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Question on hotel policies and Germany

Question on hotel policies and Germany

Old Dec 5, 20, 5:26 am
  #1  
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Question on hotel policies and Germany

I had an interesting situation earlier this week.

I was staying in Munich for quarantine, then once released, we relocated to a hotel a bit up north in Ingolstadt for a 20-day stay.

Upon check in, we found that all food service at the hotel was suspended due to COVID. When we went to our room, we found no laundry bags. Going down to the lobby I asked and they said laundry service was also suspended due to COVID. They would check to see if they could get laundry service for us, or find a laundry service for us the next day (this latter part is important, as it relates to the hotel policy on changes to stays).

Needless to say, that failed miserably - as we were told on the evening of the 2nd night that the only thing available was a laundromat that had hours that conflicted with our work schedule. So I contacted work about the situation and was told to change hotels the next morning.

So I checked out and went to another nearby hotel that provided the services we needed.

When we checked out on the 4th morning of the stay, stating the laundry situation as the cause. They refused to give an invoice, insisting that it will be emailed later - and I now know why they did this. They billed us for 90% of the remaining stay, or about 1000 euros. I certainly would not want to be the person handing this bill to a customer. My co-worker also got a similar bill:



The hotel does have a policy that states an early checkout will be billed at the 90% rate for the unused stay. Also, any changes to the stay need to me made at check-in to avoid the fee. They could not answer the laundry question until well after that deadline. So that's the situation. This is all being expensed through work, so I'm not freaking out about it, but I have a question for those that may be familiar with consumer law and Germany:

1. The policy (though harsh) is posted on the website.
2. German law from what I read, puts the onus on the consumer to know the policies.
3. The website mentions limited food service and reduced room cleaning only. We were told no food service at all, yet we saw some guests getting meal trays from the hotel.

#1 and 2 are pretty clear to me. Though I would expect the hotel to perform some basic level of service aside from just being a crash pad wth a shower.

Would lack of service - such as laundry or food service - be grounds for waving this policy in Germany, or is this just up to the hotel in question? Is there anything in German law that would support this? I'm trying to give my work any information to combat these charges. I know laundry sounds petty, but I can't pack 30 days of clothes, so it becomes pretty important.

Last edited by rworne; Dec 5, 20 at 5:34 am
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Old Dec 5, 20, 7:13 am
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Since the lack of services is listed on the hotel web pages, it is no grounds for cancellation, since you were informed about it beforehand. In any case, with German hotels I never expect laundry services to be a given, since this type of service is spotty, if existent at all (and uncommon for cheap hotels like the one you're staying in).

Concerning the food services, because of the COVID-19 situation restaurants are forced to be closed by law, so you are limited to take out services right now anyway, and even over the summer, when the regulations were a bit more relaxed, many restaurants could not open. This means that you had no reason to expect the existence of food services in the first place, which means that the lack of food services is also no reason for a cancellation.
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Old Dec 5, 20, 7:30 am
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Cheap hotel? I deliberately left out the name, but you are pretty good if you can decipher which one I am talking about. Funny thing was, the daily rate for this hotel was about the same as I got for the Marriott in northern Munich.

Thanks for the response. Food was an annoyance, but not an issue. Laundry is offered by the hotel, but the suspension of it was not disclosed ahead of time. I asked about it at check in, as it was important/critical for the lengthy stay. We were told to wait until the next day for an answer, which then had us outside the cancellation window.

All other points you make are well taken. I'm just seeing if there is a course of action to take. If not, oh well - the hotel will just be blacklisted by our travel dept.
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Old Dec 5, 20, 6:05 pm
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At many hotels service at the moment is pretty basic. I can only guess that since they are closed for tourist stays it got even worse. At the moment you must probably pay me to stay in a hotel.
I don't think your problems will allow you to enforce a cancellation with good reason, but this is all quite uncertain at the moment. I also guess you will gave quite the same problems in other hotels.
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Old Dec 6, 20, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by rworne View Post
Cheap hotel? I deliberately left out the name, but you are pretty good if you can decipher which one I am talking about. Funny thing was, the daily rate for this hotel was about the same as I got for the Marriott in northern Munich.
No, that is simple. If 90% of the total cost for a 20 day stay is 1040 EUR, then your stay would have cost 1155 EUR, i.e., one night would have cost less than 60 EUR. This is a typical price charged by the cheaper chains (ibis budget, B&B and so on), and by "Gasthof" type private places. Even though higher end chains are dropping their rates to about that level right now, at this price level you cannot expect the same service as at places that are charging above 100 EUR.
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Old Dec 7, 20, 3:52 am
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Seriously? Dodge an early checkout fee because there was no laundry service? Granted a full service hotel (for 60-120€/night ) may have organized something something with a local laundry (which can be found in Munich with a simple google maps check) shop if they had tried a bit harder...
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Old Dec 7, 20, 4:30 am
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I don't think you have much of a case here. As has been said, expecting 5* laundry services at a place where you're paying under EUR60 a night is reaching, especially during this current situation. You can argue, but I doubt you'll get anywhere. What I would have done is figured out if there was a way to have an external laundry service pick up and deliver, so something similar.
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Old Dec 13, 20, 1:58 am
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Thanks for the replies.

Not 5*, just "wash and fold". I'm not a manager, I work for a living.

I'm not trying to dodge the fees, just seeing if there is any recourse for our travel department. While not a Marriott or other full-service hotel, this hotel did offer room/food service and laundry. I'm also aware COVID and the restrictions screwed up everything for pretty much everyone in the hotel business here. We were not originally supposed to be booked here - someone in travel making reservations decided this was a better (or cheaper?) location than where we are now. It is a better location for worksite travel - but not for much anything else.

So, as far as I am concerned, it's travel's problem. If the hotel does not want to do a courtesy adjustment on the cancellation fees, that's their prerogative. I just wanted to see if anyone knew of anything I could give them that could assist recovering any of the cancellation fees.
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Old Mar 1, 21, 9:35 am
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OP, why couldn't you just take an hour to use a laundramat after work???
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