How to Get a FREE Hotel Room
It is true that being humble, kind, polite, sincere, honest, and persevering can help you get a lot of rules broken or bent in your favor. It is also true that being angry and impatient will usually bring out the worst in other people and they won’t be as likely to solve your problem, and certainly not in a pleasant way.
So what should you do if you arrive at a hotel and one thing after another goes wrong? A couple of years ago I stayed two nights at a resort at Universal Studios in Florida that was highly rated. When I arrived, I was happy to see there wasn’t a long line at check-in. But then why did it take 45 minutes before I was given my room key, and why didn’t the key work? I had to go back downstairs and wait a little bit longer for a second set of room keys to be imprinted.
Once in the room, I was thrilled with the breathtaking view, only to be appalled by how filthy the floor was. Housekeeping took care of it. And so it went. The button for “room service” didn’t work on the phone. (Don’t laugh! I love room service!!!) The free continental breakfast the next morning was horrible and was served nearly an hour late.
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not generally a complainer, and I do understand that there can be unexpected problems at a hotel or airport or anywhere. It’s important to be patient, and flexible, when traveling. However, at what point do the inconveniences and problems become excessive? What rights do we have as hotel guests, and when do we stop being nice and demand satisfaction?!!!
To me, we have the right to get what we pay for. When do we stop being nice? Never! But there’s a difference between being nice and being a doormat. I made a list of the problems and inconveniences we had endured and went to the Concierge. She, in turn, told me who to file a complaint with.
It was an e-mail address. So I e-mailed my complaint. I very nicely stated how much we had been looking forward to this special occasion, how many nice things we’d heard about the hotel, and how disappointed we were because of the following things, and ending the e-mail with a kind and sincere “We thought you should know.”
The next day, I got a phone call from the hotel, filled with apologies and thanking me for the e-mail. The woman said she would like to send me a gift certificate for two FREE night’s stays, including additional amenities, so we would give them a second chance. I thanked her very much; and when I received the free certificate a few days later I sent an e-mail thank you. A few months later, when I used the certificate, everything was perfect (substantially better) and I sent a follow-up e-mail.
Remember that the hotel wants you to be happy so you’ll return there and so you’ll tell your friends. This doesn’t just apply to hotels, by the way.
It was my dad who taught me that if you complain about a product, they will send you coupons for free replacements, usually several coupons, whether it’s cosmetics, cleaning products, or just about anything. He had a complaint about a pair of jeans he bought, one year, and thought the manufacturer should know so he wrote them a letter. He didn’t get any coupons. They sent him five pairs of jeans!!
This is not a technique to use just to get freebies. That wouldn’t be fair. But if you truly are disappointed with a product or a service, let someone in public relations know. Be kind, be sincere, be honest; explain why you’re disappointed, and be appreciative when they offer you freebies to change your mind about them.