noise complaint policy

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Old Mar 20, 19, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by gengar View Post
Just a note - it's pretty much impossible that voice reproduction from a cell phone's speaker would travel through a wall more than a human voice, unless for some reason a frequency in the vocal range that is boosted on the phone happens to be in resonance with the wall.
Tonal quality matters in terms of perception of noise, not just amplitude. We've all experienced the noisy, rattle-trap air con in hotel rooms before. The lower-pitched hum of the compressor doesn't bother us, but you better believe that plastic grille rattling away at a higher pitch most certainly does. A mosquito is tiny and relatively quiet, but one flying around your room will keep you awake. I've run into similar issues with sound reinforcement (large PA systems). I've had times where the solution for noise complaints was larger, full-range drivers instead of the small, frequency-restricted drivers they had installed.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
This. Anyone who uses a speakerphone for a business call should be immediately fired. It's NEVER as clear for the person on the other end of the line, and unless there are multiple people participating there is absolutely no reason for it other than your laziness or cheapness.
(Proper speakerphone systems such as those installed in conference rooms excluded)
Whereas I feel that people who make broad generalizations and engage in hyperbole should be immediately fired.

There's lots of good reasons to use the speakerphone, like needing to use a computer, refer to notes, etc while on the call. If I know the call is coming I'll usually attempt to have a headset available but if I get a call out of the blue then you may get put on speaker while I work on what needs to be done. Complaining about people just walking/standing around in public with their speakerphones sharing their call with everyone that's one thing, but in a hotel room? This is just a hotel with substandard sound insulation.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by fordan View Post
Whereas I feel that people who make broad generalizations and engage in hyperbole should be immediately fired.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 3:18 pm
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Originally Posted by fordan View Post
This is just a hotel with substandard sound insulation.
+1

However, other than for very brief moments, I refuse to use speakerphone.

There are others than think the only way to communicate is on speakerphone in public spaces.

Just today there were 2 people at Starbucks on speakerphone, in one case yelling because of the background noise, and the other that dread Facetime.

Ugh.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by ikwia View Post
I had a rather surprising experience last evening, and I was curious if anyone had experienced similar, or had general insight on the topic.

Short version of the story: I was alone in my room using speaker phone on my cell phone around 9:30pm. I was sitting at the desk, and I had the phone on the desk in front of me, and i was speaking in a normal tone and volume, as were the other call participants. This was not a contentious call. so there was no yelling, foul language, etc. Apparently the people in the room next door to me reported a noise complaint. I got a note under my door talking about group gatherings and stating the hotel's noise complaint policy. That policy was that on the first complaint, you get a copy of the notice and a warning, and on the second complaint, you are evicted, with no refund.

This all ended well in this case, with the other party getting a different room (and once the front desk found out it was me, they were shocked...I've stayed at this hotel hundreds of nights without incident, and I'm pretty sure that even with a second complaint I would have been OK). But I found this policy, if applied literally as written, pretty draconian, especially due to the subjective nature of excessive noise. Also of some interest is that the policy stated that quiet hours start at 10pm, even though they must have called before then. But as written, if the same party called back to report a second complaint, the hotel can evict you.
Basically, you got Bonvoyed.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 4:09 pm
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I wish it was like that in many hotels I stay at. My stay last weekend at a hotel in China, I had to ask to be moved. After being moved, I had one night of quiet and I had requested that no one with a young child be placed near my room. Yup, got a family with a young kid that wouldn't let me sleep and I did not want to move a second time.

I've had the people above me be absolutely terrible. I've had them give me a suite that was right under the lounge...at 6am being woken up by the staff getting things ready.

I think hotels have a responsibility to ensure that guests are getting a good night's sleep. That is what we are paying them for. I'm going to try this warning thing, but since I stay in Asia, I don't see it being anything a hotel here would do. The whole loss of face thing and all that. I've learned it is easier for me to change rooms.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 5:10 pm
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Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
Tonal quality matters in terms of perception of noise, not just amplitude.
Hence the point of my post being about frequencies and specifically what frequencies are most likely to get through walls. A discussion of sound transmission over open spaces is completely irrelevant to the OP situation.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 5:59 pm
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Lots of interesting discussion, but I’m surprised not more on the actual policy.

