Jewelry damaged because of Hilton

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Feb 11, 2019
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I forgot my diamond earrings in the room upon check out at the Hilton Palacio Del Rio in San Antonio on January 30th, 2019. When I called the hotel back few hours later, they had found them. I asked that they be mailed to me via FedEx. They were mailed uninsured via USPS and dropped in an envelope like a letter without any wrapping or padding. Earrings got damaged and diamond got lost (3 carats). The hotel said it was not their fault, whereas it clearly was. Any advice?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
You left them at the hotel- the fact they even found them is a miracle but they may not have FedEx nearby to mail. Did they charge you for mailing?

You should contact your homeowners insurance policy and see if you have any coverage that would pay for the earrings. You left them behind so the hotel really isn’t responsible for items left behind in rooms- they hotel is correct.

In the future- never travel with anything you can’t afford to lose. No reason the bring expensive jewelry on a vacation.

If you can’t afford to lose it- leave it home.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#4
You left them at the hotel- the fact they even found them is a miracle but they may not have FedEx nearby to mail. Did they charge you for mailing?

You should contact your homeowners insurance policy and see if you have any coverage that would pay for the earrings. You left them behind so the hotel really isn’t responsible for items left behind in rooms- they hotel is correct.

In the future- never travel with anything you can’t afford to lose. No reason the bring expensive jewelry on a vacation.

If you can’t afford to lose it- leave it home.
I agree with all of this from a "good business" point of view. But from a legal point of view, I think it's possible that when the hotel agreed to send the earrings back they created a duty of care. And they may have violated this duty by how they shipped them.

How valuable are these earrings? A 3 carat diamond can easily be worth more than $10K. If your losses are really this high, you should consult with a Texas attorney.
 
Likes: mmb
Aug 30, 2015
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#5
Hotels are just not good at this, sadly. We didn't suffer a loss in a similar situation, but it surely was a lot of trouble, expense and concern. Sorry to hear of this happening, and if the hotel can be held accountable, they should be - they need to get their heads around things like this and it is a complete lack of common sense and/or concern to mail valuables in the normal mail. As to the comment about they "may not have Fedex nearby"...tell me a hotel in the lower 48 that a courier does NOT come to. Maybe there is one, but I bet it isn't this particular one.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#6
Fed Ex has a normal liability of $100 per shipment. One can pay more and have jewelry liability, but that up to a $1,000 limit -- anything more than that is not going to happen unless one participates in the high value shipping contract with Fed Ex -- which is business specific and has to be applied for.

It is unreasonable to expect the hotel to pay for the shipping cost and the extra liability up to $1,000 when leaving the earrings was not the fault of hotel/

All this talk about "making the hotel pay" is absurd, and may eventually end up with hotels, airports, etc refusing to return forgotten items.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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On a map of San Antonio, this hotel shows as located right by downtown so I can't imagine having a Fed Ex pick up to be challenging for the hotel.

Sadly, a lot of people forego insuring valuable jewelry because it can be expensive to do so - hopefully, she does have such coverage for such valuables.

Did LW offer to pay for the Federal Express - give them her Federal Express account number, make the arrangements with Fed Ex herself or otherwise? Did they agree to use Fed Ex and then used regular mail instead? I didn't notice in the original post of LW where the hotel agreed to a specific type of shipping only that she requested they send via Fed Ex.

When I had to make such a request for a forgotten item I provided my Federal Express account as I didn't assume they would - or, should - pay for such a shipping charge when I was at fault.

I would be surprised if hotel is held liable in this situation - I do find it perplexing that they would think popping such items in the regular mail was a good choice.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#10
Fed Ex has a normal liability of $100 per shipment. One can pay more and have jewelry liability, but that up to a $1,000 limit -- anything more than that is not going to happen unless one participates in the high value shipping contract with Fed Ex -- which is business specific and has to be applied for.

It is unreasonable to expect the hotel to pay for the shipping cost and the extra liability up to $1,000 when leaving the earrings was not the fault of hotel/

All this talk about "making the hotel pay" is absurd, and may eventually end up with hotels, airports, etc refusing to return forgotten items.
I agree with this 100%....it reminds me of the phrase, no good deed goes unpunished. It would be less of a hassle for the hotel to just say they never found the earrings and leave it at that. Or, they could say they will keep them in their safe until the guest comes back to retrieve them.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#11
I agree with this 100%....it reminds me of the phrase, no good deed goes unpunished. It would be less of a hassle for the hotel to just say they never found the earrings and leave it at that. Or, they could say they will keep them in their safe until the guest comes back to retrieve them.
Thanks Patina. In the 5 years I have returned 2 wallets and 6 cell phones that I found-- the last one being an iphone 8 +. The wallets were found on the street and the cell phones on the ground or in taxis. One person had been pickpocketed (this was in Italy, he later wrote me a thank you letter)-- the other thought it was dropped getting out of a cab. Both people were thrilled to get the ID and photos back -- even though there was no money left. When possible I call the people -- the one in Italy I did not call but sent it to him with a note-- and I just used regular mail, not insured or registered. The others I have met in person.

I would hate to think that people would start threatening to sue me in case something happened such as dropping the cell phone and the screen shatters.

And I asked a lawyer, just for fun -- as this was a gratuitous bailment, ie the benefit only of the owner, the standard of care is minimal -- such as do not intentionally destroy the item. Selling an artwork at auction on consignment, for example, is mutually beneficial and has a higher standard of care.

Thankfully no one I have ever returned something to has ever started to mention the duty of care .... they have all been pleasant and kind. If I have to start thinking of duty of care for returning someone's $800 plus cell phone I will just leave the item and continue on.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#12
This is just horrible. An awful mess with no resolution. I have seen hotels do really odd things, but this one is way over the top. It's difficult to imagine the kind of mind that would dump a pair of earrings in an envelope and throw it in the mailbox. I can only hope that they were insured.

For our other readers, a situation like this requires the owner of the earrings to take every possible step to be sure they are returned safely. The thing to do, should you ever find yourself in this situation, is arrange for a courier to pick up the package from the hotel. Find a manager at the hotel and lean on them for help. Ask that they wrap the item carefully and address it and tell them when the pickup will be made. Even then, you might face a disaster, but at least you tried. Much better, of course is never wear or pack anything that you consider valuable or important, just don't go there. It's heartbreaking.