DEL MAR, CALIFORNIA -- I really have been dreading writing this review. I can, sometimes, get into the mood and write reviews that are negative, and I've been able at times to have fun with that, but this time? This time I wish so, so much that I didn't have to. This time, the negativity I need to review touched my kids, especially my daughter, and that just makes me sad. And now that the anger is a week old, it's really settled into disappointment. I have never been so poorly treated in my life, and neither has my daughter. Not from a company, not from a big or small company, ever.
We were there for a conference. A conference that was for kids and about kids. In other words, they knew we were coming, they knew that many kids would be there... this is really painful to write. First - the opening scene:
It began before I even checked in. We had to wait a bit to check in, so we decided to go get lunch in the hotel's cafe/bar area. I asked the front desk gentleman if sitting there was OK, if they had table service and if children were allowed in that area. He said yes, that was just fine, and we went and sat down. A man who appeared to be a manager glanced at us after more than a few minutes, and I asked if we could order.
"You want to order food?"
"Yes, please, I was told we could sit here...? We just need some menus."
"You want to eat here?"
"Um... yes, we do."
"You want to eat in the restaurant?"
"Are we able to eat here?"
At this point, I'm confused and think that maybe I misunderstood the front desk person, or maybe he was wrong... Nope, that wasn't it. "I'll go see if I can find a waitress," Mr. Maybe Manager says to me. Okay, that's cool... I'm still confused, but still laying that on me at this point.
A really nice young woman came over, said she was sorry she took so long, and can she get us drinks? She brought them, the table settings and the menus (the menus, by the way, were paper, like the kind you see that are often if not always, disposable. This comes into play later - trust me).
The young woman, whose name I would LOVE to have remembered was so good to us, so kind. She shared that it was her first day training to be a server in this capacity - Hilton? She is a lovely young Latina woman, her first training day was Wednesday, September 5th and this was around noon. She was one of two employees at the hotel that made me feel welcomed. That's it, out of all the others I ran into, so YAY to you, Miss! Thanks so much (my son's name is **, said in Spanish, she may remember us, at least I hope so!) for your kind personality and sweet disposition, let alone actually caring about our order and customer service.
I ordered the seared ahi and avocado salad. The tomatoes are sad, anemic things, but the rest tasted pretty good. My friend who arrived a bit later sat with us and then ordered the same thing - she noticed that she did not get the salad-y parts, like you know, green leafy stuff, like mine had. I didn't really grasp this until later, however, whatever, right? Places have off days, errors occur, life is not perfect and humans make mistakes - none of us are immune. But looking back in retrospect - this was the start. On to the rest...
We check in. Room is fine. Bathroom door opens up to the edge of the counter. Ah, not the best design, but no big deal. The plug for the bathtub? Broken and not attached. Ah, that happens, that's OK.
Housekeeping, while very sweet to arrange my kid's stuffed animals in a totally adorable way on the bed, forgot fresh cups for the coffee maker and gave me all decaf and no more sugars (the following day). The day after that, I told the front desk - please no service in my room, number __, They came anyway. Hmmm… front desk error, or their error? Don't know. The guy at the front said he took care of it, maybe wires got crossed? So they came when I asked them not to, and another time, didn't complete the mission properly. Ah, well things happen, right? Humans... errors... all that again.
Then I began to notice some other things happening... (see the updated review for part 2 - I took up too much space, lol!! As soon as I can update it, part 2 will be here - no luck yet!!!) The wedding party was loud. Late into the night, well past "quiet hours." We, as a group, had been admonished to keep our children quiet, to keep them close to us at all times, to have them in their rooms at 9 pm if under 18 (the ages ranged from baby to young adults in their 20's) & many other things that were quite unusual for the other (lovely!) Hiltons we have had conferences in. The wedding party however, were not chastised as so many of our kids were.
Seems if you are a drunken adult NOT a part of the conference, one can climb & then FALL off the huge, silver statue of a horse there. One can leave cans of Coors about the hotel. One can throw up in the ladies room & outside the elevator - no problem! But kids, skipping, playing, cartwheeling? Oh, no, no... not acceptable. I know I'm biased, but really, we have kids that are respectful, used to being treated with respect & as the equals they are (equal is NOT "same" btw). Some poor conference stepped in the vomit, I hate to say. Others have stories too, about the unbalanced guest care, the hypocrisy. They are telling their own tales, however.
Next night, sitting outside on the patio & my mom is leaving soon, we want to have a dinner together before she leaves. The waiter comes out & asks for her credit card! We were ordering DINNER, as we had before, & never have we had to give over a credit card (here or anywhere else)! These days, we are taught to never do this, it's bad enough that we "have" to for an open tab for just drinks. But who pays for their dinner before they even order it? Was this policy put in place that same day, as it hadn't ever happened before, patio, bar, restaurant or otherwise?
My mom refused & he, with an attitude, said that that was the only way we could order, unless we charged it to a room. My mom had checked out, but I hadn't, so I said to just put in on my room number & be done with it. We ordered. He asks what we'd like to drink, my mom gets a glass of wine & I say, nothing yet, but I'll order something soon. This really became much worse.
