Guests complaints are inevitable. When guests have a problem about something they will complain about it. Sometimes these complaints will be justified, such as being brought the wrong order in a restaurant or not getting the kind of room that was booked or being over charged for a service. Sometimes the guests complaints will be unreasonable, such as a guest demanding an up graded room at no extra cost or becoming anger over a short delay. Whether the problem or complaint is justified or not, it must be handled with dispatch and professionalism.

The kinds of problems and complaints that hotel employees are likely to encounter are as varied as the guests themselves. Look at a few of these examples.

Expressions- Guest’s Complaints

Possible problems or complaints

There are not enough towels in my room.
The sink is leaking in the bathroom.
This tread mill doesn’t seem to be working properly.
How did my child get so dirty?
I seem to have misplaced my tennis racket. Has one been turned in?
I specifically requested an ocean view, but the room I was given has a view of the pool.
This soup is not warm enough.
This fish tastes like sour milk.
Why is our order taking so long?
We have no ketchup at this table.

Responses to problems or guest’s complaints

I’ll see to that right away ma’am.
I’ll correct the situation immediately, sir.
I’m so sorry sir; that should never have happened.
I’ll take care of that right away sir.
I’ll see to it immediately.
I’ll see what I can do about it and get back to you.

Dialogue- Guests Complaints

Guest: When I first arrived I was assured that a bottle of Chivas Regis would always be in the mini-bar. Well I’m here now and the bottle isn’t. What kind of hotel are you running here anyway!
Staff: I sincerely apologize for the oversight sir. We have been exceedingly busy today because of the convention. I’ll have a complimentary bottle delivered immediately. Please accept it with our compliments.
Guest: Well, I should hope it would be complimentary. Thank you. Good bye.

Guest : This tea is sweetened, and I specifically wanted unsweetened tea.
Staff: I’m sorry ma’am. I’ll bring an unsweetened tea immediately. Please excuse the mistake.
Guest: No problem, things happen.
Staff: Here’s your tea ma’am. Let me know if I can be of further assistance. Enjoy the rest of your meal.
Guest: Thank you.

Guest: I had reserved a tennis court, but it has has been taken over by someone else.
Staff: Yes sir, I understand. But we have a policy that if a party is more than 15 minutes late for a starting time, we schedule the courts for other waiting guests. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience. Would you like to reschedule?

Guest: I requested the eggs over hard, these are over easy.
Guest: Sorry about that sir, let me make you some more right away.

Guest: We ran out of toilet paper. Is it possible to get more?
Staff: Of course, ma’am. I’ll send more up immediately. Is there any thing else you require?
Guest: Now that you mention it, could you also bring up a six pack of Heineken?
Staff: Yes ma’am, I’ll notify room service and have them send some to your room.
Guest: That would be great, thanks.

Conversation Activities- Guests Complaints

1. Role Play

Role play the following situations with a partner, one person taking the role of the guest complaining about the items listed below and the other person taking the role of a hotel staff.

No soap in the changing room
An exercise machine that does not work properly
A room not being cleaned yet
The room air conditioner is not working properly
The guest next to him is playing music too loud
The room smells like smoke
A side of garlic toast has not arrived
There’s a bug in the salad

2. Individual Activity- Complaints, Appropriate Responses

One student makes a typical complaint that a guest may have. Other students give a response. The teacher decides which student gave the best response based on language, grammar use, and pronunciation. The person with the best answer gets a point. The student with the most points wins. Have the students give several complaints.

3. Group Activity- Complaints, A Skit

Have a discussion about the things that guest typically complain about. What are the complaints? Are they legitimate or petty? Do people from different countries complain more than others. Do people from the same countries complain about the same things? What is the most unusual complaint you have had
to deal with?

4. Group Activity- Complaints, First To Know

Put the list of problems (in bold) on the board. The teacher reads the guest’s complaint out loud to the class. Students listen to the complaint and decide what the problem is. The first student who identifies the problem races to the board and puts their name or initials next to it. The student with the most initials or names wins.

The sheets haven’t been changed.
Those things were so grungy that it will be hard to get to sleep.

The TV hasn’t been fixed.
It’s imperative that I keep abreast with the latest news for my job.

The shower hasn’t been repaired.
When will it get done, I can’t sleep with the constant drip, drip, drip.

Guest’s shoes haven’t been shined.
They have to be done by 3:00; I can’t go to a meeting with them looking like that.

Guest’s luggage hasn’t been brought up.
Well when will it be here; I want to take a shower and change clothes.

The waste paper basket hasn’t been empty.
I wish you would hurry up; trash is overflowing all over the floor.

The carpet is dirty.
It’s disgusting; I can’t even walk across the floor in my bare feet.

The towels haven’t been replaced.
What am I supposed to do, try to dry off with wet, soiled towels?

Laundry hasn’t been returned.
It’s already been 24 hours. I can’t keep wearing dirty clothes.

The mini bar has not been re-stocked.
Do you really expect me to go to 7-11 just to buy a couple of candy bars and a beer?

Other Links
Making Complaints