Guest didn't pay ... Source: ThinkStock
HAVE you ever had a sneaking suspicion that the hotel employees are making notes while you engage in a heated conversation about your utter disappointment in the room?
Well, you're probably right.
A former front desk agent has revealed just what they do when a guest complains or acts up. That includes entering details of the incident into their system and even using special phrases to warn others the next time you check in, the employee told the Conde Nast Traveler.
Here are five scenarios where you could land on their alert list:
1. Failing to pay on time
Nothing strikes dread into the hearts of hotel employees quite like this awkward scenario. The staff member says he was just a week into the job when this message first popped up on the computer screen: "Beware of guest. Outstanding invoice. Take full payment of room and incidentals in full before processing check in. Guest CC on file does not authorise for payment. Guest is EPO NOT SAC/SC."
This particular guest frequented the hotel and had earned the privilege of paying for his stay after check out, but had failed to cough up the cash on several occasions. Embarrassed hotel staff had to call over security and insist the guest settle his debts on the spot.
2. Damaging the room
When a large wedding party booked a stay in the hotel's newly renovated presidential suite, staff were on high alert, worried things could get out of hand. The next day they got a call from the housekeeper; their worst fears had came true: "Wedding cake was smeared all over the carpet, champagne was soaked into every crevice of the furniture, there was some weird substance on the curtains, and a chair was broken."
Deciding that the guests would have to pay up for the damage, this comment was left in the system to alert whoever was on duty when they checked out: "Contact GM/Events Manager before guest checks out. Payment for Wedding Group Presidential Suite damages posted to guest folio."
The guests weren't thrilled, but paid the bill.
A messy hotel room. Source: ThinkStock
3. Security fears
According to the employee, almost all incidents are recorded in the system for when the guest makes future reservations, to try to ensure a better stay next time.
Security concerns are definitely among those incidents noted. On one ocassion, a man had mistakenly entered a woman's room in the middle of the night. She'd alerted the front desk about the incident. It turns out it was an error by staff that had sent him in the wrong direction (they'd handed him the wrong room key — hers!).
So they left a note in the system to alert the general manager to follow up with the woman and ensure she was happy with the care and compensation given. And make sure her next stay went smoothly.
4. Unhappy about the room
Problem with the accommodation? It's likely this will be noted down by staff for future reference. It may read something like this: "Treat guest with care! Guest was upset that front desk agent lied about when his room would be ready and then gave him noisy, small room. Guest is very upset."
5. Requests for special treatment
This one is a no-brainer. How will the staff remember what to give you if they don't note it down? Especially for guests who stay so frequently at a certain hotel that they earn extra privileges such as whatever room they want, or a "walk in check-in" where they're handed the keys by a bellman and walk right to their room without having to stop.
Their record may look something like this: "Guest must always have room 660 or room 760. Platinum Lifetime/No Exceptions as Per GM."