Lost keys at Hampton Inn

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Oct 16, 2017
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#1
My daughter accidentally dropped her keys in the elevator slide at a Hampton Inn. They fell into the area beneath the elevator. She is charged 405.00 to retrieve them. Is this American hospitality or what?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#2
Um ....... do you think the hotel should have just absorbed the cost of the service call? She could write a polite letter to the hotel and ask for some relief. If that doesn't work out, have her use our company contacts and run it up the flagpole. Someone may take pity on her and grant some HiltonHonors points.
 
Oct 13, 2015
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#3
My daughter accidentally dropped her keys in the elevator slide at a Hampton Inn. They fell into the area beneath the elevator. She is charged 405.00 to retrieve them. Is this American hospitality or what?
I'll try to explain the hotel's side. According to a consultant on Quora, hotel profit margin is typically under 5%. Assuming this particular franchise has typical profit margin, for every $100 your daughter paid, their profit is under $5. In this case, for them to absorb the $405, she would have had to have about a $10,000 stay. And that's just to break even. Businesses don't want to be jerks but they have bills to pay too.

Why do you feel like the hotel should pay for her mistake?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,379
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www.promalvacations.com
#4
I have to agree with my colleagues- this was her fault and I am surprised the cost was only $405. That was probably to true cost of the retrieval and the hotel should not have to absorb that.

If you feel it's unfair, we have company contacts on top of our pages. You can write to the corporate office of Hampton Inn and see if they can do anything.
 
Apr 3, 2016
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#5
A factor in getting some money back would be if hotel employees did the retrevial or I f a non-hotel contractor was hired to get the keys back. If it was only hotel employee time then there might be some wiggle room on the cost. If the hotel actually had to hire/pay an outside contractor to get the keys, then that is a actual payout the hotel had to make specifically to get the keys. If this is the case, there is probably less chance of getting money back.
 

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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St Louis
#7
Ditto what @AMA said. Most companies don't have elevator technicians at their disposal. They have to be called for a service call. Service calls are expensive. Now if the hotel is charging a processing fee over and above the service technician's invoice, I'd be curious what that amount was and whether it was justified. There is a time and labor cost to handle the technician.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
Most states require elevator technicians to be licensed. This is not something that some random employee can do -- even if the license is not required in a state it is doubtful that the hotel would allow someone that works in a hotel to just open the shaft -- the liability is incredible.

I would ask you to google the accident, injury and death rates of elevator repair technicians to understand why this is not a job for a general maintenance employee. An electrician trying to repair an elevator on a Carnival Cruise ship was crushed to death in December 2015. Every few years where I live a repairman dies or kids die "elevator surfing".

Please realize that this is not similar to opening a locked door and picking something off the floor.

I suspect most coops and condos would charge their owners for the same thing.

Yes dropping the keys down the shaft was an accident, but why should the hotel have to pay for an emergency service call? Sometimes we have to pay for our mistakes. I remember the one time I was locked out of an apartment I was living in and I had to pay for the locksmith.
Have to say I have never done it again.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,856
6,781
113
San Francisco
#9
A factor in getting some money back would be if hotel employees did the retrevial or I f a non-hotel contractor was hired to get the keys back. If it was only hotel employee time then there might be some wiggle room on the cost. If the hotel actually had to hire/pay an outside contractor to get the keys, then that is a actual payout the hotel had to make specifically to get the keys. If this is the case, there is probably less chance of getting money back.
Good point ... doubtful that they let the hotel engineer do it, but who knows? Another reason it's hard to deal with threads written by a third party ... we need the facts to give the best guidance to our OPs.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Sep 3, 2017
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#11
I agree that it's unreasonable to expect the hotel to bear the cost of retrieving the keys. For the daughter, or parent planning on paying the bill, it might have been wise to inquire re the potential cost of retrieving the keys. Most sets of keys could be replaced at a much smaller cost than $405. Had daughter/parent inquired they might have chosen to leave the keys where they were forever.. And it would have been wise on the hotel's part to give daughter/parent a heads up re the potential cost which, from my point of view, could reasonably include the elevator repair person's cost and the time to arrange for the retrieval unless it was just a few minutes.

I also wonder why it is parent who is raising the issue of the $405 cost rather than daughter who dropped the keys. On first glance at the post, it appears that parent may be conveying to daughter several unfortunate messages inc. 1) you aren't responsible for being aware of your surroundings and taking care to assure things important to you are safely stowed (keys, $$$, passport, etc.), 2) it's reasonable to expect others to fix your mistakes, and 3) it's OK to speak ill of others when you don't like how they fix your mistakes, including sharing the name of their company ("Is this American hospitality or what?") These are not good life lessons and are especially not great ones for travelers of any age.
 
Jul 4, 2016
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#12
I agree that it's unreasonable to expect the hotel to bear the cost of retrieving the keys. For the daughter, or parent planning on paying the bill, it might have been wise to inquire re the potential cost of retrieving the keys. Most sets of keys could be replaced at a much smaller cost than $405. Had daughter/parent inquired they might have chosen to leave the keys where they were forever.. And it would have been wise on the hotel's part to give daughter/parent a heads up re the potential cost which, from my point of view, could reasonably include the elevator repair person's cost and the time to arrange for the retrieval unless it was just a few minutes.

