Overheard in the “Last Cheap Beer Bar” before Alicante airport
Well is it? got any scruples?
Darrell: Yer what?
Kev: Scruples mate? My wife says I ain’t got none.
Darrell: That like a ringpull with a screw?
Kev: Naw, she says it’s like when you nick stuff from the hotel and don’t give a monkeys.
Darrell: Ah, no worries mate, fair game init?
According to surveys more than 60% of us have been known to “liberate” certain items from hotels. Hands up who has a bathroom cupboard full of those irresistibly pocketable little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and the like. Trouble is, unless you are in a 7 star hotel, chances are it is pretty inexpensive stuff full of dubious chemicals that you wouldn’t normally touch with a barge pole – BUT – you never know it might come in handy and you can reuse those dear little bottles next time you have hand luggage only and need an army of small containers.
As they are meant for the customer it’s not really a crime to take toiletries or the odd biro or envelope with a logo, but other items? Hotel managers say that whatever isn’t cemented to the floor can walk out of the rooms: towels, bed linen, pillows, loo rolls, coathangers, pictures, dressing gowns, batteries, plugs, sockets etc. – yes, people go armed with screw drivers and spanners. I recently went to a refurbished rural B&B in France and the owners said that an expensive basin plug had gone walkabout the week before – there’s no way it could have been done without tools – a light fingered plumber on holiday perhaps?
Some people consider they are justified in stealing things – they feel they have earned a few freebies. Follow the story of Friends, Ross and Chandler, when their booking mix-up in a Vermont hotel causes them to “win back” some of the money they have spent. Ross is determined to “load up on the amenities…and make his money back in no time!”.
However, even Ross has some scruples “you have to find the line between stealing and taking what what the hotel owes you …The salt shaker is off limits but the salt…”
So, clearly there are some items that are fair game but others that are a no-no. Some hotels have resorted to electronically chipping some of their more expensive portable items so if that luxurious fluffy dressing gown is missing when you checkout you may well find it on your credit card bill the end of the month. Another way hotels try to get round the problem is to offer bespoke items for sale at the gift shop, but doesn’t that only heighten the pleasure of trying to get away with secreting a towel away in your luggage? Be careful though:
Enough said, pocket it at your peril!
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