|Buena Vista Inn Rude and Condescending New Smyrna Beach, Florida |
|3rd of Nov, 2010 by User433070 |
|I am both disgusted and amazed that this small business like Buena Vista Inn has survived in this economy with a substandard level of customer service. I booked a room on my parent's behalf for the first weekend of October. Due to work schedules my parent's were unable to check in on Friday as originally planned but would be arriving on Saturday afternoon. The were aware that they would be paying for Friday night. After receiving a warning that another room, being occupied by another family member, had poor air quality and questionalbe odor on the linens I felt the need to ensure that my parents room did not carry the same traits, especially since I booked it for them. Most importantly, my father has COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonory Disease, and had been hospitalized two weeks earlier. It was for this sole reason I needed to ensure that the air quality in his room was inhabitable. On Saturday morning I arrived at Buena Vista Inn, retrieved a key to their room and entered. I was encountered by a room with dusty haze visible by the rays of sun coming through the window. An odor I can only describe as "musty" and the overall condition I would describe as "run down". While I felt strongly I could stay in the room without risk I did not feel that my father's health condition should be jeopardized or exacerbated. I made the decision to approach the owner, discuss my concern and see what options were available. I expected there to be a mutual understanding and flexibility with the owner, which I feel is the beauty of the small business and consumer relationship. I approached the owner, voiced my concern and "graciously" asked her to only charge us for the Friday night and to allow us out of the Saturday night's obligation. I made an effort to explain that it was for health concerns and that her flexibility would be appreciated. We received a reaction from the owner that can best be described as a tongue lashing. In a condescending manner and tone we were lectured for 15 plus minutes about their cancellation policy, the que of calls from visitors seeking a room that night, her apalledness that she had not received a request like this in 11 years and a defensive remark that the wall unit was new. After her lecture she stood up from her desk, approached the credit card machine and stated "So, I will be charging your parents card for the whole amount and this has really changed my day". WOW....all I could think was that a simple "I am sorry about your situation however I am unable to accomodate your request due to the size of the inn" would have sufficed. I understand that small business owner's take pride in and will be defensive of their blood sweat and tears. I understand that the economy will not allow for business policies to be breached. What I do NOT understand is why this behavior is necessary to get those simple points across. It saddens me that this situation could have happened to someone else. Someone who may have had a tragic event that day, or who is not equipped to emotionally handle confrontation with such a condescending person. I promptly shared my experience with multiple traveler opinion website's, hoping the next person is prepared. I shared the link to my post with many, including the owner of Buena Vista Inn. In return I received an email from the owner. She claimed to not recall us "staying here" therefore our posts on the opinion websites were "false". Well she is right. I did not stay there but was responsible for the travel arrangements, putting me in a position to make decisions. I concluded and voiced via email that the owner cannot have it both ways. Either the posts stay or a partial refund to my parents. In retrospect many things have bothered me. |
If she had truly received "more than 20 calls" that morning from visitors seeking lodging that night, which she said were turned away due to full capacity, isn't it likely that she would be able to fill that room in the next 6 hours before Saturday check in.
A phone call was made to the Inn later that day by a family member inquiring about availability and alas there were 3 rooms available. I thought you were turning people away. What is the truth?
A new air unit does not necessarily improve air quality.
Finally....Why did this have to happen? What happened to the perks of staying at a small Inn as opposed to the big chain?
This situation could have quickly and kindly been avoided had the owner been more careful with her approach and tone. I feel that this situation is a poor reflection on NSB and the quaint small town feel that it boasts. Thank you kindly for taking the time to read this email.
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