I don’t really think much of Hilton, ever since they gutted their loyalty program in an act that rivaled the sacking of Rome. But man, their customer service is something else altogether. And I mean that in a good way.
I stayed at the Hilton Shilim Estate Retreat & Spa in Pune, India, for 2 nights during my company’s offsite. This property is located on one of the many hill stations in the area. According to the photos on the site, it’s a idyllic little retreat with nature and greenery all around you.
Looks nice. Now here’s reality. Amazing what photoshop can do, eh?
That’s not even to take into account the surroundings, which were full of construction and the associated bugs you’d get from having pools of stagnant water nearby. Service was hit and miss- so big is the property that you need to call for a car just to go from the villa to any of the facilities, but this ended up taking 20-25 mins to arrive each time.
Now, I don’t believe in complaining for the sake of it, but given the expectations surrounding a Category 7 property like this (10 being the maximum for Hilton) I thought it warranted some feedback to Hilton which I duly did.
I didn’t hear anything from them for 2 weeks, but when I followed up with them via their Facebook team, I received the following message
We would like to express our sincere apologies for falling short of our commitment to extend a rewarding experience due to the overall hotel and room condition, lack of diamond benefits, insects, and car service during your stay. In an effort to make amends for your experience, a total of 120,000 points have been posted to your Hilton HHonors account. The Voice of our Customers is critical to ensuring our guests receive a rewarding experience when staying at the Hilton Portfolio of Brands. Thank you for bringing this concern to our attention. Please let us know if we can look into anything else.
Thank you. -Alex
Full disclosure: I am a Hilton Diamond member through a credit card tie up offer, although I don’t make enough stays there to even qualify for Silver. I imagine this must have helped somewhat.
120,000 points is not to be sniffed at by any means. That’s the equivalent of a 2 night stay in the Hilton or Conrad Singapore, or enough for a 1 night stay in one of the “dream” Hilton properties in Koh Samui or the Maldives. Was I expecting this much? Not at all. I appreciate the gesture though.
I think the lesson here is that if something isn’t the way you think it should be, you really need to voice it out to management. Keeping quiet doesn’t help anyone, not least yourself. Of course, that’s not an excuse to be entitled and demand for compensation, but at the very least you’ll know (or hope) that the feedback makes things slightly better for the next guest. And if you get something out of it, consider it to be a bonus.