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A Non Profit Association of Wyndham Franchisees. Who are the O8A?. As of July 15, 2009 1,297 O8A Members 70% of O8A members own Super 8. Super 8 Members Key Stats. 70.88% less than 60 rooms 97.6% Owner Operators 59% own only Super 8 41% own Other Brands

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who are the o8a
Who are the O8A?

As of July 15, 2009

1,297 O8A Members

70%

of O8A members own

Super 8

super 8 members key stats
Super 8 Members Key Stats
  • 70.88% less than 60 rooms
  • 97.6% Owner Operators
  • 59% own only Super 8
  • 41% own Other Brands
  • 39.5% had owned S8 less than 5 years
  • 33% had owned between 5-10 years
  • 21% had owned between 11-20 years
  • 6% had owned for over 20 years
current significant issues
Current Significant Issues
  • Technology Standards
  • Wyndham Rewards Program
  • Customer Service Fees
  • My Portal Issues
technology standards
Technology Standards
  • SoftHotels
  • Direcway
technology standards6
Technology Standards

SOFTHOTELS

  • Significant functionality Issues
  • Excessive Purchase and Training Costs
softhotel owner comments
SoftHotel Owner Comments

SoftHotels is a web-based PMS with the the estimated cost for each property will be between $14,000 to $19,000 with a additional ongoing monthly software support fee of $125 to $350. The only interfaces available are for Southern Data Comm credit card integration and for mitel SX-200 and above. It does not allow key card terminal, movie rental systems, POS (vending), and other interfaces that are essential to running a motel in today's industry. But how do they justify such large costs. So they are telling me that after spending around $16,0000 for the system I will have to pay another $1,500 to $4,200 each year for software support. Choice Advantage, a property management system for choice hotel brands of econo lodge and roadway inns, has a web base PMS that they deployed recently and they only how to pay $100 per monthly and no up front hardware and software purchasing costs. I have emailed my DBD and FSM about this issue with no response. With any modern property management system all the above mentioned interfaces would be available. Also I would like to mention that softHotels is critically flawed, just go to the PM support page and a very long list of known issues are stated with no solutions just workarounds. http://hoteltechsupport.shotel.cendant.com/ , this link only works from your property workstation computer connected to the wyndham network. I think Wyndham is just doing softHotels to compete with Choice, but is trying to profit from it. I was also told that we need to purchase new computer equipment for softhotels, but if it is web based, then is it not local computer equipment independent?  I think the cost of SoftHotels is widely inflated. Currently we are paying $105 a month for the software maintenance of HSS.  They have also added the additonal of any property management system into the rules of Operations and Design, which opens the door to future costs. 

