Car Damaged by Hyatt valet...thoughts on the matter

Discussion in 'Hyatt | Gold Passport' started by afakhori, Apr 30, 2015.  |  Print Topic

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Should I ask for compensation for my time

  1. No, you should have known they would damage your car

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  2. Yes, and be specific

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  3. Yes, and be vague to see what they offer

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  4. No, your time is worth nothing to the Giant that is Hyatt

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  1. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    A couple weeks ago I had a stay at a HR and my car was damaged by the valet. (My car was parked in the valet garage and the valet hit it with another car he was parking).

    It wasn't a huge deal, it's just a car (but I do like my car), but I was treated pretty indifferently by the staff and have spend a whole lot my time than I wanted to dealing with their insurance (it's been like pulling teeth with them) trying to get it fixed. I was planning on spending a considerable amount of time at this property very soon but am pretty disappointed by the interaction.

    Because of the inconvenience and time I've taken off to handle getting it repaired (so far 2 days running around getting quotes and checks and re-quotes as requested by the adjuster, along with time off to drop off and pick up my car) is it wrong to ask for compensation? The email I have drafted expresses concerns, addresses ways the situation could be handled better in the future and asks for compensation for time time and energy (points and a GC).

    I keep my vehicle in great condition and it is pretty much brand new so I was truly disappointed that it happened, let alone the fact that they tried to hide it from me and get me to drive off without seeing it.

    What are your thoughts? Compensation warranted? If so, should I be specific (i.e. 50k points and a $250 GC) or just ask for something (ask for points and a GC).

    -A
     
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    You should definitely ask, and you should emphasize the disappointment over how Hyatt handled THEIR MISTAKE (to put it mildly). I know that when someone hits my car, their insurance isn't going to compensate me for my "time, pain and suffering". But Hyatt is in the hospitality business and I would be particularly p'ed off if they tried to weasel out of their responsibility.

    And thanks for reminding me why I try to avoid valet parking at all cost, much to the chagrin of my wife.
     
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  3. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    I had a similar situation years ago (can't remember hotel - large and well known tho). Luckily my daughter noticed the damage - hotel said they weren't responsible b/c it was a contract garage - I eventually escalated (don't remember the details) and they did take care of it after a huge hassle. It was a rental car so at least I didn't have an emotional attachment.
    I've never used valet parking since then!
     
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  4. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Reminds me of a time when I worked at a hotel and assisted the valets. Since I was in a hurry, I by mistake left a small dent on a guest's vehicle. I felt so guilty over it so told my Asst FD Manager about it. The guest was thankful for our honesty when checking out.
     
  5. Mapsmith
    Original Member

    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    #1 They damaged your car. The insurance adjuster is not in your employ, he is in the insurers employ. In many jurisdictions, you only have to get ONE estimate from the Shop of YOUR CHOICE. No running around getting multiple estimates. Tell the insurance adjuster that the car will be fixed and the bill sent to the insurer.

    #2. Valets often are contracted businesses by the Hotel. Chances are the insurer has nothing to do with the Hotel. Ask the Hotel for points or a couple of free nights. They should offer up compensation that really does not cost them anything. But the damage was probably caused by the Valet Company.

    #3 Valet Companies usually have really good insurance. That is who you should be dealing with.

    Again the Hotel may not have "a dog in the hunt" because Valet Companies are private concerns with their own Insurance. But by talking politely to the hotel (a call to the GM might be in order) you may get some non cash compensation. But for the Cash Compensation go for the Valet Company.

    I am not a lawyer nor insurance agent, but have dealt with both enough times to make me not want to use Valet Parking.
     
  6. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    Trust me, using the valet was the last thing I wanted to do, but with where we were my wife preferred I did.

    Thanks for the insight! The valet in this case seems to be directly through Hyatt, as the hyatt security gave me Hyatt's insurance company, and I have straightened everything out with the adjuster and am dropping the car off this coming week to be repaired. Overall, I'm not interested in non-cash compensation, I'd be happy with a bunch of points and nice GC for the trouble. Especially since it shows I'm trying to stay Hyatt loyal.

    I wasnt even going to say anything and then the insurance has been a pain in the butt and I was thinking more and more about how the guys at the Hyatt handled the situation :-/
     
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  7. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Water under the bridge now, but maybe the right answer would have been to ask your wife to deal with the insurance company. She wanted you to use the valet, she copes with the consequences...

    Another option may have been to go through your own insurance company. Even when someone else was at fault and the other insurance would ultimately pay, my own auto insurer was happy to send out their own adjuster (a field adjuster!) to handle the claim. They then got reimbursed by the other insurance company, whom I never had to deal with. But, again, water under the bridge for you now.

    It does sound like most of the pain may have been from dealing with this Hyatt's (non-local?) insurance carrier, perhaps even a general liability insurer that isn't set up to handle their own auto claims adjusting. It's worth pointing out the unusual amount of pain that could perhaps have been avoided by the choice of a more appropriate insurer.
     
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  8. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Ding, Ding, Ding we have a winner. To save on the pain and time you could have just turned the claim into your insurance company and they would subrogate against the garage liability policy of who ever runs the garage. One downside to this is it cold reflect badly on your insurance claims history but not like a collision since the car was parked. Of course if you just go to your insurance carrier you would be less likely to get any perks from the hotel for your pain.
     
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  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Dealing with the "opponents" insurance doesn't have to be a painful experience. I (my car) was hit by a pizza delivery driver who apparently doesn't understand stop signs, and I exclusively dealt with his insurance. To their credit (State Farm), they were very easy to deal with, but the whole thing still was a pain in the neck since I was without my car for over a week (they paid for a rental car) and easily wasted a half day on the phone and dealing with the body shop and rental car setup etc. Not something I enjoyed or was compensated for, but it would have been exactly the same if I had gone through my insurance.
     
