Pinfest 2017 Allentown


By greatwichjohn

8 months ago


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There are 2500 posts in topic. You are on page 49 of 51.
#2401 3 months ago
Quoted from Otaku:

I've been delightfully surprised how far away EZ-PASS is supported. Apparently they even have it down in Texas (my girlfriend's state - great place to visit, love it so much), but it isn't as much of a religion down there like it is up here and is pretty unnecessary because there isn't a toll plaza every 20 miles... (maybe it's just an NJ thing)

George Carlin's suggestion for the NJ state license plate:

"New Jersey - The Toll Booth State"

15
#2402 3 months ago

Here it is!! PINFEST 2017...took me 25 hours to edit and add all the little sidebars I like doing! If you love Pinball, you should thoroughly enjoy this video! Running 2 hours and 20 minutes too! » YouTube video

1265Pinfest2017 (resized).jpg

#2403 3 months ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

I'm not sure, but coming from Walden, NY, you don't need to get on the MA Tpk to get to Sturbridge. I-84 all the way to the very last exit, US route 20 west.

Yes, I'm good from here. I was just curious. Thanks

#2404 3 months ago
Quoted from toddtuckey:

Here it is!! PINFEST 2017...took me 25 hours to edit and add all the little sidebars I like doing! If you love Pinball, you should thoroughly enjoy this video! Running 2 hours and 20 minutes too! » YouTube video

Todd, are you going to pintastic in July.

#2405 3 months ago
Quoted from Colehvac1:

Todd, are you going to pintastic in July.

Hmmmmm...someone didn't watch this video! I do make the announcement in it!!

#2406 3 months ago
Quoted from toddtuckey:

Hmmmmm...someone didn't watch this video! I do make the announcement in it!!

Argh! Sorry to have missed ya, Todd... next trip, next trip.

#2407 3 months ago
Quoted from toddtuckey:

Hmmmmm...someone didn't watch this video! I do make the announcement in it!!

You got me, I missed it. I will watch it again!

#2408 3 months ago

The back box on the F2K I brought to the show is from Todd. I bought a parts game from him in 2008. He's a great asset to the hobby

#2409 3 months ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

George Carlin's suggestion for the NJ state license plate:
"New Jersey - The Toll Booth State"

Aside from the Garden State Parkway and the NJ Turnpike, there are no other toll roads in NJ. Well, maybe the Atlantic City Expressway too. Yes, the bridges and tunnels into NY and PA have tolls as well. I guess Carlin had a point.
The worst though is the PA Turnpike. High toll rates on that highway. Delaware gets $4.00 for their big10 mile stretch of interstate highway.

#2410 3 months ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

Aside from the Garden State Parkway and the NJ Turnpike, there are no other toll roads in NJ. Well, maybe the Atlantic City Expressway too. Yes, the bridges and tunnels into NY and PA have tolls as well. I guess Carlin had a point.
The worst though is the PA Turnpike. High toll rates on that highway. Delaware gets $4.00 for their big10 mile stretch of interstate highway.

Tolls on the Parkway used to be everywhere. Now they cut the number in half and more than doubled the rates...

#2411 3 months ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

Delaware gets $4.00 for their big10 mile stretch of interstate highway.

It's actually closer to 23 miles so you are getting a bargain and didn't even know it

#2412 3 months ago
Quoted from boscokid:

It's actually closer to 23 miles so you are getting a bargain and didn't even know it

It's worth it to see my buddy @djreddog Delaware is full of very nice collectors!

#2413 3 months ago
Quoted from Otaku:

It's worth it to see my buddy djreddog Delaware is full of very nice collectors!

Speaking of Delaware, we need to start planning your next trip down so I can get Conquest operating 100%

#2414 3 months ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

George Carlin's suggestion for the NJ state license plate:
"New Jersey - The Toll Booth State"

Or Connecticut "The Construction State"
Change out State Symbol from the Charter Oak to the Orange Pilon

#2415 3 months ago
Quoted from 1974DeltaQueen:

Or Connecticut "The Construction State"
Change out State Symbol from the Charter Oak to the Orange Pilon

I drive UPS tractor trailer and I always hear guys complaining about CT. We go to Stratford from south Jersey.

Jersey is just as bad. We're in the middle of an 8 year project where routes 295 and 76 merge. There was fatality there on Fri because of lane closures and people drive too fast to read the signs.

#2416 3 months ago
Quoted from Lovef2k:

The back box on the F2K I brought to the show is from Todd. I bought a parts game from him in 2008. He's a great asset to the hobby

At least I am not a great ASS-set to the hobby!

12
#2417 3 months ago

Dear Pinside,
I want to tell you all about my experience with the Comfort Suites during the Pinfest weekend this year. I've been putting off telling you about this until I was sure there would be no resolution. Unfortunately, the time has come.

I’m not posting this to be vindictive or dramatic; it’s my intention to simply warn future Pinside attendees of the deplorable customer service at the Comfort Suites. If Ivan is reading this, perhaps he could also take it into consideration when making accommodation arrangements for future Pinfests.

Let me begin by saying that Pinfest is one of the highlights of my year. This was my 10th time in attendance, I believe, and it’s safe to say that this year was the biggest and best event yet. Ivan and his team should be very proud.

