I get really frustrated when companies try to charge an arm and a leg for everyday items. I know I’m on the road and staying in a new town and at a hotel, but work with me here, people. You probably need some backstory for this one. Here goes.
I was in Tallahassee staying at the Residence Inn on I-10 north of the city. I got myself breakfast then went to grab a bottle of water for the road. It was $3. The bottle of water was only 20 oz. and it wasn’t one of those nifty reusable bottles with the sport cap. It was a typical 20 oz. bottle and the hotel was charging $3 for it.
I’ll be honest. If the cost was $2, this wouldn’t have been a big deal. Two-and-a-quarter. Fine. Even two-and-a-half would’ve been okay. For some reason, that three dollar mark just set me off.
I took to the Twitter and posted the following tweet mentioning @ResidenceInn:
I like @ResidenceInn and all, but this one in Tallahassee is charging $3 for a bottle of water. Ridiculous!
As expected, I got a tweet back from Residence Inn asking for my information and letting me know that somebody would get back to me. I got a phone call and an e-mail. I replied to the e-mail. Below are the e-mail and the response.
Dear Mr. Tim – Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for staying at the our Residence Inn. I hope that you enjoyed your stay with us. I am sending you this email to let you know that if you ever return to our hotel, you may have a complimentary bottle of water on us!
Please let me know if you have any further questions or comments about your stay.
It’s not a room, it’s a Residence!
Assistant General Manager
Thank you for the email. Here’s my thoughts on my stay with you guys this past week.
The staff was extremely friendly. I wrote a note asking staff not to open the windows because I had a computer in my room and I was on the first floor. Not only did they keep them closed, but they also wrote a note back saying they’d make a note at the front desk. That was great. The room itself was comfortable and I choose RI because I know what to expect.
There were a couple of problems. The first is just cosmetic. The floors in my room appeared dirty. I know it’s hard to keep them super-clean, but it just looked bad… especially by the door (room 121, by the way). First impression is key.
The second problem, as you’ve heard, is the water. Now, I don’t expect the snack shop to be the same prices as convenience stores or grocery stores, but when you charge $3 for a bottle of water, that’s outrageous. It was a 20 oz. bottle of water for $3. Later that day, I went to the grocery store and got a 12 pack of 16.9 oz. bottles for $5. Let’s compare… 202.8 oz. at the grocery store for $5 and 20 oz. RI for $3. You look at those numbers and tell me there isn’t something wrong!
I don’t need a free bottle of water when/if I come back (though I would take it). I just want people to realize that those prices are ridiculous and you should be ashamed. That’s all.
Thank you for listening. I sincerely hope you make some changes.
I know it was nice for them to reply to me, but the gesture felt halfhearted. You can have a bottle of water when you return? Wow. Thanks. When I can get a 12-pack of bottles for $5 and get over ten times the amount of water for less than double the price, there’s something wrong with that picture.
As I said before, I just get very frustrated when I feel ripped off and that’s how I felt at this Residence Inn.
If I get a reply, I’ll update this post. I sent that reply to them today.