We booked 10 days in advance yet upon arrival the hotel had screwed up our reservation and put us in a double instead of king room. After returning to the front desk to get switched to a king as reserved we found the room disgusting and vastly different from any of the other rooms occupied by the rest of our travel party. Our room was OLD unlike the renovated rooms others had, and it was in the second floor elevator lobby...literally in the tiled lobby area where the elevators are. If we opened our room door we were staring at the elevator doors. The hum and constant ding ding all night made for a bad night's sleep. The room looked like it was decorated in the early eighties and had stains on the walls.
I called the front desk (Shane) to inform him of our displeasure and he was rude and very unhelpful. He refused to move us to a better room, even tough we had booked far in advance and I happen to know the rooms by the elevator are always the last ones sold. He was obstinant and said that they were sold out and it was too bad. When I pointed out the satisfaction guarantee printed on the room key his response was, quote: "if you stay, you pay". Meaning we would have to leave and go somewhere else in order to take advantage of their "satisfaction guarantee".
After arguing with him for five minutes he finally promised to talk to the General Manager and get back to me with a solution for the following night. He never did. And he studiously ignored us whenever we walked by the front desk.
After the weekend I called Hilton corporate to file a complaint and invoke the Hampton Satisfaction Guarantee, which (quoted from their website) says: "Our friendly service and free amenities are all backed by our 100% Hampton Guarantee. If you're not 100% satisfied, we don't expect you to pay. That's our promise and your guarantee. That's 100% Hampton.".
Well, that was a joke. They took my complaint and promised that the GM from the property would contact me within three days to resolve it. He never did.
A week later I called corporate again and they apologized for all the trouble and offered me 2500 Hilton Honors points to make up for my trouble. Really?? I said no. I told them I wished to invoke the satisfaction guarantee. After explaining the entire thing in great detail again, the customer service rep said they don't guarantee room types. What a joke. After arguing with her for 20 minutes and another 10 on hold she finally said they would refund one night but not both. Unbelievable!!
I said that that was not good enough. I pointed out to her that if a company makes a promise such as "we guarantee your complete 100% satisfaction or you don't pay" they should either stand behind it or not make the promise to begin with. Don't make a promise because it suits your marketing needs and then insult your customers' intelligence by making it so difficult or distasteful to invoke the guarantee that people give up trying. Her reply was that that was all she could do. When I asked to speak to her supervisor i got the good old "my Supervisor is not available but I'll be more than happy to send you to her voicemail if you wish" response.
Shameful. The whole experience is just disgusting and really magnifies the disconnect between this company and the actual needs of their customers.
As an aside, our team races at Daytona 3-4 times a year (as well as another 10+ weekends a year in other cities) and generally book 4-10 rooms for drivers and crew at any property we stay. As of this unpleasant experience with Hampton Inn and Hilton corporate we shall carefully avoid all Hilton owned properties in the future. I sincerely hope it was worth the $88 to Hilton that they got to keep.