Author Topic: What a rip-off! LOL!  (Read 5810 times)

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WillyNilly

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2013, 10:29:55 PM »
I vote sneaky rip off because of the tiny hidden price tag.

But it wasn't a "tiny hidden price tag".  It was a large, obvious tag.  Yes the price was printed in a small font, but the tag wasn't "tiny" or "hidden" or hard to see or notice.  The daughter simply failed to read it before consuming the water. Once the tag was read, the print wasn't so small it was unreadable, it was just discrete.

sourwolf

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2013, 10:30:54 PM »
The bottle had a tag on it.  Your daughter should have read it.  I don't see that as sneaky of the hotel at all.

I have stayed at hotels where the water was complimentary, but that is always indicated in writing.

I agree. The daughter didn't even read the tag before drinking the water, so it didn't matter how small the text was or how well it was hidden.

I agree as well. Apologies to the OP, but the information was there, your daughter just didn't bother to pay attention to it.

Shoo

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2013, 11:20:11 PM »
The bottle had a tag on it.  Your daughter should have read it.  I don't see that as sneaky of the hotel at all.

I have stayed at hotels where the water was complimentary, but that is always indicated in writing.

I agree. The daughter didn't even read the tag before drinking the water, so it didn't matter how small the text was or how well it was hidden.

I agree as well. Apologies to the OP, but the information was there, your daughter just didn't bother to pay attention to it.

I think this kind of things happens to everybody at least once.  Now the OP and her daughters all know to watch out for it the next time they stay in a hotel!  It's a lesson learned.

Sophia

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2013, 11:22:21 PM »
I can see why she still felt ripped off.  The large print talking about other stuff related to the water would be enough (and was) to fool a casual observer.  The reason for the tag could have been the other stuff.  Cynical people like me (and many of you) have enough experience to actually look for the fine print. 

I remember once being so brain-dead and exhausted that I actually drank one of those.  About halfway through, I woke up and thought "Oh, crap!"  It was a standard brand and I just replaced it the next day from the 7-11, and hung the tag on the new one. 

Slartibartfast

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2013, 11:47:29 AM »
I hate things like this.  It's hell traveling with children (or DH's grandmother), because they don't know which hotel offerings are free and which cost extra money.  There's nothing obvious about it.  Yes, some thngs are labeled, but others aren't (like the cost of making a phone call, which is sometimes free and sometimes several dollars).  It diminishes my enjoyment of a trip when I'm having to stop and read the small print on everythng my daughter might come into contact with.

I will say I like the minifridge system where they have a breakable tape over the fridge door - if the tape isn't broken, they don't even have to look and restock.  Much easier to see the sign and tell your kids not touch than to have them mess with a minifridge (which may be full of snacks or may be empty for your use while you're there) and ger accidentally charged.

Virg

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #50 on: January 02, 2013, 12:11:50 PM »
Setting up something so that at least some number of your customers fail to notice they're being charged for the service is underhanded.  The reason why the price on the bottle is "discreet" and the bottle is left there is that they're relying on the fact that some people will open it without realizing that it's not complimentary, and that's sneaky.  If you can't be explicitly clear about whether something is free or charged, then you're dirty dealing, said and done.  If the tag said, "This bottle is not complimentary" in the same font and size as the rest of the tag, I'd agree, but there are little labels festooned all over a typical hotel room talking about this feature or that so such a label isn't sufficient for me to believe that they're not trying to fool at least some people into paying for something they wouldn't buy if they knew at the start.  I understand that they're a business but if you have to set things up so that some segment of your customer base is inadvertently paying for stuff then you're dirty dealing, said and done.

Virg

Lynn2000

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #51 on: January 02, 2013, 12:28:50 PM »
I do remember the first time I saw bottles of water in a hotel room, and I was quite surprised to realize they weren't free! I have this odd thing where I like to read packages and tags, so I realized I shouldn't drink from them. This has been probably fifteen years or more now. I don't think of myself as a frequent traveler, but looking back I probably stay in a hotel at least twice a year, so I'm used to seeing them by now. I think the water-bottle thing is a pretty common mistake people make, and it's certainly to the hotel's advantage that they make it. On my trips for work at least one colleague usually "falls" for it because they've never seen it before.

