Real life MMD: Do I punish the cleaner?



  • morocha
    morocha Forumite Posts: 1,554 Forumite
    i am not rich but i do use expensive make up and creams because my skin is sensitive... in my last trip to the clinique accounter i spent £100 in specific treatment for my rednes.. i do take all my make up with me and creams when i go on holidays,,, i do not do minis, as the creams are expensive as they are and save ££ buying full size.
    IF this has happened to me, i will ask the hotel to replace my bag.
    No, i am not mean, it worked cleaning cottages myself and there is no way i would have touched the guest's belonging if there were not place in the bin provided.
    Mejor morir de pie que vivir toda una vida de rodillas.
  • c-m
    c-m Forumite Posts: 770
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    No, I would not insist on the cleaner reimbursing me - she'll be lucky if she earns that in a month and the hotel management are being very unprofessional if they have put that suggestion forward - it is not for the guest to decide how to deal with staff.

    I any case I would never take that value of toiletries on holiday.

    Having said that I would never stay at that hotel again and I would warn my friends about what happened, and would probably also post on tripadvisor.

    In my view the fault lies with the hotel and its lack of training and/or supervision of its staff.

    It could be a 5* Luxury hotel. Hence attracts the type of person who has £200 worth of cosmetics.

    This probably attracts cleaners who think 'oh they're loaded they won't miss it'
  • snugglepet20
    snugglepet20 Forumite Posts: 454 Forumite
    £200 sounds a lot for toiletries but if you think about it most of us women probably have at least that much and then some if you include make up i.e

    Foundation £12
    Concealer £6
    Powder £10
    Blusher £6
    Eye liner £6
    Eyeshadows £12
    Mascara £8
    Lip liner £5
    Lipstick £8
    Gloss £5
    Lip Balm £3
    Make up brushes £20
    Eyelash curlers £5
    Hairbrush £3
    Hair products £10
    Face cream £15
    Eye cream £10
    Sun creams £20
    Perfume £40
    Shower gel, Shampoo and body lotion £9

    Total £200

    I only have high street stuff like Rimmel and Body Shop but if you had expensive brands it could be up to a thousand pounds!
  • Timgroves
    Timgroves Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    To those people who think that £200 is a lot to spend on toiletries, I would guess you've never been unlucky enough to have your house burgled. It's frightening when adding up what your possesions actually cost. And you probably have thousands of pounds worth of clothes without knowing you've accumulated them.

    Even a standard Marks and Spencer toiletry bag might cost £40-£50 to replace, before you've added the £45 bottle of perfume, the £10 moisturiser, the shampoo, hair wax etc. And this is just my (a man's) toiletries- what about a standard set of make-up, lipstick, eyeliner etc.

    To be honest most of us would probably take £200 worth of stuff without realising it until we had to replace it.

    I think it's quite right to insist on replacement costs, although the hotel taking it out of her wages is just mean. The business should foot the bill, and tell
    her off, but not dock her wages.
  • almostdiamond
    almostdiamond Forumite Posts: 6 Forumite
    I've been on many trips abroad and as far as I'm aware maids should not touch (literally) anything in your room that does not belong to the hotel. If you leave toiletries in the bathroom, they should clean around them and not move them. If your goods were left in the bathroom (or wherever) in a dustbin liner they still should not have been touched - assumptions about them being rubbish are not the maid's to make!
    In this sense, the toiletries should not have been disposed of unless they were in the bin (the bin belongs to the hotel) and the contents therein defined as rubbish. Anything not in the bin is therefore not rubbish.
    I always clear away everything of ours from the bathroom and elsewhere every day and place in the wardobe/closet so that the maid can do the cleaning without the distraction of my stuff being everywhere as maids have no need to go into the closet. Furthermore, I suspect that the hotel is repsonsible/insured for any damage/loss to guest's property.
    Call me cynical, but I bet the maid is currrenly enjoying toiletries she cannot usually afford! Personally, I'd push the hotel for the funds. Your contract was with them, not the maid.
  • paulhughes2001
    paulhughes2001 Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    so you approached the hotel for compensation, if they hadn't told you it was to come out of the cleaners wage you wouldnt have had a problem accepting the money, im sorry but the cleaner should have checked first, if its not in the bin dont touch it, what if the bag had contained other items such as jewellery, maybe you had been out for the day and carried your camera etc in a carrier bag as lots of us do, how would everyone feel if that had been thrown away

    a lot of people have commented about £200 being a lot of money, I personally when on holiday would take 2 or 3 different aftershaves, a good mosturiser and an electric razor so the price of £200 can easily be acheived
  • rl290
    rl290 Forumite Posts: 314 Forumite
    Initially this screamed of being a scam. I stay in a lot of hotels (all over the world), and never have had anything not in the bin thrown away (and I'm quite a messy person, leaving scraps of notepaper and all sorts all over the place).

