COMPLAINT

These hotel problems should never happen!

If you ran a so-so hotel before the days of the Internet and TripAdvisor and, ahem, this site, you could get by. People still visited.

Not today.

At least, that’s the conventional wisdom. But on a recent tour of the Gulf states, I discovered the conventional wisdom may not be entirely correct. While one hotel was up to standards, the rest fell short.
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The biggest complaint mistake you’ll ever make

Pavel/Shutterstock
Pavel/Shutterstock
If you have a gripe with a company — and let’s face it, at some point, everyone has a gripe with a company — here’s a cautionary tale about complaining.

It comes to us by way of Tracey Phillips. She had a problem with a hotel’s change policy. Specifically, every time she changed the date of her stay, the hotel insisted on charging her a fee, which is an increasingly common problem.

Instead of the grassroots approach to problem-solving, which I always recommend — in other words, starting with a real-time resolution at the lowest level, and working your way up — Tracey went straight to the top. She wrote an impassioned letter to the CEO, asking for a one-time exception to the hotel’s rules.

And, no surprise, she hasn’t received a response yet.
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Got a complaint? Aim high – but not too high

Nikkytok/Shutterstock
Nikkytok/Shutterstock
When his son and two grandchildren weren’t allowed to board a recent Spirit Airlines flight from Dallas to Atlanta — and when the airline failed to offer any compensation for it — Stan Altschuler thought he knew what to do.

He sent an email directly to Spirit’s CEO, Ben Baldanza.

It was the wrong call.

Altschuler made one of the most common mistakes aggrieved consumer can make: He took his complaint straight to the top, eliminating several opportunities to fix the problem.
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