I think it's just a good lesson, and something to look out for in the future--for example, I wouldn't have thought anything of opening a minifridge, and would have been happy to have one so I could keep leftovers in it. After reading through this thread I'll take a closer look at the minifridges to make sure I won't be charged extra for using them/disrupting their contents.
~Lynn2000

artk2002

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #52 on: January 02, 2013, 01:35:56 PM »
Having seen this stuff many times in my travels, I completely agree with Virg. The reason that they print the price in a tiny font is to take advantage of people who are naive about this. If they were being honest, the would print the price so that it is easily visible. This is why there are product labeling laws and other laws that prevent "fine print" that changes the value of the deal. Yes, a consumer should be careful about what they consume/buy/sign, but they shouldn't have to carry a magnifying glass to inform themselves.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Dorrie78

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #53 on: January 02, 2013, 02:41:29 PM »
Having seen this stuff many times in my travels, I completely agree with Virg. The reason that they print the price in a tiny font is to take advantage of people who are naive about this. If they were being honest, the would print the price so that it is easily visible. This is why there are product labeling laws and other laws that prevent "fine print" that changes the value of the deal. Yes, a consumer should be careful about what they consume/buy/sign, but they shouldn't have to carry a magnifying glass to inform themselves.
From the description in the OP, it doesn't sound like the size of the font is the real issue. In fact, it seems to have become a bit of a red herring. According to the OP, her DD walked in the room, grabbed the bottle and immediately opened it. She didn't say that her DD paused for even a second to look at the tag, just that she picked up the bottle and opened it. How large should the wording on the label be to attract the attention of somehow who doesn't stop for a moment to look at the label in the first place?

I remember the first time I saw a bottle of water in a hotel room that wasn't in a mini bar. I thought "cool, free water." Then I saw the tag, read it without using a magnifying glass, and realized that it would cost me money. So I thought "darn, stupid hotel!" And I didn't open it.


Moray

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #54 on: January 02, 2013, 03:07:43 PM »
I agree with the others who said there's nothing sneaky about this, just a lesson to learn. IIRC, your girls are in High School and College/Beauty School, yes? That's old enough to "look before leaping", so to speak :)
Utah

Amava

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #55 on: January 02, 2013, 03:23:00 PM »
I agree with Art and with Virg that they are intentionally misleading naive customers.

Just because something is "common practice" in hotels and because "the customer should be wiser", doesn't make it okay. There are so many selling techniques that we sometimes criticise here, and that are common practice (think of the threads about telemarketeers, panhandlers and door-to-door sellers).

Intentionally misleading the "newbies" is not cool.

If it wasn't intentional they would print the price in the same font as the rest of the text on the label.

I respect the opinions of other posters, but to me, personally, this "small print" practice will always come off as sneaky. 

audrey1962

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #56 on: January 02, 2013, 03:29:43 PM »
During the working day when I'm out, if I'm not near a supermarket, I will quite happily pay $4.50 for water if I need it.

Me, too. When I'm at home, I drink water from the tap and make my own meals. But when I'm at work or traveling, I pay $4 for a water and $6 for a sandwich. It's just the price of things and I'm paying for the convenience.

jpcher

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #57 on: January 02, 2013, 04:40:39 PM »
Having seen this stuff many times in my travels, I completely agree with Virg. The reason that they print the price in a tiny font is to take advantage of people who are naive about this. If they were being honest, the would print the price so that it is easily visible. This is why there are product labeling laws and other laws that prevent "fine print" that changes the value of the deal. Yes, a consumer should be careful about what they consume/buy/sign, but they shouldn't have to carry a magnifying glass to inform themselves.
From the description in the OP, it doesn't sound like the size of the font is the real issue. In fact, it seems to have become a bit of a red herring. According to the OP, her DD walked in the room, grabbed the bottle and immediately opened it. She didn't say that her DD paused for even a second to look at the tag, just that she picked up the bottle and opened it. How large should the wording on the label be to attract the attention of somehow who doesn't stop for a moment to look at the label in the first place?

