It’s all relative

I understand the concept of asking for help when you are not sure of how things work. In fact, I applaud people who ask for directions and realize their limitations but at some point in life you need to be able to do things yourself. Lately, there as been a rash of problems with another person making a reservation for the person that is checking into the hotel. I also want to mention that these guests weren’t kids checking into a hotel for the first time. These are all people who are at minimum 30 years old up to 50 years old. This shouldn’t be their first rodeo.



Guest: My name is John Doe, I have a reservation.

Me: Yes sir, I will need identification and credit card.

JD: (hands me the cards) My brother booked it for me. He used website.com

Me: I don’t seem to be able to find the reservation. Do you have a confirmation?

JD: Yes, here it is. (hands me his phone that has an email opened.)

Me: Sir, this shows that the reservation is for Steve Doe.

JD: Yes, that is my brother.

Me: Is he here?

JD: No, he is in California. It’s a reservation for me, he just made the reservation.

Me: and he made the reservation in his name. I can’t check you in.

JD: but I need a room.

Me: Call your brother and have him contact website.com and change the name of the reservation and then I can check you in.

JD: Can’t you do that for me?

Me: No… no I can’t do that.


Guest: My wife made a reservation for me.

Me: Yes sir, I just need your identification and credit card. (hands me the information). Sir, your reservation is for tomorrow not today.

Guest: No, she made it for today.

Me: Do you have a confirmation e-mail that shows the dates of the reservation?

(he hands me the paperwork for the reservation.)

Me: See right here. It says the check-in date is the 13th. This is the 12th.

Guest: So, what do I do now?

Me: Well, you have two options. You can book a room through me tonight but the rate is going to be $XXX or you can call website.com and have them change the dates of the reservation and that should be a little cheaper.

Guest: Ok, I will call.

(guest comes back in 5 minutes and hands me his phone. This is a little strange since the wholesaler usually calls our hotel phone line.)

Me: Hello, this is HC at the front desk.

Phone: Hi. this is the wife. My husband said I need to talk to you.

Me: No ma’am, I told your husband to call the company you booked the room with to change the dates of the reservation.

Phone: why does the date need to be changed?

Me: You booked the room for tomorrow.

Phone: ok, so fix it.

Me: I can’t, you used a wholesaler to book the room. He needs to call them. That’s what I told him to do.

Phone: but he is staying at your hotel?

(I love having to explain things twice. I tell her the same thing I told the husband and hand the phone back to the husband. He eventually checked back in but it was 2 hours later. I have no idea who eventually called the wholesaler but when he came back he was pissed because he had to pay and extra $35 for the room because I wouldn’t check him in. He didn’t even clue into the fact that the rate for tonight was different than tomorrow.)


Guest: (50 year old man, hands me the identification and credit card.) I have a reservation for 2 nights.

Me: Thank you, sir. Yes, I see that you have a room with a king bed for 2 nights. (I enter the guest’s information and go to swipe the credit card.) Sir, who is Susan King?

Guest: That’s my mother, she made the reservation.

Me: Is she here?

Guest: No.

Me: When will she be arriving?

Guest: She isn’t. She is in Ohio. (I want to point out that his driver’s license is from Arizona.)

Me: Well, this is her credit card.

Guest: Yes, she lets me use it.

Me: Sir, I can’t check you in using her card. I have to have a card with your name on it.

Guest: I don’t have a card.

Me: Do you have a debit card?

Guest: No, I don’t have a bank account.

Me: Sir, you need to have a card with your name on it to check into the hotel for the security deposit.

Guest: Well can I call her and have her talk to you?

Me: No sir, she needs to be here in person.

Guest: I can Face Time or Skype her for you so you can see her.

Me: Um, sir that won’t work. You need to have a card or have someone here with you with a valid ID and credit or debit card.

Guest: but I have a reservation?

Me: Yes, and the reservation says you need a valid credit card to check in.

Guest: and I have one.

(apparently we need to change the wording on our confirmations to say a credit card in your name because of… well, stupid people.)

Me: I am sorry, sir. I can’t check you in. Perhaps you can try and find a hotel that accepts a cash deposit. I can cancel the reservation and refund your room deposit to your mother’s card.


 

Thanks everyone for reading my blog. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @VegasHC

Where did he go wrong?

