Bad Mouth

It’s not that I dislike hotels really; I mean we couldn’t get along without them. They’re an unfortunate necessity, kinda like dentists.

But do they have to try so hard to piss you off?

“Let’s see…once we have charged them $200 for the room, what else could we do to really get them worked up? What would be a real tester as soon as they walk into the room? I mean what is the first thing we could throw at them that’s not just throwing salt in the wound, but pouring Acetone on it?

I got it! We can charge them for water!”

This must have been the conversation in the hotel staff meeting.

How else would they come up with something this stupid? You just paid a fortune for the room and now they want to screw you another $4.50 for water?


Come on people.

Then comes the breakfast menu and room service card lying so innocently on the pillow.

Eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast, and coffee.

Priceless? No. It’s freaking $22!

The hotel could not incur a cost of $5 even if they gave you 11 strips of bacon.

This is what the room service card says in fine print;

“A gratuity charge of 22% will be added to your bill. Also an additional 8% will be added for hotel administration fees. A 6% surcharge for miscellaneous expenses will be added to the bill as well as any local, state, and federal taxes as appropriate.”

I swear I am not making this up.

You would think spreading negative word of mouth was the “sword in the stone” of their mission statement.

Bad Mouth.

They must want people talking trash about their hotel experience. Why else would they do this?

Now let’s look at this horrible negative word of mouth experience. Could they not simply make a few inexpensive changes and turn it into a positive word of mouth experience?


• Buy cases of Publix bottled water at $0.16 a piece and provide them for free
• Throw away the $4.50 card sleeve and save $0.50 for each bottle
• Offer “free” breakfast with “free” room service

Whoa….Nelly!! Yes free breakfast and free room service.

Like I said, it is impossible for the hotel to incur more than $5 per breakfast no matter what the customer orders.

The room service personnel would be killing each other for the morning shifts, because the tips they’re gonna get from elated and shocked customers would be… Awesome!

Free breakfast and free room service?

You’d tell all your friends.

Is it really that hard folks to generate positive word of mouth?

Mark L. Fox

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Mark L. Fox is a leading authority on teaching practical creative thinking techniques for business. Mark was the youngest Chief Engineer ever on the Space Shuttle program at the age of 31. He received NASA’s highest recognition of “Launch Honoree” at the age of 23. Mark has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering with an MBA. Having held top management positions in Rocket Science, Aircraft Hydraulics, Engineering Services, Customer Service, Software, and e-Business, Mark has an extremely diversified background.

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