Franchisee from CA

softhotels functionality issues
SoftHotels Functionality Issues
  • 1.    Misreporting allocations
  • 2.    Monthly revenue reports generate different data depending on the report generated. 
  • 3.    Availability is often incorrect and prevents staff from booking reservations.
  • 4.    Cancellation policy does NOT print on the confirmation letter nor the confirmation email.  Policy is unknown to guest services with this system.
  • 5.    Group function is poorly designed.  Room allocations are unnecessarily manual. 
  • 6.    ALL operations are extremely slow.
  • 7.     System does not follow an intuitive progression for checking in a guest.
  • 8.     System does not follow an intuitive progression for making a reservation.
  • 9.     System requires numerous amounts of unnecessary clicking and pointing with regards to checking in and reservations.
  • 10.   Assigned rooms (not occupied) shows up on the housekeeping list.
  • 11.   System reports “unhandled exception error” when making reservation.  Tech support response was that this is a known issue and will be addressed in the next update.  We were updated since then on 4/15 and the issue is still there. 
  • 12.   The inability to have notes printed out on the housekeeping list.  (Such as crib or rollaway request, do not disturb requests, linen change, ect.)
  • 13.   Inability to post misc charges for faxes and copies for non- guest clients.
  • 14.   Print on the reports (especially housekeeping report) is too small.
  • 15.   Total amount of guest charges that is reported on the screen during a checkout is too small.  Ten or 12 point fonts are not sufficient for an important part of checkout.
  • 16.   Reports in general are not well designed.  Lots of white space which translates to several  pages.  Reports should be designed to fit on 2-3 sheets of paper for them to be functional.
  • 17.   User interface is poorly designed.  The system requires clicking on tiny little pictures on the screen to access the most used functions. 
  • 18.   Being Green.  Myportal has a link on the home page suggesting Wyndham is making an effort to reduce the toll pollution has taken on our planet.  Softhotel could simply be “GREEN” be allowing a linen change schedule.
  • 19.   Button on the screen should have titles obvious to the user.  For instance, on the home screen there are 3 different buttons with slightly different pictures of computers and 2 separate buttons with pictures of envelopes. 
  • 20.   No way to cancel the Cash function at check in or on a reservation once the post window is open.  There is a “Cancel” button, but it doesn’t function, you are forced to post an amount and then you have to edit it out. 
softhotels functionality issues9
SoftHotels Functionality Issues
  • 21.    The system is not “seamless”.  I still have to check Travel agent commission reports, monitor Wyndham Rewards free night stays and bill for them, and Monthly Franchise reporting. 
  • 22.    Groups are now being booked through CRS and I am getting no notification.  This affects staffing and ordering supplies.  Now I constantly have to monitor reports to stay on top of my room inventory.
  • 23.    The “Arrivals” report includes guest that will be in house that day, which makes the reports confusing and difficult to read.
  • 24.    There is no way to set up a weekly rate in the system.
  • 25.    Making multiple reservations for different dates is difficult and time consuming.
  • 26.    When editing rates the system locks up often and requires that the system be re-booted. 
  • 27.     Inability to check in a sub room if master has not checked in prior.
  • 28.     Inability to over-ride inane functions such as the previous.  The system is telling me what I can and cannot do – it should be the other way around.
  • 29. Takes almost 5 minutes to change rates for a 6 month period of time
  • 30.    Cancellation policy is not visible on screen when making a reservation – my staff has no idea what the cancellation policies are for any given date because the system isn’t showing it.
  • 31.     Manually have to change rooms to tax exempt – the system should do this automatically after a guest has stayed 30 days. – One more thing I have to manually track.
  • 32.    I still cannot print a receipt for an extended stay guest.  The system populates huge receipts consisting of hundreds of pages – this is absurd.  Guests expect to be able to get a receipt upon request.  UPDATE:  I had a guest that stayed with us for 35 days.  At checkout the system populated a 38 page receipt.  I understand that this is a "known issue" but it is one that needs IMMEDIATE attention.  In a society that is more and more "Green" conscientious, a receipt of such excessive length is environmentally unfriendly and unprofessional. 
  • 33.    The inability to change each days’ rate while making the reservation or at check in. 
  • 34.     If I increase a rate in the system, and make any type of modification to an existing reservation it changes that guests rate which results in rate adjustments later.
  • 35.     The system should charge room rate and taxes at check-in.  Training my staff to remember to post room charges for pre-audit

Check-outs and post-audit Check-ins confuses them.  It is unnecessarily complicated and could be simplified by posting the charges at check-in. 