I'm sorry this is so ridiculously long. Please bear with me. For the executive summary of what I'm about to say, scroll down.

Anyway, I am the organizer of a large group of individuals who have stayed at the Comfort Suites for several years for Pinfest. This year, there were 21 people in my party and we had booked 11 rooms, nine of which were for three nights, one of which was booked for two nights and one for one night.

Some of us checked in around 4:30pm on Thursday, May 4, but the remainder checked in a little later, around 6:30pm. Among those that checked in at 6:30, at least four separate rooms were already occupied by other people. That is, we were issued key cards for rooms that had already been assigned. We entered the rooms and once we found them to be occupied, we returned to the front desk to get assigned new rooms. Eventually, this confusion was sorted out and we were assigned to rooms that were actually vacant.

Shortly thereafter, one of the individuals in our party had someone enter their locked room while they were there. Clearly the people working the front desk didn’t quite have their stuff together.

Another individual in our party, Rick, was assigned to room 411. He left his stuff in the room and the group went out for dinner. When we returned around 11:30pm, Rick found people in his room with his things. He was told that the room wasn't his and that his bag and phone were not there. He could see them from the door and asked to have them returned by the occupants. When he was ultimately given his things, he went to the front desk where he was reassigned to room 402. He then counted his money, which was in his bag, and found it to be short $500. We brought this to the attention of the front desk employee (the same one who made a complete mess of the check-in process) who took it upon herself to call room 411 and tell the occupants that we believed they had stolen money from Rick’s bag. Naturally, they denied it, so the front desk person suggested we speak to the general manger in the morning.

On Friday morning we spoke to the GM and assistant manager who told us that they would speak to "corporate" about what should be done in order to rectify all of these issues. Rick and I suggested that providing Rick with his three night stay free of charge would go a long way to making up for the previous night's bungling. The GM also suggested that we call the police, but our large group, which had come a long way for Pinfest, was heading to the convention and we knew that involving the police in this situation would take a long time and was not likely to provide a resolution in a timely manner. What I'm trying to say is, we didn't want to ruin our day (and the whole reason we were in town) with pointless delays, especially considering this was all the result of the hotel's screw up.

The GM told the assistant manager to contact me with a potential resolution as soon as possible.

At 1:16pm on Friday, May 5, I received a call from the hotel telling me that room 402 (Rick's room) was supposed to be vacant as it had only been booked for one night, but his things were still in the room. I explained that Rick's room was definitely booked for three nights and requested that his things be left where they were! I immediately contacted my friend Tom, the individual who had booked his stay for one night only, and asked if he had checked out. He told me that he had, indeed, checked out of his room (#232) and that it was most definitely vacant. I then called the hotel and explained to the front desk person that Tom was in room #232 and had definitely checked out.

I never heard from the assistant manager on Friday at all.

Upon returning to the hotel on Friday evening, I spoke to the front desk person who assured me that the assistant manager would call me as soon as possible.

On Saturday morning, before heading out for the day, i spoke to the front desk person and explained the situation. She told me that she would have the assistant manager call me, but she did not call me on Saturday.

On Sunday morning, upon check out, I spoke to the front desk person and explained the situation. She PROMISED me that she would pass my message onto the assistant manager and would DEFINITELY call me no later than 3pm on Sunday to tell me when I could expect to hear from the assistant manager. I did not hear from anybody.

I would like to point out that throughout every interaction with hotel staff, myself and the people in my group remained polite, reasonable and calm. We laid out our expectations clearly and were let down at every turn.

So, needless to say, the experience at the Comfort Suites was a complete disaster. There was no attempt to rectify the debacle of the mis-assigned rooms or the fact that one of the people in our group had money stolen by individuals in his locked room while he was away.

At the time, we felt that the response from the management team was completely non-existent. To date, I feel that the response has not only been poor, it has been downright deplorable.

Upon returning home, following a very tumultuous weekend at the hands of the Comfort Suites, I contacted the Choice Hotels corporate Head Office who ultimately launched their own investigation and placed the onus on the General Manager to resolve the situation. Head Office said that I would receive a response to my formal complaint by the hotel by Friday, May 12. Not surprisingly, I did not receive any response from anyone at the hotel. During this time, Rick contacted the police in Allentown to file an official complaint with them. But, really, what are they gonna do?

Finally, feeling frustrated, I called Head Office again on Monday, May 15. Ultimately, they put me in direct contact with the General Manager, which is the first time we spoke since May 5th. On the phone, the GM told me that we should contact the police, which I told him we had done. He went on to say that he was essentially unwilling to take any action to resolve our complaints and make things right. Towards the end of our conversation, he said that he would be willing to compensate Rick for one night if he were to provide his credit card information.

Which brings me to my next complaint. Upon speaking with Tom (the individual who had stayed at the hotel for only one night), I learned that HE had been charged for three nights instead of one. Additionally, he had spoken to the GM about it, but he refused to believe that he was in room 232 and not in room 402, which was Rick's room. Rather than refund the two night's charges, the GM instead told Tom that he will only do so if Rick pays for those nights. This is completely baffling.

