Unsolicited Donation Added to Your Hotel Bill: What Do You Do?

T he statement for my stay — which had been slipped under the door of my hotel room earlier this morning — had a donation of one Euro added to it.

One Euro is not much — but that is not the point. Regardless of the amount, I believe that it is rather quite rude and tactless to add an unsolicited donation to a hotel bill without advanced notice. Are guests not taxed, burdened with fees and nickel-and-dimed enough?

Of course, you do have the option to go to the front desk and request that the donation be removed from the bill — and an agent at the front desk will usually fulfill the request almost immediately and give you a revised statement upon request…

…but that creates an awkward moment for the guest, who should not have to go through the trouble in the first place — and it wastes paper, toner, electricity and the time of the hotel employee to engage with the guest who wants the unsolicited optional charge removed.

Would all of that not add up to one Euro? Perhaps the hotel property should just consider donating the funds directly on behalf of its guests.

It is possible that the awkward moment is the plan of the hotel property, with the hopes that guests will simply say that it is not worth the trouble or the bother to have the charitable donation removed.

In my opinion, I do not want any entity to attempt to compel me to donate to a charity about which I know nothing. I will donate to what charitable organizations I want when I want.

Should hotel properties now place envelopes for charity in hotel rooms — similar to what was proposed from Marriott pertaining to gratuities for members of the housekeeping staff? Perhaps Marriott and other hotels should add an “optional” additional charge for those gratuities — an idea which I would not support, by the way?

What has been your experience with unsolicited charitable donations added to your hotel bill? Do you just shrug them off and pay them — or do you request for the charge to be removed?

9 thoughts on “Unsolicited Donation Added to Your Hotel Bill: What Do You Do?”

  1. lm says:

    We would like to know the name of the hotel. I think you should include the name so that we will be aware and so that the hotel knows how you feel (which is what most people would feel, I think…). This kind of acts are really really annoying and should be immediately stopped

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      It was the Hilton Dublin Airport hotel property, lm.

      I had not mentioned the name of the hotel property simply because I had not had a chance to post a review of it yet…

  2. Bill says:

    this just happened in Barcelona yesterday. We checked out if the Le Merdien and there was a 1 euro donation to UNICEF. I was surprised but didn’t say anything as we were in a hurry to get to the airport

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Hotel properties are probably counting on you not having the time to dispute the charge, Bill.

      Thank you for sharing.

  3. Gene says:

    A couple of class action lawsuits should put a stop to this practice. It is incredibly rude. This first time I had this added to a bill, I had it removed. Since then, I have decided it is not worth my time to have it removed. It will be well worth some attorneys’ time…

  4. ptahcha says:

    Depend on which country you were in, I thought there are laws requiring hotels (or any other organizations solicit donations) to request customers to opt-in instead of automatic opt-in.

    Since I normally need to check-out to settle the folio, I have it removed from from the bill.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I remember seeing it occasionally in the United States, ptahcha — but that was years ago and I had not seen it since…

  5. Euflyer Tom says:

    I totally agree with your issues here.

    Of course the ultimate insult is, having emotionally bullied their customers into making the donations, the hotel will turn round and publicly state how it raised €X for charity. No it didn’t, its poor brow-beaten customers did.

    Terrible practice and should be outlawed everywhere.

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