He reached over & began taking my daughter's new paper airplane & I stopped him & said, "Oh, that's not trash, that's my daughter's airplane!" He said, "It's our menu." I said, "Now it's a paper airplane." And he said, "This is the second time this has happened, these are our menus, you know!"
Hmm. So the story was out? And the manager said nothing to me at all about not doing this again, they had seen us playing tic tac toe & hangman on other ones, no one had ever said to us that we shouldn't do that, & as I said, they were those flimsy, regular paper ones. No laminate, not cardstock, not thick paper - cheap, paper-paper! The kind that many places actually MAKE kid's menus on that have printing so kids can play on them & whatnot. But had we been asked, of COURSE we wouldn't have used them for play. But you all need to ask & tell us, how can we know otherwise, especially if it had been done before & no one said anything?
Then he says, with a smirk no less (& no, I'm not kidding or over exaggerating) "You know you can't have outside drinks here. What's in your cup?" Really?? OK, here's my mistake, & I will own up to it & own the situation. I had a beer. Yes, my own beer. In a plastic cup. A cup that actually I had been using previously with beer I ordered from the bar. I ordered a lot of drinks & a lot of food there. Was I supposed to have it? No, & yes, I know that. And yes, I broke a rule & for that, I admit to being in the wrong.
But this... person was RUDE. At this point, I'm pissed off. Each thing had been adding up & I just broke & I said, with equal 'tude, "Ginger ale," & smirked right back at him. He said, "That's not ginger ale, ginger ale doesn't foam like that. You are not allowed to have that here." So... I lost it. I said, "Fine, I cancel my order!" & I left. And left I did. I had it with all of this. I checked out a day early & went home.
I will NOT go back there again. I hope the conference is elsewhere next year (it's pretty much an annual event that we REALLY look forward to each year) because I really dread going there again. The 2 wonderful waitresses (both Latinas, & man do I wish I had their names!) were LOVELY - they deserve a raise & respect. The 2 bartenders I dealt with? Sheesh, take some customer service training & learn some respect. Front desk - same with you all. You know? All the women I ran into were GREAT... interesting. Those 2 were just GREAT. But I really will have to consider if I will go back. Both my kids don't want to, & they LOVE the conference(s).
The people in our group were GREAT & we love them to bits - but I'm not sure it'll be enough to have to possibly cope with this kind of rude behavior again. I hope they take a lesson from the AMAZING staff at the Hilton Vancouver, WA. Time to review a few more places, in fact! Happier ones!
NEW YORK CITY, PENNSYLVANIA -- My home telephone received an unsolicited call from Hilton Grand Vacations offering a free stay in New York City. So much for being on the “do not call” list! We agreed to take the free hotel stay in New York City. After taking our credit card number complications ensued when it was discovered that our credit card was going to be charged an additional “penalty” fee if we did not fulfill Hilton's obligation requirements.
At that moment and on the telephone we were locked into Hilton's telemarketing scam. There was no 3 day waiting period or opportunity to change our minds after the “pushy” Hilton representative got our credit card number. Locked into the dollar commitment for the trip, we were further pressured in New York City until we signed to buy a timeshare. We were given approximately 5 inches of Hilton Grand Vacation Amendments to the timeshare plan to read once we returned home. Almost immediately the Hilton Grand Vacation experience started to self-destruct. Confusion, unkempt promises and other bad experiences ruled the year.
Finally, full of disgust and ill feelings I demanded that my money be returned immediately. That started the “convincing” that we would be happy once we started using our Vacations. I wasn't impressed and continued to demand my money be returned. Hilton would have none of this! Hilton would rather have the money of an unhappy customer than part in a congenial manner with a happy ex-customer. Hence, I believe herein “lies” (pick your own meaning) the problem with Hilton's operation.
I feel that we have been misled and taken advantage of by “The Hilton Club” and its New York based Managing Director of Business Operations, Mr. **. Mr. ** has not responded to my letter of December 17, 2012 which, as a courtesy to a Hilton Club owner, should be mandatory for his position. If Hilton would like to solve my complaint they should contact me in writing, not by telephone.
My wife and I have been trying to get our “investment” money out of this despicable contract since we realized that it was a scam. Hilton Grand Vacations should not be allowed to continue operations until its questionable, and likely, illegal methods are brought to a higher standard. Therein lies the problem for Hilton as they probably would not survive if they operated in an ethical manner.
Mr. ** was very direct in his support of staff and their methods. He denied that Hilton operates its programs by scamming its potential clients and owners. The high standards that Mr. ** believes Hilton abides loses some validity when one investigates the internet. In Surowitz v. Hilton Hotels Corp, “the complaint alleged that (Hilton) had defrauded stockholders and illegally depleted corporate assets to enrich individual defendants.
