Context: we recently lost my grandmother (mom's side), and for mom's 60th birthday we planned a trip to Santa's Village as a family (my parents, my wife and I, and our 2 kids). Things have been rough for our family lately but we've looked forward to this opportunity to just enjoy some time together. My father reserved 2 rooms at the Best Western White Mountain Inn for Saturday, 8/25 (tomorrow), and all was thought to be set.
I called today to confirm that we were set to bring a dog to the room for my wife and I, and was unaware I had to book a specific room way ahead of time. Our dog is an 8 lb Havanese (does not shed) who is potty trained and is in training to be a therapy dog for my wife. I was told we could bring him, but it would be an extra 100 dollars "cleaning fee" (must be an expensive vacuum!) instead of 20. I explained that in a similar situation at a different hotel, the staff was understanding and waived the additional fee, and explained my story.
The staff member on the phone was entirely unsympathetic and very rude and snarky. After becoming frustrated with the attitude, I said I felt like this was BS (except I used the word), and the staff member hung up on me. I admittedly should not have used that word, but as I said, we are under circumstances that have me on edge, and this was just the final straw in terms of stuff that could go wrong. At no point did I raise my voice, use any other language, attack the staff member personally, or say anything else that could be perceived as offensive. I indicated I would not be recommending the hotel to anyone I know and that I felt the treatment I was receiving was unacceptable (referring more to the customer service than the actual issue with the pet room).
Upon calling back, the staff member answered the phone, told me she would not talk to me, that she was cancelling both reservations, and hung up on me again. After this, she would not answer any additional calls.
I called Best Western corporate, who called the hotel and found out that the manager had ordered her to cancel both reservations (despite the fact my parents were not involved and had nothing to do with this, and the reservations were under their name not mine), as well as add all of our names to their "Do Not Reserve" list so that we may never again stay at their property. The corporate folks apologized profusely, and indicated they could do nothing as this is an independent franchise. They read me the statement from the staff member at the hotel, who had overstated my words and approach tremendously, and ensured that my side was accurately captures as well, which I appreciated.
At the end of the day, I just wanted to cancel the 2nd room, stay home with my wife and dog, and let my parents enjoy my kids for the night before heading to Santa's Village the next day. While I shouldn't have said BS, the immediate move to cancel our reservations and ban us from ever staying there again (especially my parents, who did nothing wrong) was just so incredibly uncalled for, and showed a total lack of humanity on the part of the hotel staff member and manager. If I was truly rude or made the call personal, I would be all for banning me. I can be a jerk sometimes. But at no point did I reach that point on this call.
I called back to apologize and was told the manager would call me at 3 when he got in. He did not call me, and when I called to speak to him, I was told "he comes and goes as he pleases, there's no saying exactly when he'll be here". Completely unhelpful. I am trying to get this to a resolution and handle the issue professionally, but continue to encounter the opposite.
Despite not staying there, based on this experience I cannot recommend this hotel to anyone. It sounds like this is not an isolated customer service approach or incident, judging by other reviews, so I feel completely justified in leaving this review. I travel extensively for business and stay at hotels of all shapes and sizes all over the country, and while I've encountered less-than-optimal customer service before, this experience has ruined the weekend for my entire family, put a cloud over my mom's birthday, and added one more negative experience to what's been a challenging couple of months for our family. A little bit of empathy and understanding in their approach could have gone a long way. less
FrontDesk_GM, General Manager at Best Western White Mountain Inn, responded to this review
We would like to begin by saying that we are sorry for your recent loss and hardship. While we understand that circumstances in life can affect and place a burden on other events, we do not believe this is a reason to treat others disrespectfully. Our team is dedicated to upholding a high standard of customer service and we pride ourselves on delivering friendly and professional care to all our guests. However, we expect the same courtesy in return and believe respect is a two-way street. Contrary to your sentiment in the review, the attitude and tone you expressed when speaking to our staff member was unnecessary and impolite. During your conversation with our staff, you used inappropriate, disrespectful language. For this reason, we, unfortunately, had to come to the decision to not allow you or your family at our hotel. We are sorry we were not able to accommodate you.
We wish you and your family all the best in your future travels and we hope you enjoyed Santa's Village.