Pilot Program – Sheraton Seattle

The Sheraton in Seattle was running a pilot program last week. It was characterized as “going green”. The deal was that if you voluntarily forgo housekeeping service for one day, you will receive a $5 voucher for the restaurant. The vouchers can also be traded in for Starwood Hotel points.

I gave this serious thought. Here’s what went through my brain:

1. If they are trying something, I should try it. Points for trying new things.

2. I already skip having the linens changed. I can hang up my towels and reuse them like a normal person.  And it’s not like I ever make my bed at home.

3. I wonder what the housekeepers think..less work for them or less tips?

Then the lightbulb went on – could this be an excuse to reduce staff?

Hm. Well, I tried it. I left the card on my door the next morning, asking housekeeping to skip me. When I came back to my room that night, housekeeping had clearly been there. I was very glad that I had left a couple of singles on the dresser so that I wouldn’t spend them.

I left the card on the door. The next morning, the card was on the floor by the door along with the $5 voucher. Housekeeping did not go to my room that day.

Now. I don’t remember the next sequence of events, but I meant for housekeeping to come the third day, and they didn’t. I was left a voucher. I called down at 5pm to ask about it. The guy on the phone said that if I wanted my room cleaned, they would send someone by that night. I finally figured out that the card was to be left on the door the night before the No Service day, as opposed to the day of. And I had received a second voucher. No one came by that night.

I quit fooling around.

The primary problem is that I didn’t necessarily know the night before whether I wanted housekeeping service or not. But the more I think about this, the more it seems about staffing and the less it seems about “going green”.

If I am already skipping the linen change and skipping the fresh towels, what’s left but the electricity of running the vacuum cleaner? Staff time. Why would I have to decide the night before? So they can tell people not to bother coming in to work? And is the Sheraton thinking of nickel and diming on the “extra” costs, like the airlines? (Inasmuch as they charged me $10.95 per day for Internet, I would not be surprised.)

I don’t think I approve.

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