  • 36.     I want the ability to pick and chose which functions my staff has available to them.  I do not want them to have full manager access -- I cannot do this with this system.
softhotels functionality issues10
SoftHotels Functionality Issues
  • 37.    The detail function when looking up a reservation is too difficult to decider. 
  • 38.    Travel agent and 3rd party websites do not require zip codes yet Softhotel does.  Tech support told me to use a local zip code and leave a note on the reservation to get the correct zip code.  This is not an acceptable solution.  My staff will invariableoverlook the note and I will not have a proper address. 
  • 39.    The system does not save phone numbers in history.  Frequent Wyndham Rewards guest get upset when we ask for a contact number each time they stay. 
  • 40.    There is no Postage option on the folio for the guest charges.  Guests leave things in hotels often.  I would like to be able to track how much money is being spent on Postage each month and Miscellaneous is too broad a category to track. 
  • 41.    Training guides are lacking import functions; for example, No-Show procedures. 
  • 42.    Backdoor changes to the system are done and we are not notified of these changes.
  • 43.    Front desk manager property access does not have the power to change/ update rates.
  • 44.   Walking in multiple rooms – system does not print Registration Cards.
  • 45.    The Search function is not working properly (7/8/2008). 
  • 46.    System reports ADR as being higher than it actually is. 
  • 47.    Direct Billing statements lack sufficient information. 
  • 48.   Credit Card Transactions Report lists account numbers rather than room numbers; which makes it difficult to find an error if one has been made.
  • 49.    Cash function is very confusing for staff.
  • 50.    System asks you to check out canceled ‘SUB’ rooms when checking out the Master.  Tech Support has to override this function.  It cannot be done from the property.
  • 51.    Several of the Property Access options for the staff are not functional.
  • 52.    Cannot remotely log into system.
softhotels owner comments
SoftHotels Owner Comments

I think the new PMS system is useless. I have had more problems with this system then I have ever encountered in any of my other businesses. Since I have had this system I have been over booked 7 days. This weekend I am overbooked by 25 rooms. I have spent more then 40 hours trying to figure this out. The first conversation we came to a conclusion (8hours later) that my software is somehow attached to a property in Wisconsin. The next time I called they said the problem is due to my employees. This is outrageous. The training that they offered was childish. I learned more just by playing around on the software. I think we need to compile all the owners against this software and have Wyndham pay for our damages. I have already contacted a few of my lawyers and will be proceeding with a case. I think the case will be much stronger if we can get even 100 owners to join in and fight for what we think is right for OUR properties and not what Wyndham DECIDED IS BEST FOR US. Please E-mail me with any info or if you would like to join this outrage.

