Sunday, July 27, 2008

Service with a smile?

When you enter a hotel or any other accommodation, you expect to be greeted by a polite front desk when you check-in to your hotel room. After all, you are a paying customer. You expect a level of service and at least the basic room for you to sleep at night.

Well, last weekend, I checked in to the only 3 star inn in Kuala Selangor. Service was acceptable for an inn of 3 star. I will not comment much as other visitors have already mentioned in some reviews.

However, I have to have my say about the room condition. Upon checking in, I realised the split-unit air-con is very noisy - like a loud engine. My roomie made a complaint to the front desk.

In the afternoon, they sent a maintenance guy who went about servicing the air-con. Obviously, it didn't help because it was still that noisy and there were an additional squeaky sound. The guy promised to return with the proper equipment. My roomie made a second complaint and the front desk promised to send another maintenance guy.

That night, we had our seafood dinner and the boat ride to watch the fireflies. It was about 9pm. I had my showered and the air-con is obviously still noisy. My roomie came back to tell me the front desk promised to send another maintenance guy. They couldn't give us another room because it was supposedly "fully occupied".

Sigh. Obviously, they weren't going to do anything. I made a video clip of the air-con with the noise as seen below to have my say since my roomie was not assertive enough in complaining.
Can you sleep with this kind of noise? This image was taken in potrait. Sorry, don't know how to edit video clips yet.

Anyway, as I walked from my chalet to the front desk, I slowly let my anger simmer and boil. After all, how on earth can you make a point looking sane and polite? Sad to say, I had to resort to this.

The conversation was something like this (we spoke in Bahasa Melayu but I'll translated it to English here):

Front desk
: Yes? May I know the problem? Ohh, room 221?
Me : Yes, may I know what you are going to do about this?
Front desk: Please wait, we will send someone to check on your room.
Me : Sir, I have already waited for a whole day. You have sent your maintenance guy over in the afternoon. He has already service the air-con and it is still noisy.
Front desk: We cannot give you another room. We are fully occupied.
Me : Sir, if you honestly can tell me you can sleep with this noise, then I'll accept it. (playing the clip above captured in my handphone).

The front desk guy didn't look me in the eye and pretend to touch the monitor to keep himself busy.
Me :I can't sleep with this noise. If you are not going to do anything, please refund the money for my room and I'll immediately check-out now. Obviously, you do not want me to stay in your inn since I can't sleep with this noise. Please call your manager out, now.
Front desk:I'm sorry my manager is not in. Can you wait till in the morning to see him?
Me :Can't you call him over now? Sure, you want me to wait till morning? I will sit right here and look at you till he comes, since I can't sleep in that room.

The front desk guy proceeded to make some calls to his staff to check on another room.
(At this moment, I was already fuming. I really hate to resort to this.)
His staff called back to tell him the other room's air-con is not noisy and can be occupied.

Front desk: All right, we have another room here but it's twin beds. Will that be acceptable?
Me : Yes, anything as long as it's not noisy and I can sleep.
Front desk: We have a room here which we promised to another guest. But since they haven't checked in we will give it to you first.
(Do you believe this? He has another room but didn't want to give it and came up with some other excuses)
Front desk: Is your luggage still in the room?
(D'oh? Or not in my car? Or outside the room?)
Me : Yes. (I tried my best not to roll my eyes or say something sarcastic)
Front desk: All right, my staff is waiting at your room to bring you to the other room. You can move your luggage out as we need to lock that room.
(Unnecessary explanation).
Front desk: Here is your key.
Me : Thank you. (I always remember my manners, mind you.)

Therefore, we had to moved our luggage at night to the other room. The air-con was much quieter and I slept through the night like a baby. If only, they gave us this room earlier when my roomie made a complaint, I wouldn't have to go through this. Sigh.

What would you have done? Paid hard-earned money to have a loud engine roaring from you air-con while you try to sleep? If they really want me to do that, they have to knocked me unconscious or drug a complimentary drink first....
Hmm.. maybe I should open an inn there to and do that? :P

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