A copy of email to iTravel2000:
Dear Mary, Public Relations at ITravel2000,
I am writing to express my deep concerns with the vacation that I took last December through ITravel2000. I hope that you will take the time to review my concerns carefully, as I think that they are important and not only represent my own story but should also serve as a warning to other visitors.
I arrived at the hotel Marea del Portillo on December 14th, 2006. This was my third visit to the hotel in the past couple of years and I have always found my stay here relaxing, enjoyable, and comfortable. I was therefore looking forward to the same experience on my week-long stay at the hotel. However, on December 15th, 2006 all of this changed. Between 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock in the afternoon my digital camera was stolen from my room. This could only have happened either in the 10 minutes I was gone from my room during this period or in the time it took me to have a shower, during which I would not have heard someone enter my room. The loss of my camera is of course extremely upsetting, but my concerns extend beyond this material loss.
I believe that the theft of my camera is indicative of a greater problem at the hotel. During my stay I heard of several other thefts that had happened around the same time, leading me to believe that my story is not an isolated occurrence. The direct possibility that the theft of my camera occurred while I was in the room is a truly scary thought. The only people who could have gained access to my room would be those who could by-pass the electronic key card system. Adding to this, I was shocked when I found that the electronic key to my room 217 also opened room 215. This realization made me realize that the sense of security offered by the electronic key cards was absolutely false. All of these realities points to an obvious lack of security in the hotel which needs to be addressed immediately.
I also have serious concerns with the way that hotel management responded to my report of theft. I immediately notified hotel management, in particular Julio Naranjo, about what had happened. After asking many questions (some of which were definitely not important or relevant), he said that he would change the codes on my room and also check the records for the electronic key cards. I never heard back about the results of this investigation. The police were called in and I spent several hours compiling a police report. The management did not seem overly concerned with the theft of my camera or with the obvious general security problems at the hotel. I spent much of my vacation inquiring about the status of the investigation. This obviously affected the amount of time that I could spend enjoying the vacation I was supposed to be having. The person in charge of public relations at the hotel, Alvares Naranjo, would repeat again and again that she would have to wait until the police report was completed to take any further actions. I was also promised a copy of this report, which I have, unsurprisingly, not received. Mrs. Navajo did not seem overly concerned or willing to take the necessary steps to address my problems.
To this day I have not heard back from the hotel in regards to my camera or my security concerns. I am attaching a letter that I sent to the address given to me by one of the hotel’s managers, Julio Naranjo, which was returned because of an incorrect e-mail address. I am myself a manager at a hotel in Canada and I know that this is not the appropriate or responsible way of dealing with customers. I feel that hotel management is ignoring my concerns, and by doing so has shown disregard not only for my own safety and security but also that of other guests. It is sad and disappointing that my vacation at a place I knew and trusted was ruined both by the actual theft as well as the lack of concern shown to me by hotel management. The Marea del Portillo hotel has lost my respect and appreciation, and I will certainly inform other travelers about my story. I would very much appreciate any help that you could offer in resolving these issues, any further steps I can take, or any other input you may offer.
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From: Danuta P
Subject: Stolen camera
Sent: December 28, 2006 9:31:49 PM
Dear Julio Naranjo,
I am writing because it has been a week since I departed from your hotel. As you are already aware, during my stay here my digital camera was stolen from my locked room, an occurrence that is simply unacceptable. I spoke with you about making reparations, and you told me that this would happen once the police report was completed. It has now been a week and I have not heard back from you, which is also unacceptable. If you need more information about the camera I can pass it along with an acquaintance who is arriving on January 4th, 2007.
Thefts in a hotel leave visitors with an extremely negative impression of the hotel. I know for a fact from speaking to people that the theft of my camera was not an isolated occurrence at the hotel during this time. I recommend that you seriously look into the more general problem of theft, as this would no doubt have an impact on whether or not people choose to visit your hotel if they were to be made aware of this.
I am awaiting your prompt reply in this matter as we discussed while I was staying at the hotel or I will be forced to consult others about what further steps to take. Please send your reply to [protected]@toronto.ca.