thanks,

S. Singh

owner comments
Owner Comments
  • SoftHotels is a web-based PMS with the estimated cost for each property will be between $14,000 to $19,000 with a additional ongoing monthly software support fee of $125 to $350. The only interfaces available are for Southern Data Comm credit card integration and for mitel SX-200 and above.  It does not allow key card terminal, movie rental systems, POS (vending), and other interfaces that are essential to running a motel in today's industry. But how do they justify such large costs. So they are telling me that after spending around $16,0000 for the system I will have to pay another $1,500 to $4,200 each year for software support.
  • Choice Advantage, a property management system for choice hotel brands of econo lodge and rodeway inns, has a web base PMS that they deployed recently and they only how to pay $100 per monthly and no up front hardware and software purchasing costs. I have emailed my DBD and FSM about this issue with no response. With any modern property management system all the above mentioned interfaces would be available. Also I would like to mention that softHotels is critically flawed, just go to the PM support page and a very long list of known issues are stated with no solutions just workarounds.
  • http://hoteltechsupport.shotel.cendant.com/ , this link only works from your property workstation computer connected to the wyndham network. I think Wyndham is just doing softHotels to compete with Choice, but is trying to profit from it. I was also told that we need to purchase new computer equipment for softhotels, but if it is web based, then is it not local computer equipment independent?  I think the cost of SoftHotels is widely inflated. Currently we are paying $105 a month for the software maintenance of HSS.  They have also added the additonal of any property management system into the rules of Operations and Design, which opens the door to future costs.
direcway
Direcway
  • Wyndham owners are charged $160 per month. Direcway is just another form of internet through satellite where normal charges range from $30 - $45. This could be established in a less expensive format while yielding the same results. 
  • Direcway is slow resulting in issues with semi-web based software such as SoftHotels.
direcway cont
Direcway Cont.
  • Direcway is a very slow system that is being utilized on the basis of security concerns.
  • It can be proven that Direcway is not any more secure than any other delivery method.
  • The software must have its own on board protection that will create a secure data stream.
  • Research by the federal government indicates that there is no internet network that is completely secure. All networks can be breached and are susceptible to hackers.
  • Many of our competitors are utilizing much more cost effective solutions that have not resulted in any major network security failures. Therefore, the argument on security that was provided to the franchisees is inaccurate and flawed.
frequent stay program
Frequent Stay Program
  • Wyndham Rewards
wyndham rewards
Wyndham Rewards
  • Program Issues
  • Auto Enrollment of Guests into Wyndham Rewards
  • Pro-Actively Matching to Assign Guest’s Points
program issues
Program Issues
  • The Wyndham rewards program initially was applied to the rack rate. Changes were made to bring the program in alignment with our competitors however, all rate types with up to a 20% discount qualify which is a concern for the owners.
  • All typical commercial customers and weekly customers began carrying the Wyndham rewards card and hotels ended up giving an additional 5% on top of the construction or weekly rates which are normally excessively discounted but may not be greater than 20%.
  • Although technology is available to block rewards points for non qualified rates, Wyndham has not modified the software to resolve hotel owner’s problems.
  • Many of the guests lack knowledge and awareness of your membership in the program and in many cases the guests are unaware of their point standings which is counter productive to our efforts.
program issues18
Program Issues
  • Auto Enrollment in the program from the website has not ended and is not scheduled to end until the 4th Quarter.
  • Front Desk Attendants have the ability to automatically sign up guests for Wyndham Rewards without their knowledge.
  • We would like detailed reporting of the Wyndham Rewards Marketing Budget that was once available to all franchisees.
wr points expiration
WR Points Expiration
  • Points expire after 4 years
  • Points expire after 18 months of inactivity on the guests account
  • There have been unhappy members and lost guests due to the expiration of points
recommendations
Recommendations
  • Auto Enrollment MUST CEASE IMMEDIATELY not in the 4th Quarter
  • Pro Active Matching is not justifiable when members are auto enrolled
  • Member Points should not expire
  • We would like to evaluate the Program Budget
  • We would like to know what happens to expired points that are paid by individual franchisees.
customer service fees
Customer Service Fees

Customer complaints: Although it is a balancing act as many complaints are genuine, some of the customer complaints are not valid. The Franchisor’s call centers collect the guest complaint information and forward the complaint to the motels. The motels must resolve any guest issues to the guest’s satisfaction or they will face a fine and this is unfair to the franchisees.  The customer service department does not properly evaluate each guest's concerns and in many cases access a  fine a motel of $ 60 - $120 per complaint.  The fees for this department are part of the franchise fees that we pay the franchisor and additional fees being assessed for processing cannot be justified. 

customer service fees comments
Customer Service Fees Comments

We are being charged $60 for customer complaints cases plus being fined. I just spoke to G.M. hot line, and they didn't even know how they calculate the $60.00 processing fees. She mentioned that maybe it’s calculated based upon last years room occupied. That is totally wrong. In the world we are living, 1000 occupied room per each complain processing allotment is not fair. Smaller properties will get hit hard. Economy franchisees like us will get more complains. Since they're running customer complain dept. on our Royalties, then why they are charging us additional fees.  It’s not taking them 2 hours to process and record the case.

Owner from California

customer service fees23
Customer Service Fees
  • Customer Service Complaints need to be divided into two sections that can help clarify them. First, there should be a section for complaints on rates or charges which should have no bearing on allotment. Fees should not be charged and penalties should never accrue. These issues should be left to the property to resolve without any franchisor intervention. Second, there should be a section for complaints regarding cleanliness.  These issues are related to the property and its conditions. Wyndham must allow the property time to respond to these as is the current process. However, if a response is sent regardless of whether the guest is satisfied with the response, there should not be any fees charged to the property.
  • Customer Service complaints that refer to internet connectivity should be directed to the property if they are made during a customer’s stay. However, if it is after the stay, these complaints should not be taken as the issues vary due to many customer’s hardware or their system drivers. These complaints made after the guest’s stay should not be taken or should be sent to the property as an information only file.
customer service fees24
Customer Service Fees

The charge of $60 must be dropped unless the site does not respond to cases.

