Hilton Hotels Complaint - Poor Customer Service At Hilton Dulles
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 5pm with no extra charge. Unfortunately our keys stopped working at 2pm, 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 retuning 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 clientèle. 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.