You know those visual puzzles were they show two very similar pictures were there are differences in the second one and you have to find all the differences?

Today, I am asking you, the readers to count the errors that this guest made throughout their stay.

The Check In Process

(Let’s call the guest AYM for Angry Young Man: sorry, Styx, if I am infringing on a copyright on your song Fooling Yourself)

Me: Welcome to XYZ Hotel. Could I see your identification and credit card, please.

AYM: (Tossing the identification on the counter) I already paid for the room on website.com.

Me: Yes sir, but I will still need a credit card for the resort fee and security deposit.

AYM: What is this security deposit? It wasn’t listed on the website.

Me: It is to cover any incidentals during your stay. It will be refunded back to you after you check out if nothing is damaged or charged to your room.

AYM: Yeah, I’m not paying that.

Me: I can’t check you in without paying that. It is a mandatory credit hold.

AYM: It wasn’t listed on my reservation.

Me: Sir, I am sorry but it if you look at your confirmation you will see it listed at the bottom.

AYM: You are really going to stick with this, huh? Well that’s ok, I have lawyers and I will sue you and website,com and next time I am here it will be all comped because I will own part of this place, this is bullshit. (throws credit card on the counter).

Me: Thank you

AYM: It’s bad enough I have had to wait for the last 3 hours to check in. I’ve been here since 11am.

Me: I am sorry about that but check in time actually doesn’t start for another hour but I do have a clean room for you now.

AYM: I don’t care what your check in time is. My reservation is for Tuesday and this is Tuesday.

Me: Here are your keys, sir. Enjoy your stay.

The Stay

(15 minutes after check in, the guest returns to the front desk)

AYM: You gave me a bad key. Only one of the keys work. This is a great inconvenience.

Me: Sorry sir, I will make you another one.

AYM: Is it that hard to make a key for the correct room?

Me: I apologize sir, occasionally we get a bad key. Here is your new key.

AYM: Yeah, I am sure it is a “bad key”

(Yeah, I purposely gave this asshat a bad key because I enjoy him so much.)


(later in the day we get a call to the front desk)

AYM: I called housekeeping 10 minutes ago for another blanket for this icebox you stuck me in and they haven’t brought it yet.

Me: I am sure they are on their way but I will call and make sure there isn’t an issue.

AYM: Is there anyone that actually works in your hotel?


The Check Out

(apparently sometime during the night, AYM called and asked for a late check out and was denied because we needed the room. It is now 3pm and he has been called several times that he needs to check out or he will be charged for another night. AYM, of course, is abusive to the clerk and manager who has been calling the room. Security is called. 15 minutes later, AYM is storming to the front desk followed by security. He wants to talk to the manager because security has manhandled him. He conveniently ignores the fact that he has attempted to punch our security guards, including a female guard.)

Me: (attempting to stall) Yes sir, let me see if the manager is available.

( I look up the notes on the reservation and see that the manager has written on the file about everything that has happened and that the police have actually been called. Luckily, Metro shows up in the lobby just as AYM is starting to get abusive to me. Apparently, he believes that someone entered his room while he was sleeping and stole one of his bags. He seems happy that Metro is here because he can press charges against security and the hotel. I am sure he was surprised when they cuffed him and escorted him out of the building.)

 

BTW if you are not following me on Twitter, please do. I often tweet about little work stories that don’t make it to the blog. My handle is @VegasHC and as always, thanks for reading.

Keep your friends close and your roommates closer

A variety of people travel to Las Vegas every year. You have couples, families and solo travelers and of course, you have the group of friends.

Before I moved here I had traveled with significant others, solo and with friends. Not all were great trips. In fact, a couple relationships broke up right after the trip was over. I mean, if you can’t enjoy Vegas and enjoy it the way I enjoy it, then this isn’t the relationship I want.

So what happens if there are tensions during the trip? Do you just do your own thing away from the person you are with? Do you try and force it? What happens if there is so much tension that things blow up? I wonder if you can guess what happened with 4 guests that checked into a room last week.

It’s Friday night and we are crazy busy. We have 4 conventions going on, George Strait and Matchbox Twenty are having shows on the strip, rooms, if available are going for $500 minimum a night. If you want a cheap room you better pool your resources with some friends. Enter our 4 ladies coming in for 3 nights of fun.

