On a Bed of Bricks

I received a request from Super 8 Motels to rate our recent stay with them in Kingston. We had a horrible time and I think I did a reasonably decent job of expressing that. The following is what I wrote in the comment box in the survey:

We arrived around 8PM after a long drive. On check-in we were offered a free upgrade to a king size bed (nice gesture and the last nice thing to occur). When we went to the room, there was no bed. Not just a missing king, but no BED. The mattresses were leaning against the walls, but there was no frame.

Finally, we were assigned a room with an actual bed. Unfortunately, the bed would have been softer were it made out of bricks. I am a frequent camper, and I believe I’ve been more comfortable sleeping on the ground. Eventually we fell asleep only to be awaked by a group of drunken teenagers shouting and running from room to room.

After complaining to the front desk, this shouting finally quieted down around 12 PM, although my wife reports that the teenagers continued to bang doors and run around.

We enjoyed two and a half hours of slumber on our concrete bed before the fire alarm went off at around 2.45 AM. Fortunately, the alarm proved to be false and we were able to return to our rooms around 3.30 AM. But that didn’t last long. Not long after we had returned to our petrified palette, the fire alarm sounded again.

Upon returning to our room around 4.30 AM, my wife expressed the hope that the worst was behind us; however, that didn’t prove true. At 7.30 AM, after a hellish night, construction began on the building not more than 20 feet outside our window.

I’d had enough: there’s no sleeping through tractors and construction equipment.

After informing the supervisor of our ordeal, we were offered a mere 25% discount on our room, in which we had barely been able to sleep. It is my intent to dispute any charges Super 8 Kingston may make to my credit card. They do not deserve a single penny.

I travel regularly on business and I have never encountered such complete disregard for customer satisfaction. Had we merely endured fire alarms, a small discount would have been appropriate. However, to have sleep thwarted at every turn is unacceptable.

I suspect that in the budget hotel category customer loyalty doesn’t exist. When I’m picking a hotel for business travel, I always pick one of the Marriott hotels. Not just because they have a rewards program (which I keep meaning to sign up for), but mostly because they’re really attentive, even in their discount brands. I’ll stay at a hotel from a different chain, but only if there’s no Marriott nearby (or if my employer won’t spring for anything better than the EconoLodge, which was the case when I worked in Manhattan).

I doubt I’ll hear anything further from Super 8. Would you contact a customer so thoroughly dissatisfied? Or would you write him off entirely?