Posts tagged “hilton”

Telling customers buh-bye!

A follow-up to a previous entry (in which planned to remove my inventory from their system if I didn’t make a purchase, etc.), now Hilton is going to drop me from their loyalty program if I don’t stay there soon

As a member of Hilton HHonors, you are very important to us. That’s why we want to give you an opportunity to reactivate your HHonors account before it is closed and the HHonors points you’ve already earned are forfeited.

[pitch to sell me a credit card]

You may also keep your HHonors account open beyond September 01, 2006, by taking advantage of one of the following options:

[stay with them, buy something etc.]

If you do not take one of the actions above by September 01, 2006, your HHonors account will be closed and all accumulated points will be forfeited. Prior to your account closing, you may redeem your HHonors points for any eligible reward. After the points are redeemed, your account will be closed by the date above and all remaining points will be forfeited.

Forfeited? I think I stayed at a Hilton in December, and previously in October (I could be wrong, frankly I don’t differentiate between hotel brands too clearly, there’s other things to take up space in my brain), but now I’m to be forfeited? I wonder what trend in loyalty (as a business construct) is leading to this shedding of non-profitable customers, or even this threatening-with-expulsion mentality. I’m not sure what I’m costing Hilton. If I’m not an active customer, don’t target any promotions to me. But why dump me? Or, why threaten to dump me as a way to motivate me to become a better customer? There’s no carrot, only a stick.

At least, as I wrote in the previous entry, they are warning me. Starwood just dumped me without notice and caused all sorts of usability hassles when I tried to make a reservation using what I thought was an active membership number.

Hilton check-in kiosk

The lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria is as you’d expect, fancy, with lots of dark wood. And how does technology integrate? Not too well. The Hilton (I guess they own the W-A) check in kiosk is stuffed in a cabinet of matching wood to somehow make it fit in. Ironically, the day we visited (no, I was not staying there) all the terminals were down.

Check-out, opt-out, crap-out

You’ll probably need to click on this picture to make it large enough to read it. It’s a detail of the invoice from my recent stay at a Hilton. As usual, they encourage the rapid check-out where you leave the keys in the room, take this document with you, and don’t even bother to stop at the front desk.
In this case, however, they’ve added a “violator” – a gold sticker with a bunch of extra info. Looks like they are planning to send out mail surveys, and it’s opt-out, not opt-in. To opt-out, I’d have to stop by the front desk on my way out, exactly what the Zip-Out Check-Out (R) is designed to avoid.
I did not bother, and I guess maybe I’ll actually complete the survey since that will be my chance to tell them i) how crappy the room was (the desk lamp was broken – I mean badly broken, with the bulb-assembly bent over at 90 degrees, the power plug didn’t work)
ii) how crappy the food was (my chicken wrap was made with chicken that was grilled, then frozen, then thawed to assemble the sandwhich – partially thawed – nothing like chicken icicles in your dinner
iii) how crappy the service was (what kind of business hotel – and this place was in an office park, business accomodation is the only reason is exists – doesn’t offer a breakfast-room-service-hang-tag deal where you can order your breakfast before you go to bed and it’ll arrive at the time you specify)

As far as i) I guess I get some lame points myself for not telling them about it, so the next visitor will have the same discovery. When you arrive at 9:15 pm and you have to eat and get work done, it’s not like you want to be dealing with workers in your work or the frustration of the whole repair/request process. Clearly they don’t check out stuff that is broken that badly and they (ineffectively) rely on the guests to take care of the notification.


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