Saturday, October 02, 2010

Saving Money With Guilt

One industry that has done quite well with the whole 'global warming' and 'save the planet' movement is the hotel/motel one.  Anyone who has been in a hotel within the last 5-10 years knows what I'm talking about.

Somewhere in (almost) every hotel room is a card--maybe two--that will ask for 'your' help in saving the earth.  And just how are we to do this?  By allowing the hotel to NOT wash bedding and linens daily.  The card will say something along these lines:  "Please help us in our effort to save our planet and save water by using your towels more than once.  By hanging your towels, you let us know that you want to save the earth and will help us do it.  If you want your towels washed, leave them on the floor."  The other card that will be displayed says this:  "If you stay here long-term, we will--in an effort to save our planet and save water--only change the bedding every third day.  If you want your bedding changed more frequently, let us know by placing this card on your bed.  Thank you for helping us save the planet."  HORSE HOCKEY!  Let me tell you what REALLY is happening here--or what I IMAGINE happened.

Several years ago, hotel owners saw a drop in their profits due to a bad economy and rising costs.  At some owners' convention somewhere, someone came up with the idea of how to cut services, save money, and be APPLAUDED for it:  Use global warming/saving our planet to guilt their customers into accepting less services, while paying more.  Quite ingenious, actually.  Every time I put the card on my bed for clean bedding, I really do feel guilty--and the same goes for asking for clean towels daily.

I don't have the money to overspend on hotel rooms whenever we go out of town, so I have no way of proving this statement that I will make next.  LUXURY HOTELS THAT CATER TO THE VERY WEALTHY DON'T ASK THEIR CUSTOMERS TO RE-USE TOWELS OR GO WITHOUT CLEAN BEDDING DAILY.  Really now, do you think that (insert celebrity's name here) would spend $1500 a night at the Ritz-Carlton near Central Park--or more at some other luxury hotel--and NOT expect clean linens all the way around, daily--if not two or more times a day?  The 'environmentally sound' thinking of the chain hotels is ONLY a cost-saving measure--nothing more, nothing less.

One of the reasons I enjoy staying in hotels is the feeling of having a small bit of luxury in my life.  I love not having to fix my own bed or hang my towels in the bathroom or do laundry--the hotel staff does all of this for me.  I pay for this privilege and I expect it--so don't ask me to give it up to save the planet.  NOT going to happen.


Anonymous said...

oh, yep, I figured that out when they started doing that guilt-trip thing. But to be fair, at home usually people only change their sheets once a week and their towels too, so I don't really mind using the same towels for a couple of days.

cmk said...

Oh, I agree with the 'using towels more than one day at home'--I only change my towels twice a week and bedding once a week. However, customers haven't seen any lowering of prices with the decrease in services--and that pisses me off. Actually, prices have RISEN, so they are making out better in several different ways. And, like I said, I like the luxury of clean towels/bedding every day. ;) But, things definitely won't be changing any time soon--at least not back to the way it used to be. {sigh}