Reply To: Hotel Security Breach

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I had a different form of security breach at a Melbourne hotel which I consider very serious.

I checked in late at night – around 11.30 – after a day of flights, meetings, client dinner. The very frosty receptionist eventually found the booking (“we didn’t think you were coming”…despite being informed it would a very late check in) and I dragged my butt up to the zillionth floor to find the door card wouldn’t work. Couldn’t find a floor phone so went back down to reception.

I was given a key for a different room on a different floor. Barge through the door, and lo and behold, a gentleman standing in the middle of the room in his underwear. After profuse apologies, I stomped off downstairs as he got stuck into calling reception to complain about his breach of privacy. The receptionist was getting an earful when I arrived at the desk – she just shrugged, and gave me yet another key, this time for the original room I had been given.

At this point I was very much in need of using the facilities, and very tired, and asked that someone come with me in case of a) key not working again or b) room occupied. She said no-one was available. This time the key did work, I rushed into the bathroom, and when I finally got into the room itself, lo and behold…a set of suitcases neatly parked in the room – which looked otherwise untouched. Opening the wardrobe revealed two suitpacks hanging up

At this point I was delirious with fatigue so I slung it all outside the door, called reception to tell them to collect, said I was not moving again, and it was their responsibility if anything happened to the luggage meanwhile.

This whole episode has made me very wary of this hotel’s security. It means someone can walk into your room unannounced at anytime. If the room was unoccupied, they could access any of my stuff in the room. As for the luggage left in the room, I had complete access to someone’s possessions.

As far as I am concerned this was a major breach of security. In the morning when I checked out, I asked if I was going to receive an apology, not having had one yet. The receptionist said “oh we heard about that, sorry” and that was that. When I pressed to speak to a manager, he was ‘unavailable at this time’. I asked what guarantee there was that this would never happen again, and the answer “we’ll try not too”.

Both receptionists gave the impression it was no big deal. I think otherwise

I have not stayed there since, you should think twice. It’s the Sofitel on Collins

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