So I was hosting an event today for some executives.
I picked the Holiday Inn in Brentwood, Essex — near the M25 motorway. Convenient for everyone to get to — does ‘ok’ food and it’s got all the basics — including the obligatory and stupidly priced ‘high speed’ ibahn WiFi internet. That I can put up with.
I paid £150 for the hire of the room to seat 8 people. Again, I can put up with that.
I asked for an LCD Projector so we could have a browse about online. I didn’t ask for the cost. £45 quid, I expected. Or a cheeky £55.
I was appalled when I found out that the projector hire was costed at £175 for the day. On the way out I asked the chap behind the desk if this was an accurate cost.
“Er, yeah,” he said, sheepishly.
I looked to the right of reception and saw the rack rate of an ‘executive’ Holiday Inn room. £179. Rack rate. Come on.
“I could have had a room for 24 hours here, for the cost of that projector hire?” I asked.
“Er, yeah….,” he replied again, hoping that I wouldn’t explode at him. He didn’t work in ‘conferences’, you see.
To be quite sure I wasn’t missing something, I had to point out that the LCD Projector cost MORE than the room hire.
Another sheepish nod.
At the same time I’ve had an email recently from Holiday Inn asking if I’d like to discuss preferential rates with them since I’m in danger of becoming a regular (I’ve booked three rooms with them in the last few months).
No, is the answer.
I’ll find somewhere else.
Alas we were stuck in a bedroom — the Rowan Room. Or the ‘Rowan Suite’. It’s a converted bedroom with a board table stuck it in. Round the corner from the main business section of the hotel. So the ibahn stupidly priced WiFi doesn’t actually work. And the air conditioning is rubbish so you have to keep the door open.
And the LCD Projector is one hundred and seventy-five pounds.
Once again instead of complaining to the poor chap on reception, I smiled brightly, thanked him for his time, typed in the pin number on my credit card and gave them £405 quid.
If you’re thinking of doing business with Holiday Inn, do ask about the LCD Projector cost. Learn from my mistake of assuming they wouldn’t take the mickey.
I’ll invest a bit more in Holiday Inn, I think. Using my executive powers here at Mobile Industry Review, I have decreed this post will be stuck in the ‘Annoying’ category on the frontpage of the site for a month.