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I'm just back frrom a much needed vacation. The wife and I decided to go to Vegas for a little R&R. We chose the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino because it's the oldest/largest of the downtown casinos (we wanted to avoid the hustle and bustle of the Strip Hotels).

Well, on day three of our stay, our room was burglarized. My wife's wallet was stolen along with credit cards, checkbooks and $1,500+ in cash. Well, $hit happens; but here is what has me angry.

1) Hotel Security provided us with a list of telephone numbers so we could cancel our credit cards; but told us to make the calls from our cell phones because if we called from the room phone, we would be charged for the calls.

2) Hotel security took us to the LV Metro Police station to file a report; but dropped us off on a corner, pointed to the station house, handed me a hand-written telephone number on a strip of paper, and was told to "call security when you're ready to be picked up."

3) When we called to be picked up it took an hour and 3 calls for the security officer to travel what turned out to be 4 blocks pick us up.

4) We returned to our room, no call from the hotel management, no offer to move us to another more secure room.

The next morning as we prepared to vacate the hotel, we sought out a met with the Hotel's Assistant Director of Security. He was very apologetic and accommodating, and walked us to meet with the hotel's management. Here's what followed: [More insult to injury]

The Assistant Front Desk Manager came out [into the lobby], folded his arms and asked how he could be of assistance. We explained that the room had been burglarized and asked what the hotel planned to do to resolve the matter. He then told us that the hotel had to first "conduct an investigation to determine if something had in fact happened." And, if so, was it the result of "guest-error, a crime of opportunity or whatever."

I tried to calmly explain that "something did happen", our room was burglarized. I provided him with a copy of the police report and told him that he should be able to access the internal incident report that we completed with hotel security the previous night.

He told me that he knew all about the incident because he had been "talking with the hotel's Risk Management department all morning"; they were "thoroughly on top of everything."

I thanked him for this information, but told him that I seriously doubted his sincerity, seeing as no one from the hotel had seen fit to provide us with even a courtesy call. I also informed him that I questioned his veracity, because less than 15 minutes prior to my conversation with the mgr, I had spoken with one of the two people that processed Risk Management complaints/issues, and had been told that Risk Management was generally aware of the complaint, but they had not seen the report because it had not been submitted.

To my surprise, the mgr shook his head and "someone is not being truthful here." I asked him, "you mean someone on your staff?" He continued shaking his head and said, "I'm not saying that."

At this point I took offense. I asked the mgr., "are you calling me a liar for the second time in a 10 minute conversation. First you question whether my room had been burglarized-I let that one pass because I know you must investigate and just took your answer to be due to a lack a communication skills-and now you question what your staff told me less than 15 minutes ago? And, through exclusion, you told me that you believe me to be the liar, unless of course you were referring to yourself as being less than honest. Which one is it?"

The mgr did not respond. He merely asked me what I "expected the hotel to do."

[Now, I'm ready to go off]

I told him, "I would never presume to tell you or anyone else their job , but because you obviously have no clue about customer service, I expected the hotel to treat me as a valued guest or at the very least a valued paying customer."

{Raising my voice a little more} "I would have expected to not be charged for calls to the credit card companies."

{Raising me voice a little more} I would have expected the hotel to dedicate one of its hundreds of employees to take us to the police dept and wait for us for as long as it took to file the report and then to deliver us back to the hotel; rather than having to wait on a street corner.

{Now starting to be noticed by passing guests} I would have expected the hotel to offer to move us to another room, because, I have this silly notion that hotel guests have paid for the right to feel secure in their person and possessions while in their rooms; but failing that, I would have thought the hotel's security would have move us to preserve the integrity of a crime scene.

{And with a number of people standing listening to me and whispering about that poor couple that had their room broken into} But mostly, and this is extremely telling of this hotel's lack of consideration of me, this situation, or it's guests, I would have expected to not have this conversation in the middle of a hotel lobby."

I then turned to the Assist. Director of Security [who had not made a move to quiet me, but in fact had been knodding his head in agreement (if not, in pacification)] and told him "if I'm required to pursue this matter further, I wonder what the hotel's statement and document production, both under oath and penalty of perjury would reveal? I wonder how many non-Black victims of crime in the hotel had been dropped off at the police department and told to give you a call when you finish filing a report? I wonder how many non-Black guests after being victimized were not offered reimbursement or other form of comping? I wonder how many had to suffer the indignity of having to discuss their victimization and the hotel's lack of consideration, in the lobby of the hotel. I wonder how many Black guests have tales of similar treatment? Oh, did I forget to mention, I investigate just this type of complaint everyday on my job?

I'm I just being too sensitive?

I'm sure the story will continue.
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Kweli4Real, never expect a business to do the right thing. They will always punt the responsibility right back into your lap if you let them. Demand they remove the room charges for your stay and give you a complimentary stay at the hotel at a later date (or whatever restitution you prefer). Call them, write a letter, don't stop until you are satisfied. You don't have to belligerent, just be persistent. I have done this before (hehehe) and I always get what I request. You were victimized and insulted (TWICE! AND TO YOUR FACE!!... the unmitigated gall) and you deserve some sort of compensation.

I don't know what the Vegas vibe is, so I'm not sure if what you experienced was racial discrimination or piss-poor customer service. Probably a little of both.
Frenchy, people that know me will tell you that I am extremely slow to anger, and as a Civil Rights Investigator, I am reticent to yell racism without solid facts. In this case, however, I cannot believe that this was a race-neutral interaction. I cannot believe that this asst. mgr. could/would treat anyone that poorly unless he felt a particular license to do so.

I was told that the police had a lead. I was later told that the police had made an arrest and recovered some of my wife's effects. I spoke with the Det. who told me that he had in fact made an arrest of someone whom had committed several burglaries at that hotel over the last month. But he also told me that he had not recovered anything nor did he have any evidence to charge this man to our specific burglary. So again, the Hotel has lied to me.

I will not let this go. Come it my Quixotic mission for 2005.

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