The Cosmopolitan Sucks at Service Recovery


Share on LinkedIn

If you missed the reason why The Cosmopolitan lost two customers for life, please click here before reading about how bad they suck at service recovery.

The reason I waited until 5:00 a.m. the next morning to file a complaint was because I am a very passionate person. If I had gone down at 5:00 p.m. I am pretty sure I may have ended up saying or doing something I would have regretted.

So, after having our suite terrorized by these so called “security” officers who made us feel less secure and unsafe than anybody we have ever met there in the four years previous, we decided to immediately leave the property and see the Michael Jackson show at the Mandalay Bay.

At intermission we were both still so shocked at what had transpired, we decided to leave the show, grab a bite to eat and try to forget what just happened.

I’m not saying it went from bad to worse, because the original incident was probably one of the worst things that has happened to me in all of my years of global business travel.

It certainly didn’t get any better when I went down at 5:00 a.m. to file a formal complaint.

However, before I tell you how badly they sucked at service recovery, let me ask you a question–why would any business treat an invited guest with such disrespect and lack of common courtesy?

At 5:00 a.m. I went down to the security desk and recanted the incident to the security guard on duty.

He debated with me for 30 minutes that it couldn’t have happened in the East Tower of the building because there was no such room.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am pretty severely dyslexic.

My room number was 2792 and I told him 2729.

I said I didn’t want to argue about my room number and would prefer to take him up to my room and prove where it was.

After this 30 minute debate, I was forced to wait another 25 minutes for the two supervisors to arrive.

I knew the conversation with them was going to be horrible right from the start.

The first question I asked the male supervisor was, “Can you tell me why it takes five of you to enter a room for a noise concern?”

His answer was, “ What do you mean you? I wasn’t there.”

I said, “Your colleagues. Why would it take five men forcefully entering and violating our suite for a supposed noise incident at 4:00 in the afternoon yesterday “

His response was, “Like I said, I wasn’t there, I don’t know. Would you like to fill out a form?”

I said, “Yes, because I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other guest.”

He simply handed me the form and asked me to bring it back to the desk once I filled it out.

No apology.

No nothing.

Just fill out the form and bring it back.

My handwriting is so bad, so I brought the form to my suite so my wife could help me complete it.

Because we wanted to get out of that horrible environment as fast as possible, we had packed before going to sleep, so we took our bags with us to the security desk when we had completed the form.

The security agent on duty said he would have to get the supervisors back, which took another 20 minutes, where they again didn’t say anything except, “follow me.”

So we followed them all the way across the casino floor to go meet the General Manager on duty.

Not one word was spoken, and we were escorted across the property like perpetrators with security flanking us on either side.

Upon meeting the General Manager, I asked the following question:

“Who is going to investigate this horrific experience of our room being invaded and your team of security people throwing our personal items around the room like they were trash?”

He said, “ Sir, security is going to investigate security. I wish I could investgate this, but it is security’s job to investgate security.”

The odd thing is, he only spoke to me.

Never said he was sorry.

Never addressed my wife.

Never looked her in the eye.

It was as if she was made of wood.

At this point, we were both rekindling our anger over the continued lack of disrespect and rudeness.

We were mumbling to ourselves how we would never come back to this lame excuse of a hospitality destination.

It would have been a lame enough recovery attempt (if there ever was an attempt), as is, but it got extremely worse the next day when I was contacted by Valerie from the Customer Experience department.

I’m sure they must train their people at The Cosmopolitan, but I’m sure Valerie slept through her training class.

Here is how this representative of the hotel started off the conversation, which happened after her not being available 4 previous times that I had returned her call.

The idiodic words that dribbled out of her mouth were, “Mr. Psichogios, I see you haven’t been a problem in the four years you have been visiting with us.”

I said, “Are you kidding me? I’m not calling to complain about room service, I’m calling you over the fact that your team of security people invaded our room, treated us with total disrespect and treated our personal items as if they were nothing.”

Her reply was even dumber than her original statement.

“Well, security is a different department. I’m from the Customer Experience team. I want to make sure when you come back you have the best possible experience. “

I said, “Why would we ever come back to a place that we feel unsafe, and where we were treated with disrespect and rudeness? If it is a noise issue, couldn’t they simply knock on the door and say we are screaming too loud at the football game and to please keep it down? Can you please answer that?”

She said, “I can’t.”

I said, “Okay. I have a couple more questions. Can you tell me logically over a noise issue what would necessitate them to go through our bathroom and our personal items?”

Now, her answer got even more stupid.

She said, “Well, maybe they were looking for things that shouldn’t be in your room.”

I said, “The only thing that shouldn’t have been in our room were those five guards treating us with disrespect. I am terminating this phone call because at the start when I raised my voice you asked me not to yell at you and you are making me so angry that I know I can no longer talk to you so I am terminating this call.”

Here is where it gets funny.

After I terminated the call, she started writing me an email, and I started writing my first blog.

I finished the blog about a minute before she finished her email.

Her email said something to the effect of, “I’m sorry we could not conclude our call. I would like to personally meet you if you decide to return so I can ensure your stay goes seamlessly.”

I replied to her email with a link to the blog that simply said, “You are rude and disrespectful. Why would we ever want to return?”

There is a very, very important business lesson to be learned from this horrific customer experience we had.

First, there is no separation between one department and another department when it comes to the customer experience.

Everybody impacts the customer experience.

It is also a joke that someone from a hospitality organization would say, “safety, security and the customer experience are different things.”

My coaching to you is to go to Jaleo and eat, but do not stay overnight for fear that your room could be ransacked for “security reasons.”

Republished with author’s permission from original post.

Peter Psichogios
Peter Psichogios is the President of CSI International Performance Group whose mission is to help companies create engaging employee and customer experiences. Prior to joining CSI International Peter served as an executive member of one of the largest Instructional System Association companies in the world. In this capacity, he led all the front-end analysis and worked directly with Dr. Ken Blanchard. Peter has been fortunate to work with the who's who of the Fortune 500, helping them deliver innovative learning, engagement and recognition solutions.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here