I’m with the band

I’ve talked a lot about the check in process and how simple it can be and how difficult it can be… if you don’t make it simple.

  • Make the reservation in the name of the person checking in.
  • Add anyone else’s name to the reservation if they are staying in the room.
  • Have your identification and method of payment with you when you check in.

Seriously, that is it. The only other reason we have problems at check in is they don’t read their confirmation about deposits or resort fees. That covers about 98% of it yet, 1 in 15-20 check ins have a problem.

The other 2%? Add an enormous ego to the above.


I do my best to try to not judge people but people with overblown egos tend to get on my nerves. Now there is a difference between confidence and ego. It can be subtle but it is there. The difference is knowledge and wisdom. Back up your ego and it is confidence. Spew crap and it is ego. The person with the big ego also tends to feel that the rules don’t apply to them. Enter Ricky Rocker, band manager and incoming guest.

 

RR: I have three rooms, I need to get my people in those rooms now.

Me: Ok sir, I will need your ID and credit card.

RR: (hands me the two cards)

ME: Ok, I have one reservation under your name. Who are the other rooms under?

RR: That would be the guitarist Rick Fender and the drummer Bill Highhat.

Me: I will need them to come up to the desk with their ID so I can check them in after I check you in.

RR: Yeah, that is impossible, they aren’t here. They will be here in 2 hours.

Me: I won’t be able to check them in until then, unless you call the wholesaler and have them change the names on the reservations.

RR: Yeah, that isn’t going to happen. See, I am the manager, I made the reservations. I am checking into the rooms.

Me: Our policy is that you have to be the person checking into the room with valid ID and credit card.

RR: Listen, this isn’t my first rodeo here. I have been to 40 hotels and they always let me do this. You don’t want to do this, dude. This is going to ruin you. We are important in this town and we need sleep to have a gig tomorrow in Cali.

(ok, side note, this is a Saturday night. It is 10pm, two of the 4 band members are here with the band manager. The other two are driving from somewhere. So, if you are a big thing in the town, my town, why didn’t you have a show on a Saturday night and why is your show in California on Sunday night. You know what bands play on Sunday and not Saturday… bands that aren’t big.)

Me: Sir, the only thing that is going to “ruin me” is not following hotel policy and checking you into three rooms and only one of them is in your name. As I said, if you call the wholesaler and have…

RR: You’re pretty new at this, right? You are not listening to me. Check me into the rooms.

Me: Sir, I can’t ch…

RR: Oh you can, you just won’t because you think you are some big shit right now. What you don’t like how we are dressed or is the music too loud for you?

Me: I don’t even know who your band is or what type of music it is? These are the rules.

RR: We have to be on the road in 5 hours. Just get this done.

Me: Ok, fine. I will break policy and risk getting fired and check you into the two rooms that are not in your name.

RR: Finally!

Me: but I can’t check you into your room that is in your name.

RR: What do you mean? It’s in my name!

Me: Yeah, you see there is a problem with that. An hour ago, a guy came up to the front desk and said he had booked a room in your name and didn’t have your ID or a credit card in your name but he harassed me for 10 minutes and just like now I gave in and gave him your room even though just like you, he had no proof to the room.

RR: Oh, you are some smart ass.

Me: That is the first thing we agree on, sir. So do you want to call the wholesaler and change the reservations or just check into your room.

RR: Let me speak to your manager.

Me: Sure, she is the lady that has been standing next to us for the last 10 minutes.

Mgr: Sir, my employee is correct in stating our policy. .Would you like to check in to that room now?

RR: This sucks, man. Never staying here again.

Me: and that is your prerogative, sir.


 

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You can’t handle the truth…

I think that one of the basic human flaws is not being able to admit when you are wrong. So many arguments that go on and on because no one can admit fault.  I’m not sure if it is out of embarrassment or pride or being too stubborn. I think for a recent guest is was probably all those reasons and maybe some mommy issues as well.


 

Guy with his 2 buddies are walking up to the desk with beers in hand and testosterone dripping down their legs.

Guest: I just made a reservation for tonight on wholesale.com.  The name is Jim Jagoff.

Me: Sir, I see the reservation but it appears to be made for the 24th.