__________________

IN SUMMARY:
- The front desk staff checked us into rooms that were already occupied.
- Once we were checked into unoccupied rooms, the front desk staff assigned at least two of our rooms to other people. The people who were assigned Rick's room remained in the room with his things in spite of the fact that it was clearly occupied already. As a result, Rick has lost $500.
- The GM’s response to our concerns and complaints has been defensive and excuse-laden. For over two weeks, no effort to resolve the issues has been undertaken by anyone at the hotel.
- Our very reasonable requests for a simple resolution (one room for three nights complementary) were met with disdain.
- The front desk staff assigned Tom's credit card to Rick's room mistakenly. This is likely because of the musical rooms we played on Thursday night. Tom stayed for one night only in room #232, NOT in room #402. The hotel refuses to credit Tom these additional charges. He has now filed a claim with Visa directly.
- I sent a very detailed and lengthy email to the GM on Wednesday (May 17th) but did not receive any reply. Today I called to see if it was his intention to address my concerns in any way. All he would do is say “This case is closed. Thank you very much,” over and over. I’m not sure how he can consider the case closed when he hasn’t done anything AT ALL about my complaints.

__________________

All of these things came about as a result of mistakes made by hotel staff and not through any of our own actions. I would think that in the hospitality industry, errors of this magnitude would be the type of thing a hotel would prefer to nip in the bud. Instead, the hotel has chosen to drag this issue out as long as possible in hopes that it will go away.

The Comfort Suites has always been a pleasant place to stay in years past, but this time customer service seemed to have vanished. I know that my group was not the only one affected by issues at this hotel. Our experience there put a very serious downer on what should have been a relaxing weekend. Instead it made me very anxious about the security of our possessions and, indeed, our safety. The credit card issues merely highlight the incompetence of the staff and the response to my concerns has been unbelievably poor.

All told, my group spent at least $3,420 at the hotel. We asked for merely a fraction of that (about 10%) in compensation for the debacle that was our stay that weekend.

If you are reading this in the future and are thinking about staying at a hotel in Allentown, do yourself a favour and avoid the Comfort Suites. They will assign you to rooms that are already occupied, give your room keys away happily to other people, put your safety and the security of your belongings at risk, screw up your billing and credit card information and will refuse to do anything to resolve any of the issues you encounter there.

If you don't want to take my word for it, there were a large number of long-time pinsiders who can vouch for everything I've stated here, for what it's worth.

Thanks again to Ivan for hosting a wonderful event. Please reconsider partnering with the Comfort Suites in the future. After this year, I can tell you with certainty that nobody I know personally will ever stay at that hotel ever again.

Thanks for reading.

Corey

#2418 3 months ago
Quoted from cooke:

Dear Pinside,
I want to tell you all about my experience with the Comfort Suites during the Pinfest weekend this year. I've been putting off telling you about this until I was sure there would be no resolution. Unfortunately, the time has come.

Wow...what a friggin mess. Sorry you all had to deal with that after traveling so far. We've stayed there the two previous years, but luckily we stayed at the Hilton Inn downtown this year...because the Comfort Suites were full. After reading your story, apparently they were way overbooked. The way the hotel, management and even the corporate office handled your grievance is even more of a joke, and your friend having money stolen is beyond irritating. If the people were in the room when I came back, I would've probably kicked my way in...and then kicked them. Thanks for sharing though...I'll definitely avoid that place in the years to come.

#2419 3 months ago

Complete bullshit. I feel bad for everyone. I would never leave cash in my bag in a hotel room.

#2420 3 months ago

In the future I would probably let the individuals book their own rooms at whatever hotel you all plan to attend. That way if anything gets screwed-up, you don't bear any of the blame. Just a suggestion. I don't see any real advantage of booking as a group other than if anything is screwed-up, all parties involved will have one person they can blame (even if it wasn't your fault).

#2421 3 months ago
Quoted from Gatecrasher:

In the future I would probably let the individuals book their own rooms at whatever hotel you plan to attend. That way if anything gets screwed-up you don't bear any of the blame. Just a suggestion. I don't see any real advantage of booking as a group other than if anything is screwed-up, all parties involved will have one person to blame (even if it wasn't your fault).

Lets not try to put the blame on anyone else but the hotel staff.

#2422 3 months ago
Quoted from fiberdude120:

Lets not try to put the blame on anyone else but the hotel staff.

If you read my post you will see I didn't.

#2423 3 months ago

@cooke that royally sucks. Is contesting the charges with a credit card company an option?

I practically live out of hotel rooms for work so I stayed at the Renaissance in downtown Allentown on points. Weekend rates here can be as low as $98/night if they don't have any events booked so I wouldn't discount it completely next year.

#2424 3 months ago

The sooner you book your hotel room too the cheaper it will be. The rates were a lot higher for the so-called Pinfest rates than they normally are.

If you plan on going book months in advance. You can always cancel 24 hours before if something pops up and you can't make it.

Comfort Suites staff is pretty-lame though. I remember once when I stayed there for 5 months last year as I was working as a consultant in Allentown before I moved here that they removed all my luggage and locked me out one night. I went down and raised hell and they finally gave me another room.

#2425 3 months ago
Quoted from cooke:

During this time, Rick contacted the police in Allentown to file an official complaint with them. But, really, what are they gonna do?

