After six weeks of hospitality by the Embassy Suites I was asked to move on. Here’s the story.
Change of Office Location
My employer relocated to Crescent Centre Drive in Franklin on Friday June 13th 2014. Co-incidentally my employer held its annual “All Hands” Meeting at the Embassy Suites also on Crescent Centre Drive. Since my commute was increasing another 16 miles total distance, I’d need to find somewhere to charge my car. Guess what? The Embassy Suites has 4 Blink charging stations. We had a nice lunch at the Hotel and a meeting in a separate auditorium later on. About 500 people attended the alll hands, I did some mental arithmetic multiplying $25 per head by 500 and realized we probably spent well over $10,000 with the hotel that day for this meeting. Amazing how it all adds up.
Super Hospitable Duty Management
I seized the opportunity at the all hands meeting to meet with hotel management.and ask if I could pay to use the charging stations daily. The manager I met was very friendly and thought about it for a few seconds and said “Just go ahead and use them, no charge!!”. Wow!! That was much better than I expected. The only caveat he added was that I should use a different unit each day and report any equipment failures to Blink so as to relieve him from having to do that. He went on to explain that since the Hotel lost its contract with Nissan or North America, the units sit idle most of the time.
Over the next six weeks I enjoyed the privilege of charging at the hotel and walking across the road to my new workplace. Two of the units developed faults during this time and reported both to Blink. You can see the acknowledgement from Blink in the image to the left. Feeling that this was “too good to be true” I made a point of popping into the hotel restaurant at lunch once in a while to buy lunch. It was the least I could do.
The last time I ate lunch at the hotel was on July 24th. I only had 30 minutes between meetings and in Cool Springs its pretty much impossible to get lunch in 30 minutes. I knew that the hotel could prepare lunch to go. I did just that, giving a the staff a $3 tip (over and above the 20% guidance on the ticket).
Everything was going just great until………
Hospitality Withdrawn by General Manager
I parked as usual on July 25th. I returned to the car at lunchtime after my charge was complete and noticed an envelope under my windshield wiper.
The note told me that I was to no longer to charge my car at the hotel. It was polite and to the point. I figured this was a simple misunderstanding. There are several managers at a large hotel like this so I went inside to see if I could smooth things over with them.
The manager I met was very friendly and understanding. He took my business card and said the General Manager would give me a call. No such call took place.
I returned two weeks later and met the manager I had met the first time. He smiled and knew instantly why I was there. He informed me that despite the fact he gave me permission, he may have spoken out of turn and the issue was now being handled by the hotel’s General Manager. I gave him my business card and several documents to show I had kept my side of the bargain. I reiterated my willingness to pay, even pay for all the charges since June 13th. He said he would pass everything onto the GM, but it was clear that’s all he would do, he wasn’t going to do my bidding for me.
Well an additional two weeks went by and the general manager has never attempted to contact me. Presumably he considers the matter closed, I am rather perturbed that he could not extend the courtesy of a phone call.
I realize any such arrangement on private property is a privilege and not a right or entitlement, but I did expect a little hospitality from the General Manager, if only to firmly send me on my way. I speculate the GM took umbrage unnecessarily and probably thought I was trying to freeload. Unfortunately since he won’t even say Hi, I can’t address any misunderstanding with the GM. Clearly not a matter he is willing to concern himself with during the daily demands he has as a General Manager of a busy hotel.
So it would seem you can spend tens of thousands with a Hotel chain as a company and geographical neighbor, and employees of that company spend time and money at the same hotel, but given a few weeks for memories to fade and it all amounts to a hill of beans. I was at least expecting a little goodwill thrown my way in light of me and my employer being good neighbors and helping to support their business. I was sadly mistaken.
I won’t be back
We are challenged for meeting space at our new offices and a colleague suggested that we go across the road to the Embassy Suites. As the team lead I said no and explained I was boycotting the hotel, we’ll go to “Egg and I” nearby instead for our offsite meetings. Sorry Embassy Suites, I no longer feel welcome as a paying customer.
If you are visiting Nashville and drive an EV. May suggest you stay at one of the following area hotels.
Holiday Inn Vanderbilt.
Hilton Garden Inn
Sheraton Nashville Downtown.