In 2010 the Boston Globe reported that the illegal hotel operation “was one of the biggest child-prostitution cases in state history... While the Globe doesn't identify the names of hotels where the girls were brought to meet customers, Boston public radio station WGBH's July series about sexual and human trafficking in the Boston area suggests that they could very well been higher-end chain hotels frequented by business travelers.
Hilton's “high ground” defense of its operations and family oriented vacation properties suffered additional embarrassment in April 2011 when it was reported on the internet that “a Hilton Hotel in Southwest China lost its five star rating this week after an underground brothel was found to be operating out of the hotel...” “This isn't the first time a brothel has been operating at a Hilton Hotel. In 2008, a brothel was being run out of a Hilton in Ireland. And Consumerist named the Hilton in Washington, DC the third most prostitution-friendly hotel in the city.” “... Similar brothels have contained children and human trafficking victims.”
As one continues to investigate Hilton experiences on the internet, there are many people who believe that Hilton is a scam, and that it operates illegally. Some guest clients of Hilton want to sue and enjoin a class action suit. Many dissatisfied persons report Hilton's actions to the numerous websites that permit “venting” for people who have been wronged and/or ask the Attorney General's office and other government/consumer agencies to investigate Hilton's operations.
In New York State, the Attorney General was ignored by Hilton Grand Vacations Club when the Attorney General's office requested information regarding a scam complaint filed by a dissatisfied customer. Is Hilton Grand Vacations Club too well connected “to abide by New York State law? Let's hope not but evidence is accumulating to the contrary when no visible actions come from the State's highest law enforcement agency.
A dissatisfied customer's actions may include educating people about the failures of Hilton by email, websites, newspaper, television, legal and any other opportunity available to me. If you have experienced some unfair treatment and would like to take some kind of action to eliminate these blood-sucking scams, feel free to contact me at **. I, for one, plan to continue to use every means available to have my money returned. Thank you for your time.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- I recently called the Hilton front desk to ask if they partnered with any local florists so that I could send my girlfriend flowers there while she was staying in San Francisco. They stated that since they were a five star hotel that they don't allow outside flowers to be brought in to their hotel. They stated that I would have to contact the concierge and have them purchase and have the flowers delivered for me.
After contacting the concierge I had specifically told him several times that I had a maximum dollar amount that I would like to spend on them, and that if he could find her a nice arrangement under that amount I would appreciate it. Several times I specified that I didn't want to spend over this amount. The next morning I woke up and checked my bank statement, and was very surprised to see that the flower shop had charged me much more than the dollar amount I specified that I didn't want to go over. I originally brought this to the hotel management's attention. I was told repetitively that there was nothing that they could do.
I had spoken with the front desk person in the evening, during the day, and ** the night manager, and ** the concierge that took my original request. I was told that I would have to take this issue up with the flower shop that charged me, if I wanted any amount of money back due to the hotel not having any of my money and did not take a fee for this, that they cannot be held responsible for any refunds.
My answer to this was that ”If I were to have given your concierge $40 cash and said that I wanted flowers for said amount that he would have to adjust the cost appropriately, correct?” in return I got this response from the manager “But you didn't give him cash, did you, you gave him a credit card.” I feel that this is an unacceptable response.
When I spoke to the concierge that placed my order, and asked him why I was charged more than I asked him to place on my card he responded with this statement, “Sir, you asked me to get her $40 worth of flowers, and that's what I did. On top of the flowers, the florist charges for delivery and for the vase.” Again I feel that this is an unacceptable response. This feels like it is just word manipulation.
After speaking with 3 different employees and a manager, the manager said that if I would like to return the flowers that she would see if the florist would accept that. And yet again I was appalled by her even saying this as an option. The flowers had already arrived to the room and my girlfriend had already received them. This was not the fault of the florist and I was continued to make feel at fault. I am really not interested in speaking with the management at that hotel any further. If you have a central customer service line I would be happy to call that, or I would be satisfied continuing this conversation via email.
GETTYSBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA -- I check into the Hilton Garden Inn in Gettysburg, PA for A quick stay so I could attend church the following morning. I check in with my children, sister, and parents. When I first arrive I was treated with great customer service, no complaints whatsoever. They were very friendly, attention to detail, and just plain pleasant. It was not until the morning that I was shown the true color of the Hilton. My room was on the first floor close to the pool area so me and my family went back and forth to the pool often. My family's rooms were on the 3rd floor so it was easiest to go to my room for things.
Let's just with so many people going back and forth my towels in my room was used up quickly. So in the morning when we took our showers, We need more towels. My sister realized this first (who is an ex-Hilton employee) so she grab a towel for the weight room and took her shower. So when my girls went to take a shower there were no towels and I didn't see any employees so when they got finish I decided I would just run to the pool and grab 3 towels thinking that would be quicker than waiting for staff to come.
In doing this I went to the pool area and retrieved the towels and on my way back to the room I was approached by a very irate looking woman who tried to snatch the towels from my hand. I ask her watch she was doing after I gave her the most bizarre look that my face could show. She said she was housekeeper manager and I cannot have those towels. I am still walking away from her (thinking I got girls in the shower that want out, I have to go to them that are alone) she is still in pursuit trying to rip the towels from my arms. I kindly tell her my dilemma and I have to hurry.
