My organisation co hosted an event with a UK organisation last week. The person organising our event and taking care of all the bookings was absolutely incompetent and useless.
An enquiry was made in April 2010 for conferencing requirements for September. The booking for a 3-day conference and 12 rooms was confirmed on 9 July 2010 and credit card details were emailed. Pauline, the organiser, requested our credit card details as a hold to secure the booking and insisted that we did not need to pay a deposit. The terms and conditions on one of the emails that Pauline sent to us, confirms this. My colleague from the UK emailed the credit card details on 09/07/10. I re-sent the credit card details on 4 August 2010 and Pauline responded to this email. On Tuesday, 7 September, the day before the conference, my colleagues called to tell me that there were problems with the accommodation. When confronted, Pauline made various excuses, all of which were not true and some of which were contradictory. She had clearly messed up our booking and instead of taking responsibility for the mess, she tried to pass the buck and make more excuses.
We asked about accessing Wi-Fi in rooms at Foxwood and she gave us some excuse about renovations having affected internet access – this was not ideal as Wi-Fi access was essential to our operations here and one of the reasons we chose Foxwood was because there was free Wi-Fi access in all conference rooms and bedrooms.
On Wednesday, 8 September, we were allocated a very small conference room, one which was very cramped and not suitable for ± 25 people.
Pauline insisted that Foxwood would take care of all arrangement of a transport to shuttle guests to and from other guesthouses. On Thursday, 09 September 2010, the allocated Foxwood shuttle left after our meeting was supposed to have started, to pick up guests from another guesthouse, despite the fact that Kelly requested that all guests be picked up by 8:30. As a result, our meeting was delayed and the entire agenda subsequent to that was affected. Pauline again just made more excuses and at no stage apologised for the error.
The Wi-Fi was not working in the conference room, which again affected our operations and some of us had to leave the meeting continuously to access emails.
When we complained to the manager, he was very unapologetic and did not believe our claims about the bad organisation, despite the fact that we have emails to back up all our claims. He also said that the guesthouse had gone out of its way to provided services such as security, but these are standard services at the place. Furthermore, the parking was full early in the morning each day, so many guests using their own cars had to park on the street.
Overall, our experience at Foxwood has been appalling and inexcusable and we will not be utilising those facilities again. While the accommodation is of a high standard and the staff are generally very friendly and helpful, I would not recommend Foxwood to my worst enemy.
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