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john65pennington's avatar

Do hotels and motels expect people to steal from them?

Asked by john65pennington (29182points) February 6th, 2010

Wash clothes, towels, kleenex, and rolls of toilet paper. just some of the items people steal from hotels and motels. do these owners expect guests to steal these items? are the thefts built into the room rate? lets test your honesty. did you and where and when?

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12 Answers

ETpro's avatar

I imagine they are much like you and I. While we’d like to think that everyone is honest enough to recognize that stealing another person’s property is wrong, we know that’s not the case. We don’t leave our valuables lying about where others can just pick them up and walk off with them.

Hotel and Motel owners don’t have the luxury of hiding the items you mention, but they certainly know the percentage that wilol be stolen. And they calculate that loss into room prices the percentage of people who are thieves. So really, those who steal from hostelers are stealing from us all.

cheebdragon's avatar

Why anyone would want to steal stuff that’s been used, by god knows how many people, is beyond me…..

AstroChuck's avatar

They wouldn’t put their name on things if they didn’t expect them to get pilfered.

Steve_A's avatar

I would imagine people in the hotel/motel business would take such things into consideration.

I think the little guys if you will get hurt the most out of it. These bigger name places just keep on rolling.

lilikoi's avatar

This question reminds me of the Friends episode where Ross and Chandler go to a pricey hotel (since Monica can’t get off work), and they steal things to get their money back. Their rule was you can’t steal the lamp, but the light bulb; not the TV, but the batteries in the remote control; yes to the soaps, apples, and pine cone decorations.

Yes, I believe hotels do expect people to steal from them. I think in fact that theft is so prevalent in certain cases that they have instituted methods for remedying the problem. Take for example hotel pool towels. Everyone used to just hand them out freely at the pool to any presumed guest, or leave them poolside where an attendant was not on duty. But now, hotels are using a card system so you have to have a card to get a towel and you have to return the card to avoid an extra charge.

The fact that 5 star hotels have been built on ‘iwi (Hawaiian remains), and more significantly (to me) on prime, known habitat of endangered species, and finally so widely spread as to convert tropical paradise that all could enjoy to ritzy tourist oases of commercialization where local access is restricted has embittered me to say the least. I don’t feel all that guilty for stealing pettily from hugely profitable hotels, as I feel that they have stolen from me. They have taken pieces of wild, natural beauty and desecrated and domesticated it with their concrete, suntan lotion, and swimming pools.

I have a collection of towels, a couple of pillows, and have snuck into many pools.

I’ve never stolen anything from a motel or hostel; there aren’t very many motels in Hawaii.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

People who operate motels and hotels expect their guests to treat the property with respect and to leave hotel/motel property where it belongs.

To the extent that they suffer thefts and vandalism, they find it necessary to increase room rates to cover these losses.

When you stay at their property, you are a guest and you should act like a guest not a predator.

If you find that you have unintentionally taken hotel/motel property, you should mail it back preferably with a note of apology.

Jeruba's avatar

Back in my smoking days I swiped a few ash trays, one from a hotel in Paris, one in New York, and maybe a couple of others. I was pretty young and didn’t really think about what I was doing; to me they were souvenirs. I wouldn’t do it now. Instead if I were hot to have such a thing I would ask at the desk if I could purchase one.

Otherwise I have left hotel things where they belong. I was certainly never interested in owning hotel sheets and towels, although I do wish I knew how to get my own sheets that crisp.

When I take along amenities such as soaps, shampoos, and shower caps, I don’t consider that stealing since they are consumables put there for my use, unlike things that the hotel expects to reuse.

Seek's avatar

Other than the items specifically intended for my consumption, I think the only thing I’ve ever taken was a roll of toilet paper. I don’t even remember why, but I’m sure there was a good reason. I doubt the hotellier felt the loss much.

TheLoneMonk's avatar

I sell to the hotel industry and work closely with management on keeping costs in-line in various areas. I can assure you that no hotel operator desires to have any of their room items stolen. At a upper-middle-of-the-road hotel property the owner probably pays in the neighborhood of $100 per dozen towels. Things like hair dryers and irons are also costly. Most hotel properties have an inventory system in which the housekeeper counts the towels, wash cloths, bath mat and makes sure that the things like the iron and hair dryer are still there. If something is missing the person departing the room will have their credit card charged. Consumables, other than TP and tissue are meant to be taken as pointed out above.

As someone who spends 60+ nights in hotel rooms each year I ask anyone who has the desire to take these items (even if the property name is on the towel, AC!) to quell your urge because it ends up costing everyone more money to travel.

john65pennington's avatar

Thanks everyone for your honesty in your answers. i am like you, i believe the hotels and motels expect some theft of their property and thus higher rates are born.

fathippo's avatar

Always bag all the mini shampoos etcetc, all the biscuits, tea bags and cutlery etc. =P And when we lived in a hotel, we used to nick a load of food from their breakfast place so we never had to buy any of our own food as well =)

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