The Cost of Water at Residence Inn

aquafina_pepsico_new_ecobottleI 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.

Kind regards,

It’s not a room, it’s a Residence!

Laura Bondurant
Assistant General Manager


Hi Laura,
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.

Tim Tender

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.

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