Sep 13th, 2006, 04:06 PM
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I had a good friend who was a concierge at a Ritz Carlton. At one time they were forbidden to accept any money from any business they recommended (although many took the money anyway, she assured me). And because that rule was so publicized locally, instead they got other benefits. She knew that whenever she and her boyfriend went to several restaurants their entire meal and bar bill would be comped. When she called a limo company to reserve one for herself for a gift for her sister's wedding, she received no bill for the limo. When people staying there were also furnishing a home or condo under construction, she always referred them to the same interior design firm. Her entire home is furnished with "freebies" as a result.

I'm sure it is possible that there are some conciereges out there who have refused every "payback" offered them. But I would suspect that number is pretty small. And it is hard to imagine that there are many if any who have never been offered money or gifts for their frequent referrals.
Sep 13th, 2006, 04:13 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,549
What Neopolitan has to say is how the system works. If a hotel "forbids" gratuities, I wonder if it pays the concierge more--and how can you forbid gratuities anyway.

The system works the way it works which is why it is usually more expensive to obtain a guide or a limo through the concierge than it is if you do it on your own. So long as you know how the system works, there is nothing wrong with it.

By the way, I have never stayed in a hotel that had a concierge. My usual hotel on a trip in the US is something like a Days Inn en route somewhere. I am taking a class to get licensed as a DC tour guide due to personal interest and we did learn this concierge stuff as part of the class. You actually have to take a written test in DC, which is not a bad idea. There are so many guides in the US that really are not informed.

You can leave business cards at the desk, but, if you "forget" to tip the concierge, forget about being recommended again.

By the way, I am not giving up my law practice, but I am winding it down to a lower gear and looking for something that it might be fun to do in semi-retirement.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 04:46 PM
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Ok, I was a little strong and defensive. My point was not all concierges work on bribes. My wife's hotel actually forbid employees other than housekeepers, valets, and servers from accepting tips. If a greeter took you to your room and showed how the entertainment center and whirpool worked, they could not accept a tip (the hotel paid very well, so tips weren't needed).

My wife was hired because she is from a Chinese family, but was raised in Japan. She can speak Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese fluently. The hotel paid her to provide a service to its Asian guests, not to take paybacks from local businesses. Many of her associates were the same way.

I find the "fact" (if it is a "fact") that all other concierges in the world work on bribes to be depressing, and can only be thankful that I do not know or have to associate with these types of "concierges."
bennyb is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 04:50 PM
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Oh boy, now I'm really confused. Are you saying that the hotel's concierges were not allowed to accept tips from guests -- or tips (bribes or payoffs, if you prefer) from businesses they recommended?

Where was this hotel? I have had a "greeter" refuse a tip -- (once I later discovered it was the owner himself of a beautiful boutique hotel) but I've never heard of that in the US.
Sep 13th, 2006, 05:16 PM
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We used Just airports 3 times on our june trip.1. to pick us up at Heathrow 2. St James to Stansted 3. Back to Heathrow all 3 were on time and Professional drivers The drive to Stansted was a bit harrowing as we left later(3 Daughters getting up at 4am) but would recommend Just Airport to everyone based on our experence.
Greginlh is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 05:32 PM
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Just to clarify - I didn't say that ALL concierges may not accept tips or bribes, I said that NOT ALL concierges accept tips and bribes. I took exception to the absolutist statement in another post that said, as a "fact," all concierges work on bribes. I was merely asking that my wife not be put into that type of conclusory statement. There may be concierges (and politicans, I am sure) who do so - but not all.

My wife worked for the Japanese Okura hotel group, but in China. She was told that the rule (at least at the time) was the same for all Okura hotels, in Asia, Europe, Hawaii, and Guam.
bennyb is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 05:34 PM
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Benny, in the US the concierges all get tips. You tip them when you ask them to do something and the service provider tips them for the referral. I presume the fact that everyone knows they are going to get a lot of tips (at least the good ones) is reflected in their base pay, but I really do not know.

How you could generalize from an Asian hotel chain is beyond me.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 05:47 PM
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Excuse me, but the only "generalized" statement here is your statement that "as a fact" all concierges won't make a recommendation unless they get a bribe.

Many concierges do get and accept tips. My wife didn't because she worked for an Asian hotel group. BUT - she did not accept bribes either, and I'm sure she would not accept a bribe from a business (as opposed to a tip from a customer) even if she had worked for another hotel chain.

I have never said that NO conceirge accepts bribes. I said you were wrong in saying ALL concierges accept bribes. For a lawyer (presumably, I will have to take your word for that) you seem to have difficulty reading simply sentences.
bennyb is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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Benny, perhaps I should have said, "All concierges in North America take bribes."

How you thought this could have included your wife who worked for some chain in China is beyond belief.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 06:35 PM
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Yes, perhaps you SHOULD have qualified your statement that way. But you didn't.

My posts were based on what you ACTUALLY said, not what you admittedly SHOULD have said.

Anyway, I think it's turning into a dead horse. I don't believe that every single concierge takes bribes, based upon any one person's experiences, and you apparently think differently. We will have to agree to disagree. Unless you don't agree to that.
bennyb is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 07:36 AM
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We recently had a very bad experience with Just Airports. The driver was scheduled to meet us at 12:30pm on a Wednesday. We cleared customs and baggage claim at almost that exact time. There was no driver. We looked around and waited for about 20 minutes, then decided to call Just Airports. They said the driver was waiting in front of the Hertz desk. Went and looked, no driver. Called back, they said the driver was five minutes away, and to wait in front of the Hertz desk. Waited 15 minutes, no driver. Called JA, they said the car broke down and a new driver was sent and he was five minutes away. I reminded them that they told me five minutes already and they assured me that this time he was literally five minutes away. We waited twenty more minutes, no driver. We gave up and ended up using an alternate means of transportation.

While I completely understand that things happen, and cars definitely do break down, I cannot tolerate being lied to about how close a driver is or when he/she will arrive.

I received an email from them about three hours later, explaining that they were very sorry for the inconvenience and that they assure me that they would try to give me the best of their services in the future. They will not have that chance. The last thing I need after a translantic flight and baggage claims and customs is to wait around another hour for my driver.
sarahbellum is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 07:48 AM
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What a drag. Just (no pun intended) what you don't need with jetlag and the beginning of your holiday.
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Sep 22nd, 2006, 07:54 AM
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I used JustAirports last May and they were fabulous. Very accomodating. Nice driver. On time, in fact, a bit early. I was very pleased.
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