The hotel rip-off

CHALLENGE

You are a tourist in England. Write a short letter or e-mail (120-300 words) to Ron Peterson, the chairman of Royal Gloucester Pringle hotel chain, proposing that he gives you some money back for an excessively expensive phone call. Express your anger but also try to use some charm to get a refund. The facts of the case follow. Use the ones that work for you. Then paste it into your Entry Kit.

Facts of the case

You stay three nights in the Royal Gloucester Pringle Hotel in London. On the last night, you lose your mobile phone, and make the mistake of using the hotel’s room phone to make just one call.

On leaving the hotel they present you with the bill. The cost for one 11-minute call to Italy is £320, a 3000 percent mark-up on what you estimate it cost the hotel.

You only stayed with Royal Gloucester Pringle because your secretary made a mistake. Otherwise you’d have gone to the Army and Navy Club where they don’t rip off their customers like this.

The woman on reception says the charges were on the television information page for the hotel and while she understands why you’re upset, there’s nothing she can do about it.

cont’d

She suggests you write to the top manager, Ron Peterson, Chairman of Royal Gloucester Pringle hotel chain. He makes the rules, but he’s a busy man.

You call the English Tourist Authority. They are sympathetic, have heard similar stories and are looking into the poor way London treats its tourists, but there’s nothing they can do about it.

Despite the low pound, this is still very much “Rip-off Britain” and friends say that London has a long established reputation for over-charging. It seems that only people on business and the super rich can afford to use a hotel phone.

But that’s too late now. You want the money back.

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