The Customer Is Always Right! Right?

The customer is always right!  Right?

Many of us have been trained to follow “the customer is always right” mantra. And when you work in the hospitality industry, there is somehow an expectation that you will show maximum tolerance. For all kinds of guest behavior!  

Of course, without our guests, we would not even have jobs to go to. 

But, sometimes guests just simply cross the line.  And some guests appear to intentionally push the boundaries.  Just to see how far they can take the “the customer is always right” line.  Or that is how it seems.

What is shocking, when you first enter the Hotel industry, is that some of the worst guest behavior happens in the very top, or most luxurious hotels!  When you’re new to the industry, you start out thinking the more stars a hotel has, the better the guests.

But in a five-star hotel setting, certain guest behaviors can range from being simply cringe-worthy, to being outright blacklist-worthy!

As hoteliers, we only ask for basic good manners and common courtesy. But apparently for some guests, this is too much to ask.  

I asked some of my Hugot Hotelier followers to tell me their best “the customer is always right” stories.  As well as stories about appalling guest behaviors they’ve seen in the hotels they’ve worked in.

I got some interesting answers!

Macy Madrigal Bernabe:  Yung guest na nagsabing “Pag nag-complain ba ako, magkaka free breakfast ako?” 

I had a guest that actually asked, “If I complain about something, will I get a free breakfast?


AnnJo Abarquez: Check out/ luggage down moment:

May guest kami dati, nagtangkang iuwi yung 3 pieces na Yves Delorme bath towel. Nilagay lang sa malaking transparent na plastic. Ang mali nya, basta-basta na lang nya nilagay sa malaking plastic yung towel, e naka labas ang etiketa. 

Ending, hindi sya nag tagumpay i-uwi.

Check out / luggage down moment:

There was a guest who tried to take home 3 pieces of Yves Delorme bath towel.  She had just placed it, haphazardly, inside a transparent plastic bag, so we could see the towel label.

She wasn’t successful in her attempt!


Angel M: May mga guests dati sa 5-star casino hotel na lumulupagi sa sahig ng lobby at doon kakain ng fastfood takeout nila! 

Pag sinabihan ng security na bawal, magagalit pa!

Hotel guests sitting down in the corridor eating take out, with a Hotelier and Security standing over them. Article: The Customer is always right - MY RANGGO Hospitality Magazine Philippines

We used to have guests at a 5-star casino hotel who would sit down, picnic style, on the lobby floor and proceed to eat their fast-food takeout! And they would get mad when the security staff would tell them it was not allowed!


Andi Villorente: Humingi ng kanin during cocktail hours. Galit pa nung sinabing wala!”

This guest asked for rice during Cocktail Hour! And even got mad when we told her it wasn’t part of the Cocktail Hour offerings!


Joy Ce: Sa isang banyagang bansa, tinanong ko ang magulang ng batang kumakain kung ilang taon na ang anak niya.  Sabi ng tatay 4 na taon. 

Eh sa buffet, free of charge and mga 3 years old and below. Dahil sabi nga 4 na taon, syempre may bayad na.  

So, bill out na, AYAW BAYARAN NG NANAY YUNG KINAIN NG BATA kasi 3 years old pa lang daw! Hinagis niya yung bill folder, nagtawag pa ng manager! Haha eh kalahi niya ung restaurant manager namin, inexplain sa salita nila na may bayad yung buffet ng anak nya kasi nga 4 years old na.  Syempre di tayo papatalo dahil sabi ng tatay 4 years old tapos sabi ng nanay 3 years old. Balakaujan!

I was working In a foreign country. I asked the parents of a kid, who was dining in the hotel, how old the child was.  The dad answered 4 years old.  

Only kids 3 years old and below eat for free at the buffet, so we included the child in the bill.  

When the guests billed out, the mom would not pay for the child because she was insisting that she was only 3 years old!  She threw the bill folder and asked for the manager. 

The manager explained that we had to charge for the child, because the father had already told us the kid was 4 years old.


Mary Elaine L: Guest na maganda at may kasamang afam. On their last day sa hotel nag-swimming sila then si ate girl nabunggo sa wall ng pool while nag swimming.

Upon check out nag-reklamo kasi daw bakit walang sign yung wall ng pool? Naguluhan kami.

Pagdating sa kanila nagpa-CT scan siya at ang hotel daw ang dapat magbayad sa expenses.”

There was a pretty guest with a foreign partner.  On the last day of their stay, they went to the pool and the girl bumped her head on the pool wall while she was swimming.  

Upon check out, she complained and asked why there wasn’t any sign on the pool wall.  We were so confused. 

When they got home, she got a CT scan and was insisting that the hotel should shoulder the medical expenses!


Nelson Fadirugao: Yung may dalang rice cooker sa poolside.

Hotel guests at the hotel swimming pool sitting on a pool lounger, beside her she has a rice cooker with her! Article: The Customer is always right - MY RANGGO Hospitality Magazine Philippines

We had guests who brought a rice cooker to the poolside.


Jake Bryan Arca Dillera:  Isang prominenteng tao ang nag check-in sa hotel namin recently, pero yung asawa gusto ipa-take out ang pagkain sa buffet. Jusko, gulat ako eh. 

Pero siyempre, bilang manager, di ko pinayagan. May buffet policy po tayo. 

May pa body guard / escort pa. Pero gusto mag take out ng food sa buffet. Akala mo kung sinong aristokrata mag-aasta. Gigil ako norn sobra.