She said that people that take towels from the pool room are stealing but she will go get me some. She said you are not allowed to take a towel from the pool because they are counted and they know who takes the towels and where they go. We are not at my room. I hand her the towels like no big deal just go and get me some, the kids are finished. Now my kids are out of the shower just in the bathroom screaming, where is the towel? The housekeeper leaves and comes back with one towel. Remember I gave her three. I said I need more towels then, this one is not enough and please hurry the kids are out of the shower.
She said who do I think I am to give her directions. It is not my place to tell her what to do. This is all in an irate tone with kids screaming in the background. So I tell her in a very strong tone to go get the towels and bring them back right away. She told me where were all the towels for my room and she say my sister take a towel earlier from the weight room where is that towel. She said, “where is all the towels?” I'm so upset that I go in the room get the pile of dirty towels and throw them at her feet including the weight room towel and say see here is all your towels, I do not steal. And I resent the remark or accusations as if I did or would.
I told her I want to speak to her manager now. Turned around and went back inside the room fuming and told my kids to dry off with a blanket, because she never did come back. After I got them dress I went to the front and the housekeeper was at the front desk telling the front desk clerk she had to stop someone from taking towels. Again she talks as if I wanted to steal. I go to the front desk and ask to speak to a manager right away. No one comes, instead the front desk person ask what is going on. I give him a quick version while I tell him I need to speak to a manager and the housekeeper then says it is Hilton Official Policy to check towels of every hotel guest.
She told me that when I check out they will count my dirty towels and if any towels is missing that the Hilton will call the police and press charges. I look at the front desk attendant and said do you hear this, she continues to accuse me of trying to steal. Now there are other hotel guest in and out the lobby and one woman was leaving the pool area with a towel and nothing is said to her. Did I mention I am AFRICAN-AMERICAN and this lady was white? But the front desk clerk backs the housekeeper play and says yes we will count the towels.
And to make matters worse the maintenance man comes up front and says what is the problem, meanwhile my father has join in the conversation, and the housekeeper says towels might be missing and he says yes you people left beer bottles in the swimming pool area and there was no drinking in the pool and you people left the gym room dirty. I called him a flat out liar. He said yes you people did I have a surveillance camera that only he can look at and he knows it was us. I told him he lies I am pregnant and we were not drinking.
I demanded to see this surveillance camera and see us with beer going into the pool area and drinking while there. He said no he was the only one to see it. We saw the night before two couples going into the pool with beers (remember my room is right by the pool) and seem to be having fun, not that it matters to me but they were two white couples, and enjoy the time away for home. So I say back to this maintenance worker that he could not have look at a surveillance tape because if he did he would of saw who went in the drinking, I know I did. I was getting nowhere this people they were a united front and they would not get me a manager.
Finally some woman walk up and tells me that it was just a miscommunication because the housekeeper and maintenance worker for foreigners. I told her to please stop it and don't insult my intelligence they know exactly what they are saying. They speak clear English. So I walk away and tell them this is not over I will be complaining about my service here. I go back to the room and take the kids to breakfast in the lobby area come back to my room at like 10 am and my room key was not working. They disconnected my key and closed the weight room.
I was fuming. I went to the front desk to the front desk a few choice words and demanded my key be re-keyed. He did, I grab my stuff and left. A few days later I sent an email to the GM of customer service in which she got back to me right away and apologize for her rude staff and said she spoke to the parties that was there and they told he about the terrible way the housekeeper was acting and she explain to me that she behave this way because she was pregnant and that she is like a golden employee of the hotel. I told her, her behavior had nothing to do about being pregnant and what about maintenance he is not pregnant.
She apologized and said she would refund me my money back since I had a horrible time. This was in February, I need received my refund. In March I went to the PA human relation commission about my treatment believing I was discriminated against. We were the only African-American family there. They took my complaint and contacted the hotel and that is where we are at. See what happens.
Last fall, I made an Advance Purchase Reservation for our family to visit my elderly parents near Washington, DC, over Thanksgiving. We had stayed at this Hilton a few times before and had no complaints. The Advance Purchase rate was not much better than the regular, but I thought we may as well save a few bucks, and had no idea we might need to cancel.
Then my husband got sick. Bad cough that kept him up all night, went on 2 long rounds of antibiotics over the next two months, & he just kept getting worse. He looked and sounded terrible, was pale & sweaty with that horrible cough and an ongoing low-grade fever. None of us had been able to get either the seasonal flu vaccine or the H1N1 vaccine from our GP or Pediatrician, and when he went to the doctor again for the fifth time, 2 days before our trip, she said it was dangerous for him to travel -- she suspected he had H1N1 & needed to rest, and either way, he might be contagious.
