Stealing from hotels – habit for some tourists

I cannot understand stealing. Any type of it. And here I am listening to the TV and reading some articles on the Internet on tourists stealing from hotel rooms…

And maybe it’s one thing to take a soap and something different to take all kinds of objects from hotel rooms – from sheets to towels, from vases to different bathroom items.

Hotel personnel tries to keep an eye on all tourists. There are also surveillance cameras on the corridors (definitely NOT in the hotel rooms and, god forbid, in bathrooms…). But people still take what is not theirs and the personnel cannot act like a cop, being too suspicious or mean to all tourists, acting thus in an inappropriate way against the honest tones.

A problem that appears is that hotels have losses – of course. They have to reduce the damages, buy new stuff and that involves money. Lots of money, sometimes. This brings higher prices for tourists – for the hotels have to operate on profit – not just losses. Is this correct for the tourists that don’t steal? Of course not. But they are paying for the other ones too.

But what can a hotel do?

How should thieves be punished?

Why do you think people steal from hotels? Do they really need a souvenir from where they’ve stayed?

Lori

I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

15 thoughts on “Stealing from hotels – habit for some tourists

  • 31 August, 2010 at 14:41
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    Those who steal the sheets or the remote control don’t want a souvenir, they want a sheet or a remote control. That’s definitely stealing and should be punished according to the law. Taking the little soap bars or shampoo bottles is not stealing, they’re there for you to use, if you don’t use them or use them partially you may as well take them. If you ask the concierge they will tell you what you can take or not. For example, I once stayed at Marriott hotel and I wanted to take home the guest slippers (to pay for them at the reception, of course) but I forgot. Later I found out that the used slippers are thrown away, not washed and re-used (like they did at a 5 star hotel in Germany where I once worked) and you could take them. I think common sense should tell you what you can take and what not, and if it doesn’t, just ask.

    Reply
  • 31 August, 2010 at 14:47
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    Yes, very good point, Laura. Thank you! I was thinking on taking the shampoo, soap or toilet paper you did not use (those that can remain sealed). And that’s still a small thing!

    Unfortunately however I heard also about glassed picked from the room or even cups and plates from the restaurant…

    The problem is when that happens – stealing important things for that means extra cash for the hotel – influencing future room price 🙁

    What’s the solution? Hao can people be educate? For unfortunately who steals will continue to do that no matter where they go (leaving a bad impression on citizens of their provenience country)…

    Reply
  • 31 August, 2010 at 18:57
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    I’ve been to hotels that made it very clear that you could purchase items from the room, which to me also makes it very clear that you can’t just take them. I think hotels should add the charge to the guests’ credit card (it has your information) for items stolen from the room. That would nip stealing in the bud. I really have zero tolerance for stealing from hotel rooms. Toiletries are fine; they are put there for your use. But the pillows? Robes? Lamps? That’s just stealing, and it’s not okay.

    Reply
    • 31 August, 2010 at 21:41
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      Hello Gray,

      Thanks for your Twitter response and for this reply. In the few hotels we have been around Europe, they would only ask you whether you used anything from the minibar or not. But indeed, the hotel administrators should charge the thieves (actually this is theft, so they can be called thieves), even for double the price of the stolen goods. Or more. When you’re hit with a $100 expense for a pair of slippers, you’ll definitely think again before taking another “souvenir” from a hotel…

      But the policy you presented is very good as well; you can’t police your customers – in the end, we live in a society where you’re “presumed innocent until proven guilty” – and it’s nasty for the correct ones. But given the choice between being charged several times the price of the taken property afterward and being charged the regular price on the spot, I think that many will prefer the later option. I just hope to see it implemented in most hotels.

      Reply
  • 1 September, 2010 at 03:26
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    Unfortunately we have a bit of a ‘something for nothing culture.’ I feel the same way about music, if you like something – pay for it!

    I agree that toiletries are fair game and part of what you pay for in most hotels. One hotel chain which has a very good attitude to the toiletries thing is Malmaison.

    In their London hotel they not only provide extra big bottles of toiletries but they also have little branded notes in the rooms that encourage you to take them home with you!

    Reply
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