Wednesday, February 01, 2012

John Cleese's Basil Fawlty-Style Hotel Rant Explodes On Twitter

How do you deal with a real life Fawlty Towers situation if you’ve got an enraged John Cleese as a guest? By sending out endless amounts of apologetic tweets to the comedian’s 1.7 million followers apparently.

It must have seemed a good idea at the time, but as Cleese’s Twitter rant exploded on the internet, they must have wished they’d never started.

Cleese, 72, sent the Hyatt hotel group’s social media monitoring unit into meltdown after flying into a Basil Fawlty-style rage about the constant noise of a drill (no, no - THAT was the burglar alarm...) outside his £330 a night suite.

“Staying at the Hyatt Hotel Perth. There's been noisy drilling next door for five days, and they refuse to stop. Not recommended!” he ranted.

His followers then began retweeting his outburst, obviously appreciating the irony of the star moaning about sub-standard hotel conditions.

One follower added “Fawlty!!”to the ex-Python’s message. Another wrote: “BASIL....BASIL!!!!” And so it started.

Cleese’s tweet began working its way around the world, much to the annoyance of Hyatt, who only found out about the complaint after they were copied in on one of the messages.

The hotel group apologised to the comedian, who’s just begun a 50-night ‘Evening With’ tour of Australia to help pay off the costs of his latest divorce, saying: “Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention so we could address this straight away.

“Apologies for any inconvenience. And do let the hotel management team know if we can assist further.”

Then for some bizarre reason, they began sending out an individual message to every Cleese follower who’d forwarded the rant - presumably hoping that would somehow limit the PR damage.

“Thank you for sharing Mr Cleese's concern. We have addressed this to his satisfaction,” they tweeted over and over again.

They were still doing it when I last checked. You can only have sympathy for the poor PR lackeys who have got to sit there copying and pasting the same message to every sender.

And just when they think it’s gone quiet, Cleese’s tirade gathers momentum in the Twittersphere and they’ve got to send out another batch.

You can imagine them with their gritted teeth and Basil Fawlty-like maniacal smiles.

“Thanks so much!”

“I’m so sorry!”

“Yes, so sorry!”

Who’d work in PR? The urge to write something else must be overwhelming.

MORE: Complaining About Bed Bugs In Hotels

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