How to Get a Free Hotel Room by Complaining

By Leah Rendon

Learn when to effectively complain and when to keep your mouth shut

How to Get a Free Hotel Room by Complaining

The dripping bathroom faucet grates on your nerves. Boisterous neighbors are partying the night away. Your supposed luxury bed is just a lumpy mattress. Plenty of problematic issues, both big and small, can arise during a hotel stay. Don’t be shy about voicing your concerns. While you won’t necessarily be rewarded with a free room by complaining, you may be compensated in other ways, such as an upgraded room or a discounted rate. You may also receive something that’s hard to find these days – a satisfying customer service experience.

Q: What hotel experiences should you complain about?

A: It doesn’t make much sense to complain about events that are out of the hotel’s control, such as delayed flights or harsh weather conditions. Legitimate complaints are situations the hotel can actually remedy, such as excessive noise or broken fixtures in your room.

Q: When should you complain?

A: Voice your complaint immediately, if possible. Don’t leave the hotel angry or unsatisfied. Ranting to your friends on social media may bring momentary relief, but it won’t fix the issue. By sharing your concerns with staff, you’re giving the hotel a chance to rectify the situation.

Q: How do you effectively complain about hotel services?

A: First off, stay calm, cool and collected while complaining. The hotel staff is more inclined to help if you show them respect.

The front desk staff is best equipped to address your complaint. Even if they can’t fix your problem, they can probably find someone with the authority or ability to do so. If you feel as if your complaints aren’t being taken seriously, ask to speak to a manager. If you still fail to get results, you may want to write a letter to the hotel’s corporate headquarters and explain the situation. Whether you’re complaining in person or in writing, offer as many details as possible, such as names and dates. Providing photographic or video evidence can help your case as well.

Q: How do you ask for compensation?

A: You should typically avoid asking for compensation. If the infraction is minor, a simple apology may do. If you truly believe you can’t enjoy a restful stay in the current conditions, then you’re within your rights to ask for a new room. As a whole, however, you should wait for the staff to offer compensation. In some cases, they will ask you how they can compensate you for your troubles. Try to keep your request in line with the problem at hand. For instance, if your room service arrived cold, don’t demand a free weekend stay. Instead, consider asking for a hot meal, free of charge.

Q: What should I do once the problem is resolved?

A: If the hotel successfully addressed your complaint, make sure you mention it at checkout or at some point before you depart. Thank them for their efforts. Businesses typically only hear from customers when they’ve done something wrong. Letting them know how they successfully resolved an issue may help them further improve customer service in the future.

About the Author

A travel writer since 2002, Leah Rendon has written countless articles for online pop-culture magazines and various travel-related websites, including Eurobooking and World66. Gosford also has experience in copywriting, having developed a series of articles related to network marketing. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in theater arts.