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You Pay, Or You Don’t Stay — That’s How Hotels Work

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: nek0nami | June 29, 2022

Our hotel has a high turnover rate for employees, including general managers, so front desk employees have no prior experience and never get fully trained. Instead, they are thrown out to work the desk after training for barely a week with only training videos for guidance. I’m the only person who received training from the previous staff before they all quit and I got promoted to supervisor.

We have some guests staying in two rooms. The person whose name is on the reservation never actually checked in, but the reservation has an accompanying guest on it who checked into the room. In hindsight, we shouldn’t have been checking accompanying guests in without any authorizations, but our general manager always says it is okay as long as their name is on the reservation.

It’s checkout time on Monday. I’m calling guest rooms to inform them that it’s time to go. I get to this guest’s rooms and tell them they need to check out. Room one says they’re extending their stay, but room two says they’re leaving and then calls back to extend. Okay. I authorize room one for another night, but room two’s card declines. S***.

I contact them about this.

Guest: “Can we have the card on room one pay for room two?”

Our system is complicated and has no clear way to do this.

Me: “No, I need a card for this room.”

Guest: “Okay. We’ll bring you another form of payment.”

The day goes by and they don’t come. I see the guest who checked in on his way out.

Me: “You still need to bring a new payment method to the front desk.”

Guest: “I will when I come back.”

I tell the next shift who is the assistant manager to call them and ask for payment, which they never do.

I come in on Tuesday, and once again, they ask to extend. Unfortunately for them, I don’t have their rooms for tonight, nor the payment they promised, so I tell them they need to bring a form of payment. At this point, they ask for a new room and to just transfer their charges.

Me: “In order to do that, I need you to pay what you owe. You have until 1:00 pm to do that if you are switching rooms.”

Guest: “Okay.”

Time passed. It was almost 1:00, so I was watching our security cameras to make sure they were coming down. I saw [Guest] walk in, so I was under the assumption that he was getting his group together to move rooms. I saw them leaving the room, and then I received a spam call. When I looked back at the cameras, I didn’t see them anywhere. Confused, I went back through the camera footage to find they had gone out of a side door. In my dismay, I let the managers know what had happened.

I tried calling the original person on the reservation. The number wasn’t in service. Unfortunately, we hadn’t put the information of any accompanying guests in our system. Basically, we had nothing to go on other than to make a house account for them. The one thing I did manage to obtain was their license plates from the camera footage because they happened to drive the wrong way in the parking lot — the way that had the only outdoor camera.

Fast forward to this week. I saw [Guest] get off the elevator and try to hide his face like I didn’t see him a week ago. I checked our in-house guests in our system; this time [Guest] had checked in under his own name. I checked the security camera footage to find out when he’d checked in, only to find out that the reservation was made over the phone and the person at the desk checked them in before arrival — which is something we NEVER do — and on his arrival, they didn’t check his ID or credit card because they were too busy Facetiming friends.

I contacted my general manager, and we charged the full amount of their stay to cover the costs of [Guest]’s previous stay, as well as a $500 smoking fee for last week and this week because their rooms reeked of the devil’s lettuce, and then we kicked them out. So satisfying.

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