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Expected Compensation For Crappy Towels?

Expected Compensation For Crappy Towels?

Old Sep 15, 20, 9:41 pm
  #1  
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Expected Compensation For Crappy Towels?

No, I'm not a prima donna Diamond Guest talking about demanding a BMG certificate because Hilton Garden Inn's fluffiness didn't live up to the opulence of Coyuchi Cloud Loom bath towels. This post is talking about a highly-unexpected surprise of feces, smeared on the supposedly-clean towels in the room.

Ick.

Situation: Here we are In The Time Of Covid, where expectations of disinfecting errrything in the room have been set high with those little blue stickers on the door and CDC signs in every elevator.

I've checked into a Midwestern-state Hilton Garden Inn last night after a long drive, ready for a shower. I grab a towel and toss it over the top of that newly-remodeled HGI barn door shower glass. A pass of the hand establishes hot H2O. I enter the cubicle of warm water. Soothing suds of nominal Neutrogena are melting away the roadtrip aches. Which makes it oh-so-jarring to glimpse a quarter-sized lump of dark brown crumbles on the side of the towel that's in there with me. The brain runs through a little mystified reboot program of potential explanations, rejecting them one by one ("Did I have cake?" "Did my wife get in here first and wipe off makeup on this?") and the dissonance instantly increases as I know that I just took the towel straight from the undersink shelf, and put it right up over the door, no stops. And my wife hasn't even been in the bathroom yet. Still... is it chocolate?

I lean in to sniff, in the way that suckers always do when someone hands them a gallon of milk and says "Does this seem... off to you?"

OLFACTORY SENSES IMMEDIATELY SHARPEN BRAIN INTO FULL GEAR.

Holy s#*t, it's s#*t.

I am not easily grossed out, but I was literally a minute from wiping my face right on that spot. Further examination shows some more flecks and smudges. This isn't an old stain, it's fairly fresh product. It's been years since I changed my kids diapers, but there is no mistaking the odor.
AIGHGGHHH! WHAT THE HECK?!?

Shower-tranquillity is shattered, and honestly I'm now a little apprehensive to grab any of the other two towels to dry off. I'm standing in the shower, water off, and I call my wife in. I tell her the horrid situation, and ask her to examine the other towels this one has been laying on. She, like the good egg she is, alternatively laughs at my predicament and grosses out over the easily-recognizable butt-crumbs on HGI's linens. Thankfully (?), Covid Era travels means nitrile gloves were handy to make inspection. The rest of the towels seem clean, but a bit worn. Are they dirty? Geez. Ok, whatever, drive on. I'm done with the shower, and head out into the room. I notice the TV remote isn't in a sanitized baggie, like the previous night's TRU's remote was. Concerns increase and paranoia pops up. Bed check. Sheets and duvet are stripped. Lysol wipes come out. Room looks serviced, but... we are both pretty skeeved at this point and somewhat unwilling to touch pretty much anything in the suite. I consider asking to change rooms, but what's that going to do? Give me a new room to worry about and Lysol down again? I relocate the offending towel to the open closet rack, hanging it up away from the bathroom so it can't be confused with the deemed "potentially clean" ones.

It's late. I need sleep. I'm a twelve-year Diamond, I've seen a lot of rooms and the occasional problem, so other than feeling pretty skeeved when sliding into the sheets, I'm just going to deal with this in the morning.

At breakfast, I asked to speak with the assistant manager. Did not make a fuss but instead discreetly pulled her aside to inform about the problem and the frankly alarming sanitization issue. She made all the right noises of horror, said she'd absolutely bring this up with the Housekeeping manager, and apologized. I showed her a video I took of the towel to establish size/issue/etc. The computers weren't working, but she mumbled something about making a note, or adjustment, or something unspecified. I did not ask for any compensation, just wanted to bring it to their attention so Housekeeping didn't think it was MY pooped-on towel when I checked out that morning. I left a note for the housekeeping manager clipped to the now-hanging towel explaining the situation. It would be interesting to know if the housekeeper actually passes along said note, or expediciously tosses it.

