Hotel Fee to Send Back Left Item

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Old Mar 5, 19, 7:33 am
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Hotel Fee to Send Back Left Item

I am interested in hearing what others think about a situation I am currently in. Here are the highlights:

- I recently left an article of clothing at a Park Hyatt in SE Asia (I live in the US). The article of clothing is not particularly important to me, but it wasn't cheap and ideally, I'd like it back.
- I realized I left it at the hotel very shortly after leaving and called right away. The front desk found it in the room I had just checked out of and put it aside. We agreed that I would contact them after my trip and coordinate how they could send it to me.
- I contacted the hotel to arrange the shipping and they quoted me an absurd rate, about twice as much as I was able to identify myself.
- The hotel essentially refuses to use any other shipping service (e.g., UPS, DHL), indicating that "the service they use will guarantee my goods get there so that is what they must use."
- Clearly, the hotel is marking up the shipping. I actually asked whether they would provide me the shipping receipt and they refused.

It strikes me as fairly unsavory that a luxury hotel is basically charging me a fee to send the item I left behind. I am more than happy to pay the going rate for shipping (after all, it is my fault that I left the item behind), but I don't think this is something the hotel should be making a profit on. It leaves a very bad taste in my mouth for what was otherwise a very nice stay.

Am I crazy? Has anyone else been charged a hotel fee to ship back a lost item (in addition to the actual cost of shipping)? In the larger scheme of things, its not a big deal, but it just rubs me the wrong way, so I'm interested to hear what others think.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old Mar 5, 19, 7:45 am
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Yes, hotels do charge more than postage for returning left items. It does take time on the part of hotel staff to organize and ship the items back. The hotel certainly should be compensated for the time/effort.

However, I've noticed that a lot of hotels use outsourced providers to ship items back. In these cases, the fees are much higher than postage + handling alone.

In either situation, you get reunited with your left item, so there's value in that.
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Old Mar 5, 19, 7:47 am
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Seems reasonable

Most lost and found services (e.g. railways, airports) charge a fee on top of postage
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Old Mar 5, 19, 8:08 am
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I ran into a similar issue with a Kindle at the GH Bali. However they were willing to seek cheaper postage options after I was quoted an insane figure via their preferred vendor (DHL). It was made clear that if I opted for an alternative provider that they could not be held responsible for any delivery issues which I was fine with. In the end I opted to just buy a new Kindle (only $20 or more than cost of shipping) rather than go through the hassle.
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Old Mar 5, 19, 8:14 am
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A PH is supposed to be a luxury property, so I would not expect them to gouge their customers who have the misfortune to have left items behind.
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Old Mar 5, 19, 8:16 am
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That's horrible, especially for a luxury hotel. At the very least they should allow your choice of any shipper than can be scheduled to pickup at the hotel. Claiming they can't ensure delivery of the item with other shippers is just silly.

Also, just for the record:

Palace Hotel Tokyo - did not charge any additional fees to ship back a damaged piece of luggage via EMS.

Doubletree South Bend - I mistakenly left a few toiletries in the room including a case that was no longer produced, so I really wanted it back. They didn't even charge me to box up and ship the stuff back to me. Again, a Doubletree.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
A PH is supposed to be a luxury property, so I would not expect them to gouge their customers who have the misfortune to have left items behind.
Agreed 100%.
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Old Mar 5, 19, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by troyb View Post
I am interested in hearing what others think about a situation I am currently in. Here are the highlights:

- I recently left an article of clothing at a Park Hyatt in SE Asia (I live in the US). The article of clothing is not particularly important to me, but it wasn't cheap and ideally, I'd like it back.
- I realized I left it at the hotel very shortly after leaving and called right away. The front desk found it in the room I had just checked out of and put it aside. We agreed that I would contact them after my trip and coordinate how they could send it to me.
- I contacted the hotel to arrange the shipping and they quoted me an absurd rate, about twice as much as I was able to identify myself.
- The hotel essentially refuses to use any other shipping service (e.g., UPS, DHL), indicating that "the service they use will guarantee my goods get there so that is what they must use."
- Clearly, the hotel is marking up the shipping. I actually asked whether they would provide me the shipping receipt and they refused.

It strikes me as fairly unsavory that a luxury hotel is basically charging me a fee to send the item I left behind. I am more than happy to pay the going rate for shipping (after all, it is my fault that I left the item behind), but I don't think this is something the hotel should be making a profit on. It leaves a very bad taste in my mouth for what was otherwise a very nice stay.

Am I crazy? Has anyone else been charged a hotel fee to ship back a lost item (in addition to the actual cost of shipping)? In the larger scheme of things, its not a big deal, but it just rubs me the wrong way, so I'm interested to hear what others think.

Thanks for your thoughts.
This reminds me of a similar experience I had with PH Siem Reap and a pool inflatable. I just ended up leaving it there and buying a new one, because they wanted, like 10x the item's worth to mail it.

Did you try arguing with the GM about their inane shipping policy?
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Old Mar 5, 19, 8:50 am
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100% hotel discretion.
Think of it as "shipping & handling" charge.
If you don't like it, chalk it up to a learning experience and adjust expectations for future
Remember, hotel has to be consistent -- if forgotten item return is a big occurrence there, resulting in a lot of s&h, then it's not in their best interest to have a low penalty
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Old Mar 5, 19, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by gengar View Post
Doubletree South Bend - I mistakenly left a few toiletries in the room including a case that was no longer produced, so I really wanted it back. They didn't even charge me to box up and ship the stuff back to me. Again, a Doubletree.
Heck, the dumpy Sheraton Pentagon City only charged me $15 to send me my wallet that I left behind -- and they sent it overnight FedEx to me in Louisville.

Chatwal NY sent a left shirt for free.

OP, I would simply provide the hotel a prepaid shipping label and ask them to ship your item with that label. You can easily generate your own label on DHL or Fedex's websites, and you can void them if the label doesn't end up getting used.
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Old Mar 5, 19, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by izzik View Post
100% hotel discretion.
Think of it as "shipping & handling" charge.
If you don't like it, chalk it up to a learning experience and adjust expectations for future
Remember, hotel has to be consistent -- if forgotten item return is a big occurrence there, resulting in a lot of s&h, then it's not in their best interest to have a low penalty
That's not an approach I expect any Park Hyatt to take to any problem, no matter how frequent.
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Old Mar 5, 19, 10:47 am
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Can't you hire a courier to go pick it up on your own account?
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Old Mar 5, 19, 11:24 am
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Pretty much what you expect from a "full service" hotel.
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Old Mar 5, 19, 11:32 am
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That's been my experience for just about any hotel, from budget to luxury … a handling charge added to cover the hotel's labor cost for shipping your item. I've found many times it's cheaper to abandon and replace the property than have it returned.
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Old Mar 5, 19, 3:22 pm
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I've left my dignity behind at a few properties with no way to get it back, so consider yourself lucky.
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Old Mar 5, 19, 3:27 pm
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If a property charges $10 or $20 to sign for and stack a package behind the front desk, don't be surprised at a more substantial charge if they actually have to do something, like prepare an item for shipment.
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