Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hotel switch and bait

Don't you think it's a little deceptive to have a certain standard of product or service in your advertising but to then offer the customer something less for the same price? Hotels are masters of this type of switch and bait.

On our trip to Australia last month we stayed over in LA in each direction at the same hotel both times. On the outbound trip we got the room they advertise complete with the Sleep Number Bed which I really loved because I generally find hotel beds too hard. But on the return trip we got one of their old rooms that hadn't been upgraded and it was lousy.

But what really irks me is when hotels treat a request for a non-smoking room as optional. They know how many non-smoking rooms they have, and they know how many bookings for non-smoking rooms they have. If the number of requests already matches the number of rooms then tell me so and I'll book somewhere else. I know that's not what the hotel wants but it's my call, not the hotel's, whether I am willing to sleep in a room someone has been smoking in.

Shame on you LAX Radisson.

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