All told, my group spent at least $3,420 at the hotel. We asked for merely a fraction of that (about 10%) in compensation for the debacle that was our stay that weekend.

Corey

If you filed a Police report and the hotel gave your room key to another person you can sue the Hotel in small claims court.

You don't need a lawyer and for $500 the hotel is almost certain to settle. When they do settle, make sure you get the $500+ the fees for filing the claim.

#2426 3 months ago
Quoted from Gatecrasher:

In the future I would probably let the individuals book their own rooms at whatever hotel you all plan to attend. That way if anything gets screwed-up, you don't bear any of the blame. Just a suggestion. I don't see any real advantage of booking as a group other than if anything is screwed-up, all parties involved will have one person they can blame (even if it wasn't your fault).

We were traveling together as a group in a couple of vans, and cars - would have been a challenge if we scattered across different hotels.
There were more than just the 21 mentioned that he did the booking for, we booked separately (they managed to mess up my booking and initially refused to give me the pinfest rate)

Apart from the mess-ups and their very poor communication and lack of redress, not sure if the smell and the general run-down state of the place was mentioned - but we will not stay there again.

#2427 3 months ago

I don't blame you. There are plenty of other hotels in Allentown.

#2428 3 months ago

Idk why everyone has to stay at the same hotel. That's the type of trouble that you risk when oraganizing hotel rooms for people. I can't believe what happened. That's completely disgraceful how the hotel didn't issue a refund. If choice hotels don't contact you within the next few months than file a police report and pledge to never stay there again. It's a terrible situation and I can't imagine walking into an occupied room. I highly recommend not staying at the hotels on the Pinfest website because they seem to overbook. I highly recommend the comfort inn in fogelsville. It's not around the corner; it is an 8 mile/15 minute drive but the hotel was very quite, clean (just rennovated), and friendly which makes it worth it.

#2429 3 months ago

Sorry to hear. This isn't the first time I've heard of the comfort inn bungling things up this year or in the last couple years. I avoid the place entirely.

One random mixup with rooms can be an honest mistake. But these mistakes keep happening, so someone (or a bunch of people) are really doing a poor job there.

It really sucks that what is supposed to be a fun trip gets tarnished because the hotel fails miserably at the one job they are supposed to do well.

#2430 3 months ago

Ramada FTW!

#2431 3 months ago

My house FTW!

#2432 3 months ago
Quoted from cooke:

