Thank God, that our beautiful Barry has got the popular purple Premier Inn, and not the terrible Travelodge is all I have got to say.
Call me old-fashioned but I thought Customer Service was about helping the customer not engaging in a battle of wills until it’s Customer Service Rep 4, Customer 0.
But no, since March, following Mum’s totally unexpected rush to hospital with serious heart complications, I have been battling with the heartless Hotel chain over a paltry £70 quid.
Obviously my family always come first, so of course I cancelled absolutely everything when this medical shocker came our way. In fact my decks were so cleared they were shiny.
I canned my concerts, gave away my Gigs, stood down from the Welsh Government Awards and missed the Bro Radio Bash. I also cancelled those cheeky weekends away I love so much.
And do you know what, absolutely everyone was fab – thank you family, friends, colleagues – and companies who took the kind approach.
Sorry, did I say everyone, I meant almost everyone…how could I forget the diehard Travelodge Customer Service Team.
I was due to go away with Handsome Harry in March to a Personal Development thingy in Telford – yeah I know – the glamour!
I duly contacted the organisers, I explained the situation and they refunded the £60 ticket cost immediately. Thank you Utility Warehouse who even gave me my Parking Ticket fee back without me asking
Then I contacted Travelodge Telford Shawbirch where we were due to stay…and it begins.
I explained the situation, said I never usually cancelled, was a loyal customer. could I rebook, and would a voucher for a future trip be a compromise. The computer said No. I argued passionately for a few weeks…and then they just stopped responding. Charming!
So as I’d reached the highest point of escalation on Money Man Martin Lewis’ brilliant Resolver complaints tool, and my time and energy was needed elsewhere, I reluctantly parked it.
But as Mum’s miraculous recovery carried on I picked this back up, and guess what, I’ve started arguing with Travelodge again…pffft!
They were now willing to accept an Appointment Card? If you know anyone who had an appointment to be an emergency medical admission then please let me know….it beggars belief.
Mum and I did pop along to the Heath in August for a six month review – when she got the all clear by the way….phewwww!. I duly snapped a shot of the full letter and sent it to Travelodge as proof.
No, still not good enough.
Be honest, how many people have a triple heart bypass review who’ve never had a triple heart bypass? Go figure.
I was on my last nerve by this point so I asked the Customer Service Rep to escalate the case – apparently she did and every single senior manager agrees with her.
Shame on you Travelodge for showing no compassion or kindness to a long time loyal Customer who, just the once, asked for your help.
Perhaps, if you actually talked to me instead of firing off emails, I might just have seen a chink of humanity.
Nowhere left to go with this now really as there’s no Hotels Ombudsman or even independent complaints procedure that I am aware of.
All I can really do is vent my spleen in the best way I know…blogging, vow never to use or recommend Travelodge ever again, and hope this is a cautionary tale to you all.
I still hate that computer that always says no mind!
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist.
She blogs about all things Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good