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“Shocking guest service”

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Holiday Inn Birmingham North - Cannock
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Cannock
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We stayed at the hotel on Friday 28.12.12. When we arrived we were greeted by a miserable receptionist called Laura, not really a pleasant welcome but she continued to check us in, she checked us in and asked for our card to pay for the room, to which I said I was under the impression it had been paid for, she abruptly stated that it had not. I started to check my emails as I was sure I had, she then just said 'my bad, it has been paid for' no I'm sorry for the confusion!
Great start!
We were then given room keys and off we went. The hotel itself was fine and had all the facilities we required and was clean. We were off out to a local event so we did not spend much time in the hotel.
This led to our check out, another great encounter with Ramada staff, it was the lovely Laura back on reception, well actually she was on her way out with another member of staff to what I assume was a quick break but as my partner was in front of me she did not see me walking behind she saw my partner make his way to the reception desk and as there was no other staff, rolled her eyes at her colleague and make her way back to the reception desk to serve him. To which her friend waited next to her while she served him. She again greeted us in an abrupt manner and stated that the card details that she processed last night was declined so she needed to process again. Confused as I was under the impression we had paid already, waited patiently while she tapped card details in again....no she said its not going through, she looked at us and said you booked with a travel agent didn't you which I agreed and then just slammed her hand down took our key cards off us and muttered to her friend but clearly loud enough 'can't check them out because it won't let me' really not my problem!!!! Nor should I even know about it!!! We then walked away with no goodbye thank you hope you enjoyed your stay, just a miserable face - clearly Laura shouldn't work in customer service!!!
I then left feeling so angry about this, and quite confused with all the fuss, I checked my bank balance as we left and to confirm we had already paid for the hotel stay via a travel agent...so I can only assume she meant the card details from the travel agent...not our card details.... 15 mins after we left the hotel lovely Laura rings me on my mobile stating that they payment for the stay hadn't gone thru...I said I have just left the hotel what is going on. She said ' oh I thought this was the travel agent' ON A MOBILE NUMBER???????? Oh my this woman just gets worse!!! This woman should not work in a hotel, nor should she work in any industry that involves dealing with public unless a company is prepared to invest some time in her in guest satisfaction and guest service....really overall disappointed - I work for a large hotel company so I know what is expected....this place is shocking. I have wrote an email asking for general managers details but to my expectation - no reply! would rather pay extra and get the service! Will never stay at a ramada again!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Gemma B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JohnO87, General Manager at Holiday Inn Birmingham North - Cannock, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2013

Dear Guest

I must apologise for the poor guest service that you received at the hotel. I would very much appreciate it if you would contact me on 01543461361 to discuss the matter further. It is very rare that I receive negative feedback regarding the friendliness of the staff at the hotel so I will be looking into this further to ensure that it is not repeated.

Kind Regards
David Tucker

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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549 - 555 of 685 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2012

Stayed at this hotel overnight on 28/12/12 on the afternoon tea and breakfast deal.

There was no one at the front desk ready to greet us, they emerged from the back. We had no 'welcome greeting' just the 'can I help' type of talk. We were advised the main lift was not working and to call when we were ready for our afternoon tea and it'd be brought to our room. It was all very matter of fact service and there was definitely no smiling. We asked what was included in the afternoon tea. The lady at reception wasn't sure and asked another lady who then confirmed the choices. Soup or sandwich. Tea, coffee or mulled wine. Cheesecake or some other baked goods (sorry can't remember). Noone offered to take our bags to our room. A bit short for a 4 star hotel we thought. However, we carried on.

The room we had was a twin, 409. It was clean, well laid out. Floor to ceiling windows. Sockets conveniently bedside. Tissues and towels all amply provided and well set out. Downside was there was no tub, just shower. Tv a bit small.
Open wardrobe.

As we had been on the road a while, we rang as soon as we were settled for our afternoon tea. The conversation went something like this.

Me: Hi. Just ringing to say we're ready for our tea.
Reception: What tea?
Me: Our afternoon tea that came with our deal.
Reception: Well you have to order it first.
( Obviously!!!!! Really???? They can talk to a customer like that??? Ok.)
Me: Ok. Can you tell me the choices again
Reception: soup or sandwich
Me: What soup is it today please?
Reception: (goes to find out) ....tomato soup
Me: And the sandwiches?
Reception: the ones in your menu in the room
Ooookay! So at this point we look for the menu, have a look and eventually place an order. After that phonecall, I really felt like I had been bothering reception but was determined to have a good rest so did not let it bother me.

