We have guests who stay here because they travel for their jobs. I had an issue with one of those guests, who stayed for over a week. I was working on the Company Tracking Reports, when he approached the desk, at 2am. “I’ve been staying here regularly for over a year, and I hate to make an issue, but I am finding it increasingly more difficult to be comfortable here.” He said.
I assumed maybe there was an issue with his room being located near the highway, or perhaps there was an issue with is heat. “Perhaps I can help. What is the issue?” I asked.
He sneezed, then wiped his nose with a handkerchief. “Your hotel is making me sick. When I arrived, I was healthy. Now I have a cold.”
His issue is that he has a cold? Who cares? Welcome to the time of year when people catch colds. How is that a hotel issue? “That is unfortunate. Having a cold can be annoying when you have to travel, and work. I have some herbal tea that I can offer you, to help you relax. I even have honey and lemon for an extra boost of Vitamin C and Antibiotics.”
From the expression on his face, I could see that he didn’t have any interest in drinking tea. “No, no, I don’t need tea. I expect you to discount my stay.” He said.
I was a bit surprised by that. I shouldn’t have been surprised. People will say and do anything to get free stays; even if their excuse is a bit silly. “You want your stay discounted because you have a cold?”
“Yes. I think that’s fair.”
“I wish I could offer you a discount, but we can’t do that just because you have a cold.”
“But, I wasn’t sick when I checked-in.”
“I understand. I just can’t discount your stay, because you caught a cold. You could have been at the gas station at the time that you caught that cold. How is it the hotel’s responsibility?”
He frowned at me. I’m quite sure he knew his attempt at lowering his bill was a pointless, but people will say anything to get their bill lowered. “If you can’t do such a reasonable thing, then I will find someplace else to stay while on business.”
“Does your employer pay for your stay?”
“I get reimbursed, but not before I pay you guys first.” Yup, that’s how reimbursement works. You pay the bill, then you get refunded by someone, later.
Well then, who cares about the bill? His employer is paying for it. What benefit does he get out of lowering the bill for his employer? He must be low on funds until he gets paid, or reimbursed. That makes sense. He wanted to make sure he had enough money to get by before ending his stay. “I honestly don’t see what the issue is. If your employer is paying you back, then I don’t understand why you feel the need to lower your bill. Catching a cold isn’t something that hotels, discount rooms for.” I said.
The man shook his head, but not out of disbelief, or anger. He said… “Well, this is a disappointment.” He walked back to his room. I grabbed the bottle of disinfectant wipes, and wiped down the counter where he was standing.
Next time I catch a cold, I am going right to my landlord and demanding a discount on my monthly rent because the neighbor, downstairs is always sick.