They all arrive at my station and we start the check in process. They booked through a wholesaler so room and taxes are paid but there is that nasty resort fee and security deposit. Of course, only one of them has enough money on a debit card to cover the security deposit and they are trying to pool their resources to cover the resort fee in cash.

(again people, know what you owe before arriving at the hotel and make sure that you have the funds to actually check in.)

Now thanks for small miracles they had enough cash to pay the resort fees because at one point I was starring at 4 debit cards that were going to be divided up to pay the balance due at check in.

Before I go any further lets put some context on the guests. They are all in their early twenties and it looks like they are paired off. We have ladies, A & B who are sisters and C & D who are not related to the other girls but seem closer to each other than the sisters.

Guest C puts down her debit card to cover the security deposit. Guests C & D are bitching about the resort fees to me saying they didn’t know about this and won’t pay. Of course, Guest A made the reservation and should have known about them and told the other ladies. Guest B is being a good sister and standing up for Guest A.

After much battling back and forth between the ladies and me gazing over to the ever increasing line of guests that want to be checked in we finally get them to their room.

We now fast forward four hours into Friday night. Guests C and D are at the front desk and they are at the front desk. I am no longer on shift so I am relying on my fellow desk clerk to pass on the rest of the story. Guests C & D have been locked out of the room. They don’t have their ID’s. Oh, and they don’t have their names on the room because the booking only listed the sisters on the room. We can’t give them keys. They have no proof that they actually belong in the room. They can’t even get up to the floor.

Apparently, there has been a fight. The sisters and the other ladies are at each other’s throats. Nothing is going right and the sisters have found a way to lock the others out of the room.

At this point, the other ladies just want to leave the hotel, rent a car and go home so they want the security deposit taken off the room and make the sisters put down a deposit.

Problem # 1, this is a reservation for three nights and the person that made the reservation is not checking out. They also can’t be reached and also don’t have the means to put down a deposit.

Problem # 2, we have just received a call that there is a bunch of luggage and clothing on the 11th floor strewn across the floor. Want to guess what floor the ladies were on?

So we have 2 guests that can’t prove they are guests. We have two other guests that have apparently evicted their friends from their room.  We also have a non-registered guest with a security deposit on a room that they can’t even get in at the moment.

They want the police called and want to press charges but there isn’t a charge to be pressed. There was no physical interaction that was illegal and the debit deposit was volunteered by Guest C. We can have security go up and collect the luggage but we also can’t give the luggage to the ladies because unless their ID’s are in their luggage we can’t prove anything belongs to them.

Yes, the giant boulder is running downhill fast and has no sign of slowing down.

So to take this down to a conclusion. We did eventually ID Guest C & D and got them their luggage and the sisters were evicted because they decided to trash the room by throwing food all over the room, dumping makeup all over the bed and the walls and breaking a the phone and clock radio.

Of course, they had abandoned the room long before any of this was found and the damage bill which was in the hundreds went to… Guest C who had her card on file for the deposit and who didn’t cause any of the damage and was in the room for probably a total of 15 minutes.

So what did we learn today kids?

  • Don’t forget your keys
  • If you think you might lose your keys, make sure your name is on the room
  • and if you are traveling with vindictive evil demon bitches, get your own room.

Guest questions

We get asked many questions at the front desk. Most of them are fairly common questions.

  • Where does Uber pick up?
  • Where is the fitness center?
  • Is there a password for the internet?

We get asked them everyday and the answers are easy. Sometimes we get questions that are either hard to answer, the answer is not well received or understood or we have to ask them to repeat the question.


What time can I get for late check out?

Our late check out is time is noon

Twelve noon?

Yes, Twelve noon (as apposed to eleven noon or one noon).


When is the end of the day?

Um, midnight.

No, not the day day but you know the time the day resets.

(now what I eventually figured out was that he was asking what the gambling day at our casino was, when points reset. Most people don’t realize that the casino and hotel are separate entities.)


Do I have to check out at 11 or can I check out earlier?

No you can check out at anytime before 11.

(could you imagine the scene at the front desk if everyone was forced to check out at the same time.)


I’m arriving late tonight, do you have a restaurant open at midnight?

Yes, we have a 24 hour restaurant on site.

Just in case, we are running late will it still be open later?

Yes it will be.

(unless there is a 25 hour day coming up then it will be closed for an hour)


I need to check out at 4am will someone be here at the desk?

