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Travelodge in general
Member Name: Tortelloni
Travelodge in general
Advantages: They get it right, sometimes
Disadvantages: They get it wrong, most of the time
I have had many, many experiences with Travelodge over the years. The chain has been around since the 80's, but the first time I stayed in one was around 2005. On the whole, I feel they are a poor representation of the hospitality industry. They charge low prices, and offer the absolute minimum in return, which when you think about it is fine. Where they fall short is that they can also offer dirty rooms, surly staff and terrible customer service. Premier Inn is a similar budget chain, charging low prices and offering very basic facilities, but they get all the things right that Travelodge gets wrong, so the problems that Travelodge has are purely down to penny pinching by the big-wigs and not just because of the low room rates.
The fact that people are cottoning on to this is why they launched their 'Sleep Tight' campaign with the Mr Sleep teddies. This is being done to make the brand look more 'friendly' and less corporate, a lot like Premier Inn already is when you think about it...
The customer service from their head office is appalling. Following a particularly terrible stay at a Travelodge in Sunderland, I wrote a recorded delivery letter to their Head Office ('Sleepy Hollow') in Oxfordshire. The address isn't given to customers, so I had to find it in the press office section of their website. They care more about investors than customers, you see. It was received and signed for 2 days later. I heard nothing back from them for over a month, so I emailed them twice and heard absolutely nothing. I had to look on Google for a phone number and eventually found one, though this only put me through to reservations, and the person on the phone had no idea how to contact Customer Services either, he kept telling me to use the contact form on the website even though I repeatedly explained they weren't replying.
So I once again emailed them, asking for a Customer Service phone number or I would claim the money paid for my stay back through the Government's 'MoneyClaim' site. This miraculously received a reply, telling me that CS didn't have a phone number and if I wanted to complain I would need to contact them in writing! I explained everything yet again. About a week later I received an email which informed me I had been given an e-voucher to the value of my stay. Basically a Travelodge voucher to use on the website. No apology or actual response to my complaint though!
Regarding individual hotel experiences, some are quite pleasant, a very small number are newly renovated, and the vast majority are cold, unwelcoming and dirty places. I'll write up separate reviews for the individual hotels to give a better insight.
Summary: Try Premier Inn!
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