Value Expectation Dissonance

When you’re paying top dollar, what are your expectations?

What about the middle-of-the-road?

When you buy from a discounter?

How disappointing is it when the top dollar experience is less than stellar?

How gratifying is it when that middle-of-the-roader out-performs expectations?

We usually expect to get what we pay for and when we don’t, there’s “Value Expectation Dissonance” which throws us off our guard.

For the past week, I have been traveling with the family.

We had high expectations for the first hotel stay at a Hyatt in Virginia . . . a VERY fancy Convention center hotel with all of the bells and whistles. We stayed 3 nights and departed shaking our heads with disappointment.

The summary of the stay was: “Over promised and under-delivered . . . and definitely over-priced.”

Some of the issues that created our dissonance:

  • Seemingly endless array of add-on fees
    • Internet access $9.95/day
    • Daily charge for self-parking
    • Business center access fee of $6.95/1/2 hour
    • $1.50 for Local calls
  • Some weird design and service quirks
    • Toilet paper roll 2 feet BEHIND the toilet
    • Self-parking was 1/2 block from the lobby
    • No valet present – Luggage carts available upon request
    • 2 electrical plugs in the whole room (We needed 6)
    • 2 towels for 4 people
    • 11 Year old Daughter not allowed to enter the business center while we parents were inside (Was left sitting in the empty lobby)

The next night, we checked into the Hampton Inn in Liverpool, NY with lower expectations . . . boy were we wrong

  • Check in was EASY
  • FREE internet access
  • FREE Business center
  • FREE parking (always near an exterior door)
  • The Luggage Carts were freely accessible right where they should be
  • The attendant was very pleasant and offered us any snacks (including fresh fruit) or drinks at no additional charge.
  • Ample plugs in the rooms
  • Mini-fridge & Micro-wave
  • a list of nearby restaurants with brief summary of the food and annotation of the favorites
  • Handwritten Welcome note from Room Service
  • Plenty of towels
  • Welcome call from the front desk to be sure we were settled in

The Hampton Inn delivered more than promised.

Here’s why . . . Their Mission Statement posted in the Lobby

hampton mission






The room at the Hyatt literally cost twice as much as the room at the Hampton.


I think we over-paid at the Hyatt and under-paid at the Hampton.

Where do you think we”ll stay when we travel in the future?



So . . . as you consider the service YOU provide to your clients/Customers . . . Are you delivering as promised?

Is there dissonance?


Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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