Holiday Inn Complaint - Management and staff were dishonest.
LAWRENCE, KANSAS -- Celebrating New Year’s Eve at the Lawrence Holidome has been our family tradition for 4 consecutive years now. In fact, this has been tradition year after year for several families. However, due to the way management handled some changes they’ve made we will never return.
This originally became our tradition for several reasons: wonderful customer service towards both adults and children and the extra amenities offered just for New Year’s Eve. The extra amenities have always included keeping all of the holidome activities (pool, arcade, billiards and mini golf) open until midnight when they usually close at 10pm, keeping the breakfast buffet open until noon the following morning when it usually closes at 11am, offering banquet tables to be rented and placed in the holidome for use until midnight and a discount on the breakfast buffet.
This year, the only thing being offered was the discount on the breakfast buffet but no one was told upon making reservations or upon check in that the other amenities were not being offered this year. We were all led to believe that we were paying for these extra amenities just as we had in years past. At check in I said that I wanted to rent a banquet table for the night; offering the hotel more of my money. I was told that I could not rent a banquet table because all of the catering staff had gone home for the day. No one was available to set it up. I felt like this was an excuse since I had seen managers setting up banquet tables in years past. But, if they didn’t want my money I was happy to keep it. So, just as we had the three years before we set up at a table in the pool area. We found out that the party at the table next to us had been denied a banquet table as well. Then, at 9:50pm we were all informed by a maintenance man that the pool and the rest of the holidome amenities would be closing at 10pm. It was no problem that the rules had changed but I was upset that we were not notified until 10 minutes before the rule change went into effect! I asked the maintenance man why they had changed the rules. He said there was no rule change; that they’ve always closed everything at 10pm. I said, “Not on New Year’s Eve. For the past three years our family has enjoyed our midnight toast right here at this very table on New Year’s Eve.” He just shrugged his shoulders and said, “New management, new rules.” I really didn’t appreciate that he had lied by trying to claim that they had never kept the place open until midnight for New Year’s Eve.
Everything was shut down at 10pm and they turned the lights off. So, those guests who were able to pay extra for the banquet tables had to eat, socialize and toast the coming of the New Year in the dark! Upon seeing that I was glad they didn’t allow me to rent one.
A few minutes later my husband ran into one of the managers in the hallway. He asked why the rules had changed. We didn’t understand because the party had never gotten out of control. It was just families swimming, playing mini golf, eating and hanging out until midnight. No one have ever gotten hurt or drunk; at least not that we knew of. So when he asked why the rule change the manager said the same thing that the maintenance man said – there was no rule change, they had always shut everything down at 10pm on New Year’s Eve. My husband told him that this had been a tradition for us so we knew this was untrue. The manager still insisted that they had never offered the extra amenities on New Year’s Eve. My husband said, “For the past three years we’ve enjoyed our midnight toast at that table (pointing). We have it on video.” The manager just shrugged and said, “Sorry.” My husband went on to tell him that we felt deceived since none of this was mentioned at the time we made our reservation or at check in. And now, he and his employees were trying to lie to everyone about the whole thing. He also let the manager know that other families had already been to the front desk to complain. After all of this we will not be returning.
We understand that in this economy cut backs need to be made. But customers should be informed of these cut backs rather than being surprised with them. Be honest and up front with customers BEFORE you take their money and you will retain loyalty.