This prominent guest was staying in our hotel recently, and his wife wanted to take out food from the buffet! 

I was shocked. Of course, as a manager, I had to implement our buffet no take-out policy.  

They had a bodyguard and escort, and were acting like aristocrats, only to insist on taking out food from the buffet!


Talo Keed: Yung guest na nagalit kasi akala nya bukas pa flight niya. Tapos sabi ko ngayon na flight niya. Nagalit siya lalo. Pagpunta sa counter, sinabihan siya ng airline staff na flight niya na nung time na yun. Lalo siya nagalit dun sa mga Airline staff. 

Hello sa’yo babaeng local na madaming pera pero kinulang sa GMRC!”

Hotel guest getting angry with a Hotelier and an Airline Rep who were telling her that her flight was that day, not the next day. Article: The Customer is always right - MY RANGGO Hospitality Magazine Philippines

I had a guest who got mad at me when I told her that her flight was that day. She insisted it wasn’t until the next day. I accompanied her to the counter and the airline staff told her that her plane was about to leave.  She got even angrier at the airline staff.  

Hello local guest who has lots of money but not enough GMRC – good manners and right conduct!


Khaye Soliven: May isang vlogger/writer na nag check in, syempre VVIP ang peg sa’min. Sa’kin natapat na floor.

Nag check in sya sa twin room kahit mag isa lang sya, and then ginulo ng konti yung bed, at pinaka dabest nag poop sa CR hindi nag-flush at my kalat kalat pa konti sa floor sabay request ng change room.  Wala pa siya 1 hour naka check in.

Nireport ko pero dahil VVIP nga at baka nga gumawa ng article about sa hotel wala na lang sa kanila, pinalagpas ang kabalahuraan ni guest.”

There was this vlogger/writer who checked in and was placed on VVIP status.  She was assigned to my floor.

She checked into a twin room even though she was by herself.  She messed up the bed and the best part was when she pooped in the toilet and did not flush it. She even left a mess on the floor.  Then, she asked for a room transfer. Even though she had only been checked in for less than an hour.

I reported it but because she was a VVIP, who might write a review of the hotel, they just let it go.


Mausy Espera-Ulat: DM’s Log: “Male Guest defecated at the guest room hallway.”

“As per the CCTV, the guest was two steps away from his room. He didn’t make it. What’s worse is that he was wearing loose shorts. He shook his bumbum multiple times causing the “thing” to fall on the carpet. Then the male guest proceeded to his room and left the mess in the hallway.

Hotel guest filmed on CCTV being caught out by a poop incident before he could get to his room. Article: The Customer is always right - MY RANGGO Hospitality Magazine Philippines

The guest was advised about the penalty charges, and he made no argument about it. He settled the full amount.”

Most memorable kadiri incident.


Han Dv-Gonzales: Breakfast, kaya pala si guest laging nasa corner table. Mag check ako ng table at mag clear at the same time, bigla sya na rattle kasi nahuli kong nag babalot ng granola sa ziplock niya.”

I noticed a guest always liked to sit at a corner table during breakfast.  I approached her, to check and clear the table and she was suddenly really rattled. I’d caught her putting granola inside her takeout ziplock bag!


Anne Hastie: Mas nakakaimbyerna ung mga invited ng guest! Sila talaga mas demanding, libre na nga sila tapos sila pa yung mag-rereview sa website na wala daw kwenta amenities!

PS: 10 times nagpadala ng Bathroom amenities 2 pax lang sa room! Jusmiyosantisimainangmaawaain!”

A suitcase in a hotel bathroom stuffed full of free hotel shampoo, shower gel, conditioner, soap etc. Article: The Customer is always right - MY RANGGO Hospitality Magazine Philippines

Sometimes it’s the guest’s companions who are more demanding!  They are not the ones who are paying. Yet they tend to be the ones leaving a bad review, saying that the amenities suck.

PS:  They asked for bathroom amenities 10 times and there were only two of them in the room!


Angel M: May guest kami dati araw-araw naka tambay sa lobby, everyday walang patid hihingi ng dyaryo, paper bag, ballpen, notepad at yung Fox’s candy sa counter ie-empty sa bag niya. 

One time pina-store nya yung bag nya slightly open nakita namin puno ng sachet ng asukal at creamer. 

Dati syang guest pero matagal na hndi nagchecheck in.”

We had a guest who did not check-in but hung out at the lobby every day.  And every single day, he would ask for all the things we gave out for free at the Concierge desk;  newspaper, paper bag, ball pen, notepad. And he would even empty the candy bowl into his bag.  

One time, he asked us to store his bag for him and he had left it partially open.  We saw it was full of sugar and creamer sachets! 

I was told he used to be a regular guest before but had not checked-in in years.


I’m sure, in many of these stories the guest felt assured that their behavior, or attitude was okay because “the customer is always right.”  

Thankfully, most of our guests practice good behavior. And not just in five-star hotels, but in all public spaces where they are interacting with other people. 

Sometimes though, people seem to forget this. Or maybe they think it doesn’t matter.  Especially when they are paying lots of money.  

We can only hope that our future guests will give consideration to this thought: 

Paying for a room does not equate to paying for the hotel staff’s dignity!  

Nor does it give you a free pass to do whatever you want, regardless of whether you cause trouble, disregard the rules or cause an inconvenience to other guests.

How about you? Have you had any “the customer is always right” guest experiences that made you shake your head? Or wonder what on earth was going on? 

Share it with us in the comments!

What do you think?

Written by Angel Lam Ko

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