Marriott Fines Guest for Vaping

Discussion in 'Media and General News' started by StotheK, Nov 11, 2011.

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  1. StotheK

    StotheK Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    I don't normally like to come in and start threads linking to random stuff, but I thought this story needed to be heard. I was contacted by a woman who was charged a $250 fine for using an e-cigarette in her room. The post is her version of events and the hotel's reply to her appeal. You can view it at this link with formatting and whatnot: More to the Story: Marriott e-Cigarette Fine I've also pasted the text from the article below if you don't want to leave the warm comfort of ECF :)

    I reported in an e-cigarette news roundup article
    on November 7th that according to a consumer complaints website, Marriott charged a guest a $250 fee for "restoring" her room after they discovered she used an electronic cigarette. The
    original article
    was pretty sparse on details and basically accused the guest of breaking the rules. Speculation broke out in the article on this site about how the hotel management would even be aware of someone using an e-cigarette.

    I put forth the notion that it is possible a guest was actually smoking and tried to cover it up as one possibility. In response to my comment, the woman who is the subject of the article contacted me to share her version of events. My theory was flat-out wrong, and she did indeed have an e-cigarette.

    Apparently, the manager of this specific hotel is not particularly a fan of electronic cigarettes according to the e-mail I received. Below is the email reposted with permission describing the events from the perspective of the woman who was fined by the hotel.
    Good morning, I found your site and I am the person you quoted as being fined the $250 at the South Park Marriott hotel in Charlotte, NC. You indicated that I may have been smoking a regular cigarette and was just trying to cover up? The answer to that is No, I was not. I suspect that I was reported by room service as I had my ecig laying on the bed when they entered to deliver breakfast, and of course to the untrained eye..... you can decide on that one! I did not have housekeeping while I was there as we were there for a wedding and needed all the time in the room to prepare for the wedding so any other type of suspicions by the Hotel are unfounded. The only excuse/story the manager of the hotel gave me was that housekeeping
    "smelled smoke in the hallway". As everyone knows hallways are public places used by all the hotel guests on that floor along with anyone else. Marriott's final email to me said that they are going by the same rules as airlines, if they don't allow e-cigs then neither is the Hotel, the Manager also boasted how users of e-cigs in a public area in the Hotel had been asked to leave!
    The following is a quote from the e-mail received by the guest when requesting the fee be removed. In her correspondence, she clearly stated she was using an electronic cigarette and noted directly from the merchant website the fact that these devices do not emit smoke and therefore, there was no smoke to clean.
    I have spoken with the GM, DFA, Asst Controller, and Director of Rooms. They have all stated that we will not be authorizing this refund. Additionally, this request was denied through customer care as well.
    First, the housekeeper who went to the room smelled it in the hallway in front of the room. The guest stated that it was an electronic cigarette. This brings me to my second point.
    We are a non smoking property. We operate on the same non smoking policy as the airlines do. If it is not allowed on an airplane, it is not allowed in our hotel. This includes real and electronic cigarettes. We have, in the past, removed people from the bar and the atrium for smoking electronic cigarettes during social engagements.
    I contacted Marriott's PR contact listed on their contact page for a statement about the incident and clarification on their smoking policy. I have not yet received a response, if I do, I will update this article. I did visit the company's
    online FAQ
    about their smoking policy to see if the devices were specifically included (they aren't).
    [TABLE="class: tr-caption-container, width: 4"]
    [TD="class: tr-caption"]THIS is smoke[/TD]

    According to the FAQ, all employees are trained to look for signs of smoking throughout the property. So it is highly likely that the room service employee saw the electronic cigarette and reported it. However, based on my personal experience and interaction with other e-cigarette users, I believe it is highly unlikely anyone would detect a smoke smell (or any other smell) in the corridors outside the room.

    Also worth pointing out, most hotels charge a fee to recoup the costs involved in cleaning and deodorizing a room after it has been occupied by someone who smokes (and to serve as a disincentive). e-Cigarette smoke is well known to leave no lingering odors.

