The Deal Mommy

Why do people accept bad service?

Today’s post is a little different. For one, it’s written by Deal Dad, who was so inspired by our hotel stay last week at the Coconut Palms Beach Resort II in New Smyrna Beach, FL that he volunteered to write the review. The review speaks for itself, but I have a question: why do people accept bad service? As my horrendous week-long stay went out on twitter, I heard a lot of “oh, that reminds me of X hotel”. My next question would be: “What did you do?” and the answer was almost always “I lived with it”. I’m not talking about small stuff, I’m talking about items like no hot water for the showers, pools being closed at beach resorts (know that one), etc.

Why? Why would you spend your hard earned money (or points, which you also earned one way or another) on sub-par facilities or service? If you’ve had a hotel deliver an experience that was clearly just wrong, did you demand compensation? Why or why not? I’m really curious about judgement.

And without further ado…I present Deal Dad:

Guests of Coconut Palms Beach Resort: Beware room #1014

Recall the scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark when the all of the heavenly visions take a turn for the worst as you realize where this room is located. The building where this unit is located is likely the original manager’s office for the old motel prior to renovation. The porch overlooks the dogleg of the rear parking lot, the entrance to the main beach access road, the coin-op laundry facility, the maid station, and the path to more-appropriately situated units. There is no ocean view whatsoever, while the location behind all of the other units, combined with the steady traffic flow during the day, ensure that you won’t be troubled by the sound of the ocean, either. There’s a small patch of mulch in front of the porch where the property’s electric transformer and gas main are located. The parking lot and main road runs along the side of the building where your bedrooms and the trash dumpsters are located (we awoke to the garbage truck at 8am one morning). The hallway to the property’s new building runs along the other side of the unit. Everyone walking by going to or from their cars has a direct line of sight into the unit, as well as the guest bath which is situated directly across from the front door so you can wave at folks while relieving yourself.

The unit itself features a master bathroom so small you have to stand diagonal to the vanity in order to brush your teeth without bumping your arm into the wall and an older, rust-stained bathtub. The guest bath also features a tiny vanity, i.e., there is minimal space for personal items. Otherwise, the unit has two queen size beds (no king, sorry) and a limited amount of dated furniture, including heavy wrought iron chairs around the dining table with some of the sliders worn down to screws that cause the chairs to rattle loudly on the tile floor (as do the chairs in the unit above you as you’ll become aware). The TVs in the living and guest rooms are old 19” bubble screens. The larger LCD in the master bedroom is located about 6 feet past the foot of the bed and is the only one with a DVD player.

To the unit’s credit, the unit is generally specious, if oddly configured, and the kitchen appears to have been updated with granite countertops and relatively new appliances. However, when we checked in we found that the kitchen’s water faucet wasn’t installed correctly causing the water to comes out of the main faucet in fits and spurts, while the hose attachment didn’t work at all. We brought these and other maintenance issues to the attention of the front desk, including the filthy windows (not that you’d want the view anyway) and deck furniture among others. The sink was repaired on Thursday (breaking our dishwasher in the process) and the other issues went unresolved during our week despite being logged on Monday morning. The wi-fi drops in and out from minute to minute and is so unreliable you will need to buy into one of the other local networks if you need a reliable connection.

As for the rest of the property, the larger of the two pools and the hot tub were closed to replace then tile (during spring break week no less; even more frustrating was that they were re-opened on the day we checked out). The smaller back-up pool was overwhelmed by the volume as you might imagine, and the heater went off line rendering the pool un-swimmable for about a day. The security gate access to the pool was propped open all week and the staff did not walk through to check out wrist bands. Also, no (free) mid-week maid service, limited-hour towel exchange, and no fitness room (although one is apparently in the works).

The sad thing is the property has a lot of good features and a great location, and we felt that if we were in the newer building or one of the bungalows farther forward, our experience here would have been far more satisfactory. But we did not get to stay in any of those units – we were stuck in #1014. If you have already rented into this property, I would get a guarantee in writing from the management that you will not get a back-side unit. If location or easy access to your car is all you need – this gem is all yours.

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