Last month I was delivering a sales training program just outside Bradford and I stayed for three nights in a local Premier Inn. Overall I thought the reception and room facilities pretty good and decent value.
In the morning all I wanted was a quick cup of tea, a chat with my client (who was also staying at the hotel) before driving over to their office to set-up for the training day. My client was sat in the breakfast area tucking into a cooked breakfast as I stood by the 'Please wait here to be seated' sign. The waitress asked if I wanted "the cooked breakfast (£7.50) or the continental (£2.95)". "Neither" I replied, "just a cup of tea".
Well it appears the only way she could let me sit down with my client and have a cup of tea was to charge me the £2.95 continental breakfast rate. Now, this is not unique to Premier Inn. I have stayed at many hotel chains who want to make it easy for themselves and just offer two breakfast choices in the morning: continental or cooked. But it seems impossible for them to accommodate someone, like me, who just wants a drink to get themselves going in the morning.
There was no leniency from my waitress. It was £2.95 or nothing. Even though I was on expenses and ultimately my client would be picking up the tab, I couldn't bring myself to pay £2.95 for a cup of tea. There seemed to be no way around this.
But there is. If you are also frustrated by this approach from hotels - can I suggest you follow my example? Go back to your room and use the tea / coffee making facilities in the room. It's not a great cup of tea made with UHT milk. But it certainly makes a point when you bring it back downstairs and carry it past the waitress to sit down with your colleagues.
Come on Premier Inn if you can't charge me for my cup of tea in the morning (I am willing to pay a reasonable price) why not make all the beverages complimentary?
So, this month's Order Prevention award goes to Premier Inn.
Anyone else annoyed by Hotels that offer this kind of service?