Dear Pinside,
I want to tell you all about my experience with the Comfort Suites during the Pinfest weekend this year. I've been putting off telling you about this until I was sure there would be no resolution. Unfortunately, the time has come.
I’m not posting this to be vindictive or dramatic; it’s my intention to simply warn future Pinside attendees of the deplorable customer service at the Comfort Suites. If Ivan is reading this, perhaps he could also take it into consideration when making accommodation arrangements for future Pinfests.
Let me begin by saying that Pinfest is one of the highlights of my year. This was my 10th time in attendance, I believe, and it’s safe to say that this year was the biggest and best event yet. Ivan and his team should be very proud.
I'm sorry this is so ridiculously long. Please bear with me. For the executive summary of what I'm about to say, scroll down.
Anyway, I am the organizer of a large group of individuals who have stayed at the Comfort Suites for several years for Pinfest. This year, there were 21 people in my party and we had booked 11 rooms, nine of which were for three nights, one of which was booked for two nights and one for one night.
Some of us checked in around 4:30pm on Thursday, May 4, but the remainder checked in a little later, around 6:30pm. Among those that checked in at 6:30, at least four separate rooms were already occupied by other people. That is, we were issued key cards for rooms that had already been assigned. We entered the rooms and once we found them to be occupied, we returned to the front desk to get assigned new rooms. Eventually, this confusion was sorted out and we were assigned to rooms that were actually vacant.
Shortly thereafter, one of the individuals in our party had someone enter their locked room while they were there. Clearly the people working the front desk didn’t quite have their stuff together.
Another individual in our party, Rick, was assigned to room 411. He left his stuff in the room and the group went out for dinner. When we returned around 11:30pm, Rick found people in his room with his things. He was told that the room wasn't his and that his bag and phone were not there. He could see them from the door and asked to have them returned by the occupants. When he was ultimately given his things, he went to the front desk where he was reassigned to room 402. He then counted his money, which was in his bag, and found it to be short $500. We brought this to the attention of the front desk employee (the same one who made a complete mess of the check-in process) who took it upon herself to call room 411 and tell the occupants that we believed they had stolen money from Rick’s bag. Naturally, they denied it, so the front desk person suggested we speak to the general manger in the morning.
On Friday morning we spoke to the GM and assistant manager who told us that they would speak to "corporate" about what should be done in order to rectify all of these issues. Rick and I suggested that providing Rick with his three night stay free of charge would go a long way to making up for the previous night's bungling. The GM also suggested that we call the police, but our large group, which had come a long way for Pinfest, was heading to the convention and we knew that involving the police in this situation would take a long time and was not likely to provide a resolution in a timely manner. What I'm trying to say is, we didn't want to ruin our day (and the whole reason we were in town) with pointless delays, especially considering this was all the result of the hotel's screw up.
The GM told the assistant manager to contact me with a potential resolution as soon as possible.
At 1:16pm on Friday, May 5, I received a call from the hotel telling me that room 402 (Rick's room) was supposed to be vacant as it had only been booked for one night, but his things were still in the room. I explained that Rick's room was definitely booked for three nights and requested that his things be left where they were! I immediately contacted my friend Tom, the individual who had booked his stay for one night only, and asked if he had checked out. He told me that he had, indeed, checked out of his room (#232) and that it was most definitely vacant. I then called the hotel and explained to the front desk person that Tom was in room #232 and had definitely checked out.
I never heard from the assistant manager on Friday at all.
Upon returning to the hotel on Friday evening, I spoke to the front desk person who assured me that the assistant manager would call me as soon as possible.
On Saturday morning, before heading out for the day, i spoke to the front desk person and explained the situation. She told me that she would have the assistant manager call me, but she did not call me on Saturday.
On Sunday morning, upon check out, I spoke to the front desk person and explained the situation. She PROMISED me that she would pass my message onto the assistant manager and would DEFINITELY call me no later than 3pm on Sunday to tell me when I could expect to hear from the assistant manager. I did not hear from anybody.
I would like to point out that throughout every interaction with hotel staff, myself and the people in my group remained polite, reasonable and calm. We laid out our expectations clearly and were let down at every turn.
So, needless to say, the experience at the Comfort Suites was a complete disaster. There was no attempt to rectify the debacle of the mis-assigned rooms or the fact that one of the people in our group had money stolen by individuals in his locked room while he was away.
At the time, we felt that the response from the management team was completely non-existent. To date, I feel that the response has not only been poor, it has been downright deplorable.
Upon returning home, following a very tumultuous weekend at the hands of the Comfort Suites, I contacted the Choice Hotels corporate Head Office who ultimately launched their own investigation and placed the onus on the General Manager to resolve the situation. Head Office said that I would receive a response to my formal complaint by the hotel by Friday, May 12. Not surprisingly, I did not receive any response from anyone at the hotel. During this time, Rick contacted the police in Allentown to file an official complaint with them. But, really, what are they gonna do?
Finally, feeling frustrated, I called Head Office again on Monday, May 15. Ultimately, they put me in direct contact with the General Manager, which is the first time we spoke since May 5th. On the phone, the GM told me that we should contact the police, which I told him we had done. He went on to say that he was essentially unwilling to take any action to resolve our complaints and make things right. Towards the end of our conversation, he said that he would be willing to compensate Rick for one night if he were to provide his credit card information.
Which brings me to my next complaint. Upon speaking with Tom (the individual who had stayed at the hotel for only one night), I learned that HE had been charged for three nights instead of one. Additionally, he had spoken to the GM about it, but he refused to believe that he was in room 232 and not in room 402, which was Rick's room. Rather than refund the two night's charges, the GM instead told Tom that he will only do so if Rick pays for those nights. This is completely baffling.
__________________
IN SUMMARY:
- The front desk staff checked us into rooms that were already occupied.
- Once we were checked into unoccupied rooms, the front desk staff assigned at least two of our rooms to other people. The people who were assigned Rick's room remained in the room with his things in spite of the fact that it was clearly occupied already. As a result, Rick has lost $500.
- The GM’s response to our concerns and complaints has been defensive and excuse-laden. For over two weeks, no effort to resolve the issues has been undertaken by anyone at the hotel.
- Our very reasonable requests for a simple resolution (one room for three nights complementary) were met with disdain.
- The front desk staff assigned Tom's credit card to Rick's room mistakenly. This is likely because of the musical rooms we played on Thursday night. Tom stayed for one night only in room #232, NOT in room #402. The hotel refuses to credit Tom these additional charges. He has now filed a claim with Visa directly.
- I sent a very detailed and lengthy email to the GM on Wednesday (May 17th) but did not receive any reply. Today I called to see if it was his intention to address my concerns in any way. All he would do is say “This case is closed. Thank you very much,” over and over. I’m not sure how he can consider the case closed when he hasn’t done anything AT ALL about my complaints.
__________________
All of these things came about as a result of mistakes made by hotel staff and not through any of our own actions. I would think that in the hospitality industry, errors of this magnitude would be the type of thing a hotel would prefer to nip in the bud. Instead, the hotel has chosen to drag this issue out as long as possible in hopes that it will go away.
The Comfort Suites has always been a pleasant place to stay in years past, but this time customer service seemed to have vanished. I know that my group was not the only one affected by issues at this hotel. Our experience there put a very serious downer on what should have been a relaxing weekend. Instead it made me very anxious about the security of our possessions and, indeed, our safety. The credit card issues merely highlight the incompetence of the staff and the response to my concerns has been unbelievably poor.
All told, my group spent at least $3,420 at the hotel. We asked for merely a fraction of that (about 10%) in compensation for the debacle that was our stay that weekend.
If you are reading this in the future and are thinking about staying at a hotel in Allentown, do yourself a favour and avoid the Comfort Suites. They will assign you to rooms that are already occupied, give your room keys away happily to other people, put your safety and the security of your belongings at risk, screw up your billing and credit card information and will refuse to do anything to resolve any of the issues you encounter there.
If you don't want to take my word for it, there were a large number of long-time pinsiders who can vouch for everything I've stated here, for what it's worth.
Thanks again to Ivan for hosting a wonderful event. Please reconsider partnering with the Comfort Suites in the future. After this year, I can tell you with certainty that nobody I know personally will ever stay at that hotel ever again.
Thanks for reading.
Corey

Yup, something can definitely be said for the good old fashioned brass key in your hand to unlock YOUR room! Once again, the unfortunate and unintended consequences of "technology" (combined with all too common incompetence)!