We are open 24 hours a day.

Right, but will someone be here at 4am, I don’t want to have to wait.

Yes.

(he must have been having dinner with the other guy that thinks there are 25 hours in the day.)


 

I had a couple readers send me some questions that may be of interest to others so I figured I would throw them in here.

-Things to do before the check-in? (Player cards? Idk…?)

If you are here on a comp, they may want to see your players card or at least need the number on the card. Outside of that, have your ID, credit card and confirmation number handy. Oh, a few days ahead of schedule (if you haven’t gotten a confirmation e-mail, I would call the hotel to confirm).
-Your take on early/late check-in fees

There are a lot of times, we can’t control early check ins, I am not a fan of fees in general, if you get there and the room is ready, I say check you into the room. As for late check outs, an hour, maybe two is not a huge deal unless we are sold out and are in a rush to get all the rooms clean. Now if you are talking more than a couple hours, we need to charge something, maybe not the full night rent but a portion. You are overstaying your contracted time and we are being put behind schedule because of this.

– Belldesk/Concierge etiquette

Be polite, be prepared with your questions and your luggage and tip please. Most of these jobs are low paying and they rely on tips. Oh and a message from my bell people. Please don’t come in with a bunch of loose walmart or garbage bags that are bulky and can rip open. It is a pain in the ass to move these bags and have them stay on the cart. Invest in some luggage.
-Negotiating resort fees (like, upgrading to another room in exchange of them reduced or something like that)

Don’t negotiate fees at check in, a lot of hotel clerks don’t have the authority to do that. Spend money at the resort, visit a host and then see what they can do about the fees. Why are we going to comp things to you when we don’t know what your spending habits are. Stick to trying to get a room upgrade.
-When a complaint is something to complain about vs something that don’t need to be reported

If you feel it needs to be mentioned, then mention it. Mentioning it is not a complaint. If it isn’t resolved to your satisfaction, then complain. Did the maid forget to give you towels, call us an let us know. If 5 hours later, you still do not have towels, then complain. I can’t tell you what is important to you, only you can tell me that. If I don’t have a room service menu, I don’t care because I don’t do room service but if there is no ice bucket in the room, you need to get me that ice bucket.

-Can you explain why occasionally the same room is assigned to different people?

This is a pretty simple reason for this. Someone at the desk fucked up. Most of the time, Yes, there can be a system glitch but rarely. Is it the fault of the clerk that checked you in? Most of the time not. Three main reasons.

  • A clerk previously checked the person in a room but did not fully check them in and so the room was never taken out of inventory.
  • A clerk checked you into the wrong reservation and then forgot to switch rooms when the error was found or not found.
  • A clerk checked you into one room but accidentally gave you the wrong keys.

They also asked me if I have done this to anyone. Yes, anyone that spends enough time in the business has done this. I was lucky, I was the same clerk that checked both reservations in so I knew of the mistake before I checked the second person into the same room.  There are three very easy ways to get fired from the front desk. Check people into the wrong room, steal from the hotel and undercharge guests. We are very careful not to do these things because we know the consequences.

 

Be a Boy Scout

My kids spent time in the Boy Scouts, we learned how to tie knots and make Pinewood Derby cars, among other things and, of course, memorized their motto “Be Prepared”. I get the feeling that a lot of people that show up in Las Vegas were never Boy Scouts.


 

This is a crazy busy weekend in Vegas and if you can find a room it is going to be expensive.  A quick look at a 3rd party site shows a 2 night stay at Mandalay Bay will cost you $650 per night, the Linq $450 per night. Heck, even a crapfest like the Downtowner motel is going for over $200 a night. Supply and demand is a wonderful thing if you own a hotel.

Of course, no one flies across country or drives several hours without a reservation or at least checking prices, so no problem. Wrong. Very wrong.

Call after call and walk in after walk in looking for rooms for this weekend. It was driving the reservation department and the front desk crazy.  Here is a sample of what we heard.

  • It’s not even the weekend, how can the rates be this high?
  • You can’t really be sold out, it’s Thursday.
  • So what do you want me to do now?
  • Who in their right mind would pay that much? (apparently you, if you want a room)
  • I drove 5 hours to get here and now this
  • I flew all the way across country and now you are saying you are sold out?

Be prepared!


