Is This An Acceptable Email From A Hotel After A Stay?

Am I the only one that gets kind of annoyed by the hotels that send you an email after your stay asking you to complete a survey?

Hotel-Emails

I’ve come to accept it, but I find it quite frustrating. In order to unsubscribe from those emails you have to unsubscribe from all marketing emails, which I don’t want to do. I wish it were possible to just unsubscribe from post-stay surveys.

Anyway, while the above is just a minor annoyance, here’s something that actually pisses me off. A couple of weeks back I stayed at The Airport Hotel, which is the airside hotel at Hamad International Airport. It’s super convenient, and I enjoyed my stay.

The-Hotel-Doha-Airport

But today I received the following email from the general manager:

Greetings from Doha,

Let me take this occasion to personally thank you for staying with us at The Airport Hotel. I hope that you enjoyed your stay, and that the hotel team has surpassed your expectations. I would also like to take this opportunity to request your support by sparing your precious time to acknowledge and let us know of anything our staff did that was above and beyond your expectations by placing a comment on http://www.tripadvisor.com

Your feedback will be used as one of our tools to reward and recognize our staff and to let them know that you have appreciated the service that they have provided you.

Again, thank you for staying with us and we look forward to welcoming you again at The Airport Hotel Doha.

I’m not sure what pisses me off more — the hotel suggesting that TripAdvisor should just be used to recognize good employees, or the general manager not trying to solicit any constructive feedback? I’d be less ticked off if he added something along the lines of “and if you have any other constructive feedback, please let me know. We can only improve through guest feedback.” Or something along those lines.

Am I overthinking it, or how do you feel about the above email?

Comments

  1. Just set up a filter with those keywords and either automatically mark them as read, or delete them. That way you don’t have to opt out of all marketing emails, but these specific ones you’ll never see.

  2. How can you even think that something might be wrong when staying in Qatari hotel? Not possible… Only positive experiences possible… 😉

  3. you might be overthinking it. it reads to me as a simply poorly worded appeal for feedback of any kind. maybe a bit presumptuous in singling out “above and beyond” behavior but for the most part boilerplate.

    as for the tripadvisor callout, it’s a bit tacky, i suppose. but i don’t find anything really offensive about it.

  4. I appreciate it when people post on TripAdvisor letting others know that the hotel is doing this because it really does have the potential to skew the reviews.

  5. Hotels.com does this too. I just made several bookings through them and got several emails asking me to rate their service. I answered one and deleted the rest. It seems like they should be able to know whether they’ve sent you a survey in the last X months and not repeat sending them to you.

  6. TripAdvisor is for providing information that may be useful to fellow travelers who may be considering staying in the hotel. It’s NOT for providing feedback to management. There may be some overlap, and it makes sense for managers to keep track of what travelers are saying to one another. But if you want to make suggestions to management, do it directly. Similarly, if management wants to solicit feedback, it should invite guests to contact them. It’s especially inappropriate to suggest that personnel actions will be based on TripAdvisor comments. Do they really want you to “name names” in such a public way if you had a bad experience? (Imagine what this could lead to in the context of Qatari labor law!)

  7. I take them all with a huge grain of salt. After an extremely sub-par stay at a new Hilton in Istanbul, I provided specific feedback via email and survey to the Guest Relations Manager (after numerous attempts to rectify while on property, no less) and received absolutely nothing. Not even an “Our hotel has received your feedback” auto-response. No follow-up from anyone, and it has been over a month. I almost don’t even bother with these anymore, since the feedback never goes anywhere and follow-ups don’t occur.

  8. I think it’s very tacky to suggest that “if you’ve had a good stay” please post on TirpAdvisor. I’ve read that luxury hotels don’t do that. In the past year I’ve been solicited at checkout by the Sacher in Vienna, and several other Leading Hotels and Virtuoso hotels. At least at the Sacher they give you a Torte at checkout.

  9. Ben,

    I’m sorry. What’s the fuss about?

    Please explain how something so innocuous could upset you.

  10. this is becoming more common. As someone who posts hotel reviews on TripAdvisor I don’t take any offense to this. Sure they are seeking positive feedback but it could work to their detriment of a guest had a bad experience and was not completely aware of TripAdvisor.

    Also, it’s an auto generated marketing email so harder to be offended by it.

  11. I’d post a tripadvisor review of the email you got, with a link to this article and tell the guy to treat his employees better 😉

  12. Had the opposite experience of AF. Got a survey from a JW Marriott, and since I’d had several less than satisfactory experiences during the stay, I took the time to complete it. To my surprise, the hotel emailed me to apologize and gave me 15000 points.

  13. Sometimes, when I’m feeling up to it, I’ll write a review and rate them one star less, because they ask too many questions.