#2433 3 months ago
Quoted from djreddog:

Ramada FTW!

I hereby declare the Ramada to be the official Canadian Embassy for next year's Pinfest and have every intention of bringing or buying a machine for my room to further the cause. My wife will be in charge of mixing drinks and disabling smoke detectors.

I wonder if they have a rate for booking the whole joint, bar and all?

#2434 3 months ago
Quoted from emkay:

I hereby declare the Ramada to be the official Canadian Embassy for next year's Pinfest and have every intention of bringing or buying a machine for my room to further the cause. My wife will be in charge of mixing drinks and disabling smoke detectors.
I wonder if they have a rate for booking the whole joint, bar and all?

They do have a private room to the left of the bar area at the Ramada. It could 50-75 comfortably along with 4-5 pins????? We could definitely rent that out for cheap. Both years I have stayed there that room has sat idle.

#2435 3 months ago

Cooke, have you considered posting the entire story on Comfort Suites / Choice Hotels' Facebook page? Sometimes the only way to obtain satisfaction from a company is via a little negative publicity.

#2436 3 months ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

Yup, something can definitely be said for the good old fashioned brass key in your hand to unlock YOUR room! Once again, the unfortunate and unintended consequences of "technology" (combined with all too common incompetence)!

I've stayed hotels probably 1,500 nights for business and I've only had an occupied room incident once, around 1990. And it was with good old fashioned keys! At pretty a crappy Holiday Inn that was 45 minutes closer than the next nearest hotel choice I had. I checked in, walked down a fairly long distance of hallways, unlocked the door, and someone was already in the room watching TV. I headed back towards the front desk, and actually met the front desk person coming towards me to tell me he realized he made a mistake! Today, with computers for check in, and electronic key cards being uniquely created at check in, there is absolutely no excuse for there not to be checks and balances in the software to prevent or flag a duplicate room assignment. Of course, there may have been, and the desk person ignored it. And absolutely, the theft (and security breach that lead to it) should be reported to the police immediately, hotel theft happens pretty often, but the hotel has 100% blame in this case.

That being said, when I travel for pleasure, I stick with Marriott brands, and avoid any hotel brand that you can just take an existing hotel building and slap a chain name on it. Between bed bugs, security concerns, 40 year old bathtub grout, it's worth driving a little further or paying a few bucks more to have a higher probability that the hotel is being run and maintained professionally. I always look for hotels that business people stay at. If we had a hotel issue at work, our travel department would contact the hotel company and not book anyone there until things were resolved, or blacklist particular locations. They also had contracts with all the major chains and could exercise leverage with those. I don't know exactly where the Allentown show is held, but when I stay in Allentown for my son's soccer tournaments, we stay at the airport hotels, rather than the Dorney Park type hotels. I hope this gets resolved, customers should never be treated like this.

#2437 3 months ago

Yea, if I return to Pinfest, I will not be returning to Comfort....They did move us from the room that time forgot, and our second room was fine (Did have to rip the shelves out of one mini-fridge and install in second one, and neither room appeared to have witnessed any sense of a vacuum in at least ten years) but they were running off of pad and paper (I think that room is empty, hold on...yea its empty....wait, maybe not...No, its...wait.....yea, you should be fine).....Walls were a tad thin as I think the guy next door failed to heed the warnings and must have eaten at the show, as there was one hell of an explosive sh$t storm going on in there.... The breakfast was decent (Just avoid the eggs that were sitting for a while as they oddly tasted like salmon...

#2438 3 months ago

You guys ever consider the Wingate by Wyndham?

Bethlehem has a couple nice hotels. No more than a 15 - 20 minute ride to the show.

#2439 3 months ago
Quoted from djreddog:

They do have a private room to the left of the bar area at the Ramada. It could 50-75 comfortably along with 4-5 pins????? We could definitely rent that out for cheap. Both years I have stayed there that room has sat idle.

We need to do this. Allentown is awesome but the afterparty needs work. Know a good DJ?

#2440 3 months ago
Quoted from emkay:

We need to do this. Allentown is awesome but the afterparty needs work. Know a good DJ?

We can definitely setup a small speaker and rock out while playing pinball into the wee hours of the night.

