Revenge of the Hotel Clerks: Things They Do to Difficult Guests
If you think your hotel clerk is out to get you, you might be right.
Hotel employees are people, too -- people under a lot of pressure. And although you might not have noticed it, there's a price to be paid for the dirt-cheap hotel rates you've seen lately. The lodging industry is cutting staff, freezing salaries and eliminating perks for its workers.
Result: Hotel employees are grumpier than ever. It doesn't take much to set them off, either.
"It can't be overstated how much power a hotel clerk wields," says
And guess who goes in those rooms? You will, if you tick them off. Here are five ways hotel employees exact their revenge on difficult guests, and what you can do to avoid it:
1. MAKE YOU WAIT.
Ever checked into a hotel, only to find your room wasn't ready? Well, maybe it was ready, but the front-desk employee didn't like your attitude. "For guests who are rude, drunk or just obnoxious, a clerk may well make them wait," says
How to avoid it? Remain calm. Sometimes your room really isn't ready yet, and it doesn't mean the hotel employee is necessarily out to get you. If it makes any difference, staying calm will get you into your room faster.
2. FREEZE YOUR CREDIT CARD.
Hotels routinely place an authorization "hold" on your credit card that equals the full cost of the room nights, tax and an estimate of incidentals. "If the guest were particularly annoying, the clerk could place a huge hold on the card, rendering it unusable for any other purchases," says
How to avoid it? Carry a second credit card or debit card. Or bring lots of cash.
3. ASSIGN YOU THE LEAST DESIRABLE ROOM.
That's probably the easiest way to get back at a guest for being rude or just looking like they don't belong.
How to avoid it? Don't check into a five-star hotel in jeans and a T-shirt, even if you're on vacation. And for goodness sakes, be nice to the employees.
4. FIND AN EXTRACURRICULAR WAY TO TORTURE YOU.
True story: When Margot Chapman checked into a
How to avoid it? A polite request made in person is preferable to a phone call, but short of being extra nice, it's hard to see something like this coming.
5. MAKE YOU PAY -- LITERALLY.
Hotel employees can wreak all kinds of havoc on your guest folio, adding late charges that don't show up on your bill until after you've checked out, or putting in little extras that you assumed were included in the price of your room. "It is not uncommon for rude guests to have to pay for services that others might not have to," says Webb, the ex-hotel employee. "This includes long-distance calls, the breakfast bar, drinks and food." Other tricks include manipulating your confirmed room rate or adding unexpected extras, like charges for Internet, the minibar or pay-per-view movies. Rarely are they so overt, though. Usually, it's something smaller that you discover a few days after you've left, like a minor late charge or breakfast.
How to avoid it? Be nice. Polite guests are far less likely to have "mistakes" like this happen.
In fact, being nice may be the single-best defense against vindictive hotel employees. It works for travelers like
"When we get a difficult hotel clerk, we try to empathize and cheer him or her up," he says. That includes tipping them generously. "We always get a decent room, and sometimes we are nicely upgraded to a suite, in which case we generally return and enhance the tip."
Failing that, a chat with the hotel's manager might help.
Then again, it might not.
Recent Vacation Ideas & Travel Destinations
- Taking the Kids RVing in Colorado
- Taking the Kids to Nantucket
- Praying and Partying in the Streets of Istanbul
- Revenge of the Hotel Clerks: Things They Do to Difficult Guests
- Sorry We Forgot About That $500 Change Fee
- Beware of Tour Operator 'Savings' Claims
- New Vacation Rental and Hotel Options
- Steven Slater Airline Meltdown Hardly a Surprise
Taking the Kids to Boston
Time Traveling Back in History in Boston
- Stockholm's Island Getaways
- Shorter Vacations? Tighter Budgets? Welcome to the New 'Normal' in Travel
- Do You Really Want to Take Your Pets Along?
- Travel Taxes: Bad, Getting Worse
- What to Pack for a Weekend Getaway
- Rambling Through the Ruins of Europe's Castles
- Taking the Kids to NYC for the First Time
- Eco-Friendly Camping is About Putting Nature First
- Take a Magical History Tour
- Fall Travel Bargains Will Abound and Here's Where to Find Them
- If It's Called Secure Flight, Why Do I Feel So Insecure?
- Using Opaque Travel Web Sites Effectively
- Eldergadget: Creative or Condescending?
- Taking the Kids Aboard the Newest Megaship Epic
- 6 Tips for Taking a Summer 'Daycation'
- Ticket? Check. Bag? Check. Insurance? Pre-check
- Warning: Tour Operators Can Still Fail
- Go Camping and Bring the Kids
- On-the-road Rx: Family Vacation Safety Tips
- Communing with Nature in Austria's Hallstatt
- Barefoot in Venice Italy
- 5 Beach Safety Tips
- How Much Should We Tip These Days?
- Advance Baggage Shipment: Does it Make Any Sense
- Airline Passengers Get Chance to Be Heard on Proposed Regulations
- Best 'Value' Destination Cities
- One-Sided Cruise Contracts
- 4 Things You Should Take -- and Leave -- When You Travel
- Outwitting Hotels' Maximum Occupancy Rules
- Taking the Kids to Theme Parks This Summer
- Taking the Kids to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Another Kind of Travel Plastic
- Airline Tickets: How Much Will They Really Cost?