When I spoke to the assistant manager downstairs I wanted to know, and pointedly asked:

"Are new linen and towels given to every guest in the "sanitization" / room cleaning process?" (Yes, she assured me.)
"Are the TV remotes bagged in all hotels in the HH portfolio (especially this particular HGI, or is that something they do just at TRU's)?" (Some sort of mumble about this HGI maybe having run out of sanitizer recently mumble so not sure how it was done exactly... mumble.)

(I wasn't particularly concerned about the remote, I was using it as a bellwether / coalmine canary of "was this room properly serviced at ALL?")


The rest of the day, I was honestly a bit flummoxed how that poop towel got there. Did the previous guest use it to wipe his/her butt, then fold it and return it to the stack, which was not changed out by maids? Did that towel make it past the wash, perhaps a dirty got in the clean pile and was folded and sent out to the carts? Someone changed a baby on it, and put it back because it was "unused"? Geez, who knows, but this situation was a new and weird one for me.

If you're still here reading this overly-dramatic and humor-tinged -- but absolutely true -- HGI tale of ick and woe, I ask you, the Flyertalk Hilton contingent, What Would You Do?

The more I think about it, it veers into totally unacceptable territory, and I'm grossed out about it. I almost put my darn face into that towel, and for gosh sakes, to establish what I was dealing with in this situation I sniffed it.

I'm not proud, but it happened. Yecch.

What's the best course of action here? Talk to Diamond Desk? Write the head manager? See what / if the property does with my portfolio on their own or go proactive? Tag the @ Hilton Honors Ambassador just to make corporate aware of this serious Covid-era ball-drop? I mean, I can't really expect they've "elevated hygiene practices from check-in to check-out" when it includes a spot of fresh poo on the linens...

After over a dozen years of monogamously loyal stays (except for that dalliance with Holiday Inn in Europe a few years back), I will generally forgive Hilton for almost any small error -- s#*t happens -- in this case, literally.

But, again: "ick".
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Old Sep 15, 20, 9:47 pm
  #2  
 
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I suppose I wouldn’t stay there again if this upset me so much. Stuff happens when you travel...some of it unpleasant, such as this incident. You’ll likely get something tossed your way if you pursue it...not sure I’d take the time though. YMMV.
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Old Sep 15, 20, 10:06 pm
  #3  
 
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I had this happen at a non-chain 4 star hotel. Zero compensation offered (I was on work travel and would have never gone to this location on my own) and I didn't ask for any. Almost identical situation except I was traveling alone and just off a plane. I asked for replacement of all linens (including bedding because at this point I didn't trust anything in the room) which was offered promptly along with apologies.

The soiled towel looked unused. Obviously housekeeping thought that too and kept it there. This is a case of a prior guest screwing with the towel... and who knows what else they did weird things to/with in the room... and this is why all the linens should be replaced between guests. Also this is why I am very much against those large shared dispensers of shampoo, lotion, etc. in the room. No telling what a prior guest did to that stuff.

To me this is a housekeeping failure akin to dirty sheets, or similar. Obviously linens were not replaced during cleaning as they should have been (unless whoever working laundry who folded the towels was in on this prank). Establish the compensation request accordingly. Also may be a good idea to move to a different hotel for the duration of your stay as the housekeeping employee involved here will most certainly be disciplined.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 5:14 am
  #4  
 
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Well, I didn't use to be a paranoid person.

I appreciate the time you took to write this up and the fact that you've approached the whole situation with humour.

Ick, indeed.

As far as how to handle it? This is exactly my dilemma when I have problems. I hate to appear to be *that* person but it seems like this is (disgusting) enough to warrant some action on your part and consideration on theirs.