  14. This is a byproduct of the era in which we live – you betcha no live person is sending this out of course so unless someone is actually reviewing the process – the first time someone looks at any of this is probably when the results come back. Even then, it will all depend on how attentive the person in charge of the process is and/or the organization or service provider that is sending the survey. If I had a sub part experience, especially one that involved interaction with management, I probably would be offended a little since a proactive manager would follow up with an apologetic email or have a system in place to follow up with at least a generic form letter apology. With that said, I agree with several of the other commenters that it might be a bit of sleight of hand to send out a feedback email that seems to seek only positive feedback, but seasoned travelers know when and where to make noise when they need to. Sort of kind of like the hotel pictures and descriptions listed always paint a rosy picture – they are not going to show a picture of that carpet with a scuff mark right ? The big picture is did you have a good experience? If you had a problem did they attend to it ? The rest is superficial.

  15. It is a typical email-i do not find it offensive at all. I get these from many hotels, some attractions and occasional restaurants. I find Trip Advisor very helpful and you would be a great addition with your experience and knowledge.

  16. Gotta say, this is one area where I disagree with you. I actually do fill out the post-stay surveys (too much time on my hands, maybe? 😉 ) Anyway, I have actually received comments and/or compensation from filling out these surveys depending on the hotel/program when things don’t go wrong, so I feel that my feedback does matter and is being listened to.

  17. It sure is a bit tasteless. Personally, I’d just ignore the email, and avoid any positive TripAdvisor reviews. Otherwise, you just reinforce the bad behavior. That said, don’t sweat the annoyance.

  18. This is quite common in India. Worse (in my opinion) from this was after I left a review on TripAdvisor, the manager of a hotel in Chennai went through the booking record to locate my email address and asked me to change the review online. It was about loud music until 2 am, and phrased nicely, he just asked me to remove. I said no, and that I’d never stay there again!

  19. Vast majority of these surveys don’t come from the hotel. They are 3rd party sites that although they may pass your info along to the hotel at the hotel’s request, can save all your personal info, so beware.

    Inevitably they will ask personal info near the end of the survey. They can use this info to market other products to you, sell your info, etc. If you really want to comment about your stay, write the manager, or do a review on a site.

  20. Hi i travel very frequently and get email like this from Airlines, carrentals and hotels daily.
    Like the next week i have 3 hyatt hotels, 3 flights and 3 hertzcarrentals.
    I get confused because you mix them up and they don t really write date and place,
    So i opened a new email account just for travelling and have my pa sending important ones tru or deal with it directly.

  21. I don’t find it as annoying as the customer satisfaction surveys I get bombarded with after EVERY Delta flight I take.

  22. Be careful about giving any negative reviews. Probably this is a one-off, but a couple were fined 100 pounds by a Blackpool hotel for giving a negative review on TA: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/19/tripadvisor-couple-bad-hotel-review-charged-blackpool-broadway

    (The fine has since been rescinded due to the undoubted swarm of cancelled bookings, but do we know which other hotels might have the same policy? Yes, it was polic,y according to the article from The Guardian)

  23. I’m with you, Lucky — I think we all know we can leave reviews on TA already. This would probably push me into a negative review!

  24. Yeah, I’ve been doing a fair amount of travel lately and have also been getting annoyed by the post-stay surveys. I usually try to unsubscribe from as much as possible so as to keep the inbox close to empty, but I’ve not found a way to unsubscribe from the surveys either.

    I like the idea of setting up a subject filter. In fact, I’m going to start doing that.

  25. Instead of tipping, I now tell hotel employees I’ll mention their name in a great review on TripAdvisor. The employees can then expect a bigger bonus/promotion directly from their employer.

  26. Not gonna piss me off either way, but it does sound a whole lot better with the lines you proposed.

    I think the issue here isn’t about trying to tell guests to comment on TripAdvisor, but rather that the manager sounded like he/she didn’t care whether or not you actually had a good stay there.

  27. The replies to this post should give you a clue into your readership. Basically, there are those who only care about flying in premium class cabins and luxury hotels (even if unattainable) and then there are those who don’t and use TripAdvisor when planning their own non-luxury trips.

    TripAdvisor’s influence is huge. It’s not always right but I prefer to use TA for hotel reviews over those at elite-obsessed Flyertalk. That’s what I have gathered from the past couple of years of more intense personal travel. I don’t fault any service provider at all for asking for feedback on TripAdvisor.

    Of course, your time is too valuable to devote to free reviews on TA, but TA is a good resource for many of us.

    Your post comes off the wrong way. You can choose to ignore the solicitation but to write it up on your blog is a waste of your time as well as ours.

  28. Hi Lucky,

    I am looking to stay at the Airport hotel at Hamad International Airport in May 2015 as I have a stopover of around 20 hours. I don’t get an on arrival transit visa at Doha airport hence I need to stay within the terminal.

    Can you tell me how much you paid and which is the best site to make a reservation? What are the check in check out policies? As I would be arrival around midnight and my connecting flight is next evening at 730.

    Thanks

  29. @ SS — I booked a rate just for eight hours, but you can book a one night rate directly through their website, which is the best rate you’ll be able to find.

  30. @ John — To clarify, I don’t think anyone (including me) is bashing the value of TripAdvisor. What I take issue with is the GM specifically soliciting only positive feedback on TripAdvisor. I’d be fine if he asked for any feedback to be left on TripAdvisor, but to ask for only positive feedback is my real beef here.

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