The Elliott Show: Minibar rip-offs, a bombshell announcement and a big “thank you”

In today’s episode of the Elliott Show, I talk about minibar rip-offs and review your feedback on the topic — $10 for a Coke! — and I talk about last week’s big announcement on my new book, How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler (and Save Time, Money, and Hassle). I also say “thanks” to all of my friends who have made this broadcast possible, including you!

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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  • Richard Trilling

    Minibar use.

    As a diabetic I use it to store my insulin syringes while staying at the hotels in question.

    I’ve heard rumors that one can be charged for opening the minibar door or moving one of the cans or bottles around within; in all fairness, this has NEVER happened to me.

    Other then that, are the minibar prices a ripoff? Yes.

  • Bill___A

    The last hotel I stayed in had a minibar fridge and a regular fridge. They didn’t give me a key to the minibar one and I didn’t ask for a key.

    Hotels seem to prefer to charge much higher prices for things in their gift shops, minibars, etc. which in my opinion results in much less volume.

    I’ve heard of hotels shutting down their minibars because it is not profitable, but they never seem to try the strategy of lowering prices to increase volume. I don’t know why this is. They continue to reap no money from me in this regard.

    I too have heard of them charging if anything is moved, but it has never happened to me. I am happy to pay for what I have used, but I don’t pay for things I didn’t. It is important to be fair, but generally, they are fair.

  • 5StarWorldVacations

    The mini bar rip off has been going on for years. I think hotels realized that company expense accounts would cover the cost. Or if the kids wanted a snack in the room you just gave in and accepted it. You said everything I have been thinking for years. Looks like fees and more fees are the new consumer taxes. If you use you pay.

    Michael Deitsch

  • Don Nadeau

    Revenge has come though. For years as you mentioned business travelers put these expenses on company tabs. However, after the dot com collapse, after 9/11, and course after the entire economy collapsed in 2008, business travel declined to point where hotels had to deeply discount their rooms, which brought in a new customer base far more likely to be paying out of pocket.

    Not used to the cost of such things as top-star hotel minibars these new guests have been flooding forums with negative reviews.