- Traveling Light: Healthy Eating for Business Junketeers
- Planning Family Summer Vacations on a Budget
- Taking the Kids To the Caribbean in Summer
- Taking the Kids To Lake Placid
- Lisbon: Portugal's Salty Capital
- Irish Soul Music
- More Than Ever Gulf Needs Tourists to Swim Against the Tide
- Airline Alliances: Benefit or Plague?
- Travelers Be Wary of 'Data Passing' Online
- Car Rental Craziness: 6 Odd Rules and How to Steer Clear of Them
- Flying to Europe? It Pays to Know EU 261
- Airport Shuttles: Update 2010
- When Finding the 'Best' Airport Matters
- Airline Round-up: Re-Bundling Satisfaction
- Biking in Europe: A Bridge Over Cultural Barriers
- Verona Italy: City of Romance
- Taking the Kids To California Wine Country
- Travel in Hurricane Season
- Beware Hidden Traps in Your Travel Contract
- Crazy Cruise: 7 Absurdities of the Sea
- Lost Luggage in London Phishing Travel Scam
- What You Can Do About New Hotel Lodging Fees
- Taking the Kids To Clean Beaches and Avoiding the Oil
- Airline Fees: The $7.8 Billion Question
- New Airline Bumping Rules Less Than What They Seem
- Air Travel: Disabled or Need Help?
- Have a Healthy Vacation
- France: Basking in France's Dordogne River Valley
- How to Rent a Car in Europe
- Avoiding Cruise Port Rip-offs
- Promotions and Features -- a Summer Grab Bag
- Where the Summer Discounts Are and Are Not
- World's 'Best' Airlines -- Do You Care?
- Taking the Kids To the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- TSA's Liquid Rules: So Long, 3-1-1?
- Rejected? Enjoy the Art, But Appeal
- Right Hotel, Wrong Room
- Vacation Rentals: 9 Things to Know
- Salzburg: An Austrian Symphony
- Taking the Kids To Cooking School
- Lessons Learned From Your Worst Travel Gaffes
- Help! My Refund is Missing in Action
- Confessions of a Frequent-Flier Program Skeptic
- Airlines Annoyances -- Can You Avoid Them?
- Frequent Flyer Payout -- Great to Lousy
- Taking the Kids to a Broadway Musical
- Tips for Traveling Solo
- How to Save on Summer Vacation Travel
- What You Can Learn From First-Time Air Travelers
- Sunscreen Facts You Need to Know
- Hotels Connect the Dots Between Guests and Online Reviews
- Putting on the Ritz in Orlando
- Airlines Unbundle then Repackage: What's the Deal?
- New Tarmac Rule: Fewer Airline Flight Delays
- Germany's Mix of Perfume Chocolate and God
- Giving Mom Best Mother's Day Present She's Ever Had
- Amtrak 2010: Sightseeing Ideas
- I Didn't Mean to Buy Travel Insurance
- Continental - United Airlines Merger: the Consumer View
- Will the United - Continental Merger Raise Airfares
- Krakow: Poland's Historic and Cultural Gem
- Europe this Summer: Mixed Bag of News
- 'Qualify' for a Fleecing?
- Forget Your Travel Agent: 4 Trips You Should Book Yourself
- I Had to Pay Twice For My Flights to Mexico
- What's Next For Airlines Paying by the Pound?
- What Parents Say About Family Vacations
- New-Style Vacation Trips Trip with the Grandparents
- Princess for a Day at Disney World
- Easter in Europe
- Where Are Cheap Round-the-World Airfares
- Premium Economy for Overseas Trips
- Healthy Hiking With Your Dog
- Taking the Kids to Bermuda
- Taking the Kids to Chile
- Too Sick to Fly? When to Put Yourself on the 'No Fly' List
- Lowest Airfare? You May Have to Connect
- Europe 2010: Pricey, But with Some Good Deals
- Totally Kidcentric and Affordable Ski Resorts
- Taking the Kids to Alaska and Meeting Some Bears
- Taking the Kids to Mohonk Mountain House
- Taking the Kids to Patagonia
- Taking the Kids - Skiing in Telluride
- Taking the Kids - Skiing this Winter without Busting the Budget
- Taking the Kids - How Snow Sports Can Transform a Child's Life
- Taking the Kids: Skiing in Austria
- Getting Up-close & Personal with Olympians
- Travel Apps for Your Smart Phone
- 6 Ways to Save: Family Vacations
(c) 2010 U.S. Christopher Elliott, The Travel Troubleshooter
World-renowned chefs with an extraordinary passion for food, share that passion. They make great cooking easier than you ever imagined. Each feature includes both an expert tip and an easy recipe - exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable.
Recipes Click Here
Movie Reviews, commentary and more. Plus Trailers from movies currently in theaters and available on DVD.
Movie Reviews Click Here