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Old Jan 27, 12, 4:11 pm
Mike Rivers
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Falls Gulch VA
Posts: 211
Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
You should stay at hotels that have satisfaction guaranties so you could try to get your money back if things aren't right.
Actually most of the places I stay claim a 100% satisfaction guarantee, but you have to be fair and give them an opportunity to solve the problem. You can't just go up to the desk when you check out saying "the room wasn't satisfactory, so I'm not paying."

There are some things that could probably be solved by changing rooms but I have to decide whether it's worth the trouble once I've settled in, and usually I decide, particularly if it's just for a night, to live with it. There are some things that I can determine immediately that could be better in a different room and I won't hesitate to ask for another room. These are things like being next to the elevator or the ice machine (I don't even have to open the door to figure that one out), or too much traffic noise. A smokey room is immediately obvious. But sometimes when I've asked for another room, I've been told that there are no other rooms. They're probably lying, but at that point I don't really have much choice other than to take it or leave and try to find another place to stay at the last minute.

I've asked for a different coffee maker which worked for a year or so but they seem to have all disappeared from storage by now. Same with a radio where the problem isn't just poor reception in the location, but a noisy volume control or intermittent switch. I'm not terribly fussy about bedding and I can usually just squash bugs like I do at home.

But somehow it just seems silly, before I unpack, to test the water flow or check out the Internet access, which may be fine while everyone's at happy hour or out to dinner but fail when they all get back to their rooms and start watching movies on their computers. I have, on occasion, walked the halls with my computer and if I find that i'm in a WiFi dead spot, ask for another room if I'm going to be staying a few days, but if it's just one night, I'll take the computer to Starbucks or Safeway and mooch off them. And, no, I don't stay at hotels where they charge for Internet access. I avoid that when I make my reservations.

Though for fairly common things like the hot and cold not being the standard hot left, cold right, I would not expect them to refund.
That's just an annoyance, not a deal breaker. I just make it a point of standing clear of the flow in the shower when I get ready to turn it off lest I turn it the wrong way and get scalded. I didn't realize that some people prefer it that way. I remember a saying from elementary school that all you need to know to be a plumber was "Hot on the left, cold on the right, S**t flows down hill, and Friday is pay day." In the backwards Comfort Inn in Las Vegas the labels on the faucets were indeed correct. I took a photo of it to use in an article about user interfaces and human factors,

At budget hotels they don't really do much for Elite status members except give you more points. I'm a Choice Hotels gold member, Comfort Inns sometimes have suites but that just means there's a half divider between the bedroom and living area. Econo Lodges just have one kind of room. Maybe there are room upgrades at Clarions but it's been a while since I've stayed in one. I did stay a night at an Ascend (their boutique group - who'd'a'thunk they'd have one) and the room was really nice, but I used points for that so I got what they had. It had a Keurig coffee maker that actually made a decent cup of coffee, but not as good as what I make when I have the proper tools.

I've occasionally been in a hotel with a tour group or a school athletic team but they're usually not too disruptive though they can take over the breakfast area pretty easily since they're all on the same time schedule. Once I found myself in a room opposite or next to what appeared to be a band that was partying and playing music at about 1 AM. All I could do at that time was call the front desk and ask them to try to quiet them down. I was tempted to go join them.

So I guess the gist of it is that there are a few things worth fighting for (smoke, mostly, I guess) and others like backward faucets that we can live with.
Mike Rivers is offline