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Successful Vacation Complaint

Last summer, in one of the great splurges of my life, I took my sister to a gorgeous spa for a week to celebrate her 40th birthday. Imagine my surprise to be awoken during our first night by a number of large ants crawling all over me. It seemed foolish to wake my sister to share this experience, so I rolled myself tightly in blankets and managed to go back to sleep. I woke up in the morning to find her similarly bundled and asleep on the loveseat across the room, having been similarly plagued by ants during the night.

Needless to say, we complained to the management and were assured that the problem would be solved that day by a special exterminator. Five days of ant invasions and impassioned negotiations with management followed; no other regular room was available for our use, but we did, over the course of a week, sleep in three different rooms at various times. We also did not feel our complaints were particularly well-received, though a lot of support was forthcoming from our fellow guests, who took to referring to us as the "Ant Sisters."

The breakthrough complaint strategy came from my sister (quite a coup for me since I had paid) - she announced to the office staff that we were not willing to spend any further time seeking them out, and would expect the manager to meet us in the dining room the following day at noon. No one appeared, but I was called to the phone where I was informed that there would be no charge for our entire (and, ants aside, wonderful) week. Clearly, the possibility of discussing this in front of a roomful of guests had served as a powerful motivator.




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