I thought of going without him, but she said it would be better for me to stay if I could, to keep a close eye on him. But I also thought, what if I get sick too, while traveling w/ my 2 daughters, or get my 90-year-old parents sick? Not to mention all the folks in the airport, on the plane, in the hotel, at the restaurants, etc... So I called Hilton Customer Service the day before we were to leave and said I needed to cancel & did not need a refund, only to change the trip due to illness, to the next holiday when we could travel as a family, which would have been Christmas (and we actually did stay there over that Christmas).
They told me that I couldn't change the dates (OK, no problem), but of course I could expect a refund for medical reasons, & that all they needed was a letter from my husband's doctor concerning his condition & inability to travel. More than three months later, after the doctor faxed the letter twice, rewrote it with more details & faxed twice again, after countless phone calls & emails from me, and after countless empty promises that they'd get back to me with an answer, they finally emailed me to say that because my husband had not been given a blood test confirming H1N1 or been HOSPITALIZED for it, that they couldn't refund me.
I asked them, what is the point of having an Advance Purchase Customer Service Department if they won't give a refund for MEDICAL REASONS? They wasted more money on employees' pay dealing with me, not to mention months of my frustrating time & theirs, just to end up turning me away from Hilton forever. I also asked them repeatedly for a main office or some higher authority I could appeal to, but they refused to give me further information.
I hope somewhere the Hilton managers are paying attention to my & others' complaints about their Advance Reservation Customer Service Department. I was completely ruded out by the process. It's a shame, because I was a Hilton Honors member, I liked that particular hotel & the staff there, & planned to stay in the Amsterdam Hilton this summer. But it sure makes you think twice about staying at a place when customer service doesn't care about spreading contagious diseases, huh?
GREENBELT, MARYLAND -- Hello, I'm writing this based on an issue I am having with the hotel listed above. I made reservations on Saturday, June 30 because I had a power outage at my house. Less than 30 mins after I arrived, the hotel's power went out. I waited for about another 30 mins and I requested my money back. The power outage caused financial hardship and if I had to sit in a hot dark room I would do it at home based on my circumstances. After 45 minutes of back and forth with the front desk I was told I could only get 50% refund. I thought that was a bit unreasonable and I couldn't understand why the manager was being so rude.
I took it as maybe she was just overwhelmed but I figured half was better than nothing. I went to go check out and was told the computers were down and to write down my email. I asked the front desk clerk how long would they be down because I didn't feel comfortable leaving with just my email jotted and expect my refund. I was told it was no guarantee when they will be running but was promised a refund and email confirmation. I have been calling since Monday July 2 (9281053) and each day I am told they will refund me by the end of the day.
When I called on July 5 I was told my money was refunded on the 2nd, once I told her I just got off the phone with my bank and I actually had a copy of my statement in front of me she told me to email her a copy as proof (**) I told her I would send it by the end of the next day. I called back that morning to get mr. ** fax # and was told by someone else that faxing a statement wouldn't help because it takes 7-10 business days to show up.
I tried to explain that I already made arrangements with someone to look at my statement, she basically told me to call back in a week. I travel often and have stayed in many hotels and have never been so inconvenienced by a one night stay. I'm more frustrated at the fact that I had a coworker have the exact same issue at another hotel after 3 hours and had no problems recovering. $57 may not seem like much but I'm having a very hard time right now. And I would like to receive my refund in a timely matter. Please help, my reservation # was **.
HERNDON, VIRGINIA -- I found this site while doing a Google search for contact information for Hilton Corporate. I decided to post this because of another posting about Hilton Dulles. I have worked in the service industry all my life and have never held a position I would have kept if I mistreated people. The Hilton chain prides itself on meeting the needs of their guests, so I don't think it's unreasonable to expect good service from their chain, no matter what the circumstances. In this case the guests had already been put through the wringer before they arrived, so I feel it is unacceptable and worthy of bringing to their attention and that of people who are choosing accommodations.
My husband is Active Duty Army and recently deployed to Iraq, but was sent back to California for a week due to a death in his family. When I found out he had an overnight layover just a couple hours away I immediately went to work researching hotels so we could make the most of our evening together. I spent several hours on the internet looking for just the right accommodations. I considered booking the Hyatt, but ended up going with the Hilton because we have stayed at other Hiltons several times and have had pleasant experiences.
I didn't skimp on expense and went with an upgraded room. I checked in before picking up my husband to set out roses, candles, champagne and chocolates; and requested champagne flutes, red wine glasses, and robes be brought to our room. They arrived promptly, and the gentleman who delivered them was very friendly, as were the gentlemen at reception. The next day we enjoyed the pool and ordered room service. Again, the service was good, and the food was satisfactory.
My husband explained to the lady who was working at reception that he had a late flight and she was kind enough to say we could stay in the room until 5 pm with no extra charge. Unfortunately our keys stopped working at 2 pm, so we made some purchases at the gift shop and then checked out and headed to the mall. We went back to the airport and I said a tearful goodbye to my husband as he boarded his flight to Kuwait. I was already approaching Richmond when my husband called to tell me there had been a mechanical problem and his flight had been rescheduled for the next evening.
