Collecting cold hard cash from freezing guests

I like to keep these blogs positive, wanting to promote good companies for their excellent customer service rather than tearing down bad ones, but every once in a while I notice an incident that needs to be aired out, and I’m afraid I’ve stumbled across one. So please excuse the venting as I indulge in a moment of catharsis.

Back in December, Toronto was hit by an ice storm which rolled through the city like a biker gang on a destructive spree. Trees snapped and withered, roads flash froze into skating rinks, and we huddled together in our homes for warmth praying that the power would soon be back on. But as the power outage lingered beyond a few days and settled a profound darkness on the holiday season, people began to realize they needed to escape their soon to be freezer box houses. So those who could afford it packed up the family and checked into some of the hotels around the city that had power. But you can’t leave beloved Fido or Whiskers behind, so families brought their pets to the hotels with them. The only problem was that the hotels were charging people to keep their pets in their rooms—and not just dogs or cats but hamsters and guinea pigs as well!

Now, I understand that they’re running a business and are in it to make a profit, but it seemed like they were siphoning money from their so-called ‘guests’ at a time when these people had no other options. A natural disaster strikes the city and here they are taking advantage of it, rather than us banding together and them stepping up to help people during a time of crisis. And for it to happen so widely leads me to believe that this wasn’t an oversight in hotel protocol but a conscious decision made by management on how to deal with the situation. The short sightedness seems almost comical. They shot themselves in the foot for a few extra bucks. By aggravating numerous guests they lost a load of customers as well as all the recommendations those guests could have given to friends or family who visit the city. One act of kindness goes a long way, but just as easily one act of greed can mar a reputation for just as long.


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