Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hotel concierge brags he lives better than you could DREAM OF LIVING!!

An anonymous hotel concierge just wrote in to the comments to explain that he rolls posher than you, makes more money than you, lives larger than you and expects you to keep on tipping and not complaining about his commissions and kickbacks and who pays his salary or whatever.


Here is a taste:
So for those of you who think poor little concierges, what a poor living, you are wrong. Most of us have a better living than any of you. You get free everything. GC to go to restaurants, free rides to the airport and I can go on and on.
But where does the money come from?
Concierges make commision out of everything they do. How do you think they make a living???!!! that tour bus you booked, they make commission, that helicopter tour, scuba diving tour, limo, you name it they get commission just for recommending it.

Oh, also? Some concierges get salary AND TIPS on top of all this. Because, you know, when someone sells you something on commission, it is polite to not only buy it, but to tip as well.

Anyway the commenter's point is that, while kickbacks from the vendors he recommends may finance his extravagant lifestyle, they do not influence him in any way:

I take pride of what I do and I am REALLY good. Never has anybody complained about me either pushig nor selling. My company does not make me sell anything. Since when does it matter WHO pays your salary?

... wether I recommend my company or the neighbors company, I will still make money out of it. And that just comes with the title.

Does every single business that might get a recommendation from a concierge pay a commission?

Creating a positive relationship with concierges can pay dividends. When Ola Fendert was trying to get the word out about Oola's unusually late hours, he reached out to concierges, doormen and taxi drivers, including by plying them with free meals in some cases. (I mentioned the concierge thing in my article on late-night dining.)

You could argue that this sort of wining and dining is a way of spreading knowledge and ultimately helping make patrons aware about a restaurant staying open until 1am, still a rare, hard-to-find thing in San Francisco.

You could also argue that concierges who accept this sort of outreach are going to be influenced to recommend a restaurant that offers them freebies or commissions over a restaurant that doesn't give these goodies, even when the latter restaurant is the better recommendation for the patron.

These sorts of debates are not unknown in the journalism world. But the best journalists uniformly decline freebies, at least past a certain level.

Maybe concierges are totally different, maybe not.

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Sam said...

oh please - please peruade your concierge tipster to start a blog! I want to read more.

I don't think anyone expects a concierge to have the same ethical standards as a journalist. i have no problem with them accepting the freebies. I'd be more worried if they did NOT have experience of the places they are recommending.

October 03, 2007 1:10 PM  

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