The franchisor should not force the hotel to resolve all the complaints to the guest's satisfaction. While we can be apologetic and reasonable, there are times when the complaints are products of individual customers and not the hotels. Reasonable responses must be sent however, unreasonable demands should not warrant refunds.

At the moment non quality assurance customer complaints (e.g. mistakes in billing or reservations problems) are not separated from quality assurance problems. They are all treated as customer complaints. Only those complaints that have valid quality control issues should be treated as complaints and the remainder should be resolved by the individual franchisee.

my portal concerns
My Portal Concerns

Many of us including our officers have had a terrible time navigating through my portal.  The system is very slow and very user Unfriendly as it makes any process quite difficult.  WHG is becoming more modern in that they are utilizing the my portal system for many of the functions however, they have not tracked whether the franchisees are logging into the system.  

Many of our colleagues are NOT computer savvy as many of our mom and pop operations never demanded so much use of these web systems.  Many of our members avoid using the system and the results are catastrophic.  If you do not access my portal then you are subject to higher commissions, higher WR reimbursement, missed Customer Service Cases, Royalty Reporting issues from WHG, missed inspection notifications, lack of awareness of Medalia scores and the list goes on.

my portal cont
My Portal Cont.

My name is dave and I am the owner/manager of the super 8 in michigan.  I just wanted to take a minute and thank you and the other members for your efforts in changing the culture at wyndham.  I hope you can continue to have an impact in at least getting them to treat their customers with a little more consideration.  I will be leaving the super 8 family this fall and trying to make it as an independent hotel, but again, I wish you folks the best of luck in your future success. my property has never scored less than an A on inspections and I think we have represented the franchise very well, but I can no longer tolerate the feeling of indifference that wyndham gives me when I deal with them.  I am one of the people that almost never opens my portal, as I am just too computer stupid or impatient to try to navigate my way through the maze to get the one piece of information I am looking for.  I have tried calling people directly, only to be stonewalled by no one calling me back, or the old transfer routine.  I am tired of NEVER getting a monthly statement that is right, and I am tired of paying for a direcway system that doesn't work.  I am tired of being forced to go to regional meetings where all I hear about is what else 'I will be doing for them' instead of the other way around.  I am puzzled by the fact that I need to replace a perfectly good sign and my cousin that owns his own sign making business can't do the work.  I am dumbfounded that in the worst economy since the great depression I am being asked to replace a smooth running hss system.  I am further amazed at the lack of ideas I hear from corporate as to how we can increase our business.  I am also confused that no one from corporate has tried to get me to change my mind....I must be a bigger pain than I realized. but enough of my complaints, I have a favor to ask of the members. if anyone has a suggestion as to a front end system or any tips for a soon to be independent, please let me know...iId be glad to hear some advice.      again, thanks so very much for your efforts and the best of luck to you all. 

dave

my portal cont27
My Portal Cont.

I am sure that a lot of Super 8 owners have been having problems with the new commission process. The used to fax or e-mail the commission report every Friday to us and we would check it. The last month or so they stopped and informed us that we can look for it on my portal and make corrections. This is interesting because this also the time frame that we started having problems with the report. The SS1 reservations were listed twice, once as rack with commission and once as SS1 at no commission.I have e-mailed a requested to the DBD and the FSM to see if they can have the myportal management team go back to e-mailing the commission report every week. I also suggested that they should send us an alert to myportal every time a new report or updated of any kind is posted in the system. We should not have to hunt and look for what has been posted or updated. Deepak  Super 8 

possible solutions
Possible Solutions
  • WHG must revamp the software to make it more user friendly.
  • Send out emails with pertinent information to a designated email account or two with the pertinent information.  EX. customer service case opened please go to this link to review (Choice does this now)
  • Change the navigation screens completely in order for them to be easily navigated.