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Customer ServiceIamA Hotel Concierge/Front Desk Agent at a AAA 4 Diamond 4 star hotel AMA!

Oct 19th 2015 by NoobEnomics • 36 Questions • 134 Points

Hello, my name is Donavan I've been working at this hotel for the past 2 years. Started out as a Front Desk Agent, and am now a Dual Rate Concierge/Supervisor.

My badge for proof http://imgur.com/EY9Rq8v

*EDIT- Just wanted to say thank you for all the questions! I am now back from my slumber and am ready to answer any more questions. The ones I missed while I slept, I have just got finished answering them!

Q:

What is the weirdest request a guest ever had?

A:

Its always weird when guest asks me to find them an ''Escort''. Bu the weirdest one would have to be ''Hey, do you know where I can find a midget escort around here?'' Yeah...


Q:

So.... is there a canned answer for the "escort" question? Have you ever provided some helpful information?

A:

We simply say, 'Sorry we do not provide those services' we know the 'escorts' that are usually around and hang out here at the resort, and if we see them with a man, they're most likely gonna get kicked out.


Q:

Can you do any tricks with a yo-yo?

A:

I can.


Q:

A few years back, I went to St Moritz in Switzerland. I was stunned by the sheer number of 5-star hotels. Even for a Swiss ski resort, it was surprising. A friend of mine was working as a maid in a four-star hotel. She told me that it was worth five stars but only had four because they didn't want to increase their prices. Would this be a fake excuse not to be at the top or a real concern for such an establishment?

Also, are there international rating standards for hotels, i.e. are four stars in the U.S. equivalent to four stars in Austria or in China?

A:

yes that is correct, the MAIN difference between 4 star and 5 star is the sheer fact that everything is just more expensive. With that said, that not only includes rates for the rooms, but also decoration, food prices in the resort, anything aesthetic. EVERYTHING has to be more expensive.

As for the international rating, I am not completely sure. I have never read up on it. But have been told its is not equivalent.


Q:

Thanks for your answer!

Also wondering: what does the job of concierge in your hotel consist in?

A:

There are 2 of us. We take in special requests from guests. If the guest would like chocolate covered strawberries, wine, flowers candy, a room set up for a birthday, balloons you name it in their room. We do it.


Q:

Is this billed to the guest? I'm sure the cost of the items, I understand, but would I also be hit with a $100 chocolate covered strawberry fee? Never used a concierge beyond restaurant recommendations or directions.

A:

that just depends on the hotel, here chocolate covered strawberries are $2.50 for one.


Q:

does the "$20 under credit card" trick work when trying to get an upgrade to a room?

A:

I am unaware of what that is?


Q:

I see. In the US, sometimes when you check in at the counter you can sneak a $20 bill to the receptionist and sometimes they'll be able to give you an upgrade to a better room!

A:

Really, it depends on the agent and the mood that day. Remember were just humans. haha Like I have said before, the best way to get an upgrade is ask politely and don't be a jerk.


Q:

if i just need to be nice then i'll just keep the $20 haha

thanks for answering! this whole thread was very informative!

A:

You're welcome, although the $20 might help xD


Q:

Do you allow running in your lobby? Or any sort of twin based antics?

A:

Well we don't necessarily allow it. When it happens we don't tell people not too. We have even had kids with the smart wheels come through our lobby. It was pretty cool. Our lobby is big as well so


Q:

What's the worst you've ever dealt with?

A:

Just the other day actually, I had a big manly man come up to me and try to check in early. We did not have rooms available. He also was trying to use someone's card other than his. So naturally we couldn't allow him to check in. he got in my face screaming and making a fool of himself in front of a line.


A:

There are people like that almost everyday. Sadly.


Q:

I work at a limited services hotel (think comfort suites, hampton, and holiday inn) and I also just got yelled at by a guest who wanted to pay with someone else's card, without an authorization. It's comforting somehow to know that these issues exist across all service tiers.

A:

Yes, indeed they do, just gotta be prepared for it and expect and accept that everyone is going to make an ass out of themselves.


Q:

Halloween season. Any ghosts in the hotel?

A:

No, but fun fact, no hotel has a room with the number 13 ie: 213, 413 etc..


Q:

Well in the US....in Asia it's often floor 4 that is left off

A:

Interesting


Q:

Uh... My hotel has 13's. 213/313/413/513 are the best room of their type, biggest corner rooms with large views.

A:

You're literally the first hotel I have ever even heard of that have rooms ending in 13...


Q:

Did you had a hard time trying to get your first job at a hotel?

A:

I didn't really have a hard time getting as I was already working at the resort, and they hired internally. How ever remembering all the scripting we have to say to our guests was pretty hard.


Q:

Do you know if the old trick/rumor that tipping the front desk clerk upon check-in gets you a nicer room?

A:

Usually the tip comes after you check them into their room. Agents don't usually get tipped.


Q:

So wait, you're saying you tip for a better room AFTER you've been checked in to your first room? Am I misunderstanding you?

A:

Sorry, let me clarify.

