This week the Compensation Clinic case comes from a stay at the Fairfield Inn Montreal Downtown, a smoke-free hotel where the reader’s room was reeking of it.
You can access Fairfield Inn Montreal’s website here.
READ MORE: Marriott Bonvoy Rate & Bonus Points Offers
I stayed at the Fairfield inn Montreal for 3 nights. It is a non-smoking hotel. All was fine for my first 2 nights but then on my 3rd night I could smell cigarette smoke coming into the room. I called downstairs and the person working the front desk came up to check on it and could smell it too although he could not tell where it was coming from. He said he would notify the manager, who is not coming in until the morning. There was no manager on duty at the time. The hotel staff did not offer to have me change rooms or to even give me an air freshener. All he said was that he also smells it, he cannot figure out where it is coming from (probably from another floor), and that he’ll make sure the manager knows.
The next morning I went to the front desk to ask to speak with the manager. The manager came out and asked what the problem was. I told him, and the manager said he would check my room after I check out. I asked: “After I check out? OK, but then what?” He responded, “Then I’ll decide after I see or smell it.” I told him that another hotel person already confirmed and told you that it smelled like smoke last night, and he responded that he has to experience it to believe it. I asked if he wanted to come up now, and he said OK, and he came up.
He walks in the room and said that he smells no smoke, so everything should be alright now. I told him that he may not smell it now but that the room smelled like smoke last night. He said that’s not possible because it’s a smoke-free hotel. I then asked him why many floors have paper signs taped on the door saying no smoking? Doesn’t that show there’s already been a smoking problem there before? He responded that it shows there is no smoking in the hotel.
I was getting annoyed at this point because he was trying to deny my experience in spite of another hotel employee confirming it. He is also the first hotel manager I’ve experience who actually escalates a problem rather than diffuse it. I told him that I don’t want to pay for my last night. I had a headache from the smoke and could not sleep well. He responded that’s not his fault and offered to comp my car parking, already knowing that I had no car there. He said that was all he would do. I told him right there that I plan to notify Marriott about this.
I then went to the breakfast, which is a very bad breakfast besides the coffee offered, and I called Marriott while in the hotel to open a case. They told me the hotel would have 3-5 days to get back to me, and then Marriott will pick up the case if they don’t.
After a week I called Marriott to report that I heard nothing. They said the hotel closed the case. I told the agent I never heard from the hotel. They said they would re-open the case and the hotel would have 3-5 days to respond. I then called a week later to find out the hotel closed the case. The Marriott agent put me on hold to call the hotel to speak with management there. Because it was evening, there was no manager on duty at that time and I was told to call back during business hours so they could call the hotel when there is a manager on duty.
I then told the Marriott representative how I booked a room in a smoke-free hotel and could not get that on my last night. I explained what happened and that the hotel already closed the case twice. I was told Marriott would intervene if the hotel does not repond to the case. They’ve already shown they don’t want to deal with the situation and they twice closed the case. The Marriott agent then refunded me my points for my last night and told me they will be charging the hotel for the points.
It’s really unfortunate how Marriott is so lenient with the hotels and allowing them to just close cases without any action. Furthermore, the hotel had a chance to fix their wrong. Instead they chose to further demonstrate their disregard for their customers’ experience. The hotel seriously needs new management. The employees are mostly friendly. Only the manager is a problem.
Compensation that was later posted:
I went through Tripadvisor and Google reviews, and they are primarily in line with what one would expect for a Fairfield Inn hotel:
There appear to be some issues, perhaps with the front desk and management, based on the replies from the property and feedback.
There is a significant issue with the deterioration of Marriott Bonvoy customer support. It used to be professional, and most cases were resolved without endless opening of tickets and follow-ups, which appear to be the modus operandi today.
Properties know that there are zero follow-ups on Marriott’s part and no downside to merely closing tickets. I assume that most members aren’t persistent and forget, but nowadays, you need to be to get Marriott to deliver on their promise.
There must be a better way for Marriott customer service to function rather than the endless opening of these tickets.
Wouldn’t it be better for all parties if customer service would take action and resolve issues on the spot? It would save everyone’s time.