Automatic housekeeping gratuities?

Old Oct 8, 2021, 9:59 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 26
Automatic housekeeping gratuities?

Hi, I just happened to find this thread when I was googling about hotels putting gratuity charges on bills. I just stayed at a Comfort Suites in Syracuse, NY a few weeks ago, made the reservation online a few hours before I arrived and paid online. I didn't look at my receipt in the morning, but was just going over my monthly statement when I saw a separate $2 charge on my card. I pulled the bill and see it's for "Gratuity for hourly staff". It was never mentioned to me at any point in time. I simply slept in the room, never ate their breakfast and didn't use housekeeping beyond what I feel is included in the already paid bill. So watch your hotel bills more closely.

[Hilton forum moderator's note: this post was on a thread in the Hilton forum concerning automatic gratuities; I am moving to its own thread in the Choice forum.]

Last edited by cblaisd; Oct 8, 2021 at 10:11 am
grapefarmer is offline  
Old Mar 16, 2022, 3:48 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
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Tipping housekeeping staff is just a very polite way of saying, " Thank you, housekeeper, for being kind enough to put your health at risk in assuring that I have a clean, nice smelling room to stay in! Housekeeping staff regularly put their health at risk by changing linens, towels, cleaning toilets, showers, etc. Some traveling guests have infectious diseases that transfer to linens/towels, bathrooms, and housekeeping is required to handle this on a daily basis while making minimum wage or less. Many of us travelers don't think a thing of housekeeping in this way. I've worked in hotel business for better part of 20 years and none of the places I worked for included tips for housekeepers or breakfast staff or servers in with the room price. Although if some do, I think that is a plus! Leaving a tip is just a nice way of saying " Thank you!"
If you book online, make sure you go to the ACTUAL hotel site to see what services they can charge for in addition to your room
22KaeBlue is offline  
Old Mar 17, 2022, 3:16 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 367
I have a few problems with "automatic gratuity," particularly with housekeeping:
  • Fees are almost never easily disclosed. If the hotel was booked through the Choice Hotels website directly and the fee wasn't listed, I'd definitely challenge it, as all fees should be clearly noted at least directly on the website.
  • Ideally a true "tip" should be at least opt-out, if not opt-in. The option should be ultimately with the customer, particularly if it isn't clearly disclosed on booking, although I personally would appreciate having the option there to tip with a card on my bill, assuming that housekeeping actually gets those tips on top of their normal wage.
  • This one is the biggest for me: there's absolutely no guarantee that the money actually goes as a tip to the housekeeping staff on top of their standard hourly rate. I could see a lot of penny-pinching hotel owners pocketing that mandatory tip and simply paying the same rate as always, pilfering a bit off the top, or lowering their standard wage and using the tip revenue to make up for it. I'm especially suspicious of it if it's mandatory, as I'd imagine the hotel at that point simply budgets that as part of what they use to compensate housekeeping, and I'd be (pleasantly) shocked if they kept the same wage structure (including current and future raises) and added the tips entirely on top of that instead of using that $2 to subsidize housekeeping's current wages in some fashion.
jebr is offline  
Old Mar 25, 2022, 2:22 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Originally Posted by 22KaeBlue
Tipping housekeeping staff is just a very polite way of saying, " Thank you, housekeeper, for being kind enough to put your health at risk in assuring that I have a clean, nice smelling room to stay in! Housekeeping staff regularly put their health at risk by changing linens, towels, cleaning toilets, showers, etc. Some traveling guests have infectious diseases that transfer to linens/towels, bathrooms, and housekeeping is required to handle this on a daily basis while making minimum wage or less. Many of us travelers don't think a thing of housekeeping in this way. I've worked in hotel business for better part of 20 years and none of the places I worked for included tips for housekeepers or breakfast staff or servers in with the room price. Although if some do, I think that is a plus! Leaving a tip is just a nice way of saying " Thank you!"
If you book online, make sure you go to the ACTUAL hotel site to see what services they can charge for in addition to your room
Most obvious hotel shill I've seen flyertalk. Disgusting. Hey, hotel owner, if you think housekeeping staff deserve more, then pay them more! Instead of trying to shame your customers into paying more than contractually agreed upon.
slowly is offline  

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