13 Secrets From A Hotel Desk Clerk

By Peter Neumann
By Ryan Elijah

November 18, 2010 Updated Nov 22, 2010 at 6:39 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - While all hotels operate differently, there are uniform tips that can help you be a better consumer. Here's a list of the top 13 tips from Reader's Digest after a series of interviews from current and former hotel clerks.

1. The 1-800 reservations number will probably send you to a central office with set rates. If you call the hotel directly instead, you can negotiate.

2. Hotels can pay a commission of up to 30 percent to online booking sites. So offer me 20 percent less than the online price, and we both come out ahead.

3. Independently owned hotels are far more likely to give you a discount. Some chains balk at dropping the rate.

4. If you show up at 11 a.m. and check-in time is 2 p.m., please don’t be upset if your room isn’t ready. I can’t make the housekeepers go any faster. And you don’t want them to rush.

5. Don’t ask me for an upgrade when other guests are within earshot. Want a more spacious room without paying more? Request a corner room or a handicapped one.

6. Some concierges get kickbacks for sending you to pricey tourist traps. If you want an unbiased recommendation, ask me.

7. Sometimes my boss makes me lie, like when the elevator’s not working and I tell you someone is coming to fix it soon. I know it won’t be fixed until Monday, because the manager doesn’t want to pay the repairman’s weekend rate.

8. Don’t call between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. with a special request. Chances are I’ll have a long line of guests waiting to check out or in and will just want to get you off the phone.

9. My official job description: errand runner, toilet plunger, bow-tie tier, towel deliverer, and chef (that free continental breakfast doesn’t appear from above). I’ve also sprinkled rooms with rose petals and dealt with dead bodies. All for about $10 an hour.

10. We love it when you steal the soap, shampoo, and lotion. That’s why we put our logo on them. But pillows, bedspreads, and irons? We’re billing your credit card.

11. Keep it down. Even the best hotels aren’t totally soundproof, and I’m the one who has to send the security guard up to knock on your door when someone complains.

12. It’s a lot easier for me to remove Wi-Fi charges from your bill at checkout than to agree to waive them in advance.

13. No, we don’t have an hourly rate. You don’t want to be at a hotel like that anyway.




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