#2441 3 months ago
Quoted from cooke:

Dear Pinside,
I want to tell you all about my experience with the Comfort Suites during the Pinfest weekend this year. I've been putting off telling you about this until I was sure there would be no resolution. Unfortunately, the time has come.
I’m not posting this to be vindictive or dramatic; it’s my intention to simply warn future Pinside attendees of the deplorable customer service at the Comfort Suites. If Ivan is reading this, perhaps he could also take it into consideration when making accommodation arrangements for future Pinfests.
Let me begin by saying that Pinfest is one of the highlights of my year. This was my 10th time in attendance, I believe, and it’s safe to say that this year was the biggest and best event yet. Ivan and his team should be very proud.
I'm sorry this is so ridiculously long. Please bear with me. For the executive summary of what I'm about to say, scroll down.
Anyway, I am the organizer of a large group of individuals who have stayed at the Comfort Suites for several years for Pinfest. This year, there were 21 people in my party and we had booked 11 rooms, nine of which were for three nights, one of which was booked for two nights and one for one night.
Some of us checked in around 4:30pm on Thursday, May 4, but the remainder checked in a little later, around 6:30pm. Among those that checked in at 6:30, at least four separate rooms were already occupied by other people. That is, we were issued key cards for rooms that had already been assigned. We entered the rooms and once we found them to be occupied, we returned to the front desk to get assigned new rooms. Eventually, this confusion was sorted out and we were assigned to rooms that were actually vacant.
Shortly thereafter, one of the individuals in our party had someone enter their locked room while they were there. Clearly the people working the front desk didn’t quite have their stuff together.
Another individual in our party, Rick, was assigned to room 411. He left his stuff in the room and the group went out for dinner. When we returned around 11:30pm, Rick found people in his room with his things. He was told that the room wasn't his and that his bag and phone were not there. He could see them from the door and asked to have them returned by the occupants. When he was ultimately given his things, he went to the front desk where he was reassigned to room 402. He then counted his money, which was in his bag, and found it to be short $500. We brought this to the attention of the front desk employee (the same one who made a complete mess of the check-in process) who took it upon herself to call room 411 and tell the occupants that we believed they had stolen money from Rick’s bag. Naturally, they denied it, so the front desk person suggested we speak to the general manger in the morning.
On Friday morning we spoke to the GM and assistant manager who told us that they would speak to "corporate" about what should be done in order to rectify all of these issues. Rick and I suggested that providing Rick with his three night stay free of charge would go a long way to making up for the previous night's bungling. The GM also suggested that we call the police, but our large group, which had come a long way for Pinfest, was heading to the convention and we knew that involving the police in this situation would take a long time and was not likely to provide a resolution in a timely manner. What I'm trying to say is, we didn't want to ruin our day (and the whole reason we were in town) with pointless delays, especially considering this was all the result of the hotel's screw up.
The GM told the assistant manager to contact me with a potential resolution as soon as possible.
At 1:16pm on Friday, May 5, I received a call from the hotel telling me that room 402 (Rick's room) was supposed to be vacant as it had only been booked for one night, but his things were still in the room. I explained that Rick's room was definitely booked for three nights and requested that his things be left where they were! I immediately contacted my friend Tom, the individual who had booked his stay for one night only, and asked if he had checked out. He told me that he had, indeed, checked out of his room (#232) and that it was most definitely vacant. I then called the hotel and explained to the front desk person that Tom was in room #232 and had definitely checked out.
I never heard from the assistant manager on Friday at all.
Upon returning to the hotel on Friday evening, I spoke to the front desk person who assured me that the assistant manager would call me as soon as possible.
On Saturday morning, before heading out for the day, i spoke to the front desk person and explained the situation. She told me that she would have the assistant manager call me, but she did not call me on Saturday.
On Sunday morning, upon check out, I spoke to the front desk person and explained the situation. She PROMISED me that she would pass my message onto the assistant manager and would DEFINITELY call me no later than 3pm on Sunday to tell me when I could expect to hear from the assistant manager. I did not hear from anybody.
I would like to point out that throughout every interaction with hotel staff, myself and the people in my group remained polite, reasonable and calm. We laid out our expectations clearly and were let down at every turn.
So, needless to say, the experience at the Comfort Suites was a complete disaster. There was no attempt to rectify the debacle of the mis-assigned rooms or the fact that one of the people in our group had money stolen by individuals in his locked room while he was away.
At the time, we felt that the response from the management team was completely non-existent. To date, I feel that the response has not only been poor, it has been downright deplorable.
Upon returning home, following a very tumultuous weekend at the hands of the Comfort Suites, I contacted the Choice Hotels corporate Head Office who ultimately launched their own investigation and placed the onus on the General Manager to resolve the situation. Head Office said that I would receive a response to my formal complaint by the hotel by Friday, May 12. Not surprisingly, I did not receive any response from anyone at the hotel. During this time, Rick contacted the police in Allentown to file an official complaint with them. But, really, what are they gonna do?
Finally, feeling frustrated, I called Head Office again on Monday, May 15. Ultimately, they put me in direct contact with the General Manager, which is the first time we spoke since May 5th. On the phone, the GM told me that we should contact the police, which I told him we had done. He went on to say that he was essentially unwilling to take any action to resolve our complaints and make things right. Towards the end of our conversation, he said that he would be willing to compensate Rick for one night if he were to provide his credit card information.
Which brings me to my next complaint. Upon speaking with Tom (the individual who had stayed at the hotel for only one night), I learned that HE had been charged for three nights instead of one. Additionally, he had spoken to the GM about it, but he refused to believe that he was in room 232 and not in room 402, which was Rick's room. Rather than refund the two night's charges, the GM instead told Tom that he will only do so if Rick pays for those nights. This is completely baffling.
__________________
IN SUMMARY:
- The front desk staff checked us into rooms that were already occupied.
- Once we were checked into unoccupied rooms, the front desk staff assigned at least two of our rooms to other people. The people who were assigned Rick's room remained in the room with his things in spite of the fact that it was clearly occupied already. As a result, Rick has lost $500.
- The GM’s response to our concerns and complaints has been defensive and excuse-laden. For over two weeks, no effort to resolve the issues has been undertaken by anyone at the hotel.
- Our very reasonable requests for a simple resolution (one room for three nights complementary) were met with disdain.
- The front desk staff assigned Tom's credit card to Rick's room mistakenly. This is likely because of the musical rooms we played on Thursday night. Tom stayed for one night only in room #232, NOT in room #402. The hotel refuses to credit Tom these additional charges. He has now filed a claim with Visa directly.
- I sent a very detailed and lengthy email to the GM on Wednesday (May 17th) but did not receive any reply. Today I called to see if it was his intention to address my concerns in any way. All he would do is say “This case is closed. Thank you very much,” over and over. I’m not sure how he can consider the case closed when he hasn’t done anything AT ALL about my complaints.
__________________
All of these things came about as a result of mistakes made by hotel staff and not through any of our own actions. I would think that in the hospitality industry, errors of this magnitude would be the type of thing a hotel would prefer to nip in the bud. Instead, the hotel has chosen to drag this issue out as long as possible in hopes that it will go away.
The Comfort Suites has always been a pleasant place to stay in years past, but this time customer service seemed to have vanished. I know that my group was not the only one affected by issues at this hotel. Our experience there put a very serious downer on what should have been a relaxing weekend. Instead it made me very anxious about the security of our possessions and, indeed, our safety. The credit card issues merely highlight the incompetence of the staff and the response to my concerns has been unbelievably poor.
All told, my group spent at least $3,420 at the hotel. We asked for merely a fraction of that (about 10%) in compensation for the debacle that was our stay that weekend.
If you are reading this in the future and are thinking about staying at a hotel in Allentown, do yourself a favour and avoid the Comfort Suites. They will assign you to rooms that are already occupied, give your room keys away happily to other people, put your safety and the security of your belongings at risk, screw up your billing and credit card information and will refuse to do anything to resolve any of the issues you encounter there.
If you don't want to take my word for it, there were a large number of long-time pinsiders who can vouch for everything I've stated here, for what it's worth.
Thanks again to Ivan for hosting a wonderful event. Please reconsider partnering with the Comfort Suites in the future. After this year, I can tell you with certainty that nobody I know personally will ever stay at that hotel ever again.
Thanks for reading.
Corey

