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Package handling fees and poor service from “platinum concierge.”

Package handling fees and poor service from “platinum concierge.”

 
Old Apr 10, 18, 11:45 pm
  #1  
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Package handling fees and poor service from “platinum concierge.”

Shipped a few packages to Westin South Coast Plaza and called to let them know. Was promptly informed of their PER POUND handling fee. I asked if they would waive for Platinum, NO. I was surprised to hear about the fee, as I haven’t been charged it at other SPG hotels, including a hotel in the same category last weekend.

I ship packages to the hotel maybe 5x per year, and they are never large. However, I have never been charged a fee at Hyatt or any other starwood.

when I said I was surprised, the front desk guy told me I shouldn’t be bc they have been doing this for years and all of his colleagues agree. ?????

Called the platinum concierge and explained the issue. He confirmed that yes, the handling fee is buried in the fine print, and many hotels waive it for guests with status. I asked if he could help with that, and he said I should call the hotel back and ask them to waive.

I asked what what the point of a platinum concierge was if he couldn’t help me resolve an issue. He said the hotels like to “hear it from the horse’s mouth.” So, I guess I am a platinum horse.

I understand why why a hotel could charge for a package and all of the arguments there. I wonder though, is the $20 the hotel charges me in handling fee worth the feeling I have of being “nickel and dimed.”

Nothing about this, from the fee to the platinum “concierge” feels like superior customer service. I’ve had one stay at budget hotel chains and had a better user experience. Disappointing.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 1:09 am
  #2  
 
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The only times I have ever been charged a package fee as a Plat has been in the US, so perhaps it's an American thing. It's a shame you have already shipped the items and can't choose to stay somewhere else instead.

Agreed, the way the Platinum concierge handled it is sub-par.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 1:24 am
  #3  
 
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My experience is that hotels that have large shipping/receiving departments (conference hotels, airport hotels, etc.) tend to charge receiving fees. Hotels where the package is stored behind the front desk generally don't charge package handling fees.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 2:52 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by sscott77 View Post
Shipped a few packages to Westin South Coast Plaza and called to let them know. Was promptly informed of their PER POUND handling fee. I asked if they would waive for Platinum, NO. I was surprised to hear about the fee, as I haven’t been charged it at other SPG hotels, including a hotel in the same category last weekend.

I ship packages to the hotel maybe 5x per year, and they are never large. However, I have never been charged a fee at Hyatt or any other starwood.

when I said I was surprised, the front desk guy told me I shouldn’t be bc they have been doing this for years and all of his colleagues agree. ?????

Called the platinum concierge and explained the issue. He confirmed that yes, the handling fee is buried in the fine print, and many hotels waive it for guests with status. I asked if he could help with that, and he said I should call the hotel back and ask them to waive.

I asked what what the point of a platinum concierge was if he couldn’t help me resolve an issue. He said the hotels like to “hear it from the horse’s mouth.” So, I guess I am a platinum horse.

I understand why why a hotel could charge for a package and all of the arguments there. I wonder though, is the $20 the hotel charges me in handling fee worth the feeling I have of being “nickel and dimed.”

Nothing about this, from the fee to the platinum “concierge” feels like superior customer service. I’ve had one stay at budget hotel chains and had a better user experience. Disappointing.
As you now know, some hotels do charge fees.
It is no different from some properties have free parking and some are paid parking.

