Below is a real copy of the letter of complaint I sent to my hotel last night. For my friends out there who are wondering where the heck I've been, this post might shade some light. *Names had been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.
May 18th, 2011
- On May 14th morning, I suffered severe pains on my right-hand side upper quadrant of the abdomen as well as high fever. We asked for the hotel to contact the hotel’s affiliated doctor, which took more than one hour.
- The doctor didn’t come, but the assistant physician did. Her diagnosis was: Cholelithiasis, or gall bladder stone, and prescribed me medications
- When my mother called the hotel to request for a water-boiler and ice, to provide compress to my right side, the hotel flat-out told us that we would need to be charged $7++ for those. What arrived were a small thermos filled with hot water, and a bucket of ice. We asked for *water boiler*, not a thermos.
- On May 14th approximately 6:20 pm, the pain became excruciating, so I asked for my mother to take me to the nearest hospital. Ambulance service was very expensive, and so I thought I would take the taxi instead.
- By this point it was already difficult for me to get up, not to mention walk.
- Downstairs, we saw a long line of people waiting for the taxi. One of my nephews who came to help me, quickly asked the doorman who was hailing for cabs at the time, if we could get a priority this one time, as I was really sick and in pain, and we needed to go to the hospital quickly.
- The doorman took one look at me, who was leaning on my mother, cringing in pain, and told us “NO.” Then he turned his back on us and resumed whatever he’s doing at the time.
- My nephew then ran to the reception to ask for help. A man from the front desk hesitantly followed my nephew outside to talk to the doorman. They both looked me up and down, and then… nothing. The man went back inside, the doorman resumed hailing cabs, neither one gave me the time of day.
- By now about 15-18 minutes had gone by, and finally my nephew went back in to ask for help again. This time, a different man (from the two previous ones) went along with him and asked me, “Ma’am you need to go to the hospital?” DUH. I was there for the past 20 minutes obviously in so much pain, my nephew had approached two hotel staffs who didn’t give a damn, and now the question? I told him, “Yes, I am in severe pain now because I think I have kidney stones.”
- This man then went out, talked to the first doorman, which was probably when they decided perhaps they should take me seriously and that I wasn’t kidding or anything. I hurt me to even take a breath, and it was crystal clear that I was in so much pain, and what?!? They thought I was kidding or something? Those twenty over minutes could mean life and death, and there they were, just robotically doing their jobs as if they didn’t even want to do it in the first place.
- I was admitted to St. Luke’s Roosevelt hospital ER, and after 6.5 hours of evaluations, tests, and check-ups, I was diagnosed with pyelonephritis, or kidney infection.
The option was given to me on whether or not I would like to stay in the hospital (on a stiff stretcher, next to an unstable overdosed woman who kept on rambling) or return to the hotel. Since there were not much they can do about the pain, I would just have to continue taking the medications until it all cleared out. It was a no-brainer, of course I chose to return to the hotel. It was 1:15am by the time I got back from the hospital. My nephew quickly ran in to ask the hotel for a wheelchair. I was still in so much pain and could not walk. It took him over 15 minutes to finally locate a staff who brought out the wheelchair—and even then, only stood by and watched, as my mother and my nephew tried to carry and help me into the wheelchair. He didn’t offer us any assistance whatsoever. I was glad to finally reached my hotel room at last, when—guess what—the keys to the room (both of them) didn’t work. We didn’t put the keys where they would be de-magnetized or anything; in fact the two keys were stored differently: one inside my bag, and the other inside my mother’s. My mother quickly went back downstairs to get a new set of keys. There really shouldn’t be any good reason for my keys not to work, it was the 15th and were to check out on the 24th, so there really should be no excuse for them to turn off the activations on our keys. 15 long and painful minutes later (the angle of the wheelchair was not supportive of my current condition), my mother returned, accompanied by a hotel staff, who unbelievably had not trusted her enough to give her a new set of room keys even though she had her ID with her (and who had obviously forgotten that about 15 minutes ago we passed the front desk, me slumped in the wheelchair in pain). When they arrived, I was half unconscious, sitting on my wheelchair in front of my hotel room; my nephew was jamming the key into the key hold in frustration. That moment must have been when the hotel staff was *finally* aware of the urgency of the situation, because he immediately opened the room door for us and said he would be back with a new set of keys. That night my mother called the hotel for a water boiler and ice to compress me with, and guess what? Again they sent a small water kettle and a bucket of ice with a $7 tag on them. Fast forward to May 19th, I was *still* in pain (after two more visits to the doctor). As I were still having chills, it’s really a treat to drink something cold. But we didn’t want to keep being charged for an additional $7++ for a bucket of ice, so what my mother did was to remove the contents of the hotel mini bar fridge, and replaced them with the stuff that we bought at a nearby pharmacy. Turned out that the fridge was electronically set so that every time we remove something from it, we got charged. My mother then called the hotel again, and asked if they could somehow turned off the system just until I feel better. We weren’t eating or drinking anything out of the mini bar. Come on, in my current condition, when would I find the time to cheat the hotel? The answer back from the hotel was that, “no there’s nothing we can do about it. If you need to use a fridge, we can rent it out… for an additional $40++ per day.” I have reached the limit of my patience. I am not staying in some dingy, unknown accommodation. I am staying at Le Parker Pucker Meridien, which is not a cheap hotel. I came here expecting a certain standard of service that is above average. What I’ve experienced is not only that your hotel service does not meet my standards, but it is also way below what is humane. With the exception of the housekeeping maids, who were sometimes helpful and tried in their own ways to make my stay at the hotel a little bearable, there was NO single staff that extends their hands to assist me. And mind you, my mother is old; yet they’ve seen her countless of times trying to support me while I walked, leaving her struggling as well, without so much of an offer to help.
I will never recommend Le
Do Sweat the Small Stuff (Room 1425 and 803)