I would probably approach Hilton once more, via the Diamond Desk, in the continued good humoured but grossed out fashion you have displayed here, providing the Ambassador here doesn't offer a solution.
My husband, on the other hand, would probably have been much more aggressive about immediate compensation. He does enjoy a good shower, and that wouldn't have been one!

Last edited by Xelodia; Sep 17, 20 at 8:24 am
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Old Sep 17, 20, 5:46 am
  #5  
 
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Unfortunately the only satisfying form of compensation would be:
  1. A DNA test of the offending turd
  2. A match against previous guests (and housekeeping just in case) to find the culprit
  3. The perpetrator being found and sentenced to thousands of hours of community service, hopefully dealing with fecal matter in some form (cleaning hospital bedpans or outdoor portable toilets or something)
Unfortunately, none of that is going to happen and you'll get lucky to get some Honors points, which come to think of it some of us think are rather sh***y themselves.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 5:57 am
  #6  
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The things people get up to with hotel towels...truly bizarre.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 6:07 am
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I would be as freaked out as you were. While its possible that a previous guest could have done that on purpose, that flies in the face of their supposed "Replace all linens for every new guest" policy.

I think that is the real issue the hotel needs to be held accountable for. Since it is part of their strategy to ensure consumers of their hygiene, and they violated it. And that is why I would elevate it to corporate somehow. Its not just about compensation, its about them not following well publicized brand standards. After the Inside Edition airing of hotels including a Hampton Inn in NY City not changing the sheets between guests, Hilton had to do a lot of PR work. This falls in that same category (although grosser). I would definitely elevate it to the Diamond Desk. Probably even something in writing.

Your writing makes me feel like I was there. And that isn't necessarily a good thing. LOL
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Old Sep 17, 20, 6:44 am
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Originally Posted by Friendly Traveling Deathmerchant View Post

I've checked into a Midwestern-state Hilton Garden Inn last night after a long drive, ready for a shower. I grab a towel and toss it over the top of that newly-remodeled HGI barn door shower glass. A pass of the hand establishes hot H2O. I enter the cubicle of warm water. Soothing suds of nominal Neutrogena are melting away the roadtrip aches. Which makes it oh-so-jarring to glimpse a quarter-sized lump of dark brown crumbles on the side of the towel that's in there with me.
This reads like the start of a novel. Maybe it should be made into one. It would almost certainly be better than Up In The Air.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 7:11 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by yurtripper View Post
This reads like the start of a novel. Maybe it should be made into one. It would almost certainly be better than Up In The Air.
Jack Reacher meets Pooman?
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Old Sep 17, 20, 8:52 am
  #10  
 
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I guess I'm naïve but even pre-COVID I would've thought ALL towels would be sent to the laundry after a guest checks out regardless of whether they look clean or not.
Please name the property.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 9:03 am
  #11  
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Update: there appears to be a $32.70 credit on my Aspire AMEX that showed up today.

I assume this is the “adjustment” the assistant manager might have mentioned.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 9:31 am
  #12  
 
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Ick, indeed. I would expect a complete refund under the HGI's "satisfaction guaranteed" credo.

Time travel with my wife and me back to 1979 and an incident with a Sheraton hotel in Atlanta:
We were traveling on a $350 (~$1,200 in today's dollars) all-you-can-fly-in-3 weeks airfare on Eastern Airlines. Our travels took us to places as remote as Mexico City, the Virgin Islands, Boston, and Seattle. Every trip required a connection in Atlanta, Eastern's hub.

We arrived late into Atlanta for an overnight at a Sheraton hotel. The hotel was sold out because of some event in the city and "walked" us to another hotel in a remote part of Atlanta. We were tired and just wanted some sleep before our early morning flight. The hotel's check in was on the exterior and was behind what appeared to be bulletproof glass. The clerk was a 400 lb. woman. Got checked in and went to the room. The walls were covered in shag carpet which provided a climbing structure for several roaches and an aroma of stale cigarette smoke. Between the sheets was an ample amount of curly black hair. We shrugged it off and decided we would just shower and sleep on the top of the bed. Shower? Nope. No hot water!

