Just back from an overnight meeting of the Information and Communication Board where a group of geeks or wannabe geeks get together to discuss how best to communicate within our Church. At the last meeting some bright spark suggested we hold this residential at a nice hotel rather than the usual churchy retreaty places we normally use. His reckoning was that nice pleasant surroundings would be more conducive to the creative process. We agreed.
So yesterday we arrived at the Quality Hotel in Perth. That’s the QUALITY HOTEL in Perth, beside the Station if you are in any doubt, and part of Choice Hotels Europe with 3 stars, allegedly. Now, they say ‘Quality’ but I think after 24 hours of the worst service I have ever encountered in a hotel, it ought to be called ‘Fawlty Towers’ or simply the Worst Hotel ever.
And just in case you think I am being picky, here is my list of misdemeanors:
1. Arrive at 9.45am for a 10.30am start and try to book in. Told our rooms will not be available until 2.30pm. This had not been communicated with us. Receptionist is uninterested.
2. Find conference room is dirty, falking paint, peeling paper, used flip chart, dirty table cloth, stained chairs, filthy windows, curtains not hung properly, stained tea and coffee signs. We complain and ask for it to be hoovered. Receptionist is uninterested. A young lad comes to ‘have a look’ and replaces one tablecloth. He never returns.
3. Coffee does not arrive at 10.30am as ordered. We have to chase it up. Tea and coffee arrives in 2 stained flasks with a jug of milk. No hot water, decaff coffee or fruit teas. Told the jug might be decaff anyway. It wasn’t.
4. Lunch was booked for 1pm. Little food left and all cold. (Hot buffet supposedly) Food was canteen standard and not hotel standard. Waiter clears away plates before everyone is finished. His shirt is not tucked in to his trousers.
5. Book into room. No TV remote in 2 rooms, no hairdrier, flaking paint on bathroom window sill. One of us had no pillow cases and were told there were none left. One had an open plug on their kettle (the top was missing).
6. Afternoon coffee does not arrive again. After half an hour we have to go and order it.
7. Dinner had been booked for 6.30pm but when we arrived there was nobody in dining room. Told they don’t start serving until 7pm. When we complain they argue back. Finally served and meal takes over 2 hours. Standard not high.
8. Back to conference room which has never been cleaned all day. Dirty cups piled up. Complain again to staff who argue back, say its not their fault or simply change the subject.
9. The overall decor of the hotel is shabby and uncared for. Paint is peeling everywhere, brass not cleaned, toilet bin overflowing, wallpaper torn in places. Carpets are stained and nothing looks clean.
10. Next day the manager comes to speak to one of us. Doesn’t accept criticism. Says she is having to train new staff and its not their fault.
11. Morning coffee doesn’t arrive as arranged again (3rd time) and we have to go and ask for it.
12. Book lunch for 12.15pm and are told once we are seated that they don’t serve until 12.30pm. Many waiters take care of us and are unctious. The leeks are burnt.
13. Manager says she oversaw our lunch being served because we had complained so much and it was perfect. It wasn’t.
If I read in the papers tomorrow that this hotel had gone into receivership I would not be surprised. If I read that some people had got salmonella I would not be surprised. In our church when we serve food we have to use a food thermometer and record the temperature that food is served. Clearly this law does not apply to the Quality Hotel, Perth.
And you know, the chap who suggested we go to a hotel for this overnighter didn’t come after all. He was on holiday and got the dates mixed up.
A short evaluation form was filled in at the desk, but just in case it doesn’t get to the very top I have brought my Evaluation Form home and will send it to Head Office tomorrow.
There, rant over. And just in case you think it was just us being ‘precious’ we know that another group who were there for a conference were just as unhappy. They ran out of food completely for their lunch.
I think what got to us most, was their attitude of not caring. Never did we hear sorry. Poor communication was the order of the day which made our discussions on communication in the Church even more pertinent. Lessons to be learned.