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Monday, December 13, 2004

Dear Hilton,

What follows is the exact letter. I will be sure to post any response, counter-response and counter-counter-reponses that may follow...

At about 2:00 a.m. I woke up and heard screaming and banging on the floor we were on (7th - room 714). I hoped it would stop soon and laid back down in bed hoping to fall back asleep. For the next 15 minutes, the screaming and banging would come and go. It would stop for a minute or two and then continue. At this point (about 2:15/2:20 a.m.), I called the front desk and was told that a man had been accidentally locked out of his room by his wife and could not get back in. I was told the noise should stop shortly. Well, it did not. Over the next 20 minutes the noise became much more persistent.

By about 2:40 a.m. I had enough and opened my door. Across the hall, I saw a man with a cell phone (presumably trying to call his wife in the room), and a Hilton Hotel employee who was banging...actually pounding on the door. I asked why this was necessary. I asked why they continued to do this at such a late hour when it had obviously not worked over the last 40 minutes and they were clearly disturbing people on the floor (if not on other floors as well since they were banging so loud). The woman that worked for Hilton then asked me if I'd prefer that she break down the door. Knowing by her tone that she was being sarcastic with me, I responded by telling her that it would be a good option to try to knock it down since 1. they had done nothing but cause a disturbance for the last 40 minutes and 2. if she was able to break it down, the problem would be solved and the noise would stop. I pleaded for several minutes with her to figure out another way to solve this problem. Although she seemed not to care at first, she realized at some point what a disturbance was being caused and told the man there was nothing more she could do to help and he would have to get another room.

At this point, I called the front desk again as I was not happy at all with the response I got from the Hilton employee. I also wanted to express my unhappiness with the fact that it was a member of the Hilton staff causing all this noise at such a late hour. Honestly, I could not believe that someone working for Hilton would try to solve this kind of problem by doing what she did, for so long, and at that time of night. I spoke with Greg at the front desk, explained what had been happening and asked him to get the manager on duty. He did not seem at all sympathetic to my situation and had an attitude like 'what do you want me to do about it'. He proceeded to tell me the manager was away from the desk but he could have them call me back. Given the late hour, I asked him to log a complaint on my account and I would deal with the issue with Hilton directly. He said he would log it and before I could say anything else (which I intended to), he hung up the phone. I quickly called back and asked him what I was going to ask him before he hung up on me - his name. I have no idea if my complaint was logged to my account like he said it would be.

On top of all this, I then had problems with the cleaning staff the next morning. The night before we had asked for a late checkout. We were told we could stay until 12 p.m. That was fine with us as we only hoped for an extra hour. At 11:48 a.m. as we were packing the remainder of our clothing, the maid knocked on the door. I told her we requested a late checkout and they told us we could stay until 12 p.m. She then said to me - "It is 12." I almost did not respond at all at that point, but I finally said "No, it's 11:48". She went away at that point without saying anything else. If there was any issue with having a late checkout, we should have been told so, but were not. After being kept up for an hour in the middle of the night, I was not happy with this at all. If anything I was hoping that someone would have contacted us and asked us if we needed a little more extra time, given the note that was supposed to be on my account. If I were Greg, I not only would have noted it on my account, I would have advised the on duty manager of the situation given the fact I had such an unhappy guest. I don't know if he did that or not, but if he did, the manager didn't care either.

So, I ask those of you at Hilton reading this. Is this the way Hilton employees are...

1. Trained to deal with situations where people are locked out of their room at 2 a.m.?

2. Trained to respond to guests staying at Hilton? Specifically

a. the woman who had no regard for the disturbance she was causing and tried to convince me that there was no issue.

b. Greg at the front desk who seemed to care less about my problem and took my complaint in disgust.

3. Trained to get people out of their room so they can begin cleaning and finish their job?

I have stayed at Hilton hotels consistently for the past several years. I am a long standing and usually happy Hilton Honors member. I have had problems in the past (all of which resolved to my satisfaction), but I have to tell you that what occurred this past Saturday is making me think hard about ever staying at or recommending Hilton or any of your partner hotels again. I do not know or at this point care what caused all of this to happen. All I know is that I just paid $271 for two nights at your hotel and instead of having a relaxing time, I am left remembering a horrible night.

If you care to respond, please do so via e-mail.