apologises for Hilton customer service

20 April 2009

A couple of weeks ago, we told you about the less-than-stellar experience of Anthony Burns, who contacted Bitterwallet after three weeks of inaction from the Hilton on Grosvenor Street in Edinburgh, with regards to a night he spent at the four star hotel, booked through’s Top Secret Hotel deals.

He had a long list of complaints concerning the state of his hotel room, which he detailed on a website he sent to the Hilton, which they ignored. Twice. Fortunately Graham Pugh at did respond when Bitterwallet contacted them:

As the guest booked through they should direct any complaints to us as we are acting as the booking agents for the hotel and can then approach the hotel on the guests behalf. Furthermore Mr Burns should really have given the hotel an opportunity to resolve the matter while he was staying at the hotel, I have no doubt they would have moved him to an alternative room. A retrospective complaint can never resolve the matter and only allows for compensation to be made to the guest after the damage is done.

As it turns out we have now been in touch with the hotel and can confirm that will be refunding Mr Burns the full £49 he paid in cooperation with the hotel who have refunded the monies they were paid for his stay. They expressed regret in the initial handling of the complaint and should really have referred Mr Burns back to to allow us to act on his behalf.

Please be advised the hotels official tourist board grading is assessed and awarded by VisitScotland in line with their quality assurance programme.

So a result for the customer, and good to see acting on the complaint. It's also good advice to complain at the time rather than in retrospect, so that any fault can be amended during the stay rather than the whole experience be tarred.

However, as we've pointed out to Mr Pugh, not all customers are confident enough to complain with hotel management (should they have to be?) and it shouldn't detract from the fact that the conditions encountered were hardly of the quality expected of either the Hilton brand or the star rating presented, or the hotel's failure to act on the two occasions they were contacted regarding the complaint.

We also suspect that VisitScotland don't assess every room a hotel has to offer, especially those with broken window frames, badly-fitted carpet, scumy bathrooms or freezing radiators.

TOPICS:   Complaints   Travel


  • chrisg.
    My experience with the hotel management there was pretty shocking - they were very rude indeed. Mind you in the end I got a free night stay, and they put wine and chocolates in the room when I eventually took them up on the offer.
  • neil s.
    Hang on the cutomer should have complained whilst he was at the hotel. I was a holiday rep a few years ago and most customers who complained when they returned to the UK exagerrated the problem.
  • Deejay
    I didnt even think about complaining about something like this. It was exactly the same as my stay at the Hilton (although granted we had a radiator like)
  • tracey g.
    Why are you making excuses? Some customers are not confident enough to make complaints! what are they, 5! i have had cause to complain once at a Hilton Hotel and the complaint was dealt with right away. I find the service at the Hilton in William st Glasgow, fantastic. If your not able to complain, your not suitable to stay a night in hotel without an adult.
  • emma
    I had a similar experience thru last minutes "secret" hotels, I got Suncliff in Bournemouth a hell hole. No sorry from the hotel and half a refund from last minute, not using them again either
  • Harif
    trace guy, why are you making excuses for the hotel??? why should a customer have to have a fight to get a decent room in a four star hotel??? Its the hotel at fault, not the customer!!! Ask yourself if the Hilton will do anything about the state of that room and the answer will be NO.
  • Derek
    Tracey Guy- Unfortunately not everyone is as bullish as you appear to be.
  • pauski
    4 star is 4 star - end of. If it as shocking (as described), then the "stars" should be stripped by the accreditation authority. There is no excuse for bad service (no matter the value).
  • Paris H.
    I don't book through anymore - they have some real shockers on their books, and I've now stayed in 2 of them - never again. I now always use tripadvisor to get a flavour of the place 'afore ye book'.
  • Colin
    Was that it? Wheres the rats and cockroaches?
  • Euro t.
    Complain whilst at the hotel, don't be fobbed off. I always find a threat of "I'll sleep in reception then" always magics up a room that a moment ago didn't exist.
  • James R.
    Sorry but if you take a lucky dip / secret hotel then you deserve all you get - it's like complaining when you grab the rattle snake in the lucky dip. You don't like it don't play it
  • Harif
    You idiot - did you read the complaint or the article at all?? Its not a complaint about lastminute or the promotion - its a complaint about a four star hotel offering two star rooms!! Some people....
  • Tin
    two star? sounds a bit high to me.
  • Revealing B.
    [...]’s Top Secret Hotels before on Bitterwallet - when one deal in particular was better off left a secret. However there are plenty of tips and tricks to figure out exactly what you’ll get for your [...]
  • Brice G.
    Very detailed information. I am very happy to read this site. Thanks for writing informative articles.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment