Last week, I read a quote describing Scotland as a photographer's paradise. I could not agree more. Despite the midges, I love the west coast in particular, not only for its beautiful scenery but seemingly endless experiences too.
Growing up on the east coast of Scotland, I didn't really know much about the west coast or the adventures it has to offer. I knew it existed because I could see it on the map, but it was a place I never really visited when young.
Over the past 10 years, I have been making up for it and then some. Whenever I can, I am racing up and down mountains, canoeing rivers, visiting whisky distilleries and enjoying some good local grub and a pint.
Recently, I spent a few days on one of the islands I had wanted to visit for a long-time. The hotel I stayed in had gone through an extensive refurbishment over the lockdown period, and going by the pictures on the website and the reviews it seemed to be a good quality place to stay.
Possibly because of the refurbishment and impact of lockdown, it was a premium price I paid (or at least I thought so). Unfortunately, the quality of my stay at the hotel did not meet my expectations compared to what I paid, irritating me and giving me a decision to make. Do I complain, and if I choose to do so, do I propose or invite a remedy?
If I don't propose a remedy, I would probably receive an apology. Or at best a gift voucher, meaning I would have to go back to the same hotel to get the value from it. Or, if I propose a remedy, they might ignore it, either because it's unrealistic or I have nothing they want or want to avoid.
However, I am also aware that if I know what I want and I'm specific about it, I'm far more likely to get it. So I said I wanted. I sent a carefully-crafted email directly to the hotel manager, complimenting the efforts to refurbish during the lockdown and the hard work of the staff during my stay. But I was clear on what I saw as areas for improvement and what I believed a fair price for my stay should have been, proposing a partial refund to which they agreed.
And to get their attention, I offered them something they wanted to avoid, which in this case was a negative TripAdvisor review about my stay.
The question of whether to say what you want is an important one, therefore, because it can be the difference between you getting what you want and not getting it. The simple advice is this: if you know what you want and it's realistic, you stand a far better chance of getting it by proposing it in the first place.