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I stayed last night at the Westin Los Angeles Airport.
It was a comfortable place to be for a Thursday night stay. I was able to return my rental car (after picking up a bottle of wine at BevMo), get takeout from The Daily Grill downstairs, and was up in my room in time for my weekly ABC television binge.
There was just one problem… I had nothing but the plastic wrapped plastic cups in my room.
But a postcard headlined as “Need Something” was on my bed and caught my eye. It advertised a service I had not seen at a Westin before (and certainly not at an airport hotel!) I could text a number and have any one of a number of complimentary items sent to my room. The list included “glassware (all shape and sizes)”.
This was a new one for me… but in today’s technology age, I liked it. My shows were about to start and I wouldn’t have to deal with explaining what I wanted to someone on the telephone.
I decided to test the service at 7:59 pm by asking for a champagne glass. My text was not answered until 8:30 pm. But it was supposedly on it’s way.
At 9:09 I sent out an inquiry to find out where my glass was.
At 9:42 pm (93 minutes later) I gave up.
I didn’t get a response from them. In any form (text, phone, letter under the door, or carrier pigeon).
And thus, this is a Starwood service FAIL.
Starwood gets an A+ for attempting to utilize technology to deliver customer service. I love the idea of being able to text a request – it’s up-to-date and in line with expectations that millennials have about customer service, so it’s nice to see Starwood staying on the cutting edge.
But they get an F for execution. My glass never arrived and follow through was nonexistent. Yes, I know I could have just picked up the telephone and called the front desk. But I shouldn’t have to. Advertised services (especially when they are introduced to me via a postcard on my bed) should work.
I could have even *almost* accepted my text never being answered – I would have chalked it up to rolling out a new technology they weren’t ready to execute (that would have rated them a solid C-). But they clearly DO have part of this down – they answered my text and promised something they then didn’t deliver.
Luckily, the bottle I was sipping from worked just fine with a plastic cup, because that’s about the level of class I was feeling after this service fail.