Mr. Constantino Tessarin of Acacia safaris made serious mismanagement allegations against Chez Lando in The New Times issue of October 15, 2007.
Since your paper did not deem it necessary to get our side of the history before publication, we would like our customers-who are yours to hear the actual facts of the matter.
First, we want to clearly state that Mr. Tessarin’s story is inaccurate and his allegations far-fetched. We also want to make it known that the hotel staff and management were very accommodating and tolerant despite his lack of preparedness and unbecoming conduct-even in front his own customers.
The truth of the matter is that this individual was unable to reach an agreement with the hotel that would match his budget, and then decided to cause trouble.
Anyone who is in this business knows that without an agreement of services and payment, no hotel is expected to acquiesce to the ad hoc requests of a customer-tour manager or not.
Concerning the allegations as contained in the write-up they are of such nonsensical nature that we will just pick a few to illustrate this man’s illogical thinking:
Mr. Tessarin claims to have been dealing with the hotel since January 2007, yet he states that “we had about 10clients between July and August”; that is a seven month difference.
What he was trying to imply here is that he was a well established customer of the hotel.
Mr. Tessarin claims that the hotel is said to have “never received my requests”, yet in an earlier paragraph affirms that the hotel refused to offer him a contract because it was the first business contact. How can one refute a request that was never received in the first place?
What kept him from producing his emails and prove to the hotel that there had indeed been correspondence in his favour? Should the hotel have denied him online access, there is a 24-hour internet café right next to the hotel.
On the buffet: if a restaurant does not discuss a buffet and offers a menu option instead, the client is free to decline. How did Mr. Tessarin expect to discuss buffet prices after the meals were consumed?
The following is the manner in which Hotel Chez Lando was accommodating Mr. Tessarin despite his tantrums and rude conduct:
On room booking: The original request of May 24 was for 12 rooms; then on august 27, he confirmed the same reservation. A few days later, his agent, Mr. Kasule came by the hotel and changed it to 5 rooms.
Upon arrival on September 23, 2007 Mr. Tessarin changed it again to 10 rooms which he was given. Instead of 7 people, causing the hotel to move people and things around unexpectedly. Unlike Mr. Tessarin, the hotel is ready to produce records this regard.
The trigger of Mr. Tessarin’s false accusation in our view is an incident that occurred on the checkout day, September 24. When the time to pay came; he did not have enough funds. Hence, the hotel granted him a free room out of charge.
He was $126 short, to which in normal circumstances, we might have agreed to late payment, but since we did not have an agreement with him, and after observing his unbecoming behaviour, the hotel declined his request to pay later.
Eventually, he borrowed $126 from his colleague from Kigali- Mr. Kirenga, and paid off the rooms. There was also a restaurant balance of some Frw28 000, (disputed between him and his clients as “extra” food expense) which he did not pay and the customers ended up paying outside the agreed tour package.
The bottom line is that Hotel Chez Lando showed immense respect for customer and flexibility in front of a totally disorganized and bad tempered tour manager.
Hotel Chez Lando is not a new business in town, and other safaris organizers we had worked with can attest to our business-like attitude and impeccable manner with customers.
Mr. Tessarin’s frustrations and embarrassment before his customers made him label the hotel “racist”: that is simply laughable. In his disillusion, he believes that the hotel owes him an apology: we think it is the other way around.
Chez Lando should not bear the blame from the disorganized and under prepared tour agency. Finally, Hotel Chez Lando’s door will always be open to Acacia safaris and other agencies customers.
IN CHARGE OF ADMINISTRATION
FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF HOTEL