Hotel Online  Special Report
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If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating

E-mail:  hospsvc001@aol.com
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Harry Nobles  - May 2006

Whether your property is rated at one diamond or five diamonds,  at some point you will question AAA’s rating decision.   What are your options when you disagree with the results of the annual evaluation?

AAA has an internal committee to review and resolve appeals from lodging, restaurant, and campground operators.  This committee considers each case individually and is empowered to support or reject an appeal based on the information available.

While the appeals committee is a good forum for resolving rating disputes, I  believe there is a better way.   In my experience and opinion, the best way to address a rating disagreement is with the AAA inspector; the best time is during or immediately following the annual visit. Since inspections are unannounced, there will be some occasions when this is not possible. You may be off the property or not immediately available to meet with the inspector.  If you are on property I encourage you to make an effort to meet with the inspector at least for an exit interview.

Personally , I always got a negative impression when an owner or manager chose not to talk to me when I was on the property, but wrote a letter weeks later to question my findings. I always tried to ensure that my professional evaluation was not influenced, but the impression was there.

If you are not available, I suggest that your assistant managers and other key staff be prepared to fill in for you, and arrange for you and the inspector to discuss the inspection as soon as possible.  A phone conversation a few days later is better than written communication with the appeals committee weeks later.

When you discuss the inspection results with the inspector,  I suggest you address the specific items, and be candid, thorough, and totally realistic about your plans for future corrective actions.  A rehash of what you did last year serves no worthwhile purpose.

While the appeals committee process is always available, I believe the best option is direct, open, and timely communication with the inspector.

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Contact:

Harry Nobles
www.nobleshospitalityconsulting.com
info@nobleshospitalityconsulting.com
Direct line: (757) 564-3761
800.750.5666 Toll-Free
757.564.0076 Fax

Also See: AAA Evaluation Procedure: Is It Fair? / Harry Nobles/ May 2006
Four Star vs Mobil Four Star / Harry Nobles/ February 2006
Rating Condominiums / Harry Nobles / January 2006
AAA Five Diamond Lodgings; Chain vs Independent / November 2005
Katrina & Rita: Silver Lining or Opportunity? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / October 2005
Our Dream Hotel / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / July 2005
Losing a Diamond or Star / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs /  March 2005
Ratings vs Guest Satisfaction / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / February 2005
Our "Pick of the Month" / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / November 2004
5 Star vs 5 Diamond: What’s the Difference? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / November 2004
Strategic Alliance Announced, Committed to Hospitality Excellence / August 2004
Family Resorts: Suggested Strategies / Cheryl Griggs / July 2004
Are Small Resorts Unfairly Treated by the AAA and Mobil Rating Criteria / July 2004
Designing For Optimum Global Ratings / Cheryl Griggs / June 2004
QualAsia Formed to Provide Authoritative Organization to Inspect and Evaluate Hotels Across Asia; Harry Nobles Appointed Chairman of New Asian Hotel Rating Service / May 2004
Validity of Online Hotel Ratings / Cheryl Griggs / April 2004
Resorts Ratings Redux / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / February 2004
Are Your Trainers Trained? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson Grigg /  January 2004 
The Language of Service / Cheryl Griggs / October 2003
Hotel Renovation Ideas vs AAA Ratings Criteria / Harry Nobles / October 2003
New Employee Orientation: Necessity or Luxury?  /  July 2003
Save the Best - Replace the Rest / July 2003
AAA and Mobil Ratings As a Sales Tool / May 2003
How Well Do You Know Your Competitor? / May 2003
Our Favorite Hotel?  / March 2003
The Current Value of AAA Hotel Ratings / Feb 2003
Stars and Diamonds; Some Similarities and Some Differences / January 2003
AAA's Delay: Good or Bad? / July 2002
Timing Is Everything, Or Is It? / July 2002 
Boutique Hotels: Have They Gone Too Far / May 2002
People Really Do Make the Difference / Jan 2002
What Is a Boutique Hotel? / Dec 2001
The Non-negotiable Traits of Leaders / Oct 2001 
How Important is Service? / Sept 2001
Front Desk Service Mistakes / Aug 2001
Food & Beverage Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001
Bell Staff Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001 
Attitude vs Aptitude / June 2001
Female Business Travelers' Expectations / June 2001
Is Outsourcing Your Training a Viable Alternative? / June 2001
Unique Identity + Consistent Service = Success / May 2001
AAA Standards vs  Guests' Expectations / May 2001
Are Your Guests Better Informed Than Your Staff? / April 2001
Are U.S. Hotels Rated Differently From Other North American Hotels? / April 2001
The Design Theme - AAA / Mobil Ratings Connection / March 2001
Attitude Can Make the Difference / January 2001
How Should Casino-Hotels be Rated? / Dec 2000
Does AAA Rate Resorts Fairly? / Nov 2000
Is Your Property Suffering From Design Deficiency? / Nov 2000 
The Future of AAA Ratings / September 2000
What Is Your Optimum AAA Rating / August 2000
If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating…../ June 2000
Are AAA Ratings Always Accurate and Objective / May 2000
Creating Atmosphere / Jan 2000
What is "Atmosphere"? / December 1999
Maintaining Your AAA Rating / Nov 1999
Earning a AAA Rating vs Maintaining a AAA Rating: Which Is More Difficult?  / Oct 1999
Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999 
Consistency: The Hallmark of a Fine Hotel / September 1999
Who Should Train Your Employees  / Aug 2000 
Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998 
Key to Success: Training + Follow-Up / June 2000
The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999 
To Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting Index Page

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