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Room Service

ReceiptYou'd think that with the advent of fairly ubiquitous food delivery services (at least in tier one and two cities) that hotels would respond by reducing their pricing and fees to stay competitive. Apparently, one hotel in Chicago doesn't think so.

Giving some air to a recent Facebook rant from our friend Peter Greenberg:

 I was at the W in Chicago and ordered a small 10-inch pizza from room service. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less. I expected to pay more for room service. That’s not surprising. I know what a pizza on the street costs. And a pizza delivered to my room should cost more. I get it.

Now let’s look at the bill that arrived with the pizza 38 minutes after the order was placed.

The 10-inch pizza was already a whopping $27. But we’re just getting started.

The hotel then charges me a $7 delivery charge, and then… a nearly 22% “in room delivery,” $6 charge.

This is followed by… sales tax, not just on the overpriced pizza itself, but on the service charges, and that came to $4.59.

And now…not the total, but the SUBTOTAL! It’s $44.53 for a small 10-inch pizza!

But we’re still not done…there was a space left (in case we were totally delusional and wanted to add more to our bill) for GRATUITY.

A GRATUITY? They wanted a tip? Ok…here’s MY tip — not for them, but for YOU.

First, insist on full disclosure from any hotel for ALL the charges it will attempt to hit you with before you order room service.

And second, my advice for hotels: it’s bad enough that this receipt represents a total gouge on guests, but if you still want to blatantly overcharge guests for room service, then at the very least don’t add to the insult by leaving an open space for “gratuity.”

By comparison, a phone order to Dominos for a larger 14-inch, SIX cheese pizza, WITH delivery, costs less than $20. And it got here two minutes faster!


Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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