Exhausted but excited to have one more night with him, I headed back to Washington DC and picked him up again at around midnight. I was delighted when he told me the airline had given him a voucher to stay at the Hilton. I waited in the car while he checked in. When he returned to the car he looked displeased and I asked him what was wrong.
He told me he had requested the same room we had stayed in the night before (since the maid had finished with our floor before we checked out and they may not have cleaned it for new guests anyway) but the lady at reception had very coldly told him she had already done him a favor and she didn't grant two favors a day. This was after saying “not with this voucher, you can't”. I asked him why he didn't offer to pay the difference and he said he was so shocked at how she had just treated him and was so tired he wanted to get away from her and get to bed. He also said it was the Hilton and he was sure the accommodations would be fine.
We arrived at the room and upon entering looked at each other in bewilderment. The room looked more like one you would find at a Motel 6, certainly not the Hilton. It was generally shabby in appearance, complete with metallic beer bottle opener on the unfinished bathroom counter. The room was not clean. The glasses had obviously not been washed, only wiped- leaving a greasy film on the inside of them. The bathroom was also dirty, with a previous guest's facial hair on the vanity and inside the sink.
I asked my husband if he would like me to go book us an upgraded room and he responded that if this was how he was going to be treated he wasn't interested in supplying the Hilton with further revenue. The poor service did continue the next day when he ordered breakfast and the server said she needed to explain to him how the meal voucher worked. She went on to explain that the voucher did not cover the service charge, tax, or gratuity; which I found insulting because of the way she said it. It seemed to us that because he had an unfortunate occurrence with the flight the hotel staff assumed we did not have any money and therefore did not deserve good service.
My husband took a sizable cut in pay to enlist- but we do have the financial ability to get by just fine based on prior good decisions and hard work. The other passengers on that flight were made up of a majority of private contractors who make very good money while building the infrastructure of a country whose people are not as fortunate as those of us who were born in this great nation. For the staff at Hilton to assume these people do not have the financial standing to expect good accommodations and service is a miscalculation; not only from a customer service aspect, but from a general business aspect.
I don't believe the Hilton won over any returning customers that evening. I say this with the understanding that many other passengers from that flight felt insulted by the treatment they received as well (they even decided when these guests arrived on a shuttle to stop serving hard liquor at the lounge early, leaving a bunch of male contractors to try to decide what kind of wine to drink).
People were talking, and they weren't saying good things. My husband pointed out that the hotel parking lot was empty that night and it would have been easy enough for the employees to book us into rooms that would have met the expectations of the Hilton clientele. Not suites, just reasonable accommodations. On top of sub-standard rooms they decide to be rude and condescending?
The income of their guests should be irrelevant anyway. Lots of couples save their pennies so they can splurge on a nice hotel for a special occasion. The agreement Hilton has with United Airlines should be used as an opportunity to boost the reputation of their hotels and encourage repeat business. While I have had pleasant stays at other locations, I will certainly not be returning to Hilton Dulles.
My fiance and I booked a block of rooms for our wedding at the Homewood Suites because the location is perfect for our reception. Booking the hotel was quite easy, however things quickly took a downward turn. According to the assistant manager **, the contract that we signed stated that the booking required a block of 15 rooms, and 60% of them were mandatory. We felt that we had been told the booking was for 10 rooms. Unfortunately wedding planning can involve a ton of decision making and stress, so it's hard to say for sure at this point if we were told 10 rooms or 15... but no matter.
We never received a copy of the contract so I can't read it to be sure what the wording is anyway. It was evident a month or so prior to the wedding that we were not going to be able to fill the required space so we began calling to speak with **, who had put our reservation together. She did not call us back. We tried for literally weeks to get her on the phone, but she continued to ignore us. When the wedding was 10 days away I was finally able to get ** on the phone by acting really friendly with the girl at the front desk, at which point ** told me that there was nothing I could do to change things because it was so close to the wedding.
When I asked her why she didn't call us back, she lied and said that she did, and had spoken to my fiancé. She then told me several times in a robot voice implying a scripted response and a well-rehearsed emotional detachment, that if I had the names of additional people who would be staying that she could take their reservations. I didn't really know what to do at that point because I honestly wasn't sure where the miscommunication was coming from, so I told her my fiancé would call her shortly. I wished her luck with that, and she laughed and said, "Thanks".
After hearing her peculiar laugh, I had the thought that she knew something I didn't. In retrospect I think what she knew was that she would be somewhere else for the next couple hours to avoid some phone calls. Once again, when we called her back a little while later she didn't answer her phone. We left a message, and then called back and asked for the assistant manager **, who also did not answer his phone. After an hour of not receiving a call back, I called back and was transferred to the manager, who also did not answer. I decided at that point that I needed to be a little bit firm in my request to speak to a live person.
I called back for the 6th or so time, and I demanded to speak to a manager, telling them an answering machine was simply not good enough this time. I was finally transferred back to the assistant manager **, who was in his office. I asked ** about the contract, which he said was for 15 rooms. I then asked him why we did not receive calls back earlier, as ** had stated that if we had been able to speak to someone, the block could have been lifted. He told me that their employees are very busy with giving tours (which of course nobody was available to give us when we stopped in originally), and do not sit in their offices all day answering phone calls.
