delayed check in by 1-2 hours
  7. One instance where you left the front desk without being attended to
  8. Two instances with "to-go" containers
The first four are, in my opinion, moderately important. The rest are what I would deem to be typical issues with a property of this size.

What is reasonable compensation for these? I don't know, but the cost of one night's stay would be acceptable for me. Ultimately you did receive that for which you paid . . .
 
Sep 27, 2017
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#6
Can we get clarity about the first night? Whast eventually happened? Did you wind up staying at that hotel for the first night? And if you did, did they wipe out the original reservation and/or make you pay the non-discounted rate for those?
 
Likes: VoR61
Mar 23, 2015
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#7
  • I arrived 7/14 which was a day early. I found out a few days prior to the trip that there was an orientation that I needed to take prior to classes at Kingdom School of Ministries. I asked to be accommodated for the night with a room. However, I was not given the opportunity to book a room for one night at the regular rate.
I am baffled: If you knew "a few days prior" why did you just show up asking to be accommodated, instead of calling AS SOON AS YOU FOUND OUT to make arrangements?

7/15 - I was given a credit authorization form to which I could not fill in the credit card information because I did not have it. After about an hour or two I was able to be checked in and given a room.


If you didn't have your credit card handy, how did you plan to check into the room? You would have needed that with or without the authorization form, whether the computer was working or not, no? This doesn't appear to be any fault of the hotel and is, to me, an odd thing to be annoyed about.

THE TO GO DEBACLE? After seeing several people with to-go containers from the restaurant I decided to go over with the notion that I can purchase my food and return to get started on my assignments. I was told that they don't give to-go containers.

the class was told that we could use the restaurant TWO O1, but it would be best to bring the food back over. We were told that they would accommodate us. However, we got over to the restaurant we were told that they were out of to-go containers. A manager allowed us to wrap up our food. to-go containers are only given when you order from the menu. We would have ordered from the menu if it meant we could take food out! We needed the convenience.


The entire complaint around the To Go containers has me bumfuzzled. What's the deal? You said you thought you could "purchase my food and return" but they said "they don't give to-go containers." Later you said they do but only if you order from the menu. You also stated at one point the manager allowed you to wrap up food because they were out of To Go containers. I have zero idea what your complaint is in regards to here, and I sincerely doubt that the Crown Plaza will have a clue either. And if you'd been there for a WEEK before you figured this out, did you not ever ASK? It all sounds very much like you just didn't take the time to understand what the rules were in regards to your group's meal plan was, to be honest.


7/20 -- I arrive at the front desk with all of my belongings. I put my name and take my half. She takes the bag.
So, she did what you asked her to do.. which was to hold your bag? Yes, if she complained it was likely unprofessional, but TBH the theme I got from your entire letter was "high-maintenance and unrealistic expectations." I'm not sure if you don't travel much but nothing that happened (with the exception of Ms. Hightower's injury which I hope was minor!) was worth being upset about.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#8
OP has viewed responses but not answered our questions. I’m not sure what she wants us to do.

She can use our company contacts and send her letter to IHG. I’m not sure if she knows that IHG won’t see it here.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#9
DeAnna, it does sound like this was a bad stay. I did manage to get through your narrative despite all the excess information. I do not see anything that could be considered bad service on the hotel's part. It appears to me that your expectations were not based on reality. Is this your first stay in a full-service hotel? Your story about arriving a day early without a reservation, then having no credit card or ID to complete paperwork when the computer was down makes no sense. There are many words about the restaurant, but I can't figure out what happened. Your dissatisfaction with the complimentary hotel shuttle was misplaced; a hotel shuttle is not a personal car set up just for you. I stay at many IHG properties around the world and they generally are very well managed. If I've left the DND sign on my room, I receive a note or a call offering me choices of how to handle service on my room. I wish I could be more helpful.
 
Sep 27, 2018
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#10
On many of my business trips I keep odd hours. Thus, if I miss the rounds when the crew is there to clean my room, most times I will be forgotten and the room won't be cleaned. All I have to do is call the front desk to get fresh towels, etc. The rest I can deal with. From reading the post, it seems this person doesn't acknowledge when the staff did try to help, like trying to find out why she wasn't in the system and personally remembering you. My guess is that checking in a day early for a group function resulted in the system losing you. These are normal travel hiccups.
 
#11
I don't think you're entitled to anything free. That may sound harsh but what others have said, it sounds like you have unreasonable expectations. It's not surprising that the manager is not responding to your letter. It's very difficult to wade through and determine what exactly the concerns are. When I did manage to figure out the complaints and then read you want a full refund, that's a bit over the top, to put it mildly.
Look at it this way from the manager's eyes. You want a free hotel stay because of the availability of to-go boxes, the courtesy shuttle wasn't standing by waiting for YOU when you needed it, YOU showed up early and couldn't get a room and as for the room cleaning, if you weren't in it, it can't be too dirty, just call for new linens.
Imho, requests like this make it more difficult for people to receive compensation when there are real problems. Just as in life, travel doesn't always go perfectly.
 
Jan 11, 2019
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#12
No buffet anywhere will give you a to-go box. Otherwise people would eat all they could at the restaurant buffet then load up more in a to go box to eat later without paying. Having said that, some will let you buy food from the buffet in a to go box that they weigh and charge you in accordingly. I doubt they offered that service, but they should have explained it to you better perhaps. You can only get food to go that you've ordered off the menu since it's a set amount at a set price. Can you tell I eat out a lot?