Yesterday, I called that hotel to make a booking on behalf of a friend of mine who doesn't speak Italian. It was late at night, but we assumed that if they don't pick up calls late, they wouldn't answer; though, given it's an expensive hotel, we assumed that, like others in the category, they have a reception service at night as well. I was answered by someone who first said the hotel's name, then his name, I told him that I wanted to book for my friend and he said curtly "look online". I started asking him something (I wanted to know if we could book directly via an email) when he SLAMMED THE PHONE DOWN while I was still talking, without letting me finish my question!!
My friend decided that she is not going to give her money to people who have such manners. I wrote to the hotel in protest, and the person with the same name who replied to me on the phone denied that he ever had that call (it was last night) and that "this never happened". I sent him a screenshot of the time of the call and his number. No answer. However:
his "underling" wrote to me on Facebook (I had put the same complaint on their Facebook page) and told me the same thing: this never happened.
I repeated my story. He answered "you must have gotten the wrong number". I wrote that, upon answering the phone, that person said THE NAME OF THE HOTEL, THEN HIS NAME, I wrote back asking: if it were the wrong number, wouldn't the person who answered simply say that, instead of saying the hotel's name then his name?!?!
It turned out that the "name" that answered the phone and emailed back was the "director" (incidentally, his underling wrote to me "DIRECTOR" in upper case, I suppose for effect).
I asked him: in your opinion, why on earth would I just make up such a story, and how on earth would I know the name of "THE DIRECTOR"?
At this, friends, Romans, countrymen, the underling wrote a message CURSING ME AND CALLING ME NAMES!!!
I still wrote back, saying "thank you for confirming the validity of my complaint about the manners and civility of the people running that place, this is perfectly consistent with the behavior of your DIRECTOR on the phone yesterday. I shall make sure to let people know about that.
He wrote back again, but I am blocked him without reading further, after the litany of abuse in his Facebook message, I didn't want to be on the receiving end of more. Now I regret it, though, as I could have (should have) kept the message to paste it here and show what level of behavior it was.
I had written this no Tripadvisor, and "the management" responded, again, with lies (claiming "it never happened", claiming I sent them "some skype picture" when I sent a screenshot of my call from the cell phone, stating the time AND THE CORRECT NUMBER of their hotel of that phone they said "never happened" ) and accusing ME of being "without shame" and "without respect" for others.
Tripadvisor then removed my review saying it didn't meet their guidelines, and I don't know if it was because I hadn't actually stayed at the hotel, or due to a certain pressure from the hotel.
In short, after answering with the hotel name and his name, I was told, this never happened, and when I insisted it did, I was insulted and accused of being "shameless".
THANK HEAVENS that there are other forums online to warn people and to "have a voice", when others think they can get away with anything.
Venice is FULL of choices, my friend will look elsewhere. You've been warned.
I must add that in tens of years of travelling, I have NEVER EVER met such behavior!