If you tip the person before they have a chance to get you fully checked in this might work depending on the agent checking you in.

However the tip usually come after you're checked in and serviced, so when you tip someone you're already check into the room you paid for.


Q:

I think the trick he's talking about is when you go to pay for the room and hand over your credit card and ID you slip a $20 bill in between the cards and ask if there's any nicer rooms available.

A:

That may help ;)


Q:

i have a gift for you...

A:

you do ? :)


Q:

No, just no. You don't understand how these sites/hotel sales work. This is just not your area of expertise. Hotels, during low occupancy, are unwilling to lower their prices to meet demand, so they sell their rooms in bulk to sites who will.

Question to ponder: Why would travel websites exist if you could just call the hotel directly and get the best price? Makes no sense.

A:

I am just saying for my hotel, we can always beat the websites rates, we use such as expedia, and travel click.


Q:

On my most recent booking for a week long stay I found the best price online for the specific place that I wanted to stay. I called up the front desk and asked if they could beat the price directly. "Maybe for one night, but not for a week."

Why would she be able to get me a single night for cheaper, but not my entire stay?

A:

A lot of hotels go by occupancy. Honestly the agent was probably not in a good mood that day. Or was just being lazy.


Q:
  1. What is a Front Desk Agent? How is it different from a Front Desk receptionist?
  2. What is a Dual Rate Concierge/Supervisor? What does "Dual Rate" mean?
  3. They say we can replace a lost cellphone charger by getting it free from asking it at the hotel reception. Is that true?

Thank you.

A:
  1. Same thing, its just what we call the people who do the check ins at my job.

  2. Dual Rate meaning, when if a supervisor calls off or is on vacation, or simply need me, then I am supervisor and get paid as such.

  3. If we have extra chargers we will let people have them yes.


Q:

Has anyone ever deliberately done something to mess with a guest that was being a jerk?

A:

Yeah, I have done it personally.

I had a really rude guest, and I wasn't in the best of mood myself. I made sure to put him in the room right between the elevator and the ice machine and soda vending machine also on the lower floor because the lights that light up the outside of our hotel shines right in the windows. None the less I hope he didn't sleep very well.


Q:

Savage. I love it.

A:

Thank you


Q:

people completely tearing up pillows blankets and flooding the room by leaving the bath run, while also throwing all their extra food and garbage in the shower to clog the drain.

... wow.

A:

My thoughts exactly, it would be pretty neat if I could get the pictures of that of the supervisor phone and post them lol


Q:
  1. What are some things a guest can do to get the best possible service?

  2. Would you let a guest defecate directly into your hands for a $200 tip?

A:
  1. Be nice! That is all! If you're nice to the person checking you in, nice to the guy helping with your luggage. Nice to everyone. YOU will be treated the best. Also don't be so picky. As in, I wanna be on 5th floor not close to the elevator, ice machine, or vending machine, on the left side with a view and my room smelling like roses. If you come up to an agent checking you in and you say something along those lines, you're not getting upgraded, treated special or complimentary anything.

  2. No.


Q:

so....is that a no? or a yes?

A:

Its a double edged sword, I would yes because it would be interesting, but I also wouldn't because of how stressful it would be.


Q:

Best/funniest celebrity fake name? Even if you cant say the celebs real name?

A:

Usually if a celeb stays they're either under their real name, or we don't know the name they stay under. If they even stay with us. A main mis conception is that most celebs bring their motor homes and stay in them.


Q:

What is the Worst and best celebrity experience ?

A:

Never really had a BAD celebrity experience, I do know that our security here has to maintain rooms because all the women will somehow find them and stand outside their doors.

Best would have to be when when Eddie Money came through our lobby crackn jokes and didn't care who saw him. Yelling 'Eddie Money everyone glad to meet you' Several times.

Now I am not a huge sports fan, but I did check in a Baseball player from the yankees and I hate to say this but I cannot remember his name...


Q:

I've met a ton of celebrities in my job. Some good experiences, some very nasty.

A:

Exactly that.


Q:

What would be the best way to get a free upgrade or goodies from the hotel you worked for?

A:

Make sure you book your room on a low occupancy night! Also if you want you could lie and say you're just getting marries, or some special occasion. Also if you're nice upon check in and ask for an upgrade that will have a 50/50 chance of working as well.


Q:

What is your favorite food?

A:

Taco's, steak, and stirfry


Q:

How does the hotel charge the customer for their requests as they are vastly different? Is there an hourly rate for your work or something? If so how much is it?

A:

We just fill out an amenity form. If there is something that we don't often get a request for, we find out the charge in many different ways depending on the item. Say its food, we see what comes close to our 4 star restaurant and estimate the price through them.


Q:

So um.. Supposing someone asks for 12 tulips and you take half a day to find those damn tulips. And they costs like 10 usd do you charge 10 usd plus a fee? Or do you charge a percentage? Or is it only the 10 usd?

Thanks for the answer also

A:

The wording of this question has me confused. However if we tell you a price for the tulips its a flat charge, no fees.