22 May Shame on Hideaway Country Inn – Help me take action!
Find out how plans for a relaxing getaway with my husband turned into a stressful cancelation, lost deposit and a public relations problem for Hideaway Country Inn.
I was looking forward to a luxurious three-day weekend at an inviting inn, filled with spa sessions, a private dinner and a few days away from the kids. My husband wanted to surprise me for our anniversary, but he has a tendency to give me presents weeks ahead of time.
Unfortunately, last Wednesday, our 15-month-old daughter was rushed to the hospital. She had a 40 minute seizure and then endured a terrifying week in the hospital with a stay in the PICU due to septic shock and pneumonia.
In the midst of the chaos, I called the inn to let them know we would have to cancel. At the time, we didn’t know whether it would be days, weeks or even months. Let alone, when we would actually be ready to leave our baby again. I figured cancelling as soon as possible would be one less thing to worry about.
I briefly told the receptionist who answered the phone how our daughter was in ICU and we would have to cancel. She asked me to hold for the manager. When the manager answered, I explained again. She said she was sorry to hear that, but let me know a couple times that we would have to reschedule or lose our deposit because of the policy. I said I understand policy, but certainly there are exceptions such as when your child is facing a life-threatening emergency. I asked if there was anyone else I could talk to and she said I could leave my name and number for the owner but she would say the same thing. I left my name and number, anyway.
I didn’t receive a call from the owner, so I called again the next day. The person on the other end said the owner didn’t deal with this kind of thing on the weekends, so I’d have to call on Monday. I left my name and number again.
I didn’t get a call all day Monday, so I called again at 3:00 p.m. The owner was apparently in meetings all day. I left my number again.
It’s been 5 days since I left my first message. Our trip was scheduled for this Friday. Due to the lack of response, I’ve decided to take an alternative action.
Taking Action, But I Need Your Help
While I’m not a vengeful person, I would like to let others know about the type of company Hideaway Country Inn is. For a company whose motto is “It’s a relaxing day at the Hideaway Country Inn,” they have done nothing to relieve my stress.
Here’s what I’m asking…
Until Hideaway Country Inn assures potential customers that they really do care about helping people relax, please help me do the following:
- Don’t stay at Hideaway Country Inn
- Call them to let them know that booking a stay is about the person, not just a policy
Toll Free: 1-800-570-8233
- Post messages on their Facebook page to let them know that people want to stay at a place that actually cares about them
- Tweet that a bed and breakfast is about customer service
- Feel free to come up with another creative way to let them know that there are many choices for weekend getaways
I posted a comment on their Facebook page already.
We didn’t need to get this far. If the manager had the proper authority and training, she could have let me know how I was important to them. She might have said that she didn’t want me to worry about this right now and she would call me back in a month to see if we might want to reschedule because we would need to de-stress after this experience. It would have been a win-win for everyone.
Even after the first phone call, I was hoping the owner would call and diffuse the situation. I’m sure people have a million reasons for cancelling and they all want their money back. However, businesses should have the flexibility to respond to different situations.
We live in an age of rapid, real-time communication. Your average customer can create business or a PR problem.
Hideaway Country Inn might have made an advocate out of me. This might have been a post to the couple hundred people who followed Savannah’s progress about how Hideaway Country Inn was understanding and sympathetic to our situation. They might have kept our business and gained new business.
Instead, I wrote this post. Now help me take action!