Lastminute.com apologises for Hilton customer service
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 lastminute.com’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 lastminute.com did respond when Bitterwallet contacted them:
As the guest booked through lastminute.com 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 lastminute.com 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 lastminute.com 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 lastminute.com 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.