JJ: No, I made it for today.

Me: Sir, here is the printout for your reservation you made. It’s for next week. You can call wholesale.com and see if they can change the date to today.

JJ: Oh, I didn’t make the mistake, they made the mistake, they changed the date after I made it.

Me: Did you make it online or call the reservation in.

JJ: on their website but they changed it.

(now after standing in front of this guy for 2 minutes I can see how someone might want to screw him over but no one changed any dates but here he is calling them on his phone. He is now pacing around the lobby and cursing at a Spinal Tap 11 volume. He is now on his way back to me even though I am with another guest.)

JJ: They are playing stupid about changing the date but they are not going to do this to me.

Me: Yes sir, but could you please watch the language around the other guests.

JJ: Whatever, just do your job and I’ll take care of this.

(I was trying to do my job but I keep getting interrupted by an asshole. Mr. Funtime Happyhour is back and apparently his reservation is now fixed.)

Note: the following conversation was about a 10th of the tirade he laid on me and less racially offensive. I spent a long time thinking about whether to use all the language he did but I just can’t. Me, using the words here wouldn’t make him more of an asshole and I don’t think makes this post any more valuable.

JJ: They said they fixed it but I had to pay more money for tonight. Can you believe that. Those gutless pussies are making me pay for this shit. Well, I am going to have the last word. Typical call center bullshit. They don’t even live in this country and they think they know how it works here. Get this, he said his names was Brian, more like Brianhisnaruto. All those… (ok now picture me cringing as he attempts to describe his take on the Indian people… and 2 minutes later.)

Me: Ok sir, I just need to get a credit card to charge the resort fee and security deposit.

JJ: They didn’t tell me anything about that, let me call them back.

Me: Sir, just let me finish the check in and you can call them back after that. You can’t get your room without paying those fees, no matter what they say.

JJ: Piece of shit, bitch face crooks. How do any of you stay in business?

(well because everyone pays those fees and most people actually read what they are signing or paying for but hey, we can’t all be this guy.)

Me: I’m not sure, sir. I just do as am I told. I am essentially just a talking puppet who lives to serve you in hopes that I will get a nod of acceptance and that you will not put a curse on me.

(ok, so maybe I just thought most of that).


 

Well, the three of them went off to their room to probably compare their “luggage” and long distance pissing contests. Oh, and because I know it is on your mind, yes I did give them a room right above the air conditioning unit, next to the elevator. No comment on if they got an unscheduled wake up call.


 

Life is Beautiful weekend is coming up. Let’s remember that Life is actually Beautiful and also precious. Be safe if you are coming to the festival. Don’t leave drinks unattended, stay in groups and remember that sometimes what happens in Vegas sometimes leads to a lifetime of bad memories and therapy. It could also end up worse. This great city has a penchant for inviting the dregs or society to it’s front door. Please don’t be a victim.

 

Twitter: @VegasHC

 

I met Cliff Clavin

Ok, not really but I think I just met the guy that they based the character on. I think most of you know who Cliff Clavin is. The character from the TV show, Cheers. The know it all at the end of the bar who really doesn’t know it all.


Cliff: I have a reservation for tonight.

Me: Yes, sir. I will just need your driver’s license and a major credit card.

(searching for reservation. I can’t find it.)

Me: Sir, what website did you book it on? Do you have a confirmation letter or e-mail?

Cliff: I booked it on wholesale.com and I never received a confirmation.

(I start looking for the reservation on wholesale.com. I can’t find it. I eventually find the reservation in our system. When he typed in his name he reversed the first and last name so the reservation was under Clavin Cliff instead of Cliff Claven. It was also booked on a different website than wholesale.com)

Me: Oh, I have it here. The name is just reversed and it was booked on 3rdparty.com, I will just need to charge the card for the resort fee and security deposit.

Cliff: Whoa, I didn’t read anything about a resort fee. I ain’t paying that. I’m a local, I’m from Henderson, I know how things work here.

Me: Sir, the resort fee is mandatory. You will have to pay it or I can’t check you in.

Cliff: You aren’t understand me. Wholesale.com never said anything about a resort fee. You ain’t dealing with no weekend gambler here. I live in Henderson. I know things. I know your scams.

