Marriot Room Accessed-Robbed

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Apr 30, 2016
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I am a private pilot and own my own flight school, jet management and private charter company. I have been traveling for over 18 years and log over 100 nights in hotels each year. Last month I was staying at a Marriott property in San Antonio and 5 minutes after I left to grab dinner someone with a key entered my hotel room and stole my bag with my computer, iPad, iPod, 2 aviation Bose headsets, cash, my passports, my pilots licenses, company credit cards, checks, keys, expensive luggage, the list goes on. I called the police and filed a report and the hotel manager said this was his top priority and would do whatever he could to help the police and try and get me reimbursed. To make a long and awful story short, the manger never let the corporate office know what happened until I threatened to let the media know. Even worse he still charged me for the room which is obviously just poor taste.

I had to cancel my flight to meet with the manager so my passengers were very upset and inconvenienced. I had to stay an extra night at the hotel and replace computers and I-pads that I used for flight planning. Ultimately the hotel said there is nothing they can do. Their only cameras are at the exits and have extremely grainy footage which I am told by a VP at corporate this is so they do not liable themselves. The police have no interest in helping. My credit cards were used, checks were written and they even tried to open up an AT&T account in my name.

I am out thousands of dollars, I lost pay moving flights and missed trips without a passport not to mention I am so weary of staying in hotels now that I am constantly looking over my shoulder. I had hoped to be reimbursed for the items I had to replace but since the hotel has not offered anything, even though I am platinum member, I do not know what to do. My next step is to hire an attorney, maybe a private investigator or should I pursue action from the hotel itself? The whole thing has been a nightmare and the hotel itself was unorganized and misled me from the start and to date the hotel has not done anything to rectify the situation which clearly was an inside job if you ask me.
 
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JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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Have you consulted a Texas Lawyer familiar with Texas Innkeeper liability law? Were your valuables secured in the room safe?
When you checked into the hotel you would have signed a document as a part of the check in process acknowledging the Hotels liability for guest belongings. Have you gathered all those documents.

We have an Advocate @Joe Farrell who is an attorney who may have some insights as to what steps to take. But gather together your police report, copies of your guest registration, emails you have between yourself and various Marriott contacts.

Unfortunately I'm pretty sure the Texas Innkeepers law limits their liability unless you can prove negligence (inside job).

This is horrible and I'm not surprised Marriott wants you to go away.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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OMG, Jason, this is a terrible story, a nightmare that all travellers worry about. You must be distraught at the affect this is having on your business. I am so sorry for you, and I agree that it probably was an 'inside job' if your room was entered with a key. One question: did you leave your room for dinner shortly after checking in? There have been instances where the front desk has given a key to a guest for the wrong room when they are checking in. I am also curious about why the police aren't helping here.

Don't handle this by phone any longer. I would compose a succinct polite letter to the hotel General Manager outlining the problem and asking for the compensation you want. Give him/her a week to respond. If no response, or you don't like what you hear, submit your letter to Marriott customer service. Again, wait a week, then use our Company Contacts to submit your letter to each executive up the food chain. Don't be angry, be as polite as you can manage, don't threaten media (it's a last resort), but take the tone that this is an awful situation not handled by the GM, and you expect Marriott to take care of you. You want the person reading your letter to instantly grasp the situation and route it to the proper department. This is a heartbreaking story and I wish you very, very good luck. Please let us know what transpires.
 
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Apr 30, 2016
11
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OMG, Jason, this is a terrible story, a nightmare that all travellers worry about. You must be distraught at the affect this is having on your business. I am so sorry for you, and I agree that it probably was an 'inside job' if your room was entered with a key. One question: did you leave your room for dinner shortly after checking in? There have been instances where the front desk has given a key to a guest for the wrong room when they are checking in. I am also curious about why the police aren't helping here.

Don't handle this by phone any longer. I would compose a succinct polite letter to the hotel General Manager outlining the problem and asking for the compensation you want. Give him/her a week to respond. If no response, or you don't like what you hear, submit your letter to Marriott customer service. Again, wait a week, then use our Company Contacts to submit your letter to each executive up the food chain. Don't be angry, be as polite as you can manage, don't threaten media (it's a last resort), but take the tone that this is an awful situation not handled by the GM, and you expect Marriott to take care of you. You want the person reading your letter to instantly grasp the situation and route it to the proper department. This is a heartbreaking story and I wish you very, very good luck. Please let us know what transpires.
Hi Judy! Thanks so much for your reply. I actually have spent the last 7 weeks going back and forth with the managers, the GM and eventually their "Risk Management" team and they finally ended the conversation saying they hold no responsibility for what happened. It basically sounded as if I must have let someone in the room myself. Their only solution was for me to make a home owners claim and they would pay the deductible! NOT! Thanks again for your reply.
 
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Apr 30, 2016
11
4
3
42
Have you consulted a Texas Lawyer familiar with Texas Innkeeper liability law? Were your valuables secured in the room safe?
When you checked into the hotel you would have signed a document as a part of the check in process acknowledging the Hotels liability for guest belongings. Have you gathered all those documents.

We have an Advocate @Joe Farrell who is an attorney who may have some insights as to what steps to take. But gather together your police report, copies of your guest registration, emails you have between yourself and various Marriott contacts.

