Aloysius Chew is amazed at how a five-star hotel cannot get a simple thing right.
He shares with us his experience at the hotel's Shang Palace a few days ago:
"On Friday, 6 May, my wife and I were hosting lunch for a couple, our friends. My reservation was made about a week before. My wife and I arrived at the restaurant promptly at 12 noon and this was the time I requested when I made the reservation.
Having given my name at the reception counter, we were duly shown to our table to await our friends who were told the time the reservation was made for. Thus we expected our friends to join us soon knowing that they are usually quite punctual.
We waited for 15 minutes and there was no sign of our friends. So I decided to go and check outside to see if they might be waiting there.
However before I could do so, they appeared inside the restaurant. They were quite agitated as when they arrived at the reception counter and gave my name, the receptionist told them that I had not yet arrived and they were asked to wait.
After waiting for more than 10 minutes they felt that something was not quite right as they know that we are usually quite punctual, whether as hosts or as guests. Hence they decided to walk into the restaurant to check and lo and behold, found us seated at the table.
We made a bit of a fuss with one of the supervisors. She apologised and gave the excuse that the receptionist was from China and her understanding of English was poor.
This was, to me, a very lame excuse. When I arrived and gave my name, she acknowledged that I had a reservation and was shown to the table. How was it possible that someone who arrived about 5 minutes after me was told that I had not yet arrived?
After lunch I confronted the receptionist for an explanation and she replied that there were two reservations with the same name and she was confused.
This I find hard to accept. Undoubtedly her understanding and articulation of the English language leaves much to be desired.
I only hope the recent aberration of service standard is not a fore-runner of things to come at this particular outlet, or any of the Shangri-La outlets for that matter.
A "Boo" for Shang Palace."