Me: Ok, first you booked a reservation on 3rdparty not wholesale.com and you are required to pay a resort fee upon check in.

Cliff: No, I’m not. I have lived here for 6 years. You aren’t dealing with a rookie here.

(Ok, a little break from the story here because maybe I am assuming too much here. For those you you that live here, do you know everything about every hotel and their policies just because you live here? Is there a class that I missed? If you live in Orlando, do you know everything about Disney World just from osmosis? Does every New Yorker know everything about every Broadway show? Just questioning my own sanity here.)

Me: Sir, if you are refusing to pay the resort fee, then you will have to call 3rdparty.com and cancel the reservation to get your money back.

Cliff: No, I won’t.

Me: Yes, you will, sir. They will not refund your money if you don’t.

Cliff: Listen, you don’t know. I told you, I never got a confirmation from wholesale.com so I don’t have to cancel. If I never got a confirmation and if I never got a confirmation then I never had a reservation. I live here, I know how this whole thing works.

Me: I am not going to stand here and argue. I am just letting you know what is going to happen. You did not book with wholesale.com. You booked with 3rdparty. You have a reservation. I have it right here, even if you typed your name backward. They have your credit card info and have charged you for the room and tax. You have been billed for it and when you try and dispute the charge they are going to call here. I am going to tell them you showed up, refused to pay the balance owed and I advised you to call and cancel. I don’t know what you know about the hotel business here in Las Vegas but I work in this hotel and I am telling you that is what will happen.

Cliff: I am not arguing with you. I am just giving you a little free education on how things work in this town and that I know all about this scam you are running with me. It may work on those other idiots but I won’t play your game.

Me: Ok sir, have a good night.

(he walked off, I typed up a summary in the reservation for everyone to see when 3rdparty eventually called. They did, he disputed, he lost, he paid.)


 

I am always amazed at the smugness of some people who profess to know everything about everything and then tell the person what they are doing wrong. I get this more from the high rollers and locals.

They constantly make assumptions on the little they know or how it once was.  In the last week, I have had people assume

  • that because they got a suite upgrade last time that it would be the same this time.
  • we would accept their mother’s credit card because another hotel back home did.
  • They would be able to get the exact room number they wanted because they want that room.
  • That the room rate wouldn’t change when they moved their reservation from a Wednesday to Friday stay to a Friday to Sunday stay.

 

Thanks for following, I appreciate the comments and e-mails. I love the interaction.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@VegasHC)

 

 

Calgon take me away…

If you are people person and are a generally upbeat and glass half full type of person then working the front desk of a hotel can be a pretty easy job.  Usually, you have a difficult guest and you stew over it for a little bit, you vent to a coworker or, in my case, you blog about it. It is a rare situation when you encounter a guest that makes you question coming into work because they are still in the hotel. Your fellow employees keep telling you how bad could they be. Then you get that ultimate storm that everyone genuinely hates. Not just the front desk, I am talking bell staff, valet, housekeeping, wait staff and bartenders. The Cruella Deville of hotel guests and she is with us for 4 nights.

Day 1

  • Guest is upset because she wants a smoking room and there isn’t one available. She also didn’t book one. She demands to have one tomorrow at 11 am when the people in the rooms tonight need to be checked out. I explain that the room might not be available at that time because of cleaning. Well, if that happens she wants her resort fee comped.
  • She comes back to the desk because valet has taken her car. Of course, she gave them the keys but didn’t tell them to take the car and some of her luggage is still in the car. Valet brings the car back and she retrieves the luggage but wants the valet written up.
  • We get a call from the room because she is unhappy with the bellman. Apparently the bellman didn’t tell her how to operate the television.
  • No one has been tipped by her at this point.

Day 2

  • She calls at 9 am and wants her new room. It isn’t available yet. Now she wants a food credit because everyone in the hotel is incompetent. The supervisor gives her a $15 food credit.
  • At 11:15 am she is moved to the smoking room. She complains that she is no longer on the same floor as her friends (she was the night before). The clerk informs her that she had to switch floors because she wanted a smoking room and they are on a different floor. This is stupid to her and she wants to talk to the manager.
  • At 12:30 pm she calls and wants a microwave in her room so she can heat up her free breakfast. We don’t have microwaves. Now, not only is everyone that works here useless but now the hotel is a piece of crap. She demands that a bellman come to the room, get her food, go somewhere to heat it up and bring it back. That doesn’t happen.
  • Luckily, she leaves for the day and we don’t hear from her again.

