Occasionally in this space, we look at marketing tips or social media strategies for success. But what about something that’s just downright sleazy marketing?
As you know, I’m out on tour, and just launched the German edition of Risky Is the New Safe in Mannheim at my prosperity weekend. I was scheduled to fly home through London on Monday. I noticed it was a tight connection through terminal five at Heathrow. And even though the Olympics are long gone, connecting through that terminal is still quite a hassle. It’s almost always understaffed, very disorganized and they still aren’t even aware of the clamshell x-ray bags for laptops that have been out for two years now.
I have a book signing in Miami Monday night, so I didn’t want to chance missing the connection. I emailed my travel agent to get me a flight out of Frankfurt to London, put me up in the Hilton at the airport, and then I could get out easily and quickly in the morning. So she booked me in the Hilton Heathrow Terminal 5. Perfect. Or so I thought…
When I arrived, no one could seem to tell me where the Hilton was. There was one in terminal four they said. But I doubled checked my confirmation and it said terminal five. So I called the Hilton elite line. Or tried. Only 800 number listed, which doesn’t work from Europe. Called the Europe number. Closed. Finally I call the hotel itself. The reason no one can find them in terminal five is because they are actually located in Colnbrook, which is a 35-pound (plus ten percent surcharge for credit card) taxi ride away!
So instead of staying inside the airport, avoiding the extra security harassment and sleeping in, I had to go out in the cold, windy and rainy (shocking I know) London weather. I could talk more about the 15-minute wait at the HILTON HHONORS check in line, and spotty Internet service, but then I’d just be whining. So here’s the real question:
Obviously there are lots of businesses that that do switch and bait tactics, mislead people, and even do downright sleazy marketing to get customers. So it’s certainly not shocking to have a hotel that is nowhere even close to Heathrow bill itself at “terminal five.” But why would a chain like Hilton allow their brand to be misrepresented this way and create such ill will among even their most loyal customers? What do you think?