This Relationship is Worth Nothing

13 June 2010

Today was the last day I had booked in my hotel room. I had won this room through an Internet bidding service at a heavy discount of $85 per night. However, I needed to extend my stay in the hotel another two days and that is where this relationship went to hell.

I called the front desk of this hotel and asked “I’d like to extend my stay another couple of nights, how much would that be?”

“Well, we can not give you the same rate you are on now, so it will be $200 a night to extend”.

“K, thanks, bye”.

So, what did I do? Tried Priceline again, and what should happen? We win another bid for two nights for $85 AT THE SAME HOTEL.

Calling the front desk resulted in “Oh, ok, come down to reception and change your key then, all good”…


So what is the difference between me calling up to extend, and me calling up with a winning bid?

Nothing, except one teeny tiny thing… I am an existing customer. I have already chosen this hotel (sure based on price, but I am here none the less) and so, they have an opportunity to create a strong relationship.

Which they shot in the foot.

This attitude just pushes the idea that my custom, is worth nothing, zero, squat and that my relationship with the hotel is worth nothing.

What did it gain the hotel? Well, the only thing it gained them is that now I know that I can “cheat” their “system” which just means contempt.

If the hotel was booked out, extending my stay at a low rate would not be good business sense. Sure. But it wasn’t. The hotel is half empty, and they are still offering the same price I paid through the internet.

Your existing customers are your most valuable resource. That is not to say you can’t entice new customers with “special offers”, that is fine, but remember that it is your existing customers who are paying your bills and feeding your cat.

This hotel in San Francisco would have won my stay for several more nights, but now I know that I can get a similar or cheaper price on the internet, which means my custom at this hotel is purely up to the gods.

And that is not good business sense.



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