Tuesday, April 24, 2012
My experience with Ensogo and La Carmela De Boracay
This is the complaint I had with La Carmela. While I am not saying they are the only ones to blame, I think that they also played a big role in our misfortunes from our trip in Boracay.
As part of our running activity, me and my running club friends planned to join Skyathon Run 2012 as early as December 2011. On December 10, 2011 we found an accommodation package to La Carmela de Boracay through Ensogo which perfectly fits our main purpose of our visit to Boracay for April 2012. We purchased (on the same day) vouchers entitling us with 3D, 2N accommodation (quadruple sharing) with your hotel. We purchased a total of 8 vouchers amount of Php1740 each paying a total of Php13,920. We followed instructions and received confirmation (vi a email) indicating our definite booking for two (2) rooms with 3D 2N accommodation with Buffet Breakfast and Free Use of Swimming Pool at La Carmela de Boracay from April 20-22, 2012. The reservation was made a couple of months ahead of our trip.
We believed in good faith and trusted that we will receive the best customer service available since we are transacting with the highly acclaimed hotel/resort in Boracay. Sadly to our demised, La Carmela didn’t live up to their brand.
Upon arrival and check in to La Carmela on Friday, April 20 at around 7p, the reception desk advised that we don’t have the reservation. Though polite, we felt we were treated like pessants begging for a room accommodation. Our voucher and our email confirmation of appointment was never honored. We have asked to speak to a supervisor on duty to escalate our concern. Her response (in Filipino) says: “Naku, sakit talaga ng Ensogo yan. Nagko-confirm pero hindi pino-forward sa amin ang booking.” Soon after -just like how Pilate treated Jesus in his pilgrim-she turned our back on us completely cleansing her hands off the issue. The only explanation provided to us was that there was no room avaiIable hence we need to -- in our own accord-- find another place to stay. The reservations desk officer directed us to a lodging completely different from our expected ammenities and facilities not to mention we have to shoulder the cost of the lodging.
Now I am deeply questioning the level of customer service La Carmela implores to their employees and customers like us. It was already past 7p at that time, we are barely surviving exhaustion, hunger and thirst from our long delayed flights and the only escalation procedure they have is for a supervisor to utter a least helpful comment which directed us to nowhere but to resolve our own problems.
We spent one sleepless and stressed night which we least expected considering our running event is the following morning and we needed to be in perfect condition. But thanks to this Accredited Class AA resort, this didn’t help much with our state and being and that one night was one of our darkest nights. We feared we will not survive our stay in Boracay with limited financial resources (as our budget will be allotted for our hotel lodging and breakfast fees). Our so called vacation turned into exhaustion as we have little help and support. And on personal stance, my first trip to Boracay turned to be my not so favorite ones.
The following morning April 21,we received a call from La Carmela's reservations officer that there is a vacant room already. We were startled for a moment because finally we can put our hearts at ease. However to our most disgust, we were advised that we can only be offered a Celebrity Suite which costs Php13,500 and we were asked to shell out Php6200 more plus another room which costs Php13,500 more as the room is only good for 4 pax. We went and spoke with the hotesl's reservations officer. I personally asked if she can convert the voucher that we have into the value of the suite considering we paid for Php13,920 for it and that we will only be using the voucher for a night. We already lost half the value of the voucher and we can’t do much about it. Of course, it no longer surprised me when I was told nothing can be done about it. She even suggested that we call Ensogo (on a Saturday) and coordinate it with them. She even said that it is a known problem of Ensogo for the deals being offered and coursed through to their hotel.
Here’s my point, if the management knew that this is an ongoing issue with Ensogo, I wonder why there’s no escalation procedure in place for this type of concerns. Much worse, they still continue partnership with Ensogo and allow this type of acts and support fraudulent relationships with its clients. To date, these deals are still being offered and I have yet to hear another script that they have rehearsed for another “victim” like us. They continue their prestige over all forms of media available and yet they don’t bother on “small” clients like us. Whilst they don’t have full and direct control over Ensogo, isn’t it standard courtesy to have a coordinator with them contactable after office hours, since most of their deals are being coursed through them? How then do they plan to handle situations like this in the future?
For Ensogo, isn't also standard that each client have a specific contact person who will liaise such reservation to La Carmela? Why would there be a confirmation email such as ours when the booking never happened? When people try to call their trunklines, they shut their lines and pretend the phone is not ringing. I can't believe that an entity such as Ensogo is running out of staff who will watch over their phones to answer their customers. How on earth do they write a contact number (mobile) which is unreachable or unrecognizable numbers.
Because of this experience, I'm doubting I'll ever transact with them again. Let this serve as a warning to all.