 

Ok, so you didn’t make the mistake of not booking a room. Great, good for you. You get a gold star. You have made it to the front desk and are ready to check into your room. Absolutely wonderful. Just need that identification and credit card.

What do you mean you don’t have that with you? Give me back that gold star!

It happens at least a few times a week but tonight was full of them.

  • The guy that drove from Utah without his identification. Oh, and he realized that he didn’t have it about 15 minutes into the trip but didn’t want to back track because he didn’t want to be late and didn’t think it would matter. I have no idea what he thought he would be late for.
  • The couple that was checking in for 2 days and had 2 debit cards with a total of $58 on them and $32 in cash and was hoping we could just waive the security deposit and resort fee.
  • The guy that lost everything at the casino on the strip before checking in and had no way to pay the balance of the room.
  • the lady that was supposed to show up 2 days ago, never called to cancel or reschedule her dates and then showed up today wanting her room and the rate from Tuesday night.
  • and the guy that had actually checked in yesterday for 4 nights but decided that his losing sports bet was reason enough to throw a beer into the TV in his room and now was being kicked out because he refused to pay for the damages.

 

It may be no big deal not to have a reservation for a restaurant or buying show tickets before you arrive but please people, make sure you have a room and a way to get into the room….

or don’t but remember you probably will be disappointed when you arrive and will definitely end up being immortalized here.

 

 

 

 

WSVHCD?

Did you miss me?

Sometimes you hit a perfect storm of events.

  1. Personal life gets in the way.
  2. there was actually a 10 day span of work where nothing weird happened at all.

 

The 2nd point got me thinking. Is there going to be a time when all the stories will just start repeating themselves? How many people will be unique enough in their drunkeness, complaining, self absorbed ways to keep this going in the long term with 1-2 posts per week?

Originally, I didn’t even think a blog was possible because I didn’t even think I could come up with more than 10-12 stories and then things started to steamroll. It was like I hit the jackpot on weird guests. Now, I am in a drought. I have a few stories that we will get to later this week but I want to know from you, the readership, is there anything else you want here?

We have done some Top 5’s and some reviews. Tackled some questions, which I will continue to do. I have talked more than enough on the $20 trick and resort fee headaches. So what should Vegas Hotel Confidential do (WSVCHD)?

I’m open to suggestion

  • news and opinion pieces
  • more top 5’s
  • more reviews
  • happy just waiting for the next story
  • anything else?

 

 

Rules are rules

I remember having a conversation with a friend a few years back about her 19 year old son wanting to have beer in the house. The son was hoping that as a person who was a little more progressive than his mother that I might persuade her that beer in the house was ok. He asked me if I thought the drinking age should be lowered. I said that it should. It is kind of silly that you can join the army, buy cigarettes and buy a gun but you can’t drink. I mean you could literally die for your country and not be able to have a beer. Silliness. He smiled and said, see he thinks it would be ok. I responded by telling him that I didn’t agree with him. I said the law was wrong but it was still a law and if his mother wanted to enforce that law it was her right to do so. That leads us to tonight’s conversation.

 


 

Me: Ok, your room and tax have been prepaid, you just have to put a credit card down for the security hold and resort fee.

Guest: I hate resort fees.

Me: So do I.

Guest: I won’t even use any of this stuff.

Me: I usually don’t either.

Guest : I don’t think there should be a resort fee.

Me: Either do I.

Guest: So you are going to take it off my bill?

Me: No.

Guest: but you said…

Me: Yes, I did. I don’t like them either but the hotel does, I work for the hotel, you are staying at the hotel… so you pay the resort fee.

Guest: What if I refuse?

Me: Then I can’t check you in.

Guest: but I have a reservation.

Me: and that reservation says you need to pay the resort fee, right.

Guest: Well, yeah. So… what are my options?

Me: Um, you pay the resort fee and I check you in or you can cancel the reservation.

Guest: and what if I just stand right here and not allow anyone else to check in.

Me: Well, outside of the other clerks checking people in, I would call security.

Guest: So!

Me: Well, they would ask you to leave.

Guest: They would have to have a lot of them to get me out.

Me: I am not sure how this escalated to this but we could also just call the police if you caused an issue for security because at that point you would be trespassing and then you might get to spend the night in a place without a resort fee. I would just pay the resort fee.

Guest: Fine, charge the stupid fee.

Me: Thank you, sir. Here are your keys.