The hotels, for a while, have been charging for the service, which can reach up to $ 15 per box in the United States. Passengers increasingly are buying more.
Many hotels in the United States saw the opportunity to generate extra income and took advantage of it without hesitation: more and more establishments charge to receive and save shopping shipments that guests make by Amazon or e-Bay, among other online sales portals .
It is already an established custom among travelers to buy before departure and upon arriving at the hotel receive the boxes, without wasting time in walking shopping malls with the list of orders in hand (or to have more time to keep comparing, probable).
But for some time now, in addition to the cost of shipping, you have to add the hotels’ fees.
Yes, slowly and very quietly, it ceased to be a free service, although there are still hotels that continue to do so as a courtesy.
Some directly decided to outsource the reception of parcels with a post office in the hotel, where they deliver the box after payment.
Others continue to store and distribute boxes around the rooms, but at the time of check-out the guest takes advantage of the extra cost for the purchases, which varies according to each hotel. Some charge for each package, others discriminate by size, others charge when the shipments arrive before the passengers and others add apart from the charge for the reception, each day of stay of the package in the deposit, if they received it before the arrival of the passenger.
“The service has a cost that depends on the size of the package and can be between 4, 8 or 12 dollars,” explains Gilberto Hurtado, sales manager of the Grand Beach Hotel, one of Miami Beach’s new hotels with a large audience of Argentines . The explanation sounds logical: “It represents a very important extra work, there is a place in the hotel to do that full time.”
And more and more shipments arrive, a trend in trending ascent, especially of South American travelers. “We started charging for the reception service two or three years ago because it was an important job for the staff,” says Tanja Morariu, director of development at The Palms Hotel & Spa and Circa 39 Hotel, both in Miami Beach. Each hotel has a different policy: at The Palms: they charge $ 5 per box, regardless of whether the person is already in the hotel or not. However, in Circa 39 if the passenger is already in the hotel does not have to pay, but if he has not arrived they charge him $ 5 per box per day, because they have very little room to store it.
At the St. Regis Bal Harbor Rresort they charge you $ 10 for each box you receive and have a shipping department inside the property.
Many large hotels, with hundreds of rooms, such as the traditional Eden Roc in Miami Beach, the Trump National Doral and the InterContinental Miami directly have a FedEx office inside their premises, which is usually as crowded as the lobby bar. In these cases, the system is more standardized and paid for the weight of the box. For example, up to one pound (500g), US $ 5. From 1.1 to 10 lbs (from medium to 4.5 kg), US $ 15, etc. In addition, an extra charge is added for storage from the sixth day, also broken down by weight, starting at US $ 5 for lighter boxes.
Before this new scenario the best thing is to consult with the hotel, prior to the trip, about its policy of reception of shipments and calculate to be already in the hotel when it is received. Because the great savings of the purchase in Miami will vanish with the payment for the shipment to the hotel, 35% of the Afip plus the cost for the reception.
These are not small boxes with some urgency. Many receive purchases as if they were wholesale, which even, in addition to the cost, are becoming a headache for many travelers. Relatives, friends and co-workers, who previously entrusted and trusted the goodwill of the traveler, now send what they want directly to the hotel, without thinking about the disorder that causes. And because, of course, in the computer everything looks smaller than it really is.
Which country do you buy the most from? The hoteliers agree that the Brazilians are first in the ranking with much advantage and then, of course, the Argentines.
Marília Bianchini had to travel to Miami for work. A client who does not reach the category of friend found out and dispatched the dreaded phrase: “Can I buy something and send it to the hotel?”. Marília received three huge boxes with a complete set of bottles, sterilizer and milk, a trousseau of baby clothes for the entire first year of life and even the breastfeeding cushion.
Everything in boxes, bags, seals and insulation that required three hours of work disassemble, remove labels and accommodate. In addition, he had to pay $ 50 to receive the boxes at the hotel and buy a suitcase to take everything to San Pablo, the city where he lives.
Stories of exorbitant shipments, far from the exception, are already commonplace.
“Today I just saw a giant John Deere children’s tractor, we also got a huge TV. 25 boxes of electronics and clothes arrived to the same guest. He had to buy five bags and probably pay for excess baggage to take everything, “recalls Tanja Morariu.
At Trump National Doral they received from January to now 2500 shipments. Among them is a screen to project 15 feet (more than 4 meters!), Who do not know how the passenger will have boarded the plane to Argentina and many furniture that needed a special trailer to move them inside the property.
At the Ritz-Carlton in Bal Harbor they receive in high season up to 70 shipments per day. Passengers are charged US $ 5 if the boxes arrive before the passengers, if they arrive during the stay there is no cost. “I remember a Brazilian passenger who booked two hotel suites: one only used to save the boxes he received and the purchases he made. The room was full from floor to ceiling “, says Gian Altamirano-Bascuas hotel concierge.
Even hotel employees even perform tasks of a detective. Many times the shipments arrive in the name of one of the passengers and the reservation is in the name of another or directly in the name of the woman, when the husband travels alone. “Often it happens that the purchases from a distance make the guest’s wife to his name and the hotel staff has to guess which room corresponds to the shipment. It has even happened that the husband denies the packages because he says they are not his … until he communicates with the woman, “says Norberto Fuster of the Bonaventure Resort & Spa a 500-room resort very close to Ft. Lauderdale in Florida . The hotel charges US $ 10 per package.
Christine L. Corson, director of Public Relations & Marketing at InterContinental Miami, adds: “We have even received suspicious packages that we had to open before returning them to the seller when the passenger does not claim them.”
“Brazilians and Argentines receive on average 15 shipments during their stay. It really represents a lot of work to receive, manage and deliver. It comes from everything, more and more since we opened in 2010. The only thing that has not come so far is a reindeer from Santa Claus, “jokes Victoria Zuffranieri, Communications Manager of the InterContinental New York Times Square.
Source: La Nación