    From the information I have available to me, something smells and it isn't an e-cigarette.
    What do you think? Is this person a victim of a hotel manager on some kind of crusade? The comments section awaits you below.
  2. Jackiej5407

    Jackiej5407 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    MAN this gripes me! That poor woman. I sure wish I lived in this city so I could go to that Marriott and raise some hell. We ALL know that there is no way there was ANY lingering odor from vaping! How could housekeeping even smell this woman's "smoke" from the hallway since there IS NO SMOKE !!!! How irritating. How irrational! How cool if we all boycotted the Marriott's in our respective areas!
  3. swedishfish

    swedishfish Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Wow. Since there really isn't any lingering odor with most juice, I'd say that they like hooking on that $250 fee. Seriously, what's to clean up? Open a window?
  4. HzG8rGrl

    HzG8rGrl Trippy Tip Hoarder Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    I would deny the charge!

    [We operate on the same non smoking policy as the airlines do] if this is not in the contract it is just babble.
  5. Vchick

    Vchick PIF Moderator Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Wow is all I can say at the moment!

    Having just returned from Vapercon, we also had a non-smoking room, chargers, stuff laying about everywhere. In our situation I doubt that the housekeeping/other staff noticed a thing, specially since they didn't bother to dust, replenish our coffee supplies and the like.

    I tend to believe the managers beliefs were definatelty imposed here and was out to prove a point.
  6. denali_41

    denali_41 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Human nature at it's finest !!! if you don't understand it-kill it !!!
  7. Smugface

    Smugface Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    That is just ridiculous.
  8. Vchick

    Vchick PIF Moderator Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Ooooh, just thought about this.........

    The hotel would be required to have working smoke detectors, should we be contacting the local fire department as they failed to alert the other guests..............?
  9. emanguba

    emanguba Super Member ECF Veteran

    I use to work for Marriott (IT dept in MD), and HR said no to vaping.
  10. Huffelpuff

    Huffelpuff Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    I would fight the charges through your credit card company. Either the manager is a total idiot or he didn't reach capacity the night you were there and is committing a scam. Would fight it tooth and nail and see that vapors everywhere don't use their facilities. There are more of us then they may expect - probably some that frequent the chain.
  11. intriqken

    intriqken Super Member ECF Veteran

    It is becoming less and less a case of protecting the health and sensitivities of the public at large and more and more a case of denying the rights and freedoms of anyone contrary to that 'at large'.
    Basically, rules are made by those 'in charge'....those with money or money at stake...and those with power.

    We had a dream of creating a government that would protect the individual and protect the minority from descrimination by the ones with power and money. Those in power, on the other hand, dream of a society of laws and rules that will keep everyone 'the same' (without diminising the superiority of those with money and power).

    Personally, I think fines should be issued to guests who relax in the lobby wearing anything that I might find distracting or provocative. I think offensive perfumes, aftershaves, and/or body odor that can be perceived either in a room or the hallway outside of it should be fineable offenses. I think that if someone checks into a hotel with any sort of illness, they should immediately be removed (at their own expense or at the expense of public health care) to a health care facility where they can be isolated and kept until they are fit to be with the public and no longer a risk to the greater health. I think that hotels should be held liable for any discomfort I may experience due to their use of disenfectents in the rooms, dust disturbed during cleaning which may affect my sinus' and general well being, and areosol fragrances that the hotel staff uses.

    Health, wealth, and individual rights rules and regulations are not exercised equally for all....minority and majority....
    if they were, then the same $250 fine put upon this woman for the vapor she expelled in the privacy of her own hotel room, should be imposed on each guest and employee using a public or private restroom at the Marriott for the publicly offensive and unhealthful vapor expelled from their ***
  12. HzG8rGrl

    HzG8rGrl Trippy Tip Hoarder Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    The Marriott Smoke-free Hotel Policy

    This is what I have found so far, no mention of e-cigarettes or pv's.

    copied and pasted:The Marriott Smoke-free Hotel Policy

    Marriott is committed to providing its guests and associates with a smoke-free environment, and is proud to boast one of the most comprehensive smoke-free hotel policies in the industry. Since its introduction in 2006, the policy has been implemented in more than 2,300 properties throughout the United States and Canada under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites and Marriott ExecuStay brands.

    The smoke-free hotel policy has received praise from guests, and Marriott remains committed to achieving a smoke-free environment in all of its properties in the U.S. and Canada. The continuing efforts of these properties to comply with the smoke-free policy reinforces Marriott’s commitment to being an environmentally friendly company.

    We look forward to welcoming you — so you can experience the clear difference that Marriott offers.

