My husband and I stayed at the Mark Twain Hotel June 1-4, 2017. Upon arrival, the staff were friendly and accommodating, and we found the room to be comfortable, spacious, and clean.
The problem arose during/after check-out. We were in town for my best friend's wedding, and I used the Rent the Runway service for my dress for the ceremony/reception. (If you've never used the service before, a quick primer: you receive a dress in the mail for an event, and return the dress back to Rent the Runway after you're done. The key? You have to mail it back on the agreed-upon date, or you are charged $50/day in late fees.)
At check-out, I asked the front desk if they would mail the dress for me, so I did not have to take it back on the plane with me. In keeping with their excellent service thus far, the young woman staffing the front desk said yes, and assured me that it would go out the next day.
Imagine my surprise when I received an email from Rent the Runway, more than a week later, informing me that I had accrued $250 in late fees due to my failure to return the dress. I called the hotel, and the (same) young woman staffing the front desk confirmed that they had failed to mail the package, apologized, and stated that "you should not be responsible for paying that because it's our fault." I was then told that the issue would be handled by manager Frank Pedulla going forward.
What followed was a week of phone calls and voicemails to Mr. Pedulla to which he was unresponsive. When he finally did call me back and I explained the situation, he said that he needed to run the issue up the chain to his management. Two days later (more than 10 days after this entire situation started), he called and said that he was authorized to offer me only $100.
I asked to talk to his management; he then refused to provide their contact information, claiming that he alone was responsible for the decision (contradicting his earlier claim that he was bound by his upper management). I asked him why he thought it was fair for his hotel staff to promise a service, fail to deliver that service, and then promise to make it right, only for him to compensate me less than half of what I was charged. His answer? That "$250 is a lot to pay for a dress" and that $100 was all he was willing to offer me.
Putting aside how belittling and patronizing it is to have your consumer choices judged -- and I will note that the late fees, not the dress itself, amounted to $250 -- I found his decision lacking in intellectual credibility as well. He essentially was admitting fault, but refusing to make me whole.
I am sure I will be visiting Peoria again many times in the future, as my best friend and her new husband's family grows and celebrates milestones. I am also sure I will never again stay at the Mark Twain hotel. When a service is promised, it should be delivered -- and when the failure to deliver that service results in a customer being charged, every effort should be made to make things right, not to disparage a customer's choices.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Peoria's Premier Boutique Hotel. Proud to be independent and locally owned. Guests receive complimentary Starbucks coffee and cocoa in the lobby, Seattle's Best in-room coffee, free parking, free drinks, free wi-fi, free smiles. Featuring a complimentary breakfast including made-to-order omelets and Belgian style waffles. Business or Pleasure - why not both? ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mark Twain Peoria