Unwanted Room Cleaning Results in Discarded Dental Device

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Nov 9, 2017
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#1
We are posting this to express our dissatisfaction with how Marriott has handled our claim when an unwanted room cleaning resulted in the discarding of an expensive prescription dental mouthguard. Here are the facts we presented to the Marriott staff right after the incident:

  1. We were staying at the Marriott Timber Cove property in South Lake Tahoe on Friday, June 30, 2017
  2. We had put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door as we did not want Housekeeping to clean the room as we went out for the morning/early afternoon.
  3. I wear a prescription mouthguard to help prevent grinding my teeth.
  4. I wash it daily and dry either in a paper towel or a tissue; in the case on June 30 I dried it in a tissue and left it on the countertop in the bathroom.
  5. We came back to the room after lunch and called Housekeeping to ask for dry towels and another tube of shampoo. We said we didn’t want the room cleaned, just the towels and shampoo.
  6. We came back about two hours later and saw that Housekeeping had brought the towels and had also cleaned the room, which we specifically asked them not to do.
  7. I noticed then that the tissue that contained my mouthguard was missing and I feared the maid had accidentally thrown it away.
  8. I called housekeeping to let them know and they did a quick search but could not find it, and they feared it had gone into the main trash dumpster.
  9. I then contacted the manager on duty and she put me in touch their Loss Prevention department, to start the claim process, which they said would be handled through their insurance carrier, Liberty Mutual.
  10. When I contacted my dentist they said my insurance only covers a mouthguard once every two years and to replace it would cost $595.
Over three months later, after numerous calls and e-mails to Liberty Mutual, I was informed that Liberty Mutual was denying the claim and that Marriott was not liable for this loss. After pressing them for more information, they said the housekeeper denied that we did not want the room cleaned nor that they discarded the item.

We contacted Marriott Customer Care and they essentially paid lip service to what Liberty Mutual determined and were no help at all. We were told if we could provided more evidence that would be evaluated.
Obviously, Liberty Mutual and Marriott would have preferred us to video the daily placement the “Do Not Disturb” sign but also a before and after of the condition of the room. It is absurd logic for Liberty Mutual and Marriott to reason with the housekeeper because we do not, nor do any other hotel guests in the history of traveling, video the Do Not Disturb sign. Nor do hotel guests video their room, record phone calls made to housekeeping, and video their return back to their room.

My biggest concern is Marriott denying and not taking responsibility for an action it take that we specifically requested they do not do and as a result I have to pay several hundred dollars to replace an item they discarded. Granted it was an accident, but Marriott need to accept responsibility and accountability for something they did.

Hotel guests in good faith trust that the hotel will honor their wishes when the "Do Not Disturb" sign is put on the door and when a special request is made which specifically said no not clean the room. We pay good money for a hotel room and the associated services, and in return we need to be respected more when we incur a loss as a result of those services.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#2
  1. We were staying at the Marriott Timber Cove property in South Lake Tahoe on Friday, June 30, 2017 reservation number XYZPDQ
  2. We had put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door as we did not want Housekeeping to clean the room as we went out for the morning/early afternoon.
  3. I wear a prescription mouthguard to help prevent grinding my teeth.
  4. I wash it daily and dry either in a paper towel or a tissue; in the case on June 30 I dried it in a tissue and left it on the countertop in the bathroom.
  5. We came back to the room after lunch and called Housekeeping to ask for dry towels and another tube of shampoo. We said we didn’t want the room cleaned, just the towels and shampoo. If the DND sign was up, mention that here
  6. We came back about two hours later and saw that Housekeeping had brought the towels and had also cleaned the room, which we specifically asked them not to do.
  7. I noticed then that the tissue that contained my mouthguard was missing and I feared the maid had accidentally thrown it away.
  8. I called housekeeping to let them know and they did a quick search but could not find it, and they feared it had gone into the main trash dumpster.
  9. I then contacted the manager on duty and she put me in touch their Loss Prevention department, to start the claim process, which they said would be handled through their insurance carrier, Liberty Mutual.
  10. Three months later I was informed that Liberty Mutual was denying the claim and that Marriott was not liable for this loss. After pressing them for more information, they said the housekeeper denied that we did not want the room cleaned nor that they discarded the item.
  11. I contacted my dentist they said my insurance only covers a mouthguard once every two years and to replace it would cost $595.
I had this happen to me, thankfully with a less expensive item, but it was still aggravating.