We decided to return to the airport, since it was now 3 am and our flight was leaving in 5 hours or so. When I approached the clerk her first words were, "NO REFUNDS!" (So much for "satisfaction guaranteed")

That night we slept in the boarding area of Southern Airlines. When the airline employee came at 5 am and turned on the lights, I got up and turned them off.

Unshaven and unwashed, we boarded our 8 am flight to New Orleans. Got cleaned up and enjoyed the gumbo. Our PSA airline Visa card made the horrible hotel's charge disappear.

Travel is adventure!
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Old Sep 17, 20, 9:36 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Friendly Traveling Deathmerchant View Post
No, I'm not a prima donna Diamond Guest talking about demanding a BMG certificate because Hilton Garden Inn's fluffiness didn't live up to the opulence of Coyuchi Cloud Loom bath towels. This post is talking about a highly-unexpected surprise of feces, smeared on the supposedly-clean towels in the room.

Ick.

Situation: Here we are In The Time Of Covid, where expectations of disinfecting errrything in the room have been set high with those little blue stickers on the door and CDC signs in every elevator.

I've checked into a Midwestern-state Hilton Garden Inn last night after a long drive, ready for a shower. I grab a towel and toss it over the top of that newly-remodeled HGI barn door shower glass. A pass of the hand establishes hot H2O. I enter the cubicle of warm water. Soothing suds of nominal Neutrogena are melting away the roadtrip aches. Which makes it oh-so-jarring to glimpse a quarter-sized lump of dark brown crumbles on the side of the towel that's in there with me. The brain runs through a little mystified reboot program of potential explanations, rejecting them one by one ("Did I have cake?" "Did my wife get in here first and wipe off makeup on this?") and the dissonance instantly increases as I know that I just took the towel straight from the undersink shelf, and put it right up over the door, no stops. And my wife hasn't even been in the bathroom yet. Still... is it chocolate?

I lean in to sniff, in the way that suckers always do when someone hands them a gallon of milk and says "Does this seem... off to you?"

OLFACTORY SENSES IMMEDIATELY SHARPEN BRAIN INTO FULL GEAR.

Holy s#*t, it's s#*t.

I am not easily grossed out, but I was literally a minute from wiping my face right on that spot. Further examination shows some more flecks and smudges. This isn't an old stain, it's fairly fresh product. It's been years since I changed my kids diapers, but there is no mistaking the odor.
AIGHGGHHH! WHAT THE HECK?!?

Shower-tranquillity is shattered, and honestly I'm now a little apprehensive to grab any of the other two towels to dry off. I'm standing in the shower, water off, and I call my wife in. I tell her the horrid situation, and ask her to examine the other towels this one has been laying on. She, like the good egg she is, alternatively laughs at my predicament and grosses out over the easily-recognizable butt-crumbs on HGI's linens. Thankfully (?), Covid Era travels means nitrile gloves were handy to make inspection. The rest of the towels seem clean, but a bit worn. Are they dirty? Geez. Ok, whatever, drive on. I'm done with the shower, and head out into the room. I notice the TV remote isn't in a sanitized baggie, like the previous night's TRU's remote was. Concerns increase and paranoia pops up. Bed check. Sheets and duvet are stripped. Lysol wipes come out. Room looks serviced, but... we are both pretty skeeved at this point and somewhat unwilling to touch pretty much anything in the suite. I consider asking to change rooms, but what's that going to do? Give me a new room to worry about and Lysol down again? I relocate the offending towel to the open closet rack, hanging it up away from the bathroom so it can't be confused with the deemed "potentially clean" ones.

It's late. I need sleep. I'm a twelve-year Diamond, I've seen a lot of rooms and the occasional problem, so other than feeling pretty skeeved when sliding into the sheets, I'm just going to deal with this in the morning.

