Saying sorry (and meaning it)

As business travellers we have become impervious to insincere apologies.

Flybe would like to announce the cancellation of flight number ABC123 due to technical difficulties – we would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused.

My first stay at The Hoxton on High Holborn was full of promise as this new hotel has advertised widely and was spotted by Phillippa as offering a reasonable rate.

It’s a very funky hotel, the rooms are quite small but interesting – I do have a gripe about not being able to open my window – I really hate that.

Full marks for a comfy bed though.

01:30 and I leap into the air as the fire alarm sounds and a recorded voice asks me to leave my room immediately.

My mind clicks into action – get dressed, leave suitcase, grab rucksack with laptop, wear warm clothes.

Then, after 30 seconds, the fire alarm stops.

What to do next?

I can hear doors opening and closing, footsteps, hushed voices.

No further information.

Decision – stay in my room on the assumption that the alarm would carry on if there was a real problem.

Half an hour or so of listening until I drop off back to sleep.

The next morning, the sheet above has been slipped under my door.


Are they really sorry?

I think if they were, they would have given me my money back.

An unsolicited refund would have been the correct solution – and would have had me composing this blog post (and sharing the same on Trip Advisor) with a different message.

I’ll be asking Phillippa not to book again.

They gain one night’s room charge.

They lose my lifetime value and the recommends.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.