    Smoke-free Hotel Policy FAQs

    1. What is Marriott's Smoke-free Hotel Environment strategy?
    2. Why did Marriott implement the Smoke-free Hotel policy?
    3. Does the Smoke-free Hotel policy apply to Marriott’s international properties?
    4. How will smokers be accommodated? Will they be able to smoke on the property?
    5. What measures will Marriott take to enforce the Smoke-free Hotel policy?

    Smoke-free Hotel Policy Answers

    1. What is Marriott’s Smoke-free Hotel Environment strategy?

    Marriott’s Smoke-free policy strategy includes all of the company’s lodging brands in the United States and Canada. This policy took effect October 16, 2006.

    The policy represents one of the industry’s largest moves to a non-smoking environment, and has been implemented in more than 2,300 hotels and corporate apartments and nearly 400,000 guest rooms under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites and Marriott ExecuStay brands. This initiative includes guest rooms, public spaces and associate work areas.
    Back to top

    2. Why did Marriott implement the Smoke-free Hotel policy?

    The majority of guest requests favor a non-smoking hotel environment. The only way to provide this experience is to not allow smoking within the building. Therefore, we have applied this preference throughout our hotels. We do provide designated smoking areas outside the building to accommodate the needs of guests who smoke.
    Back to top

    3. Does the Smoke-free Hotel policy apply to Marriott’s international properties?

    The policy is optional in our international properties at this time. We will continue to offer non-smoking guestrooms in all hotels located outside of North America but will allow international properties to accommodate local laws, cultures and preferences when deciding to implement the smoke-free hotel policy at individual hotels.
    Back to top

    4. How will smokers be accommodated? Will they be able to smoke on the property?

    Although smoking is not permitted within hotel buildings themselves, guests who smoke are permitted to do so outside in designated areas.
    Back to top

    5. What measures will Marriott take to enforce the Smoke-free Hotel policy?

    The policy is integrated in the Marriott Quality Assurance process. All associates have been trained to respond to potential violations of the policy. For example, housekeepers are trained to observe signs of smoking in the hotel. Guests are reminded at the time of booking and upon arrival at the hotel that smoking is not permitted inside the building. Pre-arrival email notifications also include a reference to the policy. There is a significant room recovery fee for guests who do not comply in order to cover the extensive cost of restoring guest rooms to a smoke-free condition.

    Do they still host this?
  13. gheebee

    gheebee Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Exactly, based on what other people have told me you just call the credit card company company, dispute the charge, and they take it off. I have a hard time believing it's that simple but everyone I know who has told me they have done this for incorrect or totally invalid charges says it is. Imo, doing this because of the reason she was fined is perfectly valid and not at all fraudulent (like the hotel's behavior appears to be...).
  14. frosting

    frosting Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I would tell them to shove that $250 dollar fee where the sun don't shine. I would like to write that hotel manager, whoever a nice little e-mail and give him a peice of my mind. Ignorant, no good, mother........ Grrr.. That grinds my gears...
  15. StotheK

    StotheK Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Wow! I had no idea there'd be this kind of response. I shared the url for this thread with the person who was charged so she'l be able to see all the great comments.
  16. tommy2bad

    tommy2bad Super Member ECF Veteran

    Their taking a chance on you just paying up. 250's worth a punt to them so it must be to you too.
    Get the CC company to decline the charge and see if they take it further. They wont, cost benefit and all that.
    They might reprint the contract to include e-cig somewhere though, most likely in very small print.
  17. denali_41

    denali_41 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    hmmm after reading this second time it dawned on me,,,,house maid or who ever only saw a PV,but never actually saw you using it right ??? or did i miss that part ???

    preparing for a wedding i imagine there was a lot perfumy and other scenty stuff all over the place.

    wonder how "speculation" would stand up in a court of law ???
  18. RIMP

    RIMP Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    That's exactly what I would do and also let everyone I know about their shady fines:) If she wasn't observed using doesn't make sense. I could have a pack of cigs sitting on the dresser if I was a smoker as long as I smoke outside.......I'd dispute it......NEVER gonna book a Marriott property ever again.....
  19. StotheK

    StotheK Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    She did come right out with the hotel in her complaint that she was using an e-cigarette. But really, it wouldn't be worth it for either side to go to court over $250 dollars.
  20. HzG8rGrl

    HzG8rGrl Trippy Tip Hoarder Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    It could also be a gift for the bride and groom-these people are playing this poor woman and have no proof of her having smoked anything. It is sad how the big companies take advantage of us, if it weren't for us, they wouldn't exist.
: provari
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