Hotel Stupidity

Derek’s experiences with stupid customer support reminded me of a similar but more analog experience of mine several years ago trying to find a motel in california. We were on a climbing trip to Yosemite and after about 12 hours of travel from Vancouver we arrived in northern calfornia. We saw a motel 8 (or similar) with a vacancy sign, we we make our way to it off the highway, pull in, and ask for a room. “Sorry, no vancancy.” Ok, these things happen… pull back on the highway and keep going (it was around 9 or 10 at night BTW). We saw another Motel with vancancy, so make our way to it again, and are once again told there was no vancacy.

After two more of these I finally asked why their vacancy sign is on if there is no vancacy. “Oh,” she said sweetly, “the company doesn’t want to have their name associated with ‘no vacancy’ signs, we we keep them on ‘vacancy’.”

I boggled. I don’t remember if I actually said “would they rather their company be assicated with pissing customers off?” but I definately thought it. Hell, if they are going to do that, why not just buy signs without the “No” even on them.

After no luck trying to find a room for the night at a variety of different Motel 8 type companies we ended up pitching a tent behind a rest stop (clearly labelled with “no camping” of course).

Turns out that sometimes customer support stupidity is not due to lack of training, but mandated by the company.

One Comment on “Hotel Stupidity”

  1. My most boggling hotel stupidity experience happened right here in Nashville, when I was commuting here to work. I was staying in a Courtyard Marriot, where I had reserved a room through Wednesday. On Tuesday afternoon, I realized that I was going to be needing the room through the end of the week. So I called the front desk and extended my stay.
    Thursday morning I leave to go to work, and when I come back that evening, my keycard won’t open the door. This has happened to me many times before when I’ve extended a stay. The card was programmed to expire on my original checkout date. Easy enough to fix.
    I go to the front desk and explain the situation. They don’t even check my name, ID or anything…just re-program my keycard. When I get back to my room, I open the door only to be met by a naked woman getting out of the shower. Thankfully, she didn’t see me (I saw her reflected in the bathroom mirror) before I hurredly shut the door.
    Back at the front desk, we discover that my extension never got entered into the system, and they rented my room out from under me. I had to send a maid into this woman’s room to get my clothes out of the dresser for me. The thing that bothers me is that the staff would program a keycard to open a specific room without any question of identity.