Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not Everything Is Sweet and Polite in the Hotel Business World

This past weekend, one of our rooms was damaged by the guests who were staying in it. Here is the proof.

It is so annoying to experience things like this, when we work so hard to keep a building looking nice. This was obviously no accident! Not only that, no one staying in the room said anything to us about it, perhaps even to issue an apology.

We did manage, after much trial and error, to get this mark off of the new wallpaper. But really, people! You know who you are! Are you not the least bit ashamed of yourselves? If by some stretch of the imagination this was an accident, could you not have apologized and let us know you did this? What if the mark had not come off the wallpaper and we had to have it re-papered?

Have you, fair blog reader, ever done anything like this? What would you have done? Should we charge this guest for the extra effort we had to put in to make this room habitable again?

Grrrr! I hope to see (most of) you here soon!


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  1. Were I the Hawthorne's management I would bill the occupants a token amount on their credit card for damage done. (one half the room's daily rate)

    Apartment and office landlords levy damage deposits and car rental companies bill for damage to their returned vehicles. Hotels on the other hand are at the mercy of their tenants and ultimately have to reflect repair costs in their daily rates. That means everyone pays much the same way as we all pay for the crime of shoplifting.

    The Hawthorne is well within its rights to bill'em.


  2. Thanks for the support, Peter. Now, if I told you the occupants of that room had just spent $15,000 with us having their wedding reception, what would you say we should do?

  3. That does add a layer of complexity.

    Is there a certain entitlement we all have that allows us to act inappropriately and irresponsibly or perhaps even criminally as long as we've spent a considerable sum of money with the company or person we've wronged?

    Here's another perspective.

    Imagine for a moment... If the Hotel could, for sake of argument, obligate its guests to pay restitution for any damage they cause to the property by having to direct profitable business to the Hotel ... (The scale might be $300 in damage equals $15,000 in profitable hotel business),then perhaps in a bizarre way the indiscriminate guests in question have already paid for the repair of the wall.

    I think there's a better solution.

    A business friend of mine once was forced to write off $10,000 in money owed by a dishonest client. My friend vowed never to do business with this client again. His accountant advised him otherwise. He said,"If you never do business with him again your chances of reclaiming any part of your loss are nil. Why not invite him back with open arms, only this time with a custom set of payment terms. My friend took his accountant's advice, kept the client on a tight leash and profited substantially from what turned out to be a very valuable client.

    Invite them back. Only this time forewarned is forearmed.