This is unfinished Blog post from my time in the UK!!! For whatever reason, I never post this blog!
Ok, I have to say that most of my time in the UK has been great but today (Sunday) I has the most interesting experience with respect to customer service!
The hotel that I’m staying at does not provide free Internet access! you have to purchase access from BT Openzone Wireless access. In this day and age, I don’t know why hotels that cater to business travelers don’t include free Internet access, but that is another issue.
So this morning I woke up and turn on my laptop to check email. Since I’m meeting up with Cliff today I thought that I would give him some details as to where I am and may try to skype him. Anyway’s I has some problems with the Internet access and didn’t think much of it, I decided to go for breakfast and reboot my PC at the same time. When I came back to my room I logon back into my PC and I still couldn’t get access to the Internet. I finally decided to call the support number. Well after ~ 15-20 minutes someone finally answered the phone. During my call with them they told me that they are doing maintenance worldwide! I objected and told them I was paying allot of money to use their service and asked why wasn’t this maintenance done at 2 am when it would affect the least amount of client? Needlessly to say the call centre person could not answer that but assured me that it would be up in a few hours. Few I said a few hours! He said a few hours. I told him to pass along a message to his manager, that this was unacceptable and that I would complain to the manager of the hotel that I was stay at too. he did seem to care, all he wanted was for me to get off the phone with him.
So I walked down to the front desk and ran into the Day shift manager. I told her about the Internet issue and how I was surprised that the Thistle hotel chain did not have free Internet access in all rooms. She was very nice but told me NOT to expect BTOpenZone wireless access to work at all today, she said this occurs on a regularly bases.
I paid £27 or $54 for just “5-days service” which according to BTOpenZone is 30 hours of service! or ~£1/hour or $2/hour! This is more than my monthly Internet access bill at home! At this cost I expect to get a good level of service 24 hours a day and great service from 6am until midnight daily. I understand the maintenance needs to be done but this should be done at 2am or so and even then it should have minimal disruptions. Slower access to the Internet and maybe some locations down but not the whole system! I was not even offer a discount or increase in server or anything, just it will be back later and try again.
Now if the hotel had provide the Internet access and they perform the maintenance on Sunday morning, how can you really complain about the service if it is not costing you anything extra at the seriously overinflated rates!
So does this make me want to use BTOpenZone. Nope it does not! Does this make me want to use Thistle hotel’s again, nope it does not. Next time, I will do the booking of flights and hotels. This way I’m the only one to blame for this, if anyone else does book a hotel for me here are my rules for picking a hotels are:
- How many stars does it have?
- What is the closest hotel to where I need to be?
- Is Internet access included?
- what is there to do near the hotel?
- what other things does the hotel have: Pool, restaurant, parking, etc.?
- do I belong to the loyalty program? ( I dislike loyalty programs as I would prefer a good rate, clean hotel, nice rooms, etc. then points)
Well it is just before 3 pm and the Internet is still down, that makes it 5 hours now… so say away from BTOpenzone it is not worth it.
The Garden Hotel in Manchester is looking better and better all the time, it is an older hotel that could used to be renovated but it was clean, had Internet access, lots of HOT water, walking distance to where I needed to be, walking distance from the train station, friendly staff, it could use more TV stations but so far all of the UK hotels have only had 4-6 stations.
BTW The Internet access finally came back at 7p.m. that night!