Annoying fees

Old Aug 17, 05, 9:13 am
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Gym charge / Nickel and Dimed

Does anybody else think it's irritating that a full service luxury hotel (like a Four Seasons) would charge for thing like internet access? To me, that is a standard that most hotels that cater to business travellers should provide. I think it's ridiculous to get charged for that at a super high-end hotel. Thoughts?
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Old Aug 17, 05, 9:33 am
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a bit OT but I felt that way at the datai recently in their restaurants- at each meal the wait staff PUSHED cocktails, bottled water even tho the hotel was serving tap water all day at the pool and beach- and appetizers and desserts- e.g.- if one ordered a main course only- we were always aked to order another course or drink or something else-I would like to assume that I am able to order as i please without so much unwanted input from the staff- unless i ask for it. I actually gave that feedback to the GM on the comment card. at those prices- let the guest order 10 couses or just one!

Last edited by naxos; Aug 17, 05 at 10:04 am
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Old Aug 17, 05, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by cltwbb
Does anybody else think it's irritating that a full service luxury hotel (like a Four Seasons) would charge for thing like internet access? To me, that is a standard that most hotels that cater to business travellers should provide. I think it's ridiculous to get charged for that at a super high-end hotel. Thoughts?
Do you mean in-room or at a business centre?

Oddly, for business centre access (which is all I use) I like there to be a fee. If not - and I have plenty of experience of this - you find that the PC's are always being used by people who have decided that surfing the web is a good way of spending a few hours of their holiday. A nominal charge means people moderate their usage sharply.

That said, some of the fees are astounding. At the IC Warsaw recently, it was literally 10 times more expensive than the internet cafe five minutes walk away. The IC Amstel was charging the equivalent of £10 per hour, I seem to remember. Oddly, the Four Seasons Hampshire business centre PC's are free.

I was charged recently for a tray of tea, delivered to my room in the morning. When I checked in I was offered a tray of tea or coffee in the morning by the recepionist, in the same breath as offering me a newspaper, so I assumed it was free. Nope. And this was a hotel charging £250 ($400) per night.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 10:06 am
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Angry

Originally Posted by cltwbb
Does anybody else think it's irritating that a full service luxury hotel (like a Four Seasons) would charge for thing like internet access? To me, that is a standard that most hotels that cater to business travellers should provide. I think it's ridiculous to get charged for that at a super high-end hotel. Thoughts?
I mind the access charge somewhat less than some of the other gratuitous fiscal insults received in "upscale" hotels.... At least I don't have to pay it, there being other ways to check email.

"Chickensh*t Service & Charges"

Add-on "maid" charges.....(I usually tip maids, especially Mexican and Central Americans with who I exchange courtesies in passing). For a hotel to add a charge is extortionate at best.

Taxes calculated based on F&B or RS charges plus added gratuities (basic larceny).

TV service with only a handful of channels, especially systems with limited news, sports, market activity, etc. (and luxury hotels can be the worst offenders, figuring folks really don't use the room much).

Bath towels sized for anorexic dwarfs - I don't really use robes often, but do prefer a bath towel of consequence and substance.

Ice buckets in which the ice melts faster than if strewn on the floor, coffee carafes which cool coffee faster than setting in in front of the AC, servers who have never heard of and can't prepare "iced coffee".

Bottled water with a price tag, especially "$4.95" or the like.

Unpalatable orange juice and second rate coffee in the morning.

PET PEEVE #1

.....It's midnight. After a day of delayed flights, I've arrived at the hotel, tired and a bit stressed, checked in to a room priced at $250+ (not as much due to "luxury" as to location), needing no Bellman for my single Rollaboard and gotten my key to Room 797, no more than 1/2 mile - mostly level - from the elevator, I find that the damn key doesn't work.

No fool, I pull out my trusty cell and call the hotel (on the number writ right there on the little envelope into which my key had been placed). After the front desk finally begins to comprehend that I am already in the hotel, standing at the end of a desolate hallway miles from civilization and refreshment, and that (CAPS for intensity) "MY KEY DOESN'T WORK!", the response is inevitably, be it the Motel 6 or the Molto Pomposo Grandioso Albergo: "Come on down to the desk and we'll make you a new one."

Folks, for that much room rent and after that much trouble, those sorry sad sacks need to send someone with a new key at a dead run.

Many years ago, during college, I worked as a Bellman and as a Bartender at various times. Some of the vast store of knowledge imparted to me included the gem that the customer may not always be right, but is entitled to the belief that he/she is, especially when he/she is paying lots for it. I resent luxury hotels (or even "good" hotels) which seem to spend little effort imparting that knowledge to their employees.

