The Book Tour – Part 1
Posted by Gail | Filed under Thinking Out Loud
January, February, and March of 2013 have been reserved for the book tour for my latest book, Money Rules. This tour had to be planned well in advance because not only am I going to do the normal media and bookstore appearances, but I want to reach out to university and college students, presenting at their campuses to try and get ‘em early! Over the next few weeks I’ll share some of my journey with you.
I’m not one of those people who travels fancy. I wear my comfy clothes. No make-up. Regular seats. (I can’t thoil forking over thousands of dollars to fly biz class when the “benefits” are worth a buck fifty two.) I do insist on a good bed wherever I’m staying. Good bath products are a special treat. Quiet is a must!
I’ve actually stopped staying at some hotels because they’re noisy. After being awoken one morning by hammering I called down to the front desk and asked, “Do you know why I come to a hotel?” The tentative voice on the other end hesitated and then said, “To sleep.” They credited my account.
I headed out for the first leg of my tour on a bright Saturday morning, stopping at Costco in Oshawa and Walmart in Scarborough to sign books. People are lovely, you know? They are kind and so happy to see me. And I love hearing how they’ve taken the tips and techniques I’ve offered and made them work to change their lives.
From there I headed to the airport to fly to Edmonton, which was my first stop out west. I arrived at my hotel quite late and my first impression was “omg it’s a dump.” But I was tired so I climbed into bed and went to sleep. It wasn’t until the next morning when I found someone else’s hair clinging to my shower curtain that I said, “Nope, no way!” contacted the person in charge of my tour and moved to another hotel.
Here’s the thing about brand names. Sometimes the brand has so much power that we believe we will get what they’ve always delivered. The hotel in Edmonton was the Sutton Place. The Sutton Place in Toronto was a fabulous hotel with fantastic customer service. The one in Edmonton left a lot to be desired.
The same thing happened to me last year when I booked a vacation for myself and Malcolm at the Sheraton in Nassau, in the Bahamas. Sheraton has always been a lovely hotel. This place was an unmitigated dump. I tweeted about it A LOT. The place was run down, the food was horrible – really Chef, duck with cherry sauce does not mean you can use maraschino cherries! – and the overall experience was not at all what I expected.
There comes a time in many brands’ lives when they move to “reaping.” They stop building the brand, stop caring about how people perceive the brand, and just try to rake in as much money as they can before they dump and run.
I get that with all the hotels I stay in from time to time there’s going to be a dud. I want to make sure my mistake means someone else does not make the same mistake. That’s why I tweet, blog and yell about bad experiences. If I go somewhere and the food is good, I say so. If I go somewhere and the experience is horrible – not mediocre, anyone can have a bad day, but downright dreadful – I’m going to tell everyone. Absolutely everyone. And so should you.
Enough with the putting up with crappy service and garbage experiences. Speak up!