Why do hotel front desk clerks lie?!
We’ve all been there after a long day of travel. You get to the hotel front desk and you’re ready to get checked in to your room. You’ve looked at the hotel website and you can see that there are plenty of upgraded rooms available. The next part comes as no surprise to many the frequent traveler…
Clerk: I’m sorry sir, we don’t have any suites or rooms for upgrade available.
You: You don’t? That’s funny, because I can see that there are plenty available for sale on your website.
Clerk: That’s odd, because I don’t have any available.
You: So you mean to tell me if I was to book this room on my phone right now you wouldn’t have a room to give me when I approach the front desk?
BOOM. You caught them in a lie. It happens so often and rolls off their tongue so easily that sometimes they probably don’t even know it’s happening. But why do they do it? Here’s a few things that bounce around my brain as to why.
Check out the tweet that created a little bit of a firestorm today with the SPG Assist and SPG twitter team. Some of the responses from those in the Twitterverse weren’t kind to the hotel either:
Stated benefit. Upgrade to standard SUITES at check in. So why is this the third time I’m lied to at check in? @spgassist you can’t have hotels lie and say no suites are available when there are no less than 5 suites for sale on the website. It’s becoming a problem. pic.twitter.com/qqIUsPf1t0
— No Mas Coach (@NoMasCoach) January 22, 2018
Keep rooms for sale
If you’re checking in early in the day, keeping those upgraded rooms available for sale, especially in a hot market with low inventory, is a way for the hotel to make extra cash. If the only rooms they have left to sell are the fancy rooms and you really want to stay there, you won’t have much of a choice other than paying for the expensive rooms.
I was shocked when I asked a friend who works at the front desk of a large chain hotel about how people make reservations. He said that you would be blown away by the number of people that either call the hotel at 9pm and ask if there are rooms OR, even worse, just roll up to the hotel, walk in, and ask for a room. I’ll never understand that!
Take a while to clean
Larger rooms take more time to clean, obviously! If you’ve got a presidential suite that takes 5x as long to clean, that’s a housekeeper that can’t clean 5 other rooms. I remember overhearing someone say (in Spanish in Miami once…) that they agent shouldn’t give me the room because it took their staff an extra hour to get the presidential suites ready. Wow.
Airlines do it all the time, so why not hotels? Ah, I see you’ve reserved a deluxe room. For only an extra $35 a night you can have our club room! If they give that to the Gold/Platinum guests, they won’t be there to sell as upgrades.
Know what’s available
You’ve GOT to know what is available for your stay. Just like the tweet I sent out earlier, I knew that there were rooms available, and I also knew that as a Platinum guest, I was entitled to the room. Eventually the front desk got their S!#^ together and gave me the upgrade, but it was a bit of a “Do You Know Who I Am” moment.
Fight for what is yours
If you know that you’re supposed to get a room upgrade, fight for it! Be kind, but be firm. Ask for management. Call the hotel’s loyalty program. TWEET. If all else fails, take the room downgrade and then deal with upper management in the morning. Make sure to take names of those people who were helpful, and especially those who were unhelpful. I mean after all, if we don’t help those people get retrained, when will it ever change? 🙂