Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rocheport weekend: Bed and Bikefest

My last post will be about our bed and breakfast experience at Rocheport. We stayed at the Katy Trail Bed and Bikefest Inn. We had our own personal cabin. In order to get into the cabin, we had a code to punch into the door. This will be important later.

Anyway, we decided to "check in" to the cabin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, meaning we just punched the code into the door. When we walked into the cabin, we realized that it had not yet been cleaned from the other guests. There were dishes in the sink, the beds were not made, and it was in a general state of disarray. So, David's aunt called the owners, one of which answered, profusely apologized, and then said that she would call the cleaning service and call back. About 5 minutes later, the cleaning service arrived. We left the house.

Later, we came back and the house was clean and we prepared for dinner. We left for dinner and as soon as the door closed David's aunt realized that we didn't have the sheet of paper with the code on it. None of us remembered the code, but no problem, we just figured that we'd call the owners. But the owners didn't answer, so we just left messages.

Three hours later, after we had finished our wine tasting and dinner, the owners still had not called back. I tried calling, David's aunt tried just guessing the code, but nothing worked. We sat outside our cabin for 10-15 minutes before David's mom decided to try to see if anybody else was staying at another bed and breakfast cabin and had our code. Guess what? They did. We tried that code and got into the cabin.

When we got into the cabin we realized that the air conditioner had frozen over. One of the pipes was almost comically a block of ice. It was white and cold. Keep in mind that the owners had not called us back from when we were locked out of the cabin, so we attempted to fan the air conditioner, open windows, whatever it took to make it cooler in the cabin.

In the process of this, one of the circuit breakers went out and electricity was lost in a bathroom and half the kitchen.

It sounds like a crazy story, but we were really okay and just happy to be out of the mosquitoes outside. Eventually, the air conditioner unfroze and we were able to go to sleep. Also, later, someone fixed the circuit breaker. But, throughout this process, we still had not heard from the owners, who I don't think knew that we had gotten back into the cabin.

During the course of the weekend we had long discussions about good customer service. When a company makes a mistake, the worst thing that can happen is for them to deny the mistake to the customer.

On Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m., the owners of the bed and breakfast called David's aunt and profusely apologized. They were at a family wedding, they didn't have their phones, etc. They listened about what had happened, from being locked out, to the air conditioner going out, to the issues about the breaker. And then they said that they would refund all of our money and offered David's aunt a free night's stay in their bed and breakfast in the future. They said that they would stay closer to their phones in the future and try to answer calls.

I think that they handled it in the best way possible. They messed up. When you are in the bed and breakfast/hotel business, you have got to have someone on call to answer phones in the event of a complaint. What if something had really gone wrong, like the bathroom flooded? There is no two ways about it.

But what really rectified the situation is that they handled their mistake well. They admitted that it was their fault and offered above and beyond what we had been expecting in return for the trouble. They had good customer service.

Would I recommend it? Yes, I think that it was semi-cheap and I doubt that other people had issues like us. So, here is the information:

Katy Trail Bed and Bikefest
101 Lewis Street
Rocheport, MO 65279
(573) 698- BIKE

1 comment:

Kathy said...

When I started to read this comedy of errors, I thought, "Oh, I hope Abbie doesn't mention the name of the b&b"! Even though so many things went wrong, I didn't want to embarrass the owners or give them bad publicity. But you certainly did make fair points. Tom was recently saying that since people can leave comments on the Internet, businesses are being forced to improve their customer service. So hopefully the b&b owners learned several lessons from our experience and things will be better for future customers. Plus, I am a fan of getting our money back!