Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Starwood Is Still A Star

Lahaina, Maui coastline taken from our boating excursion
Even though we just had a long vacation, I find myself doing research for the next getaway.  We were supposed to go to Maui, which is what I'd been researching because Ed bought a package at the Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas almost a year ago,  and picking the dates was the only thing left to do.

That proved to be a bit more difficult than one might imagine.  First of all, the rooms had to be booked 60 days in advance.  That turned out to be much harder for us to do than we thought, because every time we called to get dates, they didn't have what we wanted and we had to go back to the drawing board to choose new ones.  Then we had to look for flights, but of course we couldn't book a flight until we knew we had a room and we couldn't get a room.  Then, I got called for jury duty, which makes planning a vacation a little iffy.  What if I get picked to be on the jury?

So Ed finally just called to cancel the trip, which was a little bit of a nightmare.  They told Ed they wouldn't cancel it - several times he asked - then after talking to a supervisor, they agreed to give us our money back minus $100 for "time invested".  I couldn't pull the phone out of Ed's hands fast enough.  I was gesticulating wildly for him to hand it to me.

I worked for Starwood Resorts and Hotels for several years, both at Westin and Sheraton properties, and this was just unacceptable to me.  They didn't invest any time with us, they now had the rooms to sell to someone else (which clearly were going fast), and I felt like they were fleecing us.  I talked to the supervisor Ed was chatting with and explained to him about my time with Starwood, how I know they're one of the biggest hotel chains in the world with several brands under their umbrella, and how them trying to snake $100 from us for doing essentially nothing - Ed responded to an email to accept the package offer - was going to leave a bad taste in my mouth.  I told him that I'm on the road over 300 days a year and stay in hotels often - the implication, that I have a choice at which hotels those might be.

I'm happy to report - and thrilled at the wise decision this supervisor made - that I got all of our money back.  And because of this satisfactory customer service, I will likely spend that money on another Starwood property in the future.

Tomorrow, I'll share some of travel blogs and websites I like to look at to get ideas.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Transylvania Has Better Internet

2013: Can I Get An Amen?
2012: Imagine Life Artificially Sweeter
2011: Sweets For The Sweet
2010: Silver Shoes, Cliff Clavin, And A Guiness World Record
2009: A Bevy Of Pavo Cristatus
2008: How Much Happy Can A Dollar Buy?
2007: The Heat Is On
2006: The New York Catch And Release Program
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

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