You’re Harder to Reach than the Pope. *Update*

One of the many things we offer our clients is working with them to block hotel rooms for their guests. This includes finding the perfect hotel that offers the amenities they want including: an on site restaurant (with the menu they like), a bar, a pool, a fitness center, late check out, shuttle service (preferably included in their rate), various types of rooms and much much more. Once we have acceptable hotels, we then present the options to our clients for them to make a selection, so that all they have to do is pick one, sign a contract and be done. Let me share what happened last week into this week and what is still ongoing with one particular hotel….

One of our clients with a destination wedding is requiring hotel rooms for some of their guests. They aren’t very specific on what they want, and none of their requests are unreasonable. With their “must haves” in hand, I began to reach out to various hotels in the area of their venue to start putting together comparisons for my client to review. Two out of three hotels got back to me within 48 hours. But here is what happened (and is still happening) with the third:

Our office called this particular hotel 4 times last week between Tuesday and Friday. We were told that we needed to speak with “Jenna” (that’s not really her name) and she was the only person that could help us. The first time we left a voicemail. The second time we called back we were told that we just missed her and the person at the desk handwrote a message. The third time we called back we were told that she was not in the entire week but that we should email her because she works from home. Yes, a sales/group manager for a major hotel chain, works from home. Really. So, we emailed her. 

No response from the email and no response from the phone calls. The forth time we called (Friday going into the holiday weekend) this was the conversation…

Us: Hi, I am trying to follow up with Jenna. I have left several messages this week and I am anxious to give something to my clients to review before the holiday weekend. Is she available?

Them: She just stepped out.

Us: Is she coming back?

Them: Probably.

Us: It is urgent that we speak with her today before the weekend. We have left multiple messages and emailed her.

Them: Well I’m sure she’ll get back to you.

Us: I’m not, but feel free to leave my number again.

Them: She’ll be back in an hour and I’ll have her call you.

Guess who never called back until Tuesday at 8am after the holiday weekend? That’s right, Jenna! Her voicemail (because our office isn’t open at 8am) went along the lines of “Got your message about setting up a room block, call me anytime.” No mention of her hours, when she would be available and she didn’t even leave her phone number. This girl is a rock-star.

We called her back as soon as we got the message (10am) and left a very detailed message including our office hours for the entire week and how she has been very difficult to get a hold of. We would appreciate a call before the end of the business day.

It’s over 24 hours later and we still haven’t heard back. 

I know you’re asking: well why are you still calling her? Can’t you get another hotel? The problem here is that the destination we’re working with is limited and although our clients “must haves” aren’t unreasonable, the hotels we have spoken to aren’t accommodating them. 

But it makes us wonder….why does this continue? Why doesn’t someone, anyone, at that hotel offer to help? No one seems remotely concerned and yet we’re trying to give this chain thousands of dollars. It’s all very strange to us.

Yet, this is why we do this. We know how stressful planning an event is, and we want to take away the stress as much as possible from our clients. There is no reason that they should have to deal with any incompetence and they are always our number one priority. But we just thought we would share a little bit of what goes on “behind the scenes” when you hire a planner. If nothing else, we hope it gave you a laugh, and we’ll be sure to share more stories going forward….

Of course, we’ll update you if we hear from Jenna.

Photo credit: thehotelsnyc.com

*Update*

We heard back from Jenna and immediately mentioned that she was a very hard person to reach. Expecting anything from an apology to an explanation, instead, we were given “It was right on my voicemail that I was not in on Tuesday and I never received your emails, so….”

Nevermind that we called multiple other times during the week and were told by the front desk that she would “be back in an hour” or that she “stepped out”. We told her this and she simply replied, “I don’t know why they would tell you that.”

Moving on!

We have the room block information, we passed it along to our clients. Thankfully, they aren’t interested and we will no longer have to work with this hotel or Jenna, ever again.

2 thoughts on “You’re Harder to Reach than the Pope. *Update*

  • The runaround from “Jenna” is more what you’d expect from a public utility than from a service business like hotels. Shame on them! My first boss at Merrill Lynch taught me something called “the 24 hour rule” that I follow to this day – return calls, emails and finish your to-do list within 24 hours and start each day with a clean plate. It’s a great way to live!

  • I try to get back within 12 hours or less but at the most 24 hrs. That is how to run a successful business.

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