Charlotte, Senior business developer at a medium sized Swedish manufacturing company came back to the hotel after a hectic day of meetings and interviews. The hotel where Lotta was staying belonged to one of the major hotel chains in Sweden. She had stayed at the hotel before and considered it to be a nice place with reasonable prices.

At around 11:00 p.m., after a late supper, Charlotte crashed into bed and fell asleep instantly. Later, at 3:54 a.m. she was awakened little by litte by the peculiar and unwanted sound of water dripping and tapping inside of a water radiator next to the bedroom window. After a few agonising minutes she finally understood that there would be no more sleep this night, or at least not now. Consequently she got up, ran down to the reception desk where she found no one else than a piccolo to talk to. She gave him a brief description of the problem in her room and asked him to leave a note at the reception for the hotel staff. She headed back to her room and decided to work since she didn’t expect to catch any more sleep that night anyhow.

Four hours later Charlotte rang the bell at the reception. In a rather polite way she explained what had happened. The receptionist listened to her story and then went on to call the hotel manager to get further instructions on how to handle the delicate issue. A minute later she came back to Charlotte and offered a 16,7% discount on the price for the stay. Lotta was supposed to pay 1795 SEK (€ 195) for the room but was offered a discount of 300 SEK (€ 33) as compensation for the unpleasant experience during the night.

Now, the question is, what would you do and how would you react? Please share your thoughts with us. We would really appreciate your valuable viewpoints.

The case above is based on a real story from late spring 2008. It was documented and translated into this mini-case with the consent of the person who is the main character in the case.