The service was unacceptable from the point that I checked in. The person checking me in appeared disinterested. After prolonged discussion about how I might spell my name, she was able to find my reservation. I was asked to authorise £50 on my debit card to cover any incidentals. I have no problem with this. However, when she passed the terminal to me the amount was around £430. When I questioned this I was told there was a problem with the system. She was not able to amend this, but I was told that this was not going to be a problem and that she would sort me out as a credit rather than a cash customer. This seemed a little inept, but with a willingness to try to help out.
I later ordered room service. When it turned up, I was asked to pay in cash, as I had apparently not left a card swipe. I explained the hassle at check in and that It was sorted for me to be a credit customer by the helpful receptionist. This was apparently good enough as an explanation, the food was left, and it was reasonable.
I thought little more of this and went to bed. I was woken up by a phone call from reception as I had not paid for my room service. I explained the above and asked whether it was really essential to settle immediately (I was booked in for the next two nights). The aggressive impatient caller from reception insisted that it did need sorting immediately. I later learned that rather than simply taking payment for the £20 I had spend she took payment (NOT pre-authorisation) for £50.
For the next couple of days I managed no interaction at all with the staff and the hotel seemed quite pleasant. Alas, I on check-out I had to step once more into the lions den.
When I tried checking out (a simple process in other hotels) I learned of the £50 payment that had been taken. And I learned that they wanted to refund me £20, as their records showed I had spent 30. This was not true, and after a brief discussion, I was able to demonstrate this. I was then asked to pay the £20 again (now £70 paid for the room service) and I was told that it was for some reason not possible to refund the £50 as there was a problem with the system. I was told that they could not check me out, and close my account because of this problem. They arranged to refund the outstanding £50 and send me a receipt. This process took about 20 mins.
The member of hotel staff checking me out was the first person I spoke with over the three days who seemed interested in recognising there was a problem and trying to solve it. Other staff seemed to tread customers with a bland disregard.
I will avoid this place in future, I do not like this kind of hassle. I would not recommend it to anyone. A shame really as it is a nice enough building in a reasonable location. For staff to wake a guest up to mis-apply charges to their card is exceptionally poor service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of England the Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC offers a unique contemporary style and simple elegance on the doorstep of the NEC and within close proximity of Birmingham International Airport. Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC offers a luxurious accommodation featuring air-conditioning, high speed Internet access (subject to an additional charge) and TV with movies on demand. A fashionable bar and Pendigo's Restaurant is also available for all residents and non-residents. With 11 custom-designed meeting and banqueting suites, Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC has the flexibility to host events of many shapes and sizes. Set in landscaped grounds overlooking Pendigo Lake, Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC is only 5 minutes walk from the National Exhibition Centre and NEC Arena, 5 minutes drive from Birmingham International Airport and International Train Station, 10 miles from Birmingham City Centre and within easy reach of major UK motorways (M5, M6, M40 and M42).WI-FI Internet Access is available in all meeting rooms, bar and the restaurant. We also have very reasonable Park and Fly packages packages available. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza Birmingham
- Birmingham Crowne Plaza