Tip your hotel housekeeper … or else

Don’t forget to tip your housekeeper. If you do, you could end up paying a lot more in late charges.

Don’t believe me? Then listen to what Matthew Martinez has to say. A frequent traveler who has a network of friends who work in the hotel industry, he let me in on a little insider secret. Housekeepers and bellmen can exact their revenge on bad tippers — and they often do.

A lot of the time, late charges are a result of hotel employees helping themselves to mini-bar and snack items after guest leave or while they are not in the room.

I know of one individual who worked as a bellhop. Often, he would be asked to retrieve bags from a room while guests were checking out. If they did not tip him, he would help himself to an item from the snack basket or minibar.

Same is true of cleaning crews. Sometimes the items that the hotel charges are for, actually have been removed from the room — just not by the guest. Other times the employee responsible for keeping inventory just makes a mistake.

I think that these types of activities are responsible for more of those phantom charges than a sinister plot by the hotels management.

Some readers of this blog believe that hotels are behind the late charges, but Martinez offers an interesting counterpoint. If I were a low-paid employee who relied on tips, I might consider raiding the minibar and sticking an unappreciative customer with the bill.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at . Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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