Have you ever been staying at a hotel and thought; ‘I like the look of those light bulbs; I think I’ll unscrew them and take them home’?
No, neither have I. But worryingly, some people do…
This was one of the more remarkable findings of a recent TripAdvisor survey, which also found that 7% of hoteliers found batteries missing from their rooms’ TV remote controls. I mean, really, how stingy do you have to be to start snaffling light bulbs and batteries from hotel rooms? What’s next; guests taking the fuses from plugs or bibles from bedside tables? It beggars belief.
What gets me about this type of pilfering is that it must be completely deliberate. The survey also found that 25% of hoteliers reported missing towels and 10% missing coat hangers. But one would assume that this can be explained, partially at least, by accidental theft. One white towel looks much like another, and I imagine some guests are just being a bit careless in their packing.
But removing batteries and unscrewing light bulbs are conscious decisions – and damn sneaky ones at that.
So what is fair game to take from hotel rooms? Well, I’d suggest that bathroom amenities are fine (unless you start unscrewing the toilet seat). Those spare toothbrushes and combs always come in handy, and if you’ve used them once they’re only going to get thrown away anyway. Although I’ve never been tempted by an emery board or shower cap.
Also, you can help yourself to those little sachets of horrible Nescafé coffee – although why on Earth you’d want to is anyone’s guess.
But then, why on Earth would anyone want to steal light bulbs and batteries? It seems that some people simply treat hotels as a free-for-all – an Aladdin’s Cave of assorted household goodies that all come included in the room rate.
And worryingly, hotels are now starting to roll out in-room iPads! Will these be stolen too? Probably not – they’re too noticeable. But you never know, you might just find the batteries and SIM cards have been taken out.