Day 3

  • Valet is now back on her bad side because she wants her car and it takes 10 minutes for her to get her car and now she is going to be late for her 6 pm dinner reservation. It is 5 pm. She also wants us to be aware that housekeeping was very inconsiderate to her in the morning because they were cleaning the rooms next to her at 10 am and she wanted to sleep in.

Day 4

  • Her wake up call was set for 9 am did not happen until 9:02 am.
  • She comes down at 9 pm to once again complain about the drink service while gaming and that housekeeping knocked on her door at 10 am to clean her room. She did not have a do not disturb sign on the door but 10 am is too early. Let’s remember that she wanted other people disturbed on Day 2, so she could have her smoking room.
  • At 9:45 pm she calls down and says she needs a bellman to her room at 10:15 pm to bring her bags down to the front desk and her car from valet so she can load up her stuff tonight instead of in the morning and if the bellman isn’t there at 10:15, I am in trouble.
  • At 10:06 pm she calls again letting me know that the bellman only has 9 minutes left.
  • The bellman does make it on time and she gets her stuff in the car. He received a $2 tip for 5 bags.  No one else that I am aware of got tipped during her stay with the possible exception of the wait staff. I was not aware of that but I did talk to a bartender that was stiffed.

Day 5

  • Before leaving she meets with the hotel manager for one last complaint. The hallway her floor smelled way too smoky. (She is on a smoking floor!!!)

Just to get rid of her, the manager comped her resort fees. The wonderful thing about all of this, is that I will never see her again. We put her on the Do Not Rent list. Kharma 🙂


Question Time

I received the same question by 3 different people this week about paid upgrades and do the front desk staff get a commission.

Yes, at the places that I have worked I did get a commission for selling an upgrade. It is basically 10% of the cost of the upgrade. My biggest commission was $24 for a $60/night upgrade on a 4 night stay. It’s not a big perk but it’s something.


 

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You can’t always get what you want…

but if you don’t plan ahead, you get what you book.

I am not sure whether it was in my Q&A post or if it was during my conversation with VegasFanboy but I remember saying that if your vacation depends on a certain type of room make sure you book that kind of room. Apparently this guest didn’t get that message.


Guest: I want room type A on a high floor.

Me: Your booking is for room type C and the best I can do right now is a mid level floor. If you need a higher floor it will probably be another hour before those rooms are clean.

Guest: but I always get room type A.

Me: Let me pull up your past reservations…. Yes, it seems that the last 3 times you were here, you booked a type A room twice and the other time you were upgraded to a room type A because we were oversold on room type C. If you want a room type A then you would need to pay a $25 per night upgrade charge.

Guest: but why should I pay an upgrade charge for a room I always get?

Me: because you didn’t book that type of room.

Guest: I am not following you.

(I casually smile, take a deep breath and bang my head against the desk)

Me: You see, when you make a reservation for a room, you select a room type. We reserve that room type for you. If we oversell that room type you can get a free upgrade. Tonight, we have not oversold the room type YOU selected, so unless you pay an upgrade you are in that room.

(so they end up speaking to the manager and I begin to check in the next guest. The manager sides with me and sends them on their way. Of course, at the same time they are leaving the desk, I am giving directions to a room type A room to the couple I am now checking in. They leave the desk and the other guest comes back at me.)

Guest: So how much did they pay for their room?

Me: Ma’am, I am not going to give any information to you about another guest.

Guest: I bet you gave them my room.

Me: Ma’am, it would be impossible for me to give them your room because they booked a different room type than you. A room type that you can have for an upgrade charge or again, by actually booking that type of room.

(she storms off)


 

I think it might be time for another Q & A, so send in your questions as a comment on this post and I will put something together in a couple days.

Twitter: @VegasHC1

 

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.

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?