Unpleasant experience at Renaissance Hotel in downtown Seattle

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Dec 27, 2014
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#1
I had a very unpleasant experience at the Renaissance that I have been unable to resolve with any satisfaction.
I live in San Francisco and I flew to Seattle to attend an educational course necessary to maintain my professional license. My stay at the Renaissance was from December 5th through the 8th, I was enrollled in a two day course but I was only able to attend one day because I became extremely ill on the night of December 6th and the early morning of the 7th. I had all meals at the Renaissance, and it was clear that the salmon that I had at dinner at Maxwells restaurant on December 6th was the cause of my illness.
I began vomiting violently between 3:00 and 3:30 AM on December 7th, I contacted the front desk for assistance, I was told that there were not medical supplies available other than a first aid kit. I was told that a security guard would be sent to make a report. He arrived with a pencil and a small spiral notebook, he asked some questions and made some notes. He said he could call an ambulance but that is all that he could do.
I had no contact with anyone at the Renaissance until the morning of December 8th when Brice from Food and Beverage service contacted me. He expressed concern, but because my trip had been paid for through Expedia he said that he could only offer me lunch. I asked for another contact at the hotel and I was given Stephanie Pray's name as Front Office Manager. I sent an email to her, but I did not receive any response until December 15th when Peter Kwong from Berkley North Pacific contacted me by telephone. He asked some questions and said that I would be contacted in a few days. On December 23rd I received a letter stating that the report of my illness had been reviewed and since there were no other complaints on that day and I had not provided any medical evidence of my illness my claim was respectfully denied.
Because of my illness I was unable to complete the course that I had traveled to Seattle to take, in addition to the costs of the trip I missed two days of work after returning to San Francisco. There is no doubt that the salmon that I ate at Maxwells Restaurant in the Renaissance was cause of my illness. Do you have any suggestions as to how I should continue?
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
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#2
Hi Carol,

I'm one of Chris' assistants.

"Brice from Food and Beverage service ... offer(ed) (you) lunch"? Ha! That had to be
just what you wanted after having been sick as a dog. :oops:

As for what you can do, have you appealed to the Renaissance executives yet? If not, here's a link to our Renaissance contact page:

http://web.archive.org/web/20140813065233/http://elliott.org/contacts/renaissance/

First, send a short, polite email to the Primary Contact. Wait a week for a response. If you don't receive one or don't like what it has to say, escalate your appeal to the Secondary Contact, and, if necessary, after another week, the Chief Executive.

Save all of your correspondence, and if you don't receive satisfaction, feel free to forward your "paper trail" to Chris for review. If he can help you, he will.

Good luck!

Grant
 
Dec 27, 2014
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#3
Hi Grant,
Thank you for your response. I understand polite, but when you specify short do you intend that I simply refer to my earlier report assuming that the details can be obtained through their system, and just state that I filed a complaint that I believe has not be managed properly. Or should I present some details of my experience?
Thank you for your assistance.
Carol
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
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#4
Hi Carol,

It's fine to present some details of your experience... just not too many. You wouldn't believe some of the emails that people send to executives. :eek: Pages and pages of detail, dozens of attachments. I'm not kidding! I don't know how people can possibly think that executives will respond positively to that sort of thing.

Anyway, that's why I make a point of specifying short emails now, but a few details... no problem.

Good luck!

Grant
 
Dec 27, 2014
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#5
Hi Grant,
As you suggested I emailed the primary contact at the Renaissance, Tina Edmundson on the 29th. I received an email immediately advising me that she was out of the office until January 3rd, it provided other contacts for emergencies etc., but I decided to await Ms Edmundson's return. At the end of day on the 31st when I listened to my voicemail and there was a message from Peter Kwong from Berkley North Pacific, the person who wrote to me refusing my claim, he said that he knew that I had contacted the Renaissance again and he wanted me to call him. His tone implied that I had broken the rules, a friend advised that I ignore his call since he is probably going to tell me not to contact the Renaissance again. Obviously someone from the hotel informed him of my email, so I am not certain if this is to be considered a response from the primary. Do you believe I should return his call? If I contact him what do you advise I tell him if he insists the matter is closed.
Also do you think I should ask the Renaissance for the report that was written by the security guard?
 