I agree speakerphone is not the best option for calls, but in this case my headset was dead and I needed to take notes, and I also remind everyone I was in the “privacy” of my room...speakerphones are a definite “no” in public areas like lobbies or lounges. Everyone’s points are noted, however, and I will be even more careful in the future.

An interesting update is that when checking out today, I asked someone at the front desk if they had heard about my “incident”, and they said no, and were surprised for a bunch of reasons. One thing that came out in that conversation is that they have different versions of the noise complaint letter, and it seems I got the “wrong” version given the circumstances. So that makes me feel a bit better that the actual policy for my situation might be more reasonable. Separately, another staff member told me that security couldn’t hear my call from the hall when standing directly outside my door (admittedly a different vantage point than the room next door).

So like I said, this ended just fine, and as always, I’ve learned from the varied perspectives on this forum I consider this an anomaly (second noise issue after 4000+ nights, with the other a reasonable request to turn down the TV late at night, handled very cordially by the guest himself) but it will help me to continue to be vigilant and polite to my neighbors.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 7:39 pm
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Originally Posted by gengar View Post
Just a note - it's pretty much impossible that voice reproduction from a cell phone's speaker would travel through a wall more than a human voice, unless for some reason a frequency in the vocal range that is boosted on the phone happens to be in resonance with the wall.

The reason cell phone speakers often sound "shrill" is that manufacturers love to overboost the 3k-8k range in an attempt to create a richer tone for media playback, but that's certainly not the frequency that's going to be getting past walls. Meanwhile the lower frequencies on these cell phone speakers are absolutely terrible, often -20 or even -30dB off peak by 500Mhz.

Of course, if the walls are thin enough, anything's going to get through.
I don't think that the physics of sound is what's really at issue here.


Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
This. Anyone who uses a speakerphone for a business call should be immediately fired. It's NEVER as clear for the person on the other end of the line, and unless there are multiple people participating there is absolutely no reason for it other than your laziness or cheapness.
I agree. Why aren't headphones an indispensable part of ones business travel equipment, right along with the power cord for your laptop? And we've completely overlooked the privacy aspect of discussing business issues where one can be overheard.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 8:01 pm
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Were they connecting rooms?

I have found that some hotels with connecting rooms, the noise carries into the other room very easily.

I stayed in a Homewood Suites that had a connecting door in an area where there was no carpet. I could hear the neighbor's phone calls clearly, like he was in the room with me.

Another time was at the Marriott Wardman Park in DC. The connecting door was right next to the bed and I could hear every word (and groan) the couple next door made.

If you are in a connecting room, placing a towel under the connecting door can sometimes keep your neighbors from hearing your calls, and vice versa.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Why aren't headphones an indispensable part of ones business travel equipment, right along with the power cord for your laptop? And we've completely overlooked the privacy aspect of discussing business issues where one can be overheard.
They are for me, but every once in a while they enter an unusable state. While I can’t say for sure, I would be shocked if the discussion was intelligible in the adjacent room. And even if it was, it wasn’t really sensitive or identifiable.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 8:06 pm
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Originally Posted by bitterproffit View Post
Were they connecting rooms?
They were. Your towel suggestion is noted. With that said, this seems to be a rare problem (at least at the properties I stay at).
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Old Mar 20, 19, 8:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
I don't think that the physics of sound is what's really at issue here.
Of course it is, because if it's not the cell phone speaker, then using headphones / not using the speaker won't help.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 9:31 pm
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Originally Posted by gengar View Post
Of course it is, because if it's not the cell phone speaker, then using headphones / not using the speaker won't help.
If you're using headphones, there is no external sound to penetrate the walls other than your speaking.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 9:55 pm
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Interestingly, I always have to use a headset (or hold the phone up to my ear). As I consult for many different firms, I have to be extremely sensitive that my discussions can be overheard by someone who recognizes my client.

For that reason, I always keep the corded Apple headset in my bag, in case my Bluetooth headset dies.
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