TMO
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Old Aug 17, 05, 10:15 am
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Charging a fee to have anything bnought to your room - including a bucket of ice - i refuse to pay a hotel a service charge for having ice in the room - no ice machines visible on the floors so I used to get it from the bar -

5* hotels should not make you pay for basic 5* service like ice
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Old Aug 17, 05, 10:28 am
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Couldn't agree more. Was paying luxury rates at one of the higher end *woods in NYC, hooked up the laptop & was offered $8 for 30 min of internet or $18 for the day (btw, day does not mean 24 hours - it means until 12 noon no matter when you start.)

Realizing that all I really wanted to do the first night was to access e-mail I elected to dial into an access number for my ISP thinking that a 30 min local call might be a buck or two. Surprise, it was $1.50 for the first 15 min and an additional $1.50 for each additional 5 minutes.

I know I'm a complete idiot, but I feel less ripped off spending an additional $30/night for a hotel that includes free internet access than having the extra charge & deciding if I really need to get on-line each night.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 10:46 am
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Room service tray and/or cover charges annoy me the most. Common at IC Hotels around the world -- though most IC Hotels aren't luxury calibre -- as well as The Waldorf Towers in New York and (surprise) the Four Seasons San Francisco.

$4.95 tray charge, $1.50 per person cover charge, plus taxes and gratuity (which is usually gratuitously added for my convenience) does make one think twice about ordering room service. It is even cheekier when one sees a gratuity line on the room service cheque!!

On the other hand, being utterly and completely ripped off is equally annoying...... like 9 Euro Diet Cokes or 25 Euro spaghetti bolognaise to $20 club house sandwiches or $12 cheesecakes.... certainly more than nickle and diming...
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Old Aug 17, 05, 11:46 am
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I agree that pure rip-off sucks badly.

If there is something of extraordinary quality or staff effort it is worth much money, but 9 Euro for a Coke is aggravating.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by luxury
$20 club house sandwiches or $12 cheesecakes.... certainly more than nickle and diming...
This one aggravates me but the hotels know that 9 out of 10 times the person ordering these items is on business and is working in the room. The person working in the room is on an expense account and reallhy doesn't care. I know I don't care that the club sandwich is $20 sandwich while travelling for work.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 12:56 pm
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Some room service and minibar prices reflect no feeling whatsoever for value for money.

My family always travels on its own dime, and we do not like prices aimed at business travellers who do not pay themselves, that's why we try to avoid staying at such places.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by flamboyant 1
Some room service and minibar prices reflect no feeling whatsoever for value for money.

My family always travels on its own dime, and we do not like prices aimed at business travellers who do not pay themselves, that's why we try to avoid staying at such places.
The majority of hotels cater to the business market who seem to have endless supplies of money. Being a wealthy person you are welcome to make choices but frankly by NOT ordering the club sandwich you really aren't hurting anyone and the hotels really don't care. Your protest of one isn't even a blip on the radar screen. The super wealthy individual traveller is few and far between and if they truely are that wealthy they usually pay for the $20 club sandwich if they want one.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 1:24 pm
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So...it seems from this conversation, that I'm not the only one upset by these charges. I agree that one person's 'protest' might not change a thing. What could be done on a larger scale to get things changed? I'm fed up with it!
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Old Aug 17, 05, 2:04 pm
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I did not mean in my post not ordering, but trying to avoid staying at such hotels altogether which indeed hurts the hotel a little at least.

Also one can spread negativ food and drink pricing on FT and by word of mouth,
staying on club floors can help overcome the problem, if it is a good club floor such as the one at the RC in SIN or HKG.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 2:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Zarf4
I know I'm a complete idiot, but I feel less ripped off spending an additional $30/night for a hotel that includes free internet access than having the extra charge & deciding if I really need to get on-line each night.
Usually it is not a case of paying more for a hotel with internet, but paying less. The luxery hotels charge you up the *** for things like internet. If you go to many Best Westerns or similar class hotels you get that sort of stuff from free. Like others have said they think you are on an expense account or rich enough that you don't care. For people traveling on their own dime it is a serious irritant.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 2:20 pm
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Too much ripp-off IS becoming a deciding factor for selcting hotels, and there are some people who pay out of their own pocket.

The thing that annoys me most are the "resort charges" in Hawaii. Very annoying indeed to pay $400.- and then pay another lump sum for services you really don't need, because the ones you might need, they make you pay yet AGAIN like a beach-chair or an umbrella or ice ...

Originally Posted by cltwbb
I agree that one person's 'protest' might not change a thing. What could be done on a larger scale to get things changed? I'm fed up with it!
My suggestion: Give the ripp-off hotels run by freshly baked bean-counters some bad press.
Collect a few nice examples including hotel names / exact prices / dates of stay etc in this forum. Then forward it to the press. Since I don't live in the US, the best that comes to my mind is the conde nast ombudsman. Let's see a hotel reply.

Here's the adress: Ombudsman, Condé Nast Traveler, 4 Times Square, New York, New York 10036
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