Write reviews on Yelp and all of the travel websites. I don't think they're checking pinside lol.

#2442 3 months ago

We booked our room (two queen beds) at the Comfort Suites 2 1/2 months in advance. We checked in Thursday night. They gave us a room on the forth floor. We entered the room and saw there was luggage on the beds. We went back to the front desk and we were given a room on the 2nd floor. We got to that room and the door was open and it was occupied with other Pinfest people. We went back to the front desk and they tried to give us the same first room again. They told us they have to clean a room and it will take 30 minutes. We went into the bar for an hour. Go to the front desk and there are new staff at the front desk. They knew nothing about our room. They stated they had no rooms with two queen beds so they will give us to separate rooms with kings and only charge us for one room. The next morning before leaving the room an elderly couple entered my room. The front desk gave them my room at 7:00am? We did not leave our luggage because the way they were given the same rooms out. We carted our luggage to the show. That morning we spoke with Steve from Mayfair amusements, a very similar thing happen to him that night also. They said they will make sure we have a room with two queens for Friday night. They took both our cell numbers and said they will call before noon to confirm for the Friday night room. Never got a call. Friday night they did have a correct room for us.

Upon check out Saturday am they said they could not give us a statement for the stay because of computer issues. They said we would only be billed for two rooms not three. Fast forward May 17 we were charged for three nights. This was on my friends credit card. He was on a three way call with the credit card company and Comfort Suites. Comfort Suites said they can not refund the one night. His credit card company had to cancel his card in order to get him a on night refund. The manager at the Comfort Suites was no help what so ever and he slammed they on the survey.
We will never stay at the Comfort Suites in Allentown again. We will be staying at a different accommodation next year.

#2443 3 months ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

My house FTW!

Do you serve continental breakfast.

#2444 3 months ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

Do you serve continental breakfast.

Yes. But not to people who skip out on the bill.

#2445 3 months ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

My house FTW!

Done. I'll expect a nice spread in the morning for breakfast...after I get done loading up your Escalera. Wait, that didn't come out right..........or did it?

#2446 3 months ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

Done. I'll expect a nice spread in the morning for breakfast...after I get done loading up your Escalera. Wait, that didn't come out right..........or did it?

House rules: No tats allowed. We run a reputable business here.

#2447 3 months ago

no_irish (resized).jpg

#2448 3 months ago

According to the pinfest website the 2018 dates are May 4 and 5

#2449 3 months ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

House rules: No tats allowed. We run a reputable business here.

That's odd...your wife told me she liked my ink last night.

#2450 3 months ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

That's odd...your wife told me she liked my ink last night.

Oh cool, I told her to tell you that but didn't think she would.

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