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Service Gratuities When There's Zero Service?

Service Gratuities When There's Zero Service?

Old Oct 19, 20, 6:30 am
  #1  
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Service Gratuities When There's Zero Service?

Ethical question. Do you leave a tip when a property has stripped every service element out of the experience, and there is no contact with any employee?

My wife and I just completed three nights / four days at an HI with no housekeeping, no breakfast, no hot coffee, almost nothing in the lobby pantry, disabled ice machine on our floor, etc., etc. We used the digital key so never spoke to the front desk except to confirm coffee wasn't possible. The only sign of service was the blue sticky sanitized-for-your-protection style seal on the room door upon arrival; it was of course impossible to tell whether any of Hilton's promised CleanStay measures were actually taken in the room, but when we entered we did our own clean regime before touching anything, sealed the TV remote in a Ziploc bag, etc.

The staff might as well have been working from home, and indeed most of the time, the front desk appeared deserted as we came and went.

As we packed to leave Mrs. BearX220 asked if we should leave a tip for housekeeping, as we normally did in the Before Times. I responded no, as we had seen no evidence housekeeping existed. Was I wrong? I know times are hard for the hospitality business and its people, but we saw literally no tippable gesture. The hotel reminded me of one of those robo-controlled propane tank trading posts outside Home Depot -- the unattended ones with dozens of little locked cages, where you return empties and access new ones without ever interacting with anybody.
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Last edited by BearX220; Oct 19, 20 at 7:09 am Reason: Fix a typo
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Old Oct 19, 20, 6:34 am
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I generally don't leave a tip anyway, but under those conditions, no, what for?
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Old Oct 19, 20, 6:44 am
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I stayed four nights in a Hampton Inn in NC and had zero interaction with the housekeeping.

But they did serve a hot breakfast every morning. They would make the plate in the back and bring it out to you.

I also had the front desk give me some more coffee packets for my room. Kind of horrified to hear they didn't even offer coffee. Thats like Gulag level.
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Old Oct 19, 20, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by bitterproffit View Post
Kind of horrified to hear they didn't even offer coffee. Thats like Gulag level.
Yes, that was the one thing that made me go ping. Every 7-Eleven in America manages hot coffee, but not this hotel. A bridge too far if you ask me.
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Old Oct 19, 20, 7:15 am
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I leave a tip on the last day. They left me a clean room and they're about to clean up the room I just departed. I just don't have to leave a tip each day like normal.
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Old Oct 19, 20, 7:42 am
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I don't tip routinely.

But I recognise that others do, and can't for the life of me think why they might stop tipping simply because the don't see the house-keeping staff.
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Old Oct 19, 20, 7:56 am
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To me, the lack of breakfast is separate from housekeeping. In normal times, there are separate people performing those services and I usually tip both. So no breakfast or coffee wouldn't prevent me from tipping housekeeping on last day. They're still coming in after you leave to clean.

I am surprised at cancellation of coffee though unless it's somehow mandated by municipal government.

I just stayed at an Embassy and though they had to cancel evening reception and standard breakfast, they did offer coffee + breakfast box. So at least they tried.
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Old Oct 19, 20, 9:35 am
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I wouldn't - tipping shouldn't be automatic even in normal conditions. Should only be for good levels of service. Unfortunately this amercanism is spreading very far nowadays
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Old Oct 19, 20, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
I don't tip routinely.

But I recognise that others do, and can't for the life of me think why they might stop tipping simply because the don't see the house-keeping staff.
Presumably you tip housekeeping because they've cleaned your room, not because they haven't.

There's a whole lot of cultural difference in tipping and I doubt that FT needs yet another thread on the subject, but I can't imagine for the life of me why anybody should feel guilty about not tipping when you have received no service whatsoever...
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Old Oct 19, 20, 10:00 am
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Whether you see them or not, someone will be picking your wet towels up off the floor, scrubbing your toilet, cleaning everything in the room they used to clean but now maybe even more stringently. I would not tip housekeeping daily if you don't get/request service (how would they pick up the tip anyway if you don't let them in the room???) but I sure as heck would tip as normal on the last day (a one-day tip, not times the number of days stayed).
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Old Oct 19, 20, 10:17 am
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Housekeeping & breakfast have nothing to do with each other. If you generally leave a tip in the room, that is for the housekeepers. If you leave a tip at the breakfast table, that's for the server / attendant. Clearly, no breakfast means no tip for that. But, the housekeepers may not be evident, but one hopes they are there. If you arrived to a clean room, how do you think it got that way?
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Old Oct 19, 20, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
There's a whole lot of cultural difference in tipping and I doubt that FT needs yet another thread on the subject, but I can't imagine for the life of me why anybody should feel guilty about not tipping when you have received no service whatsoever...
Not at all my intent to revive a played-out debate on tipping in general, just to see if COVID conditions prompt a rethink on anyone's part.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
If you arrived to a clean room, how do you think it got that way?
I typically only tip on multi-night stays when housekeeping comes in to spruce up my space, replenish my towels, make my bed, etc. Obviously no such service occurred here. in general I do not feel responsible for rewarding the staff for cleaning up the prior guest's mess.
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Old Oct 19, 20, 11:07 am
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During these uncertain times.. We have been giving tips directly to house cleaning...
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Old Oct 19, 20, 11:10 am
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I've been tipping more generously than usual in restaurants (whether in a hotel or not) with good service and appropriate COVID-19 precautions. I figure that the wait staff have recently been laid off and probably aren't working a full schedule of hours now, and won't be for a very long time. In addition, they're spending a bigger fraction of their work time cleaning, which doesn't generate tips and isn't even in the normal job description for some waiters/waitresses, hosts/hostesses, or dining room managers (all of whom I've observed cleaning tables and chairs with disinfectant).
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Old Oct 19, 20, 11:43 am
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Donít hotels already charge customers enough to pay their workers fairly?

i don understand why customers, who already pay a lot for hotel rooms, need to be burdened with this extra cost?
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