I also wonder why it is parent who is raising the issue of the $405 cost rather than daughter who dropped the keys. On first glance at the post, it appears that parent may be conveying to daughter several unfortunate messages inc. 1) you aren't responsible for being aware of your surroundings and taking care to assure things important to you are safely stowed (keys, $$$, passport, etc.), 2) it's reasonable to expect others to fix your mistakes, and 3) it's OK to speak ill of others when you don't like how they fix your mistakes, including sharing the name of their company ("Is this American hospitality or what?") These are not good life lessons and are especially not great ones for travelers of any age.
One thing to consider concerning the question of "was it worth it to retrieve the keys" is whether a fob of some sort was included in the keys. Some fobs are around $200 to replace. If they had a fob whose replacement cost was considerably North of $200, the $405 begins to be a bit more justifiable.
 
Sep 18, 2014
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#13
Most states require elevator technicians to be licensed. This is not something that some random employee can do -- even if the license is not required in a state it is doubtful that the hotel would allow someone that works in a hotel to just open the shaft -- the liability is incredible.

I would ask you to google the accident, injury and death rates of elevator repair technicians to understand why this is not a job for a general maintenance employee. An electrician trying to repair an elevator on a Carnival Cruise ship was crushed to death in December 2015. Every few years where I live a repairman dies or kids die "elevator surfing".

Please realize that this is not similar to opening a locked door and picking something off the floor.

I suspect most coops and condos would charge their owners for the same thing.

Yes dropping the keys down the shaft was an accident, but why should the hotel have to pay for an emergency service call? Sometimes we have to pay for our mistakes. I remember the one time I was locked out of an apartment I was living in and I had to pay for the locksmith.
Have to say I have never done it again.
My husband's BIL (his sister's husband) was an elevator tech for many years before retiring. I guarantee you he would NOT recommend anyone but a trained elevator tech working on one. (It's become somewhat of a joke when we go out with them & get in an elevator ... John can tell you who made it, what sort of system it uses, etc.) So yes, OP or her daughter need to buck up and pay the bill, and be more careful from now on about holding on to a set of keys in an elevator.
 
May 17, 2016
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#14
My daughter accidentally dropped her keys in the elevator slide at a Hampton Inn. They fell into the area beneath the elevator. She is charged 405.00 to retrieve them. Is this American hospitality or what?
"American hospitality" does not extend to letting guests off the hook for expensive repairs. And calling an elevator technician is certainly expensive. How about using this as a teachable moment on personal responsibility?
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#16
Recovering lost keys:
I have a small emergency travel kit
It contains a 1/2 inch powerful niobium magnet..( in addition to other safety items., flash lite etc.)
Also a small roll of 1/8 inch paracord.
The magnet is secured to the paracord..
I have retrieved keys for a friend from a drain.
For the elevator, go to the lowest level.
Stop elevator , by having some one blocking the door or blocking sensor light signal,or EMMERGENCY stop button, yes there will noise.
Lower the magnet in the slot where keys fell into, swing the cord left and right, and fish up the contact item.excelllent chance of getting the keys.
Cost : not $405,
Safety factor ;good.
McGyver#2
 
Likes: AMA and mmb

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,379
13,047
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#17
Recovering lost keys:
I have a small emergency travel kit
It contains a 1/2 inch powerful niobium magnet..( in addition to other safety items., flash lite etc.)
Also a small roll of 1/8 inch paracord.
The magnet is secured to the paracord..
I have retrieved keys for a friend from a drain.
For the elevator, go to the lowest level.
Stop elevator , by having some one blocking the door or blocking sensor light signal,or EMMERGENCY stop button, yes there will noise.
Lower the magnet in the slot where keys fell into, swing the cord left and right, and fish up the contact item.excelllent chance of getting the keys.
Cost : not $405,
Safety factor ;good.
McGyver#2
I really am not sure that a hotel is going to allow that to be done.
 
Apr 3, 2016
76
196
33
#18
Recovering lost keys:
I have a small emergency travel kit
It contains a 1/2 inch powerful niobium magnet..( in addition to other safety items., flash lite etc.)
Also a small roll of 1/8 inch paracord.
The magnet is secured to the paracord..
I have retrieved keys for a friend from a drain.
For the elevator, go to the lowest level.
Stop elevator , by having some one blocking the door or blocking sensor light signal,or EMMERGENCY stop button, yes there will noise.
Lower the magnet in the slot where keys fell into, swing the cord left and right, and fish up the contact item.excelllent chance of getting the keys.
Cost : not $405,
Safety factor ;good.
McGyver#2
Safety factor - highly dangerous.

But also, there is a lot of metal in,an elevator shaft. Swinging the magnet would probably attach it to some piece of metal in the shaft, not the keys.
 

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
1,233
1,688
113
Coastal South Carolina
#19
Safety factor - highly dangerous.

But also, there is a lot of metal in,an elevator shaft. Swinging the magnet would probably attach it to some piece of metal in the shaft, not the keys.

I was thinking along the same lines. What else besides the keys might be brought up? And if the magnet DID stick to some metal, it might require a service call...(back to where we started).

Now getting keys from a drain? Great idea.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,856
6,781
113
San Francisco
#20
I too carry a little 'tool kit'. which I use at least once on every trip, McGyver. While my colleagues are probably right about a magnet glomming on to other metal elevator parts, I'm going to add one to my tool kit - I can see that it may be really useful in many ways. Thanks for posting this.