I recently stayed at a Red Roof Inn up in Nashua, New Hampshire. My preference would have been to stay at the Radisson up the road, but because we were there only one night and coming in late and leaving very early, we decided to save the cash and go bare bones. We won’t do that again.
We had left my daughters with my brother and his family for the weekend but had brought with us a laptop so that we could Skype with them at night, say our prayers together and all that. We got to the room late and I immediately fired up the laptop because I knew they were waiting for us. No internet. I rebooted and tried again. No internet. I called the front desk after fiddling a while longer, and their suggestion was that I call Verizon. Well, it’s 9:30PM and my daughters are waiting; I’m not going to start talking with Verizon. We have to give up, and we eventually speak with the girls using the speaker on my cell. Very disappointing.
Done with the call, my wife goes in to use the restroom, which promptly overflows from the top of the tank when flushed. It does the same after I go in, and continues this throughout our stay.
So, early the next morning after cleaning up and leaving towels on the bathroom floor, we go and check out. The front desk guy asks how our stay was. I tell him I plan to stay elsewhere next time and tell him why. He wishes me a good day anyway.
I get a survey from Red Roof in my email this morning and decide to take the time to fill it out. It didn’t ask for my name or email, just my answers to questions. I was honest, explained what the issues were, and hit submit. End of story. I felt a little better about having had my little say.
But then this afternoon I get a very friendly and apologetic email from Ted, the manager of that franchise. He tells me he is concerned about my stay, assures me it is not the norm for them, and credits my account back the entire cost of our stay. I was pleased, obviously, about being comped, but I was mostly impressed that he bothered to find out who I was (again, no name or email on the survey) and that he would write back and then also to refund my rate.
I wrote Ted an email back thanking him for being a good person ahead of being an efficient manager. Because that’s all it takes to stand out above the crowd. And you don’t get too many opportunities to make things right once you’ve screwed them up.