Singapore — During these difficult times, all of us want our staycations to be restful and relaxing experiences as we get away, however briefly, from our everyday routines.

What we do not expect is a long power shutdown in the middle of the night and uncontactable hotel staff. This what netizen Jeffrey Wong and his wife experienced at M Social Singapore last week on what was supposed to be their “10 years anniversary staycation”.

Mr Wong took to Facebook on Friday (Dec 18) to tell the story of what he called the “worst decision ever made in the year 2020”.

A few hours after they checked into M Social, they received a notice from the hotel  informing them of coming power supply disruptions that would last from 10 minutes to four hours for an “annual power shutdown exercise as part of government regulatory requirements”.

Screengrab: Jeffrey Wong

Mr Wong said: “We were not informed at all before booking this hotel.”

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He was told by the duty manager that the only thing they could could was check out immediately.

Mr Wong said: “Well played, really well played M Social Singapore. There goes our game night.”

This was, however, only the beginning of their troubles. Sometime after midnight, the power cut off. Mr Wong said that he and his wife could not “take the pressure in a small room with no electricity”, so they decided to take a breather outside the hotel.

And since there was no electricity to power the lifts, they took the stairs. However, the staircase exit was locked.

Mr Wong posted a video clip of himself trying to open the door. While his key card turned the red light to green, the door remained locked when he turned the handle.

Since the notice from the hotel had included the contact numbers of both the duty manager and security, Mr Wong’s wife tried calling the numbers but received no reply.

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Mr Wong added: “That is when my wife gradually gets anxiety attack.

“So I made such big fuss at my level (for near half an hour) that the security got noted of and guided us out of hotel. To our surprise, a good number of people are already waiting outside the hotel.”

The Singapore Civil Defence Force was called to aid Mr Wong’s wife. “We requested for the duty manager to tend to this situation but no one came except for the poor security and front desk personnel.”

Mr Wong experienced even greater frustration from not being able to move freely in and out of the hotel. He posted that he felt “wrongly detained”.

When he called the police, however, he was told they could not help as “this is not a crime”. They asked him to talk instead to the duty manager instead but he could not get hold of her.

“Everyone got stranded until 5 am when the electricity returned,” said Mr Wong.

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He is not the only dissatisfied customer. Other unhappy guests have been leaving comments on the hotel’s social media page.

Screengrab: M Social Singapore
Screengrab: M Social Singapore
Screengrab: M Social Singapore
Screengrab: M Social Singapore
Screengrab: M Social Singapore

However, a spokesperson from the hotel told that the power outage had lasted only two-and-a-half hours, not the four hours announced in its notice.

“M Social has reached out to all affected guests to check on their well-being. Most guests have been understanding and have expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the hotel.” /TISG

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