Should I or shouldn’t I expose the bad service we experienced at Blue Mountain Intrawest last week? I’ve been asking myself this question endlessly. Obviously I decided it was important to tell all … please read on:
Last week, my son and I stayed at an Intrawest hotel in Collingwood (at the base of Blue Mountain). The skiing was fantastic but our hotel stay was not. Here’s why:
- When we arrived at the hotel, there were no luggage carts available. Given the ridiculous amount of stuff we had to carry (skis, ski boots, suitcase, Tail Wags inventory, my computer etc), it wasn’t possible to simply carry everything up to our hotel room. It took my son over 30 minutes to find a trolley while I waited underground in the parking lot.
- I woke up the first morning at 6:00 am to the sound of the snowplows directly outside our hotel room. We were on the ground floor and the noise was so loud it sounded as if they were plowing snow IN our room. The beeping sound lasted for an hour. When I finally called reception at 7:00 am to complain, they explained it was necessary to clear snow in the central village area for safety reasons … BUT was it really necessary when everyone was asleep in their hotel rooms? They offered to shift our room to one floor above but I’m sure the noise would have been just as unbearable. They also offered a room at the far side of the property where it would be quieter but suggested it was our responsibility to make this move.
- I had just fallen back to sleep at 8:00 am when housekeeping knocked loudly on my hotel door. When I asked her to come back later because we were still sleeping, she rudely exclaimed, “You’re supposed to have your ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door knob”. She was right but because Intrawest hadn’t provided this sign, I wasn’t able to post it. Funnily enough, she did the exact same thing to the people in the room beside us.
- We were told our skis would be stored for us in the ski valet hut but when we went looking for our equipment, it took us over ½ hour to find our things. None of the Blue Mountain staff we approached knew where the ski hut was located.
- My son and I skied all morning but I was exhausted after lunch. After all, I’d been up since 6 am so I begged my son to watch TV quietly in our room while I took an afternoon nap. Half an hour after falling in to a deep sleep, the fire alarm went off. My son called reception to ask if we needed to evacuate the building but they explained they were only testing the alarm.
- That evening, we asked for a wake-up call the following morning at 7:00 am because my son needed to get to his ski instructor’s course by 8:30 am. Sure enough, we never received the call.
- On route to his ski course, we became stuck in the elevator for over 10 minutes. The elevator alarm wasn’t working but, fortunately, I had my cell phone. I called 911 and was on the phone with police services trying to explain our location when the elevator suddenly started working. Thank goodness!
- Heading out for dinner that night, our hotel room’s door lock fell off. My son called reception and requested a service call. One hour later, we are still waiting for the repairperson to arrive so my son called reception again. They told us we should have simply headed out for dinner. SURE and left our hotel room unsecured with our valuables inside?
- At that point, I was fed up so I headed over to reception the following morning and spoke to a manager about the problems we were experiencing. She was very apologetic and offered me a 40% discount on our hotel stay. Normally that would have sufficed but the problems continued and that’s why I’m writing this blog post.
- Sure enough on our final night, we were woken up at 11:00 pm by housekeeping again. When I dragged myself out of bed to answer the door and asked her why she was knocking, she said she was delivering the extra blankets and pillows we requested. Obviously she had the wrong room.
- At check-out time, I spoke with the same manager to relay the latest problem and to double-check that the 40% discount was applied. Sure enough, they had already processed the full amount on my VISA. When I pointed out the error, they debated with me the amount of credit that was due. They tried to claim that the 40% discount didn’t apply to the $10.00 per night underground parking fees. With a huge line-up of people waiting to register in to the hotel directly behind me, I’m shocked management started to nickel and dime me. They suggested that I complete their customer satisfaction report. At the top of this pamphlet, they claim that their goal is to “exceed expectations” and asked people to “please take a moment to tell us how we did”.
Needless to say, that’s why I’m writing this open letter now. Intrawest’s head office will definitely be receiving a copy of this letter but I’m going to count on the social media network to do what it does best: expose lousy company service! Wouldn’t it have been easier for management to simply apply the 40% discount to the parking fees as well?
One more thing: The tag line for Blue Mountain Intrawest properties is, “Creating the best memories … again and again”. They certainly succeeded in creating memories over and over again but I wouldn’t describe these memories as great!
Have you had a similar experience with poor service from a company? What was your response? Now’s your time to vent!