A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us an email about how to deal with disappearing cash left in an in-room safe?
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Email From The Reader:
wanted some guidance if possible. Stayed last week at the Grand Hyatt Erawan (Bangkok, Thailand) and had money go missing from the in-room safe ($600 over 2 days).
Took it up with management who said there was only so much they could do unless we opted to file a police report, which on the 3rd last day of our vacation we were not willing to drag through.
Have you heard of stuff like this happening before? Any suggestions on how to pursue it? Any help/guidance you can provide would be great.
TripAdvisor Review That The Reader Left:
Booked 3 Rooms – 2 standard and the Grand Executive Suite for 7 people on a family vacation. Mr. Boonchai at reservations was great, extremely helpful, got us upgraded to club rooms/access with free breakfast and made sure the rooms were all on the same floor as we had requested. Breakfast at the hotel was good quality, good variety, perhaps a little slow on service in terms of re-filling thing that ran out but no major complaints. Rooms were of a good size, Beds were extremely comfortable, nice spacious bathroom. Was my mom’s birthday on the last night of our trip and the hotel arranged a cake for her upon my request which was great because it was a very last minute request from me.
Money went missing from inside the safe in the Suite. On day 2 of the trip we realised $200 were missing, which even though was a bit confusing we chalked up to perhaps there was a chance we had mis-counted. But on day 3 another $400 went missing from a separate envelope inside the in-room safe. We brought the matter to the attention of the manager on duty whom said it was impossible, which was disheartening to hear, and who said they would investigate. I wasn’t happy with her response so brought it to the attention of the General Manager (Mr. Demptos) who was very kind and cooperative. They conducted an internal investigation and found only 2 people has accessed the room, room service and house keeping. Unfortunately I think his hands were tied by overall hotel policies where even if they did find the culprit they would never have admitted it.
We asked them to cross reference if they could the safe open/close times with the people coming and going from our room, which I thought was a reasonable and logical step in conducting an investigation, which he said he could not do unless we went ahead and filed a police report. If the sum or money was larger, and I had more time perhaps this would have been an avenue worth pursuing but we chose not to further ruin our vacation by wasting half a day at the police station filling reports considering we only had 2 days left in the city.
Overall the incident left a sour taste in an otherwise issue free hotel stay. I’ve visited Bangkok over a dozen times and never had anything like this happen before. I doubt I would stay at the hotel again after the incident, especially given that while the hotel said they took the matter seriously, I feel they could have investigated it further and they did not offer us any kind of compensation. Took a chance staying here whereas I normally stay at the Intercontinental which is across the street because of the great deal, but it ended up costing me more than I anticipated.
Thank you very much for taking the time to share details of your stay at Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok. While we are sincerely pleased to read your encouraging comments on the accommodation, the quality of our breakfast, and special arrangements extended by Khun Boonchai to make your stay more enjoyable, we are sorry and feel very concerned about the incident that was reported.
We understand that such incident can cause enormous anxiety and would like to reiterate strongly once again that Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok takes this matter with the highest level of attention and that we do not tolerate any act of dishonesty at our hotel. Our General Manager, Mr. Demptos, has contacted you on a separate correspondence to make an appointment in order to clarify any specific point that you may wish to discuss on the result of the investigation that was shared in a utmost transparent manner during your stay.
The hotel can always read the door’s lock to see who went in and when, which the hotel has done. However, I am not sure what information in-room safes record, if any.
I have been present when an in-room safe has been reopened (I once left an envelope inside and remembered it a day later when I was at another hotel), and it only takes a second.
These in-room safes tend to use four-digit pins. There was a study made of more than 10M four-digit PINs that were breached and leaked online.
The most common PIN was 1234 (10.7%), followed by 1111 (6%). Four PINs represented more than 10% of all the PINs, and the 20 most common were 27%. You can access the study here.
I was able to find almost 3.4 million four-digit passwords. Every single one of the of the 10,000 combinations of digits from 0000 through to 9999 were represented in the dataset.
The most popular password is 1234 …
… it’s staggering how popular this password appears to be. Utterly staggering at the lack of imagination …
… nearly 11% of the 3.4 million passwords are 1234 !!!
The next most popular 4-digit PIN in use is 1111 with over 6% of passwords being this.
In third place is 0000 with almost 2%.
A table of the top 20 found passwords in shown at the right. A staggering 26.83% of all passwords could be guessed by attempting these 20 combinations!
(Statistically, with 10,000 possible combination, if passwords were uniformly randomly distributed, we would expect the these twenty passwords to account for just 0.2% of the total, not the 26.83% encountered)
The reader should have gone to the police station and filed a report.
I did this once in Bangkok when I managed to drop the passport I had used to enter, and immigration was unwilling to let me out on another without a report. The process didn’t take too long, and I managed to leave on a later flight the same day.
I understand the hotel’s view. It is essentially your word that some money was taken (they can never be sure), and how can they really be sure even with a police report?
However, it is essential to let the management know because if there is an employee or employees that are stealing from guests, your case won’t be the only one. Eventually, they will be caught.
I was actually typing away at the Grand Hyatt Erawan when I received the reader’s email. The hotel has grown on me over the years, as I did not use to like it at first.
There has been some theft from my belongings (USD notes from my bag) in South America.
I don’t think that in-room safes are safe, especially when we use the same four-digit PINs that are easy to remember repeatedly.
You should, however, file a report if something is stolen from you so that there is a record of what took place. If someone at a hotel is stealing from your belongings, they are certainly from others too.
I don’t think that there is much a reader can do at this point. If there had been a police report, travel insurance could have covered the loss of cash.