KarryOn News

It’s true that Trip Advisor can make or break any business. Too many bad reviews and people aren’t going to be interested in visiting. But when that review is unwarranted or false, hotel staff can often feel inclined to bite back.

That’s what happened in September last year when Boutique property – The Great John Street Hotel in Manchester, Northern England received a harsh Trip Advisor review from a woman called ‘Karen.’

It read:

“Just been here and asked at the front desk if non-residents could use the rooftop bar and was told yes, just order at the bar. We asked for drinks and were asked if we were residents. When we said no she went away then came back and said OK but didn’t take our order just went away. She came back, went past us and into an empty room and then past us again. Then came back asked the other bar staff if they needed help and when told no, she went away again. We then stopped her and asked for service. She took our order and said she would be back after she had finished what she was doing! As far as we could see it was just walking to and fro. We then decided to leave but spoke to a manager and explained what had happened. Now if they had any customer service we would have expected them to apologise, send us up to the terrace and arrange for drinks to be brought up but no, we were just told it would be taken forward. We were made to feel like they didn’t want our business as we weren’t residents.”

Does this review sound reasonable to you? Being made to wait a long time for drinks while the bar staff make you feel forgotten about and undervalued as a customer. If you’d been waiting a long time and all you wanted is a drink you’d definitely be inclined to take it up with the manager – right?.

The St John Hotel, Manchester

The Great John Street Hotel, Manchester

But according to the Hotel General Manager, Claire McGinnis, that’s not the full story.

Here’s what the GM replied.

“For the avoidance of doubt and the benefit of future readers. 3 minutes 35 seconds……That is the total time you spent at our Hotel on Saturday, Sept 2nd.

Below is the timeline from our CCTV coverage of you in the building.

Time 15.11 You entered our hotel reception on Saturday, Sept 2nd at 15.11 and 55 seconds and none of you approached our Front Desk.

Time 15.12 You entered our Oyster Bar and Lounge at 15.12 and 14 seconds (19 seconds later) which was full of many of the 94-afternoon tea bookings we had on that Saturday afternoon. There were no tables available to sit at as it was full. The 3 of you approached the bar.

Time 15.14 Our staff were very busy serving, with a full Afternoon Tea schedule, all of which were non-residents, at that moment but they did acknowledge your presence at the bar and your drinks order was taken at 15.14 and 45 seconds (2 minutes and 31 seconds after arrival there). The CCTV also shows the lounge was also fully booked and not empty as described by you.

Time 15.15 Some 45 seconds later at 15.15 and 30 seconds your party left the Oyster Bar.

It is correct that the Manager did speak to you on the way out but your suggestion to her and also on your review re Customer Service, that we should prioritise you and your friends ahead of the other afternoon tea guests at that moment in time is not something we agree with you on.

Regretfully you did not wish to tolerate or accept a few minutes wait for our service once you reached the bar.

Thank you for your comments

Claire McGinnis (General Manager)”

Uh oh, Karen.

The not-so 'offending' rooftop area..

The not-so ‘offending’ rooftop area

Describing the three-minute encounter in perfect detail, General Manager Claire McGinnis writes how the group in question actually approached a full bar, waited two minutes and left without speaking to the manager as described in the review.

Waitressing and hospitality, in general, can be incredibly strenuous and stressful at times, but defending staff members is always a show of good faith by management and definitely a positive for any business.

Source: LovinManchester.com

Have you had to deal with similar feedback before? What do you think of the hotel’s response? Share your thoughts below.