At this point I became rather upset. He then explained to me that he was a new assistant manager, and that he wasn't working there when we signed the contract so he had no responsibility in the matter. I told him that just because he wasn't working there when we signed the contract didn't mean that it wasn't his job as assistant manager to help me. It felt at the time that he was enjoying our conversation, I kid you not.
He sounded content in the knowledge that a contract was a contract, that he didn't have to help us if he didn't want to, and I am entirely convinced that the worst thing about it from his perspective at that point was that I managed somehow to actually get him on the phone. I expressed these views rather sarcastically and he told me he was upset with my language, though I hadn't swore at him at all. I decided to call him on this, and tell him that he was being a jerk. I figured if he's going to criticize my language I might as well be earning it to some degree. He then told me that it was me that was being a jerk.
I don't think that's one of the three sentences he memorized in the customer service manual, but he was trying to think on the fly so you got to give him points for the effort. I figured that if ** is calling me a jerk, our conversation should probably end, so I then asked him if I should speak to his manager if, in fact, his manager had been there when the contract was signed. The idea of the situation getting ran further up the flagpole must have struck a chord, because he then told me that I might as well just cancel everything because it was obvious he wasn't going to be able to help me.
This was the first time anyone had suggested this was an even an option. I said fine, cancel everything... I was starting to get a whole new level of upset and felt the need to get off the phone quickly before I said something horrible. ** verbally agreed to delete our block of rooms, but also said he would delete the reservations of my guests that had booked there and now I must call them and inform them that their hotel reservations have been lost. When I cooled off and called back to check the names of the guests that I would have to do this for, I was informed that the reservations were still active.
I guess ** must have taken off for the day before he had a chance to finish deleting my reservation. Overall, I understand that a contract is a legal binding document and that by signing it we subjected ourselves to the mercy of the hotel in such a case. However, if you do book here for a wedding, do not expect for the staff to care about you. Do not expect the staff to return phone calls. Do not expect the staff to answer their phones if there is a dispute and they are expecting your call, or to call you back. Do not expect them to be pleased when you finally get them on the phone.
Do not expect even the lowest common denominator of service from this group, because you will not receive it. They do not care about customer service, they will ignore you and hope you go away, and if you finally act mad enough to the front desk to actually get someone on the phone... expect it to be somebody who is not only disinterested in helping you, but is annoyed that you demanded so strongly to speak to them that the front desk actually listened to you.
Expect that they will use any excuse they can to avoid responsibility for any problems that exist. Expect them to try to talk over you or through you, in the attempt to "solve" the problem by frustrating you to the point that you give up. All in all, booking these rooms was by far the worst experience I have ever had with any hotel in my entire life, and I've stayed in European hostels. The fact that I won't be staying there is the best thing I can say about it, because these people just simply don't care and at this point I'm pretty sure they'd try to screw me over somehow just for kicks.
If there was any way that the telling of my experience could influence people to choose a different hotel, I would do it... and it's a nice day and I could be at the pool instead. I like to have fun in my free time, but I'd waste an entire summer day of my life to spread the word about how ** and ** treated us 10 days before my wedding. It sucked that bad.
WOODCLIFF LAKE, NEW JERSEY -- **update: The original complaint had fiance instead of husband in several statements which prevented people from thinking this review was legit, so I'm updating that. My husband and I chose the Woodcliff Lake Hilton over the Park Ridge Marriott as our hotel for the night of festivities of our wedding - BAD CHOICE. Along with our suite reservation, we had a total of about 15 other rooms booked with us. The Hilton does not appreciate any sort of business you bring into them.
Let me set the premise for you. It was the night of our wedding, everyone came back from the venue in high spirits. I just had the best night of my life and was looking forward to having an extended great time with my friends. We all gathered in my suite for a nightcap. As it happens, we got a little bit too loud so there was a complaint made to the front desk. This was OK, we gladly relocated to an outside designated area they had for guests to gather and have fun. Later on I retired to my room to head to bed since it had been a long day (husband dropped me off and went back to say goodnight to the remaining guests).
After I would say 10 minutes of sleeping I awoke to this witch of a security guard named **, I'll never forget her wrinkled, orange, old leathered face. She was screaming at me, telling me I'd better shut up or she was going to call the cops. I of course thought I was dreaming and found it hilarious since I was sleeping alone in the room. She didn't find it so funny and continued to scream and threaten me. At this point I called her out for being racist and demanded a manager there asap. I don't like to pull the race card ever, but we were a group of very diverse minorities in a very white neighborhood. All of the neighbors around us were white.
She automatically assumed that it was my room making the noise, even when my room was completely empty with me sleeping. Moving along, the manager got there. I asked her to enter my room to see how quiet it was. There was no one in there, I was lying on the bed. Did I have any objects making noise? I didn't even have a TV or radio on. The whole time the manager was defending the witch, saying a complaint came in so we have to respond. That's fine, everyone has a job to do but how can you come yelling and accusing me of something I'm not even doing? To this day I'm still puzzled.
