Well, nearly two weeks later I received a response . Below you can read the -- templated I suspect -- reply from Ted Dumont at InterContinental Hotels Group telling me he just sent me a $50 coupon for use at an ICH hotel or restaurant in order to retain my patronage.
Oh, I'll patronize them alright.
That represents about, what, 9% of my stay? We paid nearly $520. And had the time of our lives--NOT.
Ted, I know you're just doing your job. You could be young. You may be a bot--I don't know. But understand this: templated responses are very annoying to the Thinking Traveler. As are insulting attempts at restitution and pat apologies.
I'll do you one better. Upon its arrival, I will donate your coupon to Atlanta's Children's Hospital so that a traveling relative of a sick child will have a place to stay while here in Atlanta. And I can continue to avoid your brands as best I can in the coming years because I do not believe you have a Clue.
The problem is, it will cost more than $50 to put a family member of hospitalized child up in one of your hotel rooms for a night. I would expect your management could match my contribution? I can arrange to deliver both coupons to Children's Hospital if you'll send me another $50.
Please let your management know of my offer, as you have sent me this coupon on their behalf.
--A clued customer
From: +AMER HI-Guest Relations (IHG)
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2005 9:17 AM
Subject: 1727492 Holiday Inn Buffalo - International Airport
Dear Mrs. Sessum,
Thank you for contacting Guest Relations regarding your experience with the Holiday Inn Buffalo - International Airport. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to bring this matter to our attention and apologize for any inconvenience the poor service and accommodation provided caused you and your family.
It is InterContinental Hotels Group's goal to consistently provide superior service and accommodations and your comments are very important to us. The feedback we receive from our valued guests, like you, enables us to target problem areas and take the necessary actions to ensure similar situations can be avoided in the future. We appreciate the candid feedback we receive and welcome any opportunity to improve.
I have forwarded your comments to the General Manager and ownership of this hotel, and I am confident they will take the necessary steps to continue to improve their services. In addition, in an effort to retain your patronage, I have sent you $50.00 in Guest Coupons, on their behalf. These may be redeemed towards room or restaurant charges at any of the following InterContinental Hotels Group Brands: Crowne Plaza®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Express by Holiday Inn®, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, and Hotel Indigo®. They are valid for redemption until the expiration date printed. You will receive them under separate cover within the next 7-10 business days.
Once again, we appreciate you taking the time to share your comments with us. We know you have many choices when it comes to lodging and we hope you will continue to choose InterContinental Hotels Group for your future travel needs.
InterContinental Hotels Group
I will also let you know if anyone blogs about this idea, Ted, as some folks did pick up on the original post... Since I left you a link to my original post in the feedback I sent you, I assume you know that I'm a blogger.
And that blogger's travel a lot!
Let me know what your management thinks about my idea. Thanks!!