Clicky

badge

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Curious case of Radisson Blu Club Carlson membership error

This is a curious case of my Club Carlson Membership’s data entry error and the subsequent ordeal. What I thought would be a simple data entry correction proved to be a super complicated process. Whoever designed Radisson Blu’s loyalty program didn’t foresee this situation and failed to provide a remedy.

Background:
February 2017- Myself and a colleague check-in at Radisson Blu Scandinavia, Copenhagen, Denmark. We sign up for Radisson Blu’s loyalty program, Club Carlson. We are given a physical card, with numbers embossed on it and told we can start getting loyalty points from current stay onwards. We fill an enrollment form and give to the check-in staff.
One week later, we are back in India. I start getting emails from Club Carlson. But to my surprise, the emails address me as Mr . X where X is the name of my colleague. Clearly, the check-in clerk at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia made a data entry error, swapped name/email ID of me and my colleague.
Club Carlson’s emails do not mention any support email ID. I can’t login to the website either, because the membership ID given to me and my email do not seem to be matching. It is not letting me activate the account or reset the password.

On one of the evenings, I had some work at Radisson Blu Hotel in Egmore, Chennai. This hotel is not even a franchise- reportedly operated directly by Radisson Blu.

I went to Club Carlson desk at the hotel and ask them if they can help sort out the mess. Reply is negative- they can’t do anything.  They can only sign up new members or assign points if you stay at their hotel. For any other issues, you’re on your own.

Few weeks later, I got an opportunity to spend 2 nights at Radisson Blu, Temple Bay Mahabalipuram as part of GRT Bloggers meet. This hotel is managed by GRT Hotels, under franchise from Radisson Blu. During this time, I got an opportunity to interact with senior management of the hotel. I explained them the situation, but they also appeared helpless, as they have no contact or influence over Club Carlson membership support.

During check-out, I have whatever membership number I had and asked the staff to credit points for my 2 night stay at Radisson Blu. He didn’t see any issue with the number I had or name, said points have been credited.

I got fresh emails, reflecting updated points, but still addressing me with my colleague’s name. Now I had enough points that entitles me for one night free stay- worth about INR 6000 or so, not to be lost because of someone’s data entry error.

Then I turned to Club Carlson’s twitter support. They were prompt in responding and were very helpful. But some of their ask was simply not making sense.

I was told membership details once created can’t be corrected. I was asked to get email ID, membership number and other details of my colleague with whom my data was swapped.  I refused. It was not my fault and I can’t keep running around. Why should I trouble my colleague to share his details? In this case I know the person, but what if it was a stranger?. I gave them the date of enrollment and name of my colleague using which they can identify rest of the details, but the support staff insisted that I should get my colleague’s email ID and membership number. I refused again.

I launched a parallel conversation with their email support, after getting email ID from twitter support. While twitter support was very considerate, Email support was worse- they refuse to acknowledge the error and stuck to their point that nothing can be changed. Their solution was that they can create a new account for me and then work with hotels for the points- it was not worth my time and effort.
Eventually twitter support said they have created a new account and credited me equivalent points. But I can’t see my previous stay details in my account.

So lesson for you: If you’re signing up for Radisson Blu’s Club Carlson membership, ensure that no one else is signing up for the same within 5 km radius and insist to peep into the monitor to ensure that all details are entered correctly. Else if there’s a data entry mistake, you might be offering free points to someone else with your stay.

PS: It is the same story with Indian service providers too- like Banks and mobile companies- They take your address proof and create an account, but do some typo errors. If I highlight the error and ask it to be corrected, response will be “Sir, you’ve to raise an address change request”. If I say “This is not address change- correct it as per proof already submitted or provide me proof for whatever address you have entered”- they don’t have any remedy. I was thinking Radisson Blu support will be more efficient but I was wrong. Whoever designing their IT solution/support should re-think about these scenarios and include a way to deal with such situations- like may be update from backend etc.

0 comments :