Samples of Hyatt properties charging package handling fees for reference
https://thewoodlands.centric.hyatt.c...ng-policy.html
http://nwrsmeeting.org/wp-content/up...olicy-2016.pdf
http://www.iafsm.org/resources/2017%...uide%20(2).pdf
http://www.populationhealthcolloquiu...-OrderForm.pdf
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Old Apr 11, 18, 5:34 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by sscott77 View Post
Called the platinum concierge and explained the issue.
That's not an issue for Platinum Concierge any more than you not liking the price of espresso at breakfast. 'Always give me what I want when I whine' is not a reasonable measure of service for Platinum Concierge. And yes, as noted in the links provided, other properties do charge package handling fees. Do you think that FedEX Office and the UPS Store do it at no charge?
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Old Apr 11, 18, 8:35 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Do you think that FedEX Office and the UPS Store do it at no charge?
Yes, FedEx delivers packages addressed to me right up to my office. No charge. If I'm staying in a hotel which fancies itself four or five star, yes, I completely expect these things to be done at no extra charge. Will there be a $20 delivery charge when I ask for an internet cable or power converter, too?
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Old Apr 11, 18, 8:45 am
  #7  
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Not an excuse, but just like some properties outsource their parking, gift shop, restaurant, spa, etc., so do they outsource a shipping function (especially convention centers). FDCs have a tough enough time dealing with customers checking in/out and guest issues, if they can offload tracking packages, all the better. But you better believe if they are going to be charging for the service, then there needs to be accountability and service delivered! Meaning, the package(s) need to be delivered to my room and someone held responsible should they go missing between delivery and my receipt. Given this service is truly a corner case and not something every guest requires, I don't have an issue with it being separated. We are not talking about a service/fee assessed to everyone (i.e. Resort Fees, which I despise).
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Old Apr 11, 18, 9:08 am
  #8  
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These fees have become common and are rarely, if ever, waived based on status. Once upon a time, there were a few packages shipped here and there. Now, it has become an avalanche and many properties outsource the service, which then accepts the liability for both security and proper accounting.

This all started at properties near large convention facilities which have historically charged astronomical drayage fees. Exhibitors simply had their stuff shipped to the adjoining hotel and then moved the stuff themselves.

I wish that there were a credit for one small package or somesuch, but also don't want to subsidize others who use hotels as a delivery point. One way or another, it is never free, it is simply sometimes included and I am fine with the a la carte approach.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 9:35 am
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This is the kind of thing I expect when staying at any "full service" hotels. It's pretty much a code word for nickle and diming guests.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 11:14 am
  #10  
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I suspect that the package handling is growing rapidly due to Amazon etc. Some USA visitors from abroad ship lots of merchandise to their hotel and then take it home with them, to avoid unavailability or higher prices/duty at home.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 2:33 pm
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Happens at all chains....

Most chains charge for anything over a pound. Do alot of conventions and remember these charges from years ago. Nothing new.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 4:04 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I suspect that the package handling is growing rapidly due to Amazon etc. Some USA visitors from abroad ship lots of merchandise to their hotel and then take it home with them, to avoid unavailability or higher prices/duty at home.
It is now a massive hassle at larger properties and ties up FD people and hurts customer service. When there is a charge, that pays for the staff, storage and internal tracking. I don't want to pay for some guys who buys half the Amazon website and has it delivered to his room any more than I want to subsidize his overweight luggage.

Americans often whine about the fact that European airport lost & founds charge a hefty fee. But, they photograph, catalog, and store everything and if an item makes it to L&F, you can be assured that you will be able to retrieve it.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 9:35 pm
  #13  
 
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Not ALL hotels do it.

IMHO, its more of an American phenomenon.

I have had a replacement Tumi shipped to the Fairmont Kiev/Kyiv and the Westin Guadalajara and the large box was delivered to my room with a note asking me to call to have the cardboard taken away if I so wished. Great service, and I would to like to think not simply due to me being Plat with both programs.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 10:34 pm
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Originally Posted by DutchessPDX View Post
This is the kind of thing I expect when staying at any "full service" hotels. It's pretty much a code word for nickle and diming guests.
Agreed. As a data point, I've never been charged a fee for having mail or packages delivered to my hotel, in the US or abroad, whether luxury or limited service properties. I look at it as just part of being a road warrior; when #*$! happens, I'm going to need stuff shipped to me on the road from time to time. I'd definitely feel nickel & dimed if assessed a fee.
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Old Apr 12, 18, 3:27 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by sscott77 View Post
Shipped a few packages to Westin South Coast Plaza
Just to add some colour to the debate about the reasonableness of the handling fees, how many was 'a few' ?
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