Complaining Incidentally

, , , | Right | March 6, 2018

(When you check in to our hotel, your card authorizes for the full amount of your stay, PLUS an additional amount — usually about 20% of the stay total — to cover any incidental charges. This is only an authorization, not a charge, and if you don’t make any incidental purchases during your stay, the extra amount will be returned to you. Many guests have issues with this.)

Guest: “I want to know why I was overcharged!”

Me: “Overcharged, ma’am? By how much?”

(I’m already pretty sure this is about the incidental authorization.)

Guest: “[Amount]!”

Me: “I see. Looking at your reservation, that is just a small additional authorization to cover any incidental charges. It will be put back on your card when you check out.”

Guest: “Well, I had a specific amount in mind for this stay, and now my card is overdrawn! Someone should have told me!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, as you can see—” *pointing to a sign six inches to my right* “—on every check-in desk we have a sign that clearly states our policy on incidental charges.”

(The guest frowns, clearly more upset now about the fact that I have had a response to her complaint than  about the charge on her card.)

Guest: *sniffily* “Well, don’t you think someone should have pointed it out to me?”

Me: “Er… Pointing it out to every guest kind of defeats the purpose of having a sign.”

Guest: “Someone should have pointed it out to me!” *stalks off*

(As it turns out, pretty much everyone at the front desk had had some kind of run-in with this guest, and she always has some new complaint!)

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