I remember the first time I saw a bottle of water in a hotel room that wasn't in a mini bar. I thought "cool, free water." Then I saw the tag, read it without using a magnifying glass, and realized that it would cost me money. So I thought "darn, stupid hotel!" And I didn't open it.

Okay. We're getting nit-picky here. Maybe she did read some of the tag, maybe my back was turned. Even so, I couldn't read the fine print without my reading glasses.

Do you honestly read the fine print on the bars of soap that they leave for you in the hotels?

I'll agree, perhaps "rip-off" was not the proper term to use in my title.

I'll also agree that the fine print is a bit sly and underhanded. I would guess that it's been 5 years since I've stayed at a hotel. Plenty of posters have said that they, too, were taken in by this tactic (or might have been if not for this thread.)


I agree with the others who said there's nothing sneaky about this, just a lesson to learn. IIRC, your girls are in High School and College/Beauty School, yes? That's old enough to "look before leaping", so to speak :)

Yes. They are old enough . . . but, but, but I'm 50+ years old! What's my excuse? Oh, yeah, I've never run across this situation before.  ;D




Yes. We did learn our lesson (see my OP.) We did have fun with reading the fine print on everything. So I'm betting that this lesson will not be forgotten.

WillyNilly

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #58 on: January 02, 2013, 04:44:08 PM »

Intentionally misleading the "newbies" is not cool.


I think this is the root of whats bugging me.  If someone is a "newbie" why would they assume anything?  Isn't everything new and therefore unfamiliar?  Wouldn't the prudent action be to take a few mere seconds to find out what you are getting yourself into before getting into it?  Yes there are different rules and expectations out there, and there are lots of little signs around hotel rooms, and lots of stuff that's not addressed with a sign.  But really how long does it take to read a tag?  I'm guessing 60 seconds at most, probably more like 10 seconds.  So even if there are 20 tags around the room, we're talking about 4 or so minutes total.  Is that such an outrageous expectation of a "newbie" to invest in their stay?

Slartibartfast

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Re: What a rip-off! LOL!
« Reply #59 on: January 02, 2013, 04:50:18 PM »

Intentionally misleading the "newbies" is not cool.


I think this is the root of whats bugging me.  If someone is a "newbie" why would they assume anything?  Isn't everything new and therefore unfamiliar?  Wouldn't the prudent action be to take a few mere seconds to find out what you are getting yourself into before getting into it?  Yes there are different rules and expectations out there, and there are lots of little signs around hotel rooms, and lots of stuff that's not addressed with a sign.  But really how long does it take to read a tag?  I'm guessing 60 seconds at most, probably more like 10 seconds.  So even if there are 20 tags around the room, we're talking about 4 or so minutes total.  Is that such an outrageous expectation of a "newbie" to invest in their stay?

It's not just reading tags, though.  Someone who truly had no idea you could be charged piecemeal for these things would reasonably be expected to read a few tags, notice that they're all saying basically the same thing ("We're awesome because we use recycled products!  This doodad is here for your convenience!  Let us know if you need more doodads!") and only skim the rest with the assumption that it's more of the same.  You might read everything carefully because you know it's important - a novice traveler wouldn't know that, so they wouldn't know to bother.  There are a lot of unfamiliar things about traveling (local tipping customs, haggling, ways to find transportation, etc.).  If you don't know the local rules are different, you won't know to be on the lookout for the differences.  I can safely say I've never seen bottles of water for sale disguised by small print and hidden among free amenities anywhere except a hotel, so someone who has not stayed in that kind of hotel before won't know to be on the alert.