At breakfast, I asked to speak with the assistant manager. Did not make a fuss but instead discreetly pulled her aside to inform about the problem and the frankly alarming sanitization issue. She made all the right noises of horror, said she'd absolutely bring this up with the Housekeeping manager, and apologized. I showed her a video I took of the towel to establish size/issue/etc. The computers weren't working, but she mumbled something about making a note, or adjustment, or something unspecified. I did not ask for any compensation, just wanted to bring it to their attention so Housekeeping didn't think it was MY pooped-on towel when I checked out that morning. I left a note for the housekeeping manager clipped to the now-hanging towel explaining the situation. It would be interesting to know if the housekeeper actually passes along said note, or expediciously tosses it.

When I spoke to the assistant manager downstairs I wanted to know, and pointedly asked:

"Are new linen and towels given to every guest in the "sanitization" / room cleaning process?" (Yes, she assured me.)
"Are the TV remotes bagged in all hotels in the HH portfolio (especially this particular HGI, or is that something they do just at TRU's)?" (Some sort of mumble about this HGI maybe having run out of sanitizer recently mumble so not sure how it was done exactly... mumble.)

(I wasn't particularly concerned about the remote, I was using it as a bellwether / coalmine canary of "was this room properly serviced at ALL?")


The rest of the day, I was honestly a bit flummoxed how that poop towel got there. Did the previous guest use it to wipe his/her butt, then fold it and return it to the stack, which was not changed out by maids? Did that towel make it past the wash, perhaps a dirty got in the clean pile and was folded and sent out to the carts? Someone changed a baby on it, and put it back because it was "unused"? Geez, who knows, but this situation was a new and weird one for me.

If you're still here reading this overly-dramatic and humor-tinged -- but absolutely true -- HGI tale of ick and woe, I ask you, the Flyertalk Hilton contingent, What Would You Do?

The more I think about it, it veers into totally unacceptable territory, and I'm grossed out about it. I almost put my darn face into that towel, and for gosh sakes, to establish what I was dealing with in this situation I sniffed it.

I'm not proud, but it happened. Yecch.

What's the best course of action here? Talk to Diamond Desk? Write the head manager? See what / if the property does with my portfolio on their own or go proactive? Tag the @ Hilton Honors Ambassador just to make corporate aware of this serious Covid-era ball-drop? I mean, I can't really expect they've "elevated hygiene practices from check-in to check-out" when it includes a spot of fresh poo on the linens...

After over a dozen years of monogamously loyal stays (except for that dalliance with Holiday Inn in Europe a few years back), I will generally forgive Hilton for almost any small error -- s#*t happens -- in this case, literally.

But, again: "ick".
Hi Friendly Traveling Deathmerchant ,

We want to look into this situation further. We will be private messaging you to obtain additional information about your stay. Please be on the lookout.

Thanks,
Hilton Honors Ambassador
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Old Sep 17, 20, 10:06 am
  #14  
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Different hotel group, similar situation. Shower. Droplets. About waist height. Dripping. ( No it was not cleaning fluid - housekeeping told me later - ust why / how I don't know )

Changed room. Got a free night and breakfast later in the year and was treated well.

I ALWAYS chuck unused towels into bath shower, as a kindness to the next guest. I don't know how long they were on the rack.

Also open and prop open the windows and doors when I check out - gets airflow through.

Stay safe. I really can empathise with you.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 10:13 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by hotel_user View Post
Different hotel group, similar situation. Shower. Droplets. About waist height. Dripping. ( No it was not cleaning fluid - housekeeping told me later - ust why / how I don't know )

Changed room. Got a free night and breakfast later in the year and was treated well.

I ALWAYS chuck unused towels into bath shower, as a kindness to the next guest. I don't know how long they were on the rack.

Also open and prop open the windows and doors when I check out - gets airflow through.

Stay safe. I really can empathise with you.
I don't understand. What possible droplets could be dripping from the shower other than water?
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