“Smokers Cleaning Fee” at Hotels

I was recently accused of smoking in a hotel room. That cannot be further from the truth because I have severe allergies and could not stand the smell of smoke. So, how did this happen?

Well, it was my fault for not requesting a room change immediately after checking-in. The room did have a lingering smell of smoke but it was really not that bad. I was too tired so I thought nothing of it.

Whilst I was out and about the next day, the hotel duty manager called me on my mobile phone and told me that they were going to charge me $250 as a cleaning fee. I was flabbergasted and furious!

Firstly, she was not a very customer orientated manager and had no idea what guest service is all about. She accused me straight up and would not listen to my any of my explanations. When I commented that “maybe your housekeeping staff did not clean the room properly prior to my arrival”, she went on defensive mode and lectured me that it was “not right to accuse their staff of framing guests”. WOW!

I kicked up a fuss when I got back to the hotel and threatened to go the cops and even offered to go to the hospital for a blood test to prove that there was no trace of nicotine in my body. They eventually gave in and decided to waive the fee. Damage was already done, and I have told at least 10 other people never to stay there.

This incident does beg the question – do hotels need prima facie evidence to levy such a charge on guests? It is an interesting dilemma because if I were to dispute this charge on my credit card, I am pretty sure I would have won anyway.



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Andrew is a self-confessed guru when it comes to frequent flyer programmes. He claims that he is more familiar of the terms & conditions than the one who came up with the terms & conditions. His dream is to be able to feast on cookies day and night without getting fat.