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Players share experiences

29 May 2014

By John Grochowski

From time to time, players relay stories of their casino exploits -- big wins, tough losses, unusual hands or promotions they’ve liked.

Let’s let a few players tell us of their experiences with customer service and promotions, for better or worse.

Carly: I got a mailer that said on the promotion date, I could come pick up a free toaster oven. I figured I could use a toaster oven, and free is the right price. I knew it would be crowded so I went early.

There were about 20 people in line ahead of me, but no problem, I was prepared for that. What got me was that the box was HEAVY. I couldn’t lug that around with me in the casino all day. So I carried it out to my car, which was more of a hike than you’d think when you’re carrying something heavy. I was a little weary at that point, and if I hadn’t had a couple of girlfriends with me, already playing the slots, I might have just gone home.

They were too busy to listen to me in the promotions line, and there was a line at the club booth, too, so I sent an e-mail to casino marketing when I got home. I suggested that instead of giving the prizes right away, they give everybody a number, and people who have numbers can redeem for prizes on their way out. I got an e-mail back saying it was an interesting idea and they’d discuss it. I hope they do it.

Alec: This started off as one of your horror stories, but the casino did an about-face and everything turned out great.

My wife and I checked into the hotel for a three night stay. We opened the door, and the room was a disaster area. The beds were unmade. The trash cans were full. There were cigarette butts and ashes on a desk with empty beer cans. In the bathroom, there was toilet paper on the floor, and I’d like to think it was water on the seat.

Obviously, we were not going to stay in that room. I phoned the front desk and told them that the room was a mess, that we couldn’t stay there. They said they’d send housekeeping in right away, and I said that was fine, but I wanted a different room. They said they’d send someone up.

A manager or assistant manager arrived within a few minutes. We were standing in the hall with our bags -- we couldn’t bear to be in that mess. She said, “OHHHHH … this is not good.” Until she saw it, she hadn’t realized how bad it was. She said she had to make one phone call, but she would see that they made it right.

They did. They not only put us in a clean room, but they upgraded us to a junior suite with a whirlpool. They comped the first night, and we paid the regular room rate for the other two nights. We both love the whirlpool, and with the money we saved from the first night being comped, we had a great meal in the steak house. From that awful, awful beginning, it turned out to be one of our best trips. We’ve been going back every few months ever since.

Jenna: This is a few years ago -- the slots still had coin slots! But the most fun I ever had at a casino promotion was one called a 15-minute free ride. My husband and I were playing slots together one night, when suddenly I got a message that I was a winner. An attendant came over and took my information, and I was told that if I came back at 8 the next morning, I’d be one of 40 players in a drawing.

We only live half an hour away, so we went back, and guess what? I was one of two players drawn to get 15 minutes to play for free on a dollar slot machine. I could choose the game I wanted, but I couldn’t pick a progressive. Also, I had to drop dollar tokens in the slot. Winnings were on a credit meter, but I couldn’t play off the meter. That would have hurt me, because the amount on the meter at the end was my prize.

I really wanted Blazing 7s. That was my favorite dollar game, but it’s a progressive, so it was out of bounds. I finally picked a Double Diamonds. It’s a lot slower to drop in coins than play from a meter, but I did my best to keep the reels spinning.

People were all around, cheering me on. I got three single bars right at the beginning for $30. I got a few cherries and three any bars a few times. My big hit was three triple bars. I got $120 for that one.

I finished with $235. It wasn’t the biggest win by any means, but it was FUN. I loved it.

Look for John Grochowski at www.casinoanswerman.com, on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field. Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago.

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