Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's called customer service, stupid.

I've traveled quite a bit. Stayed in all manner of hotel/motel and have NEVER had the type of experience (or even close to the same experience)I had while at the Deerfield Inn, Erin, TN.

Becasue we suddenly came down with an emergency we had to make last minute reservations. There were no non-smoking rooms available but they did have one room and promised us it would be clean and smell smoke free (impossible to smell smoke free if it's a smoking room, but that's not even high on my list of issues with this place). We made this reservation by phone. When we arrived to the hotel the front desk clerk told us that he had a non-smoking room come available and that we could look at it before we said yes. It was clean, it was smoke free so we said yes. So while my mom went back to the office to pay the money I began to move our luggage into the room. She came back gave me the key and we settled in to the room. A few hours later someone knocked on the door and told us that we would have to change rooms because there was a mistake. We really couldn't have that room after all. As she was telling us this she began to make it sound like it was our fault that we had to move. That it was something we did that caused this to happen. Specifically, move in our things into the open room that her front desk showed her.

The owner of the motel came down offered to help us move. I told her it would take a me a few minutes to gather my things. While I was gathering a family member came to help us move. No problem until I remembered I left some of Jackson's medicine in a cup on the counter. (It ended up being thrown away-although that story is suspect too) We went to the new room. Smoking room. With no Fire Alarm.

About 2 hours later the owner came back with cash in her hand. She said she was giving us our money back. Wow. I thought to myself. She's comping our room for the trouble we have had. The lady told me I had to come to the office to sign a sheet of paper.

She began to YELL at me. Telling me she didn't need this and that she wanted me to take the money. The more I listened, asked questions, and tried to keep my cool, the more I realized she was not giving me a comp room but that she was givign me the money back so we would leave. It seems that my mom had called her and talked to her about what happened and she didn't/couldn't take any confrontation. I also learned that she COULDN'T apologize. She didn't know how to apologize. The conversation exploded from there and she told me she was going to call the police on me. I had to remind her that she is the one that called me to the office. I did not come to the office to start this conversation SHE CALLED ME TO THE OFFICE. In fact, I was pretty calm through the whole thing. Just trying to figure out why she was waving cash in my face. Could I stay, must I go? The problem with going, there were no more hotels in the little town of Erin. This was the only one. Plus, I didn't have a car or I would go into Clarksville to stay. I was stuck. She knew it.

Finally, I had to call my mom and tell her that everything was okay and that she was kicking us out and that she threatened to call the police on me. My mom talked to her and it seemed to settle her down.

The next day we moved back to a non-smoking room (actually twice because the TV was broken in one room) and had only a few more bumps in the road. (Mainly her lack of accounting and the cash blowing in the wind incident from the night before).

Perhaps because it's a small town. Perhaps because there were no other choices for customers. Perhaps because she felt superior. I'm not sure why but this lady and customer service are strangers.

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