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Compaint/refund request because of mold

Posted on 2011-02-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello, with my family we rented an appartment for one week. Half an hour after our arrival we noticed huge amount of mold. We immediatly requested a new appartment at reception but got told that nothing is free. So we asked them to at least clean it up. When they did the smell was too bad to sleep in that room. So all 5 of us had to sleep in one room. Next day we went to agency and asked for a discount/refund. They refused and gave us another small appartment for one day so three of us could sleep normaly. After that it was kinda ok, but appartment wasn't exactly in top state. We weren't only ones with mold problem, but we had the worst case. Now how should we proceed with complaint/refund request? I have attached pictures of the mold.
Best regards,
Florjan mold mold mold mold mold
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Question by:florjan
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by:Horn E. Towed
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What part of the world are you in?
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by:florjan
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Slovenia, we were on vacation in Dolomiti, Italy.
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by:speed_54
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If you complain, I suspect very little will happen. All you can do is politely talk to the management and calmly discuss things.
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by:florjan
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But what'd happen if I mentioned that inspection might close the hotel if we report it. As I said it's not an isolated problem.
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by:speed_54
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Not isolated to the hotel? Or is it more widespread? If it's beyond the hotel then I'd contact the health department
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by:florjan
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I do not know if it was isolated to hotel, however we weren't the only ones in the hotel with mold problem.
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by:speed_54
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I'd say talk to the guests in the other rooms - they may all feel the same way you do and then collectively talk to the hotel management about refunds/discounts and use the telling authorities line as a bargaining chip
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by:nickg5
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You should always be shown a room before choosing it.

Insist on it in the future.

When I travel to Asia, and looking for a room, they always take me to the room for my visual inspection. Ask me if it is ok, then we go back to the front desk to check in and pay.

Ask them, and they may let you move to "another" room.
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by:David Brugge
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Sadly, because they already have your money, there is not much that you can do.

 Reporting them to the authorities may get them in trouble, but it would not likely get you any refund.

The amount of money that you spent is not worth the cost in time and money to pursue any legal action.

It's frustrating, I know, but you are much wiser now. In the future you will remember nickg5's sound advice to see the room first.

But instead of simply walking away, I feel that you should report it to the authorities so that this establishment does not take other people's money from them for such poorly maintained rooms.
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by:nickg5
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For a weeks stay, they may be able to put you in another room.

The health hazard is not known. Probably zero.

Once that room is empty, they should clean it very well with the appropriate cleaner, and replace any rotten wood and then new paint.

Getting refunds is not easy. Especially in a foreign place, and a place like a hotel. If you were supposed to have hot water and had no hot water, they would give you another room, or fix the hot water.

Some business owners are irresponsible in some way, and you may have experienced one.

Otherwise, hopefully your trip is ok.
Next time, ask to inspect the room before checkin.
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by:florjan
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You might have misunderstood we're already back home and we have requested a new room first day and were rejected. Now I am trying to write a complaint and I am asking what to put in it.
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nickg5 earned 450 total points
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How to Complain When Something Goes Wrong At Your Hotel


Try these steps:
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU DO HAVE A PROBLEM

• Is it really worth your time?
Business travelers are often stressed out and tired. Little problems can loom large. Is the problem really worth complaining about, or are you trying to avoid finishing the presentation for tomorrow morning's meeting?

• Let your corporate travel department handle it
If you have one and the problem can wait, let them deal with it. They book all the business, they have the clout and the time. Write down the pertinent data (or send them an email) and forget about it. Do you really want to waste your precious time? If you are part of a convention, let the convention services manager deal with it.

• Know what you want
If you've decided it must be handled now, decide what you want. A new room? A discount? Hotel frequent travel points? What will make you feel properly compensated for the problem at hand.

• Don't be greedy
It's not likely that you will get a free room because someone forgot to put mints on your pillow -- believe me, I know people who have asked. It is fair to ask for a new room if you have been inconvenienced by faulty plumbing, a dirty linen, etc. Most business travelers are less concerned with a discount for poor service -- after all the company is footing the bill, unless it is your company. Many ask for extra frequent travel points for their account. You should too.

• Be quick
If you've decided that the situation must be addressed, go to the front desk immediately. Ask for the Front Desk Manager or the Rooms Exec. The assistant behind the counter may try to solve your problem -- give them a chance. Empowerment is a buzz word in the hotel industry today -- many front line staff people can solve your problem quickly. If they can't , then...

• Escalate, escalate, escalate
The Rooms Exec (usually second in command at the hotel) can solve many issues. They do most of the day-to-day work at the hotel. Even if you end up dealing with the General Manager, the Rooms Exec will most likely execute the solution, so don't alienate him or her.

• Don't be a jerk
You may have every reason in the world to be angry, but keep your cool. Hotel employees have a great deal of discretion in handling problem situations. No one will go the extra mile to help out a raving idiot. Be nice, you'll end up with a better room, and maybe even a fruit basket. If you are a jerk, you will get the "standard" response. And your "jerk status" will be documented in your permanent hotel record -- for everyone to see the next time you have a problem.

• Be concise, don't embellish
Just deal with the basic issue and what you want as compensation. If you mention every little problem that has arisen since you entered the hotel, you'll sound like a whiner. The real problem will get obscured.

• Don't lie
Remember, everybody is wired now. Don't say that you are a top-tier program member is you're not (they check). Just be specific and accurate.

• Say "thank you"!
If the problem has been resolved to your satisfaction, thank everyone involved and drop a note to the General Manager naming the individuals who helped. This will stand you in good stead the next time something happens (and something always happens).

IF YOU ARE STILL NOT SATISFIED, TAKE NAMES
Write down all the pertinent information about your problem, dates, room number, staff names, etc. while it is fresh in your mind.

• Put it in writing
Send an email and a letter to the appropriate hotel executives. Most hotel web sites now have specific areas to file email complaints. Embassy Suites even has a special email address -- embassy_unsatisfied@promus.com . Remember the rules: clear, calm, concise and tell them what you want for compensation. Hotels handle complaints from their web sites ahead of other online services.

• CC the World
Be sure to copy the hotel company president, as well as the regional executives that your hotel manager reports to. The hotel senior officers are often inundated with complaint letters and the information gets forwarded to a complaint department where standard policy is enforced. Your hotel General Manager usually reports to a regional officer who determines his or her fate. This person does not always have a large staff and they are very interested in learning about the service at "their" hotels. Let them know about your problem. You can locate their name by calling the company headquarters. Some of the information is also listed at Hoover's Online. You can also send a copy to the local Better Business Bureau and the local paper's complaint hotline.

• Hire a Professional
If you think you have a legitimate gripe, and you don't want to waste additional time, Complaints.com will handle it for you. For $ 19.95, just email them the information and they will draft a professional complaint letter and send it to the appropriate individuals. They will even follow up.

http://www.etravelergear.com/howtocomefwh.html
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by:nickg5
nickg5 earned 450 total points
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unfortunately your trip is over and you are a far way from the hotel.

Complaints to the "owner" can get you results.

Im my country we have a "better business bureau"

Companies hate to get complaints, so they are very often willing to make you happy.
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Author Closing Comment

by:florjan
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Thank you for your responses. I have distributed the points to all contributing answers.
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