Does One Bad Experience Make You Look Elsewhere?

Does One Bad Experience Make You Look Elsewhere?

For as many years as I can remember I have been going to the Kingsway Hall Hotel in Holborn, London and I’ve been happy with the service. But back in January, I made my very last ever visit due to their appalling service!

Sometimes several times a week I meet my clients in central London, particularly when I run my Impact Surgeries. I change locations around central London always using quality hotels. On this occasion, I went to the Kingsway Hall Hotel again. This was despite the reservations of my wife, who reminded me of the service I had received back in November the previous year.

That time I was with my 16 year old daughter and she went to coffee bar to order two coffees for us. My order was coffee with flavoured syrup, as I was still taking sugar at the time. When the coffees arrived mine tasted odd but not unpleasant, so I finished it.

When the bill came, I was charged some £7.95 for a coffee. In their error they had used liquor in the coffee not syrup and I was required to pay for their error. Now maybe they had misheard the order or got confused, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt and let it go particularly as I had drunk it. Then as we were going home, my daughter and I were talking about the coffee when she reminded me that as a 16 year old they should not have served her with alcohol anyway! So I felt a bit duped.

My last visit, and I mean last visit, I had come down with a cold virus, so instead of my normal coffee I ordered some hot water with a small slice of lemon.

I finished the meeting expecting to only pick up the tab for the one coffee my client had at £3.50 but what I was handed nearly made me fall off my chair. I was charged £4.95 for hot water and a slice of lemon! When I spoke to the staff, they argued with me that the hot water and lemon is charged the same as a pot of speciality tea, even though I didn’t have any tea, milk or biscuits that they offer with that item! They even agreed that they didn’t bring me those additional items that are normally served with the pot of tea.

The price of the bill was not the issue. It was more that the Kingsway Hall Hotel staff had argued with me on a second occasion. Now in a service organisation the experience is everything. However I felt cheated and now really duped, as if they wanted to pull the wool over the eyes of their customers.

The hotel is in a great position for Theatre Land, the West End and Covent Garden so it does tick a few boxes. However, if this one experience is anything to go by then they are not really providing value for money. Instances like this leave people with a negative emotional experience which significantly reduces their chances of going back. For me, all it took was hot water and lemon!

I shared my story with several people who also used the hotel and they were shocked. Many said they too had received poor customer service. My wife was so enraged at the way we were treated, so wrote a scathing review on TripAdvisor, which clearly the person who responded did not read as we got a standard stock answer in return.

So having spent a lot of money at the Kingsway Hall Hotel over the years (including hosting a large Christmas Party), I categorically state that I will never use the Kingsway Hall Hotel ever! In terms of customer service and value, they failed on both counts.

if you do not look after your customers or treat them fairly someone else will.

Andy T Cumming
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Andy T Cumming

Director at Impact Fast Track
Andy advises organisations and small business owners on how to make a bigger impact in the marketplace. He created the Professional Impact Profile, the leading six in one impact profiling system in the world. The profile highlights the gaps to become bigger, stronger and more impactful.
Andy T Cumming
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