SUGGESTIONS: Your reception staff should be clued up on the menu. They should have a menu at the front desk they can read from to assist the customer. After all, all the room service orders are placed through them, it'd make sense, right?
Secondly, you should make it a point that ALL your customers feel welcome, like they couldn't be in a better place at that time. Customer is king. Staff attitude should reflect that.

Anyway, one hour later the food had not arrived so we rang reception and were informed they were really busy with a wedding with one chef in attendance for the wedding only. We were informed that the wedding party was just about to have their main meal and we would be served after they had finished eating, in an hour. I nearly died! I asked what they expected us to do in the mean time. Was told that there was nothing they could do and the receptionist said she wasn't trained to make food so its not like she could go in the kitchen and make us the meal. (Had not asked her to do this at all). 4 star response!!! I asked if there was a manager around. The manager was around but you guessed it! Busy with the wedding. I asked that he would call me back.

At this point, thank God for supermarkets. We had some bread etc and waited for the manager.

Eventually the manager rang. He apologised and said there was a wedding etc etc etc. I just wanted to know what they would do about it. Initially, we had to wait. Somewhere along the line they were suddenly able to bring the meal there and then with free 'complimentary' drinks. I explained we were already eating so we would have the meal later. The free drinks did not feel like a fair deal to us so after another mini discussion we resolved we could have our meal much later and it'd be free as long as it was from the 'fast food' menu in the room.

SUGGESTIONS: If you are having a wedding in the hotel, have enough staff to look after your regular guests.
If you're not fully staffed don't book in guests.
If for some reason you find yourselves short of staff on the day DO NOT project this onto your paying customers and expect sympathy or for them to just put up. It's not their fault and it's unprofessional to even mention it. Hire emergency cover staff.
Inform customers of what's going on in terms of waiting times for food. 30 min in someone should have rung to say where our meal was. I cannot believe you would have found it acceptable for us to wait for our meal for two hours with no communication whatsoever.

We took a tour round the hotel. Flagship 12th floor bar was locked, ready for a wedding the next day. On our way back we met a lady member of staff who informed us we could use 'the main lift 'as it was working. We had no idea where this 'main lift' was as we had not been told so we told her that and carried on.

We confirmed our evening meal would be free and ordered away.
One bagel
One beef pie
2 mulled wines
2 ice cream sundaes

We waited. Instead of the food, we got a phone call from the manager. He was not able to 'give' us the whole order as we had ordered too much. A whole 'three-course' meal. I reasoned that the mulled wines were part of the afternoon tea which we were yet to have. He kept telling me he understood what I was saying but all he could give us was the 'complimentary mulled wine' and the per-ordered sandwiches. We explained we no longer wanted sandwiches, we'd already had bread that afternoon and this wasn't what we agreed earlier. This went on for an uncomfortable few minutes until this manager said he would speak to his own manager.

We waited.

A few minutes later it was a knock on the door not a phonecall. Room service. There was no mulled wine left so we were given a bottle of the house red.
'Is that ok?'
'Yes', we replied. It'd have to be, we thought. We were fed up.
One of the ladies quickly said,'Sorry about all this', as she left the room.
When the two ladies had left we realised we had been given an extra plate of food, another beef pie. I rang straight down to inform them. We were told we'd not been charged for it so we could either eat it or leave it.
The meals were sufficient. Not tasty.

SUGGESTION: it would have been nice for the manager to ring back and explain what had been resolved. Though we got the 'free' meal and wine, what a thing to put your customers through! Spoilt the stay.

Next morning's breakfast was a highlight, food-wise anyway. The sausages were really tasty, so was the orange juice. The food was hot and well topped up. Eggs too runny for me but my friend loved them. There was no smiling and greeting from the staff. No enquiries about whether we had slept well just , 'What room number?' One of the ladies who was putting tongs and serving spoons back in their holding plates seemed generally annoyed. The chef who was bringing the food out was pretty cheerful though! One happy face at last! The seating lacked in character. If Travelodge had breakfast areas they would look like that.

SUGGESTION: Staff training is key! The 4 stars of your hotel starts with them. They need to know what they can and can't say to (and infront of) customers and they need to SMILE.

We confirmed what time check out was and it was 12. We went up for a little snooze. At 11.15 someone was knocking ready to clean up. We eventually left at 12. We got a phone call just as we were exiting to tell us check out was 12. At reception there was a mini mistake where we nearly got charged for breakfast but that was quickly spotted by staff. We waited around for the usual and very valued,' Thank you for staying with us, how did you find your stay. We hope to see you again'
When that didn't come my friend said,'Is that all?'
'That's all.'
And off we went.