So now here's the kicker. While I was talking to the manager in my room, the witch took it upon herself to open my room door, throw my friend's bag into the room (it was mistakenly left in the lobby), and then slam the door. This just seems wrong to me on so many levels. First off how can you just freeingly open the door whenever you choose? Isn't that a violation of privacy? Secondly she knew we were in the room, what is so hard about knocking. Thirdly, there were valuable items in that bag, don't forget we were just at a wedding. What if she broke something when she threw it into the room?
This was the only point in time where the manager began showing any apologetic behavior. After the witch threw the bag in my room, her and my husband happened to cross paths in the hallway. She said to him, in a very snide manner, go take care of your wife. My husband brushed it off not aware of anything that was going on. He then returned to the room to find his new wife balling her eyes out with a manager who couldn't care less about what was going on.
Did I mention I was promised during this time that my room charge would be removed from my bill? What did I receive the next morning? A charge for my room, but of course. Upon checkout the next morning I with my sister in law proceeded to complain to the manager in charge. Once again I was greeted with a very demeaning attitude, as if I was the only one who was wrong. He said he knew everything that had happened, and there were noise complaints against us. Oh but to his surprise he had not been told the entire story.
Funny how people always leave out the important details isn't it? I then told him the entire story, especially about how the witch threw my bag in the room, and how she made a comment to my husband. At this point his attitude completely changed and he became apologetic. He said the witch would be taken off of the schedule (but for how long?). He also said they would be letting the sales manager know about my experience and would be in contact with me once they figured out a way to rectify the issue. Needless to say, days after the event I still have not heard one word from either the sales manager or anyone in the hotel.
Someone mentioned (in the comments) that security might have been called against the patrons that were in the outside area so security came directly to me to complain. The next day when I complained to the morning manager he clarified that the complaints were not actually of noise, but of the door jams opening and closing. I asked him to check the logs, I'm sure they have a record of each time a keycard is swiped in the door. My husband dropped me off in the room so I could go to sleep first, while he was saying goodnight to the lingering guests.
Our door was only opened one time. And on top of that, how can you blame the customer for something that is faulty in the building hardware? So long story short, if you want to be persecuted for something you are not guilty of, and if you want to be treated like a second class citizen, please stay at the Woodcliff Lake Hilton. They are stars at this!!
PS - I'm not even telling you about how their front desk made my husband 15 minutes late to our wedding because they couldn't handle the complicated check in/check out room transfer task.
MCCLEAN, VIRGINIA -- Driving East with my family this past July, 2011, to visit relatives and see the USA, a loyal customer of Hilton chain discovers serious roadwork being done on the road ahead which requires a routing change. Wife makes reservation change via Hilton's telephone reservation center and pre-pays for the changed reservation. E-mail confirms room type and cost. Family arrives at new destination after 18 HOURS OF DRIVING in very hot areas of USA. Family checks in, and the hotel manager says, “Sorry, sir. We don't have a room like this reserved for you.
We DO have a 1 King bed room for your family of 4, though.” To this we say, “Not acceptable.”, and proceed to show our PRE-PAID confirmation from earlier in the day, for a 2 Queen bed room. Manager then says, “Well, I CAN sell you a second 1 King bed room for ½ price.” What can we do? The family needs a place to sleep comfortably, and it is 10 PM. We asked if he could comp us with the second room; he says, “No can do.” Meanwhile, we see other customers arrive after us receive other rooms which would have worked for our family. Our deduction: We have been ‘Bait-And-Switched' by the Hilton chain.
Now, I figure that a simple e-mail memo to the Hilton Customer Care office, requesting a refund for the room cost, will suffice. Send the first e-mail request immediately sent a follow-up snail mail letter, wait 2 weeks, no response. Not yet agitated, but… so, fire off a second letter to Customer Care, with the same results. Now I am getting aggravated; isn't Customer Care supposed to do JUST THAT? CARE FOR THE CUSTOMER!!!
I wait 3 more weeks, still no response from ANYONE IN THE HILTON CHAIN! Now I am beginning to lose my patience, as I have spent over 6 hours on my own (research, copying, thinking of how to address the situation, and writing/mailing.) with this issue. So, next I send a Certified Letter to the CEO of Hilton International. Does this receive any attention? ABSOLUTELY NOT A SINGLE CALL, LETTER OR E-MAIL!!! Can you blame me if I am PISSED OFF???
At of the time of this writing, 3+ months have elapsed since my botched hotel stay. I have written a second Certified Letter to the CEO, and received the same results. Thus, I am reporting that THE HILTON HOTEL CHAIN DOESN'T GIVE A ** HOOT ABOUT THEIR BEST CUSTOMERS! I CERTAINLY HOPE THAT THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU, AND THE ATTORNEY GENERALS OF MY STATE AND THE STATE WHERE MY HOTEL STAY WAS CAN HELP ME DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM!!!