Many hotel guests know that eating or drinking anything from the mini bar will have additional charges but not many have an idea that there are mini mars equipped with sensors. This means that simply removing an item will automatically add charges to their bill. It is rare to see free mini bars but there is a hotel with free mini bar in Sukhumvit and this is one of the reasons why many are choosing to book at these establishments.
In international brand hotels such as Sheraton, Hilton, DoubleTree and Inter Continental, they are already using automated mini bars that employ sensors and their snack trays come with electronic scales. The issue is that many guests are complaining that their bill came with incidental charges despite not consuming anything.
According to a manager working for the Ambassador Hotel in Milwaukee, approximately 90 per cent of the additional charges due to the mini bar are considered to be errors. At their hotel, charges are only added once the mini bar has been manually checked by a staff member while other hotels do not bother to check unless the guests complain of wrong charges.
The sensors installed on the mini bars monitor items taken and charges automatically reflect eve if the occupant puts the item back without eating or drinking. Upon complaining, this is the only time when hotel staff does manual checking and the charges are removed accordingly.
There are sensors that charge after the item has not been put back within 6o seconds. This can be an inconvenience especially for parents that are staying with small, curious kids. It should be the duty of the specific establishment to put warning or cards that indicate how their automated system works but not every hotel bothers to do so.
The lack of sign can be a form of dishonesty to consumers. It is a good thing that there are hotels with free mini bar in Sukhumvit because guests don’t have to worry about false charges and they can have whatever they want from the mini bar without having to pay unbelievable prices.