Unfortunately I'm pretty sure the Texas Innkeepers law limits their liability unless you can prove negligence (inside job).

This is horrible and I'm not surprised Marriott wants you to go away.
Thanks for your reply. I am sure they have some way to try and remove themselves from liability but my door was locked, I had the key so seems to me there has to be some liability on their part. If nothing else their customers deserve to know what they're in for. Ive always traveled smart but I travel differently now to say the least.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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New York
Omg- this is really awful!! It certainly sounds like an inside job. Did you file a police report?
 
Apr 30, 2016
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Omg- this is really awful!! It certainly sounds like an inside job. Did you file a police report?
Hi ! Yes I sure did, immediately, granted that went nowhere and nobody has been caught to date but I did it to follow protocol. Thanks for your reply
 
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Aug 28, 2015
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If the thief used a hotel key, either bc they were employed by the hotel or bc the hotel didn't re-set the key then that is a major issue for this property. I am pretty appalled the hotel would drop contact with you as a frequent traveler and crime victim due to its negligence. The hotel may have a liability limit but gross negligence would probably not be protected. Then again an intervening criminal's activity may be something it doesn't pay for. Either way, this is horrible treatment. @Joe Farrell will know what to do next.
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,899
113
New York
In the interim, I hate to say if, but if you want fast reimbursement for the equipment, you may want to file a homeowner's claim, or a claim through an insurance policy you carry through your business. You just need the police report and you will have to notarize a statement. Of course you can sue them and write executives in the company, and should. if the thief tried to use the card and open accounts, have you heard anything back from your card's fraud department? They usually don't share this info, but keep them in the loop with the police department. Has a detective been assigned to this?
 
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Sep 19, 2015
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There has been issues with security flaws in those key locks -- so may not be an inside job http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygre...ies-months-after-lock-firms-fix/#778830a95434 I do not know if there is still some vulnerability. What a dreadful thing to happen when traveling. If it is an organized ring of thieves they often sell the credit cards, but I would still ask if there is any surveillance on people using your cards to buy things. Were you able to use the "find my ipad" app?
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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Are these Electronic Key Cards? I'm assuming they are and the Hotel knows who was issued the card used to enter OR did they enter through another room connected by door or window @Jason E Jacobs ? Possibly a bit more info and why exactly did Marriott think they were not responsible?

I would not hold much credit in an INTERNAL investigation. With the Texas Innkeeps protection the burden is on the guest to prove negligence.
 
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JVillegirl541

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Nov 21, 2014
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The police should be able to tell you if other Room Break In/Robberies have been reported at this Location. In other words if it happens often it may be an inside job or just an isolated instance by another guest or??? Find out the history. Also interested watch the hotel Key Security system says about who entered the room.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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New York
Such good points. If a key was used, the hotel has the history. I kind of put this in the category of the investigation, which I wouldn't feel the need to be privy to, so long as I was compensated. This really is the job of a Detective, who obv won't have any affiliation with the hotel. You should be in contact with a Detective. I'm assuming your stuff wasn't in the safe.
 

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
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There has been issues with security flaws in those key locks -- so may not be an inside job http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygre...ies-months-after-lock-firms-fix/#778830a95434 I do not know if there is still some vulnerability. What a dreadful thing to happen when traveling. If it is an organized ring of thieves they often sell the credit cards, but I would still ask if there is any surveillance on people using your cards to buy things. Were you able to use the "find my ipad" app?

Amazing article. Makes one wonder if the Marriott in question used this type of lock and corrected the situation before our poster's stay.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
This is sickening. I have been whining about "checking into your room with your phone" lately and I have always been vaguely concerned about the electronic lock on my room. It's only common sense that if a computer codes a keycard, the whole system is easily foiled. I guess my concerns are quite valid. Unlike our OP, I only have a laptop that's password-protected, but I doubt if they'd stop long enough to verify that, they'd just grab it. So now what? Back to Euro-style big heavy keys with tassels?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
Jason, on top of our pages we have Customer Contacts. I suggest writing a letter to the email address for Customer Service. Give them a week to reply - if they don't or don't give you a satisfactory answer, email the first executive shown. Give him a week to reply and if necessary, write to the next executive. Continue weekly until you get to the top.

Hopefully one of the executives will get involved in this.
 
Apr 30, 2016
11
4
3
42
If the thief used a hotel key, either bc they were employed by the hotel or bc the hotel didn't re-set the key then that is a major issue for this property. I am pretty appalled the hotel would drop contact with you as a frequent traveler and crime victim due to its negligence. The hotel may have a liability limit but gross negligence would probably not be protected. Then again an intervening criminal's activity may be something it doesn't pay for. Either way, this is horrible treatment. @Joe Farrell will know what to do next.
Yeh makes no sense and doesn't show much loyalty of their part. I will never stay in a Courtyard again that for sure.
 
Apr 30, 2016
11
4
3
42
There has been issues with security flaws in those key locks -- so may not be an inside job http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygre...ies-months-after-lock-firms-fix/#778830a95434 I do not know if there is still some vulnerability. What a dreadful thing to happen when traveling. If it is an organized ring of thieves they often sell the credit cards, but I would still ask if there is any surveillance on people using your cards to buy things. Were you able to use the "find my ipad" app?
Wow, great find indeed. Thanks!! I'll use this as well for my case. Clearly a vulnerable system that is still not safe.