mentul77 (mentul77) wrote in bad_service,

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NOT what I expected!

Yesterday my husband's company was going to an event in Pigeon Forge, TN (about 30 min from home) and we decided we would make a weekend of it and get a hotel room Friday night instead of fighting the traffic on Saturday.  We had been up there a couple of weeks ago and noticed that the Grand Hotel & Convention Center had done some (much needed) remodeling and they were advertising a 70% construction discount off the rack rate on rooms.  A week ago I called their reservation line and was told that I could get a room for $89 and when I asked about the discount they stated that it was a walk-in special.

I did my research and the most expensive rate I could find on their calendar was $129 and that was the day after Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.  It showed rates around $89 for most of the summer, some as low as $59 and a few as high as $99 but nothing outrageous. 

Friday evening we arrive and stand in line behind several people looking for a room.  The guy that was working the front desk was giving attitude to several guests.  One group had asked for a different room for some reason and his response was "it isn't possible, we don't have any more available" I can only assume this was because of the size of their party, special requests, or how long they were staying or something.  He then helped the people in front of us with only a slight attitude.  When it was our turn he asked what type of room and how many days.  I told him King Bed, 1 night, non-smoking.  He rolled his eyes and said he probably didn't have any nonsmoking and then got on the computer.  He came back and said that they did have a King non on the 3rd floor.  Great!  I then asked if they were still doing the construction special because it was posted on a sign by the road.  I was given a disgusted look and the response "ugh, don't make me explain that" and then he informed me that the room they had would be $79 + tax for a total of about $90.  His attitude this entire time was that he didn't care whether we stayed there or not.  We immediately left but the story doesn't end there.

After we were out the door I called my mom to get online and find a customer service number for the Grand.  The only number she could find was the reservation number.  I called that number and was given a number for their "executive office" but told that no one would be there until the next morning as it was 8pm by this time.  I go ahead and call the number expecting an answering machine and a live person actually answers but the tone of voice was very apathetic.  I spoke to him regarding the service I had received and he acted as though he didn't care.  I advised him of what I was told about the discount and he proceeded to state "it is 70% of rack rate, you should be able to get a room for $89 tonight."  None of this is making sense but at this point I'm spitting mad and just tell him that we received attitude from the person at the front desk and that he was treating other customers the same way.  I was informed that he would speak to the front desk about this and he then asked if that was all I needed (kind of in a what more do you want? type of tone).

We proceeded up the road to the Comfort Suites where we got a nice room, paid $10 more than we would have at the Grand but got MUCH better service at the front desk and a free continental breakfast (with waffles and everything!).  I let the guy there know about the experience we had at the Grand and was informed that the guy that owns it and all of the Family Inns around there is also on the Chamber of Commerce so any complaints there wouldn't do any good either.  He said that they are pretty much overlooked, oh and all the fancy remodeling?  It is apparently just on the outside, the inside is still in dire need of updating. 

Needless to say I am trying to find somewhere that would take this complaint about service seriously since obviously management and the Chamber won't!  I will definitely  not  suggest this hotel to friends and will advise anyone I know against staying there but I will wholeheartedly recommend the Comfort Suites down the road!
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