Hilton Hotels RANT
2001

Some friends of mine were chatting about hotel chains and no surprise, the subject of Hilton properties came up.  But the interesting part is how seven years after the Pearl River screwed my wife and I, the mere mention of the name "Hilton" still brings back dark, seething hatred.

Yes, it takes an awful experience to make someone hate a business for a year or two, but only the most dreadful treatment can maintain the deep disgust of its customers for seven years or more.  Congratulations, Hilton!!!  You reached a stellar high in low.

About a year after the Pearl River Hilton had screwed us, I came across this rather entertaining Powerpoint presentation on the subject of the Doubletree Club Hotel in Houston, Texas.  DoubleTree is a Hilton Family brand.  It was oddly comforting to know at the time that Hilton had an institutional problem with guaranteed late arrivals, and that it was not just us being followed by a black cloud of non-existent customer service.

Our experience was not quite as ghastly as that in Texas perhaps, only because we were foolish enough to stand our ground and insist on a room.  We therefore ended up in one of those rooms where half the fixtures were broken and the furnishings were tattered.  How romantic, thanks.  And like the authors of that slide show, the morning staff had no idea we existed.

Never mind the matter of how a hotel even lets any of their rooms get that way in the first place...

On the other hand, the authors of that viral Powerpoint slide show eventually received an apology and offers of compensation, while the letter I wrote directly to Hilton that year didn't even elicit a response.  I'm still waiting.

 


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