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a couple of friends have just arrived back from a weekend in London - they stayed in a run of the mill hotel, but made the mistake of looking in the 'mini-bar'. Took out two bottles of Becks looked at them and replaced them. Within an hour there was a bill put through their door for the two bottles for a total of £48. That's right £48 just for handling the bottles. A phone call to the right people got the money refunded, but beware next trime you're in a hotel with a mini-bar
That's interesting on a number of levels.
Firstly, this hotel has a fridge that knows what bottles are currently present, so they've got some sort of RFID system in place to track the movements of the bottles. I can quite believe this, as I normally drink the beer from the mini-bar, then pop into the nearest Tesco Express the next day and replace the bottles before checking out. So this would put a stop to that plan.
What I don't understand though is why the bill was posted through their door.
Every hotel I've ever stayed at, and that includes Travelodge right up to 5-star, bills you for room services at the end of your stay, they don't bother posting bills under your door every time you open the fridge or turn on one of the movie channels.
Also the room will almost always have a price list on the top of the mini-bar, and I've never seen anywhere charge £24 for a bottle of beer, £6 is the highest I've seen at a fairly posh private hotel off Park Lane earlier this year...
5 Star in Westminster - they'd had two beers at £4.50 each from mini-bar - and just looked at othercontent before deciding - apparently sign on fidge states you would be charged for moving items - they also picked up the phone and got an engaged tone so didn't bother - charge £9 - tea and toast was £25 so not indulged
alan14 - thanks for the tip about replacing items purchased.
It never ceases to amaze me the prices hotels charge for items in their mini bar. A kit-kat, for example, can easily set you back £1.50. I suppose foreign tourists may not realise they are being taken for a ride and others might charge it up to business expenses.
I make a point of never consuming anything from a hotel minibar - ever.
If you think you'll want a drink or a kit-kat (and who doesn't?!), just take them in your case when you check in.
Luckily I've never had the kind of money that allows me to be ripped off to that extent in Westminster. Mind you at £4.50 that beer is actually cheaper than the mini-bar I saw last time I was in London.
The hotel location also explains the bill being posted, hotels in Central London like to have lots of minimum wage staff wandering the floors to justify their exorbitant room rates...
Probably thought it was another MP who could put it on expenses while claiming the hotel was his place of residence!
You also have to watch the prices they charge for land line phone calls
to understand why, normally sane people, expect an Hotel to offer a 24 hour Service at little, or no, markup.
These are the selfsame people who are happily earning 20, 30, 40, or even 50 thousand a year and yet they expect a chilled product at Supermarket prices, or just above. How on earth do they expect the Hotelier to pay for the Computer connected fridge and the wee fella that goes around re-filling it to pay for themselves. And that's not even mentioning the chaos caused by the bod that takes a bottle of whisky, drinks the contents and then refills it with tea before putting it back!
I admit to not liking paying £4.50 for a bottle of Becks or £45 for a bottle of Champagne, but neither price is unreasonable in an Urban Setting and one should be expect that to be doubled, at the very least, in a Metropolitan Hotel
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