I am exactly the kind of stereotypical British holidaymaker you could expect to find far from home staying in a luxury hotel. In fact, I’m exactly the kind of holidaymaker who’d drive you wild with irritation.
I can’t abide being ripped off. I’m suspicious of it. I’ll sniff it out and kick up a fuss when I’m certain it’s going on.
Take yesterday. Simon and I return from the pool for our now regular late afternoon cup of tea on the balcony. I’ve already asked for a “Tea and Coffee Maker” from housekeeping knowing the kettle, teabags, milk, coffee and sugar don’t need to be signed for. It’s free refreshments. Perfect.
Only there’s a problem when we get back to our room. We’ve run out of teabags. Calamity. It’s OK, I think. I’ll just ring reception for a handful of replacement teabags and some more milk.
“That’s fine sir. I’ll get that sent up to the room for you,” said the friendly lady with a slight American twang to her voice.
When the chappy arrived with a sparkling jug, two tea bags on a glass dish, a couple of biscuits and a receipt to sign I immediately got suspicious.
Eight Turkish Lira Fifty. That’s £4.25. For TWO TEA BAGS AND A SMALL JUG OF MILK?
Pity the poor room service chappy who couldn’t understand quite what I was getting worked up about. I was charming, as ever, but I was a little riled. I immediately leapt for the phone and dialled room service.
“If you didn’t want to be charged you should have asked for a tea and coffee maker, sir, ” came the effecient and (in her defence) accurate response.
“But I’ve got the kettle already, all I needed was a few tea bags and some milk. I didn’t expect to be charged 8 Lira 50 for a couple of tea bags.”
“You need to order a tea and coffee maker. But I make sure the order you’ve received is removed from your bill.”
Very helpful. Bless them all here. They do have the holidaymaker from hell to deal with.