October 17th, 2006


Goddard Arms, Swindon

My husband and I booked a double non-smoking room at the Goddard Arms in Swindon for saturday night. I booked it online from the hotel website at on Friday evening, and printed out the confirmation email with its reference number. The hotel is listed as 3 stars.

When we arrived at the hotel, the barrier across the car park wouldn't open. This wasn't an insurmountable problem, as there was enough space to simply drive around it. Then, when we got to the front desk, the deskclerk (who had an accent so thick we could barely understand a word she said) was unable to find our reservation - despite being presented with the printout of the confirmation email which clearly stated our surname, the date of the reservation and the confirmation number. Her response? "Sometimes these internet bookings don't make it onto our system." Apparently there were no non-smoking rooms left at all, so we were assigned a smoking room instead. The room was apart from the main hotel building, in a brick block the other side of the car park. As we walked over, it became apparent that the car park was almost empty. In a 65 bedroom hotel, there were maybe 5 cars in the carpark. Unless there's a huge convention of non-car-owning people in town, the hotel is nowhere near full. So why weren't there any non-smoking rooms?

The room itself was less than I would expect for a three-star hotel. The bathroom had hairs in the sink, and only half a roll of toiletroll. The room door- which opened directly onto the car park, had a huge hole in it where a lock used to be, and a new lock installed six inches higher up. So you could peek directly through the door into our room from the car park. There was a dark greasy mark on the carpet at the end of the bed, the wallpaper was peeling and the paintwork was filthy. It reeked too, but since it was a smoking room, you'd expect that.

Needless to say, we have no intention of returning to the hotel. Or to any others from the Forest Dale chain, as the chain apparently also runs the Royal Cambridge Hotel near us, which also has a poor reputation. If I'd known that before booking the room last Friday, I've have chosen a different hotel. I can't decide whether it's worth writing to the hotel manager and/or the chain to tell them we had a bad experience there. There's not really anything they can do to salvage things, and there's no way we're going back there. But if I don't write, then they're not going to learn they need to improve.
  • smu

Via my roommate

My college roommate has been having horrible chest pains recently and, after going to her doctor for an EKG, was told to go to a specialist for an ultrasound. Sounds easy enough, right?

The specialist is in another town neither of us have heard of, so when she calls them to get directions, they just give her the address of the place and tell her to "mapquest it". She finds that extremely unprofessional. How can a doctor's office not at least have directions? Especially a big specialist that get people who are refered to them by other doctors. She gives them the benifit of the doubt and mapquests them as told. She didn't want them to hold her hand on the directions, but at least knowing what parkway exit to use would have been helpful!

Today she went for her appointment. She had tried calling again to see if maybe they could confirm if the mapquest directions were correct, but they told her just to do whatever mapquest said. Nerviously, she left for the appointment with the mapquest directions printed out.

Well. The directions were completely and utterly wrong. She got horribly lost and drove around for two hours, confused and trying to call the doctor's office for help. They didn't pick up, and when they did, she got someone who barely spoke English and couldn't give her directions, just saying "mapquest will work" and "so, you want to reschedule?". Frustrated to tears, my roommate tried calling the doctor who had told her to go to the specialist, and they said they couldn't help her or give her directions, and just hung up on her.

I can't believe all this agita happened! Over just directions! What sort of doctor's office can't give someone directions?
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  • akishmo

if you tick me off, I'll make a huge post about it to bad_service!!

So, while this is bad_service, it applies both to my employer, AND to me. Collapse )This is a much longer post than I thought it would be. Verbose much? hehe

Oh yeah, this is my second time filing a complaint through the 'ombudsman' DM about this company. Though the first incident is a whole other story, which I don't have time to type up because I have to get ready to be back at work in a little over an hour :(
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