Use our company contacts and start writing to Marriott. Take a look at what i edited above, that format is good as the bulk of the letter. Provide proof from your insurance company that the item was purchased on date X and that they only cover the item once every 2 years.

Explain that the item was a dental item/ significant piece of plastic with teeth marks in it and, to grab it in your hand, would have revealed an item of both substance and weight, and you would assume housekeeping would have given it a second look before tossing it, but, unfortunately, they did not.

Close the letter by letting them know that, despite this incident, you had a great stay, you really enjoyed the hotel, the restaurant, pool, etc, the room remained impeccably clean (chuckle) and you do intend on staying with them again.

Ask them to allow you to purchase a replacement item, provide then with proof of purchase via a receipt, and will they reimburse you>

Be nice, acknowledge that this is an unfortunate situation.

I would start with the first executive
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,025
12,257
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#3
Great advice.

Our cleaning woman did this to me with a temporary tooth I had. I left it wrapped in a tissue on my dresser and she threw it out. She must have thought it was a snotty tissue. That was the last time I left it in a tissue because I realized my wife would do the same thing if she saw it. I then decided it was time for an implant.
 
Likes: sas80

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,408
6,465
113
San Francisco
#4
It is astonishing that a reputable chain like Marriott would treat a guest this way. You took every precaution to be sure that nobody did anything like this to your room and 1) housekeeping ignored your instructions; plus threw out something that was obviously not trash and 2) they are denying responsibility. SAS has laid it out perfectly for you, be polite, persistent and patient. Someone at Marriott will read your letter and understand the wrong they have done to you.

Just for the record, I have not allowed housekeeping ... or anyone else ... into my hotel room for years. These people are not to be trusted ... they're not dishonest but rather incompetent. I'd much rather smooth up my own bed and hang my towels than have a stranger in handling my possessions. If I need anything done in my room, I make sure that I'm there when they arrive. Treating you like this is really reprehensible. I don't think you'll have any trouble getting reimbursed for your appliance, it will just take some effort on your part. Good luck, and please keep us updated.
 

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
1,230
1,681
113
Coastal South Carolina
#5
My nightguard is clear plastic and if left in a tissue it DOES look like it might be trash. I've almost tossed it myself inadvertently.

It came in a purple plastic case, and now I make sure the case is visible ... sticking the kleenex inside the case and leaving it open to dry. Just a thought for the future :)
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,408
6,465
113
San Francisco
#6
My nightguard is clear plastic and if left in a tissue it DOES look like it might be trash. I've almost tossed it myself inadvertently.

It came in a purple plastic case, and now I make sure the case is visible ... sticking the kleenex inside the case and leaving it open to dry. Just a thought for the future :)
Well, sure it might look like trash ... but why would a maid throw out something that's on the counter? A guest's trash in the trash receptacle should be emptied; anything else in the room, anything at all, should be left exactly where it is.

Your suggestion of putting it in a case every time is right on, but you shouldn't have to 'prepare' your room for housekeeping to keep them from discarding your possessions. But I am the original "don't touch my stuff" enthusiast and I'm glad that most everyone else is more rational about the subject!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,025
12,257
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Well, sure it might look like trash ... but why would a maid throw out something that's on the counter? A guest's trash in the trash receptacle should be emptied; anything else in the room, anything at all, should be left exactly where it is.

Your suggestion of putting it in a case every time is right on, but you shouldn't have to 'prepare' your room for housekeeping to keep them from discarding your possessions. But I am the original "don't touch my stuff" enthusiast and I'm glad that most everyone else is more rational about the subject!
Because it looks like a snotty tissue.
 
Apr 10, 2017
394
635
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#8
Just a word of advice to those of you with any kind of removable dental appliance and a dog. Keep it where the dog absolutely can't touch it. Otherwise it will become his or her favorite chew toy.