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  10. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Some auto insutance companies seem to have reputations for being very nice to their won customers but not so to owners of carsa damaged by their customers. In this case, there's no question that it was the valet's fault--whether operated by the hotel or an outside service--despite typical valet claim checks and signs that attempt to deny any resonsibility. There's lots of good advice posted above, but often it's a matter of whether you want to deal with the other guy's insurance company (and possibly the state insurance commission or other regulatory body) or sacrifice your deductible and possibly rates to have your own insurance company handle the situation. Don't forget that the other guy's insurance should cover your rental of an equivalent vehicle (luxury European of the same brand or whatever) while your car is being evaluated and insurered. Get advice before the insurance company declares your car as totalled if applicable.

    I once had a rental car damaged by a valet parker at very good hotel school demonstration property The kid (student employee and manageement trainee) reported the accident to management immediately and apparently had a reputation for being careful and responsible, so it seemed to the a "one off" event. The manager on duty immediately tried to contact me by both voicemail and written note and immediately accepted responsibility. Since it was a rental, they immediately contacted Hertz themself (giving me a copy of all correspondence, which was sent by fax) to accept resposibility and state that they would pay all damages while also advising me to contact my insurer (AmEx Plat card in this case) in case there would be some delay or problem with the paperwork. My impression is that this was exactly the way the situation should have been handled. BTW, the hotel also sent a bottle of sparking wine and chocolate covered strawberries on a silver tray to my room with a handwritten apology note.
     
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  11. RealValetControl

    RealValetControl New Member

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    When these screw-ups happen, the time to press for concessions is right then. That's when you can get the most. You want them to provide you with a rental similar in quality to yours. If they smashed your BMW M4, then you want an M4 rental, not a Dodge Dart. You want all of your parking fees refunded immediately. You want unlimited free drinks at the bar right now, and a meal for 2 at the hotel's best restaurant, along with a free stay of equal duration to the stay you just had, plus free valet parking in the future at any Hyatt property for the next year, in addition to them agreeing to have your car repaired at the shop of your choice, paid for by them. And you want no grief, no hassles. You just want it handled.

    (Deal directly with the hotel manager.)

    Since you hesitated, it's going to be more difficult to squeeze them. However, with the right approach, considering all of the hassle and lack of compassion you received from them, you should still make demands for proper compensation.

    Ask for what you want. It seems reasonable to me. A quality hotel manager will want to keep your loyalty, and will be interested in knowing about the struggle they forced upon you.
     
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  12. PhoenixDown

    PhoenixDown Silver Member

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    I had my portable GPS stolen by a valet ... Unfortunately for me, I didn't notice until the next day when I needed it again. They of course denied but it's left a sour taste ever since when it comes to valet parking.
     
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  13. brucewil

    brucewil Silver Member

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    Wow! That's the problem with this country. Everyone wants something for nothing. It was an accident. Get over it. Like was quoted above. You should have dealt with your own insurance company and let them handle it. BTW, I have an M4. I'd be pissed with the dent, too but it's fixable. Lesson learned. If you don't want anyone driving your car, don't let anyone drive your car.
     
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  14. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    I hear what you're saying, but I talked to a buddy who happens to work for the same company I have insurance with and he said that it would go on my record as an accident regardless of whose fault it was, as I live in a no fault state. So you are suggesting that I let my insurance rates go up because of a failure on someone else's part. Regardless of what should have happened, would you have been ok taking a large amount of time away from your job to handle a situation that you didn't have fault in? I value my time, my clients value my time - you're suggesting I stop valuing my time. Is that what you would do? This is the basis for my original question.

    Looks like you're a dentist. I've spent about 13hrs leaving work, sitting in traffic, running around, dropping paperwork off, dropping the car off, picking it up - all during midweek.Let's say you bill at an average of $73/hr. That's almost $1000 of work you wouldnt be doing because you're dealing with the silliness of your car (nice car btw, I test drove that before I got mine). Would that be acceptable to your practice?

    (that 13hrs is mainly because I live far away from where the shops/dealers are and traffic is TERRIBLE here. I didn't actively spend 13hrs doing stuff for this. just away from work, but time is time.)
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
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  15. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    True Dat. It's always a pain and time sink to be involved in any insurance claim situation. I work in the insurance industry and time is a huge need. You can judge the customer satisfaction by the time they waste.
     
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  16. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Your right, many times it will go on your claims record. If it's a non-moving type claim or Comprehensive type claim it lessens the effect (in theory) but it depends on the company and how they treat customer records. Sort of like a credit report.
     
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  17. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    Quick update:

    Got in touch with the GM and he listened to what I had to say, my recommendations for how to better handle situations like that in the future and my requests. Forwarded me on to the manager who handles it graciously obliged to my compensation requests. Looking forward to going back so the they can show me how the service should have been. (<-their words)

    Thanks for all the stories and opinions, good insight all around!
     
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  18. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Good for you! So you got 50k points and a $250 GC?
     
  19. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    Don't know why I missed this (a year ago!) I ended up with 50k points and a two night certificate, which I promptly used. While the hotel still has some growing to do, it was a significantly better experience the second time around!
     
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  20. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Excellent. While an unfortunate incident, at least it was resolved to your satisfaction.
     
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  21. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    That seems like a pretty reasonable solution. Guessing you didn't use the valet second time around. :D
     
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  22. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    Parked at a friend's house and took a cab over :-P
     
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