    BUT there are some odd factors to this. Had the cosmetics been opened? If so, then it's hardly worth stealing them - they could never be sold on, and it's unlikely that the cleaner would steal them to use herself. Or was the bag they were in expensive?

    Whether it was a scam or not though, I would ask for the money back. A cleaner should never assume that something that is not explicitly placed in the bin should be thrown away. Assuming no con, this is party due to bad training, but mostly due to poor common sense. It is pathetic that the hotel has tried to guilt trip you. They should have just given you the money and not said where it had come from. Alternatively, they they could have (if this is custom) given you the money and told you that it had been docked from the cleaner's wages. They should not have given you this choice.

    The owner's business has cost you money. If they accept it was their member of staff to blame, then they should give it back. End of.
  • megsykins
    megsykins Forumite Posts: 210 Forumite
    £200 is high but reasonable - I left just my make-up bag at OHs this weekend - worked out would cost over £50 to completely replace (nothing expensive: £8 mascara, £10 foundation, etc) so made him post it back to me!! Add in that many people keep contact lenses, spare glasses, etc in toiletries bag and they can cost a lot to replace.

    I'd take advantage of being in Turkey and buy replacements there and / or in duty free on the way home - wouldn't cost anywhere near the full £200. Would like something off the hotel, but wouldn't expect full refund - a good friend had his gum shield for rugby thrown away in a hostel - cost over £50 as was specially made - manager just said he shouldn't have left it out.

    As for the cleaner having 'mucky hands' - even if she did nick it, I doubt she knew the value, and it's not like she could sell on half-bottle of cleanser, etc! I'd believe her - if you knew how much people do throw away / leave in hotels (full bottles of all kinds of shampoos and toiletries, clothes (unworn with tags on even), etc; we once got a crate of beers and a litre of vodka) then you'd realise her mistake is quite easy to make.
  • pennypinchUK
    pennypinchUK Forumite Posts: 383 Forumite
    If I genuinely believed the hotel is going to dock the cleaner's wages I'd probably not claim. £200 to me as someone who can afford a holiday is less than £200 for a Turkish cleaner who might never be able to afford one, let alone the short term hardship it would inevitably bring them. True, the hotel should not dock the cleaner's wages, but we all know dodgy practices happen in many low paid, low skill occupations, and whether I seek reimbursement or not won't change such endemic practices. So it's nothing to do with making a stand or a point of principle.

    But I'd spend a bit of time finding out who the overall owner of the hotel is (if it's a large chain), whether they're part of a Chamber of Commerce or other trade association, or whether there was a complaints authority such as the UK Trading Standards. Then I'd write to them all and let them know the hotel is carrying out such practices. Or if I was on a package holiday I'd inform the rep, write to the holiday company, etc. I'd still be out of pocket but I'd know I'd done at least something about it.
  • Katie-Kat-Kins
    Katie-Kat-Kins Forumite Posts: 1,741 Forumite
    Firstly £200 is really not that unlikely for a bag of toiletries on holiday, even with relatively cheap brands. But bear in mind that a tube of No7 moisturiser can easily be £20, and a bottle of perfume £40.

    Personally I avoid taking expensive jewellery on holiday but wouldn't not take my normal moisteriser on holiday. Not because I can afford to replace it willy nilly but because it isn't an excessive theft risk and it is replaceable. I tend to leave my toiletries in their bag near the sink and have never had an issue. The only issue i have ever had in a hotel was once a white T-shirt that had been slept in was left in the bed and got taken away with the sheets never to be seen again, but that was our fault and was learnt from.

    I think there is likely to be some sort of scam going on here, it just isn't what chambermaids do, they don't throw random things out because they look like rubbish.

    I suspect that the chambermaid has stolen them, there may be items that are saleable (top the perfume bottle up with water and sell it on a market stall for example) this is turkey where dodgy goods are for sale everywhere. Even if there is nothing saleable, she has saved herself buying toileteries and got some nicer stuff than usual.

    It may well be that the items miraculously reappear if enough of a fuss is made. I suspect that the hotel is relying upon the guilt trip putting you off accepting any money intentionally and they may well be "in on it". Certainly when I was in turkey most of the hotels were family concerns not corporates.

    If it were me, I would involve the rep if it was a travel company as they are best placed to bring some pressure to bear.

    If not I would accept the money, and tell the hotel manager in no uncertain terms that you think he has handled things badly.

    If you don't accept the money what message are you sending? We westerners do not care about our stuff, you can steal from them (or carelessly dispose of their stuff) and they don't mind, they just let you off. So what happens, this sort of thing happens more and more and more. And then it escallates until cash and expensive jewellery is going.
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