Monday, January 22, 2007

My last post on the Discovery Suites foul service

This will be my last post on the Discovery Suites unfortunate incidents. I checked out today but I just needed to share that on the average, any requests from room service, housekeeping to porterage must be followed up a couple of times before it they can act on it. Also, allow at least 45 mins to an hour. I called the service express number (what an understatement 'express') to request for a bucket of ice to be placed in my small igloo containing medication. I told them I was already checking out and the reason for the request.

My first request was around 12:50pm. We should check out by 1pm we were informed. I had to follow up five times with an angry tone on the last and guess what time the ice arrived? 1:35pm.

I just mentioned the last incident but there were more. When I was already checking out at the front desk, it took some time since apparently this infamous Hazel never gave instructions on our arrangement.

The first bill shown to me apparently only showed my stay last friday plus incidental expenses. I was suprised and asked how come I am not paying for my weekend stay package?

The front desk person was really nice and apologetic for he had to reprint again and tried to figure out how everything will tally. Apparently, the events staff never coordinated cause he was at a loss. He said he was just new so he was getting confused.

I believe it was not his fault. I pitied him for if the confirmations were in place everything would have been a breeze. I asked him to check with Hazel but he said she doesnt work on sundays. I suggested that he call her for she maybe the one at fault and when one works in a service institution he or she must be on call.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the welcome letter of the hotel was given to me only today, sunday. Funny! Since we had a session, I just read it when I left the hotel. Apparently the letter explained the check out time and other arrangements. Truly inefficient indeed!

What a topsy turvy procedure they have out there. It would be good to set up another similar hotel in the area with the right service and I am sure their occupancy will drop.

I am not sure how my concerns reached them but I found a small rose bouquet in my room last satruday evening with a note from the asst guest relations officer apologizing for sad experiences. I am not sure how it reached them (maybe my blog?) but I was not impressed. I never mentioned it to any of my colleagues in the weekend workshop/treatment.

First of all, what happened was not just one incident and by the magnitude, should not warrant a cursory note from just an assistant. I expected the GM to do such.

I still recall that I was surprised to receive an email from one of the plush hotels in Honkong late last year. I filled up the usual feedback form which gave an above average rating with some questions garnering an excellent mark except for one unfortunate incident with the concierge. Can you imagine that one tiny incident warranted a personal note from the hotel GM?

This Discovery Suites fiasco is by no means a minor matter.

During lunch we had a sort of graduation program and the hotel GM was present being a friend of one of the organizer and besides he knows many of the participants were high up in society with a splattering of some people in media.

I never mentioned anything. Why? Will they take notice just because of power, who you know, or status in society? I think all clients must be treated the same way, or at least accorded with the minimum expected in the hospitality industry.

Discovery Suites in general doesnt even come near to this minimum but very far down the pits!

More bad feedback re Discovery Suites...

A former officemate and a friend from media reacted to my recent post and shared their sad tales below:

On 1/21/07, Nora Nano wrote:

hi maan,

thanks for sharing. i have stayed at the discovery suites several times and highly recommended it to balikbayan relatives and friends after another friend recommended it too. service was very good, the rooms were nice and any problem reported was acted upon promptly. but those where the days when discovery suites was quite new.

last july, my moms brothers and sisters and neice rented several units for their use. I stayed with them for several days. I saw the difference in service. I reported the aircon of one rooms in the 2bedroom suite because it was hot and i couldn't sleep. no one seems to know the problem. they keep offerring a solution, but it doesn't work. i practically slept beside the thermostat to make sure the temperature wouldn't rise.. finally i told them to send someone to look at the problem. it took hours before someone came.

you mentioned something about the web rates and the actual charges... my cousin encountered the same. i think it has to do with the exchange rate. different rates were being used for different reasons. she even offered to pay in dollars, but again, computations were different. she wrote a letter to DOT(?) regarding her complaint. later, discovery suites was offerring her some free stay, etc. of course she wouldn't budge. no way for her to go back there.

my uncle from canada has been a frequent guest of the hotel for several years now. when he stays there, it is for extened periords - almost a month and he uses either a 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom unit. but i think he also encountered problems with the hotel in their last stay last july.

am copying them your rambling because i wouldn't want them to experience the same problemif they decide to check in at the discovery suites again. it is a pity because the location is really excellent for expats, and professionals with business in the ortigas area and balikbayans who want to shop in the nearby sm megamall and greenhills area.

regards and hope to see you again soon.

From: "relly carpio"

> hear! hear!
> and that is why after two bad experiences with presscons at that place
> i vowed never to attend any more events there.
> plus, i had a friend stay there when he visited manila, he left in the
> middle of the night and moved to another condotel in ortigas, after an
> experience that he simply described as "i'd rather not talk about it"
> nuff said.