May I conclude by saying every year after christmas or Easter my friend and I go to a hotel to unwind from busy lifestyles. We know what to expect from the different stars but always expect to be treated well and to be able to relax. This year, we feel we've not done either by staying with RAMADA BIRMINGHAM NORTH.

  • Stayed: December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank honestsally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2012

Stayed here on a deal, so payed a sensible price. Staff were friendly and the service was decent enough. I don't think this hotel is pretending to be anything that it is not. Which was a relief.
The room was much larger than expected and I had room enough to swing two or possibly even three cats.
Turned up towards the end of breakfast so choice was limited and only warm, but that's my fault not theirs.
The view from the sky cafe is fantastic, but closes too early, we were kicked out at 5pm.
I would stay again happily, but the deal price no more.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled on business
Thank JohnathonMcDonald
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2012

I stayed here a few weeks ago and was pleased with the room and the service however I thought the price of the drinks and the food was very expensive.
Thje drinks in the pub next door were half the price and the breakfast around the corner at the local cafe was less than half the price.
I was dissappointed that the 12th floor bar was never open as it would have been a nice place to watch the world go by. I understand it is supposed to be open during the day but I found it closed at about 4oclock

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank Sue W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2012

Average hotel, functional rooms and a good location. However I have stayed here twice just over a year apart and both times the heating wasnt working in the room, not good in the midst of a December freeze!

Stayed: December 2012, traveled on business
Thank DBunts46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JohnO87, General Manager at Holiday Inn Birmingham North - Cannock, responded to this reviewResponded December 25, 2012

Dear Guest

Thank you for your review. I must apologise that the heating was not working during your stay. This issue has now been resolved.

Kind Regards
David Tucker

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

We stayed here as we wrre visiting family in the local area. Although we didn't spend a great deal of time in the hotel what we did see was very nice. The bedrooms were warm and comfortable and the girl who checked us in and out was lovely and friendly. Will use this hotel again.

  • Stayed: November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jojoqwe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2012

Approaching the building from the M6 toll, it all looks quite impressive, especially at night.

The room had clearly not been hoovered or properly cleaned.There was debris all over the carpet, a half drunk squash bottle and a cigarette lighter.

I had booked in for two of us, but we only had a single hand towel and a single bath towel. I telephoned reception to ask for additional towels, only to be asked when did I want them for. What sort of irrelevant question was that?

The towels never materialised.

There was a single toilet roll that was clearly over half gone. These things you really don't want to have to ask reception for....

Breakfast was like a bad day in Beirut. I'm not blaming the staff here, there had been a wedding the evening before and they were a bit inundated and definitely short staffed. But surely they would have known about the wedding months previously and so would have had a contingency plan. Apparently not. We had to wait and breakfast was not the standard I would have expected from a hotel in the Ramada chain.

I have stayed in several Ramada hotels on business and indeed we had our wedding reception in the one in Witham in Essex. I would happily use these hotels again and recommend them to friends.

I will not be staying at the Birmingham North, Cannock Ramada again.

One positive, the Tandoori across the car park was very good, friendly service and good food.

Room Tip: Find a different hotel.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank BoyFromEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JohnO87, General Manager at Holiday Inn Birmingham North - Cannock, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2012

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to give me this feedback from your stay at the hotel. I am extremely sorry that you experienced these problems during your stay with us. I can assure you that I will be looking into this further to find out exactly why these problems occurred and to ensure they are not repeated for our future guests. Should you wish to discuss your stay with me any further please do not hesitate to contact me on 01543461361.

Kind Regards
David Tucker

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Birmingham North - Cannock

Address: Bridge Street, Cannock WS11 0DQ, England (Formerly Orbital Plaza Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Staffordshire > Cannock
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Cannock
Price Range: $60 - $148 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn Birmingham North - Cannock 4*
Number of rooms: 95
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a striking contemporary 95 bedroom 12 storey hotel benefiting from FREE Parking and FREE WIFI. Located in Cannock Town Centre easily accessible from the M6 and 20 minutes away from the UK’s second biggest city Birmingham. Ideally located near to many local family attractions including Drayton Manor Park, Alton Towers, Cadbury’s World and Black Country Museum. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ramada Birmingham North Cannock Hotel Cannock
Ramada Cannock
Cannock Ramada

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