Oct 1, 2014
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#6
It looks like you purchased trip insurance with your flight + hotel from EXPEDIA since they offer trip insurance from Berkely.
Can you please read your insurance policy and figure out what is covered and what is not covered. Also what exactly do you want the insurance company to pay or reimburse.
It sounds like you caught the dreadful norovirus in a public function (meeting).
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
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#7
Hi Carol,

Ha! Your friend was absolutely right. :p Mr. Kwong has had his bite of the apple. He doesn't get two... and how dare he take a tone with you? He already had a chance to do the right thing and didn't. So, no, his phone call doesn't count as a response from the Primary Contact.

Go ahead and wait until the 3rd (which is only tomorrow, after all) to see if Ms. Edmundson gets back to you. And give her a week after that if you have to. If you don't hear anything, or don't like what you do hear, shoot an email to the Secondary Contact, followed by, if necessary, the Chief executive a week later.

As for asking for the report written by the Renaissance security guard, I'd hold off. There's always time to request it if you don't get satisfaction from the execs. Then, you can submit it to Chris with the rest of your "paper trail."

Let's hope it doesn't come to that, though. I'll be keeping a happy thought for you.

Good luck!

Grant :)
 
Likes: Carol
Dec 27, 2014
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#8
Thanks Grant,
I will follow your advice. Tony A seems to think I contracted a virus at the seminar/meeting that I attended. I have had conversations with the company that gave the seminar, in this case no one else cancelled due to illness, but the seminar was at the Crown Point not the Renaissance.
If I understand Tony A., Berkley is the insurance company representing Expedia, not the Renaissance is that your understanding?
I have no doubt that I had type of food poisioning, it was not a virus, there are clear differences. I am in the medical field and what I do not know from personal experience I have been able to discuss with my physician and friends who are physicans.
Thank you for your continued assistance.
Carol
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
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#9
Hi Carol,

I don't know why Tony said what he did about you catching "the dreadful norovirus in a public function (meeting)." I just sent him an email asking for clarification.

And I don't know who Berkley Insurance is representing, but at this point, it doesn't matter. Let's just pursue your appeal with Renaissance, and if, at some point, they end up punting to Berkley, we'll shift gears then.

For now, don't make or take any phone calls from Mr. Kwong or anyone else. Phone calls leave you with no proof of any promises that are made. Emails are the way to go.

Grant
 
Dec 27, 2014
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#10
Thank you, I have some questions that I will send tomorrow. It is becoming apparent that I am not familiar with this format.
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
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#12
Hi Carol,

Strange... this was the first time I'd messaged someone through our private conversation function. I expected to hear back from you the same way, but didn't. I didn't hear anything. Chris did. He received the following message and forwarded it to me:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <[email protected]>
Date: Sat, Jan 3, 2015 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Grant Ritchie started a conversation with you: "Your outside meeting"
To: [email protected]

I meant to ask, I have received the usual emails from Expedia asking about my trip. I have not responded to any of them so far since it has not been suggested that I do so. Any changes advised?


Anyway, in response to your question: Sure. It won't hurt to answer Expedia. Just don't make any requests of them. Answer whatever questions they ask, and leave it at that. It'll give them a chance to reach out to you and do the right thing... even though you know they won't.

Grant
 
Dec 27, 2014
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#13
I received an email from the assistant to the general manager at the Renaissance asking to schedule a time to talk about my concerns. She stated that she hoped I was well etc., she also mentioned that she had been informed that my claim had been denied, but she would like to speak with me regarding the incident.
Do you have any suggestions? Especially anything that I should or should not say.
 
Jan 8, 2015
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#15
One thing that always gets to me is when I see a claim is denied because "nobody else got sick". Anyone who has a medical background like the OP does, or knows food knows that some people react differently to different things. What may make one person sick may not make the next person sick and so on. When food goes bad it doesn't all go bad at the same instant, it goes bad in stages starting from one place, like the warmest spot in the cooler.


I am wondering how it is known to have been the salmon when presumably other things were eaten at that meal, or even for lunch previous?