Everyone who reads one or more of my articles knows the term “curmudgeon” fits me pretty well. I try to call the shots as I see them and if someone is providing poor service or doing something really dumb I am certainly not shy at pointing out the problem.
But I’m not an unfair person, so when some business provides service that is “done right’ and even delights me rather than annoys me, it’s only the “right thing” to give credit where credit is due.
One of my pet peeves (and actually it’s more than just a peeve, Philippine businesses alone lose billions because of this simple error) are companies who refuse to answer emails. This is especially apparent to folks thinking about visiting the Philippines. They see a hotel or resort online and it looks like it might be a good place for them to stay, so they write for more information or to make a reservation and guess what? The email just goes off into space … no response is ever made. Now we know that there are technical glitches with email from time to time, but it’s actually pretty reliable overall. We can surmise a lot of those businesses set up a way for clients to email them and then just refuse to take the time to answer. It’s bad business.
This week I’m heading to Davao City for a few days with my wife and sister-in-law and two little nephews. On my own I often don’t bother with reservations, if one hotel has no rooms the next one will. But with several folks in tow, especially young children, better to have a roof over our heads in advance.
The first place I contacted, intending to stay there overnight is the beautiful Malagos Gardens which is located in Davao City but way out of the town proper, in a nature preserve/watershed area that is simply lovely. The resort has a number of different price range cottages in natural forest setting, nicely manicured grounds and excellent food … I had lunch there last time I stayed in Davao.
They have a website and of course an email method for reservations, so I shot off a request … making a mental note that I would have to call in a day or so, because I “knew” I was going to get no response.
When I’m right, I am right and when I am wrong, I am wrong, and I was happy to be wrong this time. An email came back in less that 24 hours from the Malagos Garden Resort marketing staff. Prompt, direct and to the point. Kudos to Michelle and her team there. Can’t ask for better service than that … world class.
On our second night I wanted to try the Linmarr Apartelles and Suites in central Davao City. I haven’t been there, but I thought I’d give it a shot, they are centrally located, convenient to shopping and the waterfront, having a kitchenette and dining area makes it much more convenient traveling with young kids than eating three restaurant meals per day, and (tip to other hotels who would like better bookings) they offer free airport pickup/drop-off and advertise their WiFi Internet access up front so people don’t have to search and ask … welcome to 2009 😉
I sent off a request from Linmarr’s reservation page and I did not get an email response next business day. Instead, a couple hours after I sent my email on a Friday afternoon (expecting a response on Monday), my phone rang (actually a rare event for me ;-). Who was it? Cheryl from the front office at Linmarr Apartelles and Suites, calling to confirm my reservation, get details on what sort of bed arrangements we wanted and get our arrival flight information for our airport pick up. Again, I suppose one could ask for better service, but I am at loss to figure out how. Kudos to Cheryl and her team – world class performance again.
Last but not least, many will recall my ‘Buy a Mailbox” article a few weeks back. Remember I said that if the PhilPost mail carrier made it to my house two consecutive months in a row with my credit card bill, on time I would buy a lottery ticket? Well, a week ago … 9 days before the due date, PhilPost was at the gate with the envelope from BDO … can’t ask for better service than that, now can you? Thanks PhilPost.
Oh and I made good on the lottery ticket … bought one and it hit. No, not the grand prize, but how many Lotto tickets ever win anything at all?
All in all, a pretty happy week for the ‘old curmudgeon’ … if things keep happening this way I’ll lose my official curmudgeon stripes.