I’m Still in Awe; Four Points Front Desk Agent Gave My UberEATS Driver a Key to My Room
I just got back from a very brief stay in Memphis, Tenessee. I flew down for a night to see a concert with some friends who are down there for college. Since Memphis has just a few flights a day, none of which appear to depart after 5 PM, I had to get a hotel for the night.
I’ve been actively avoiding Four Points hotels since I started staying at Starwood Hotels. Four Points properties, with the exception of newly opened hotels, are almost always disgusting and dated. The price usually reflects the quality and age of the hotels, however, on occasion, Four Points are no cheaper than a Sheraton or Hilton. This time around, I couldn’t avoid Four Points. Both the Westin and Sheraton were sold out and that left me with two Four Points hotels.
I decided to book the Four Points Memphis East given the close proximity to both the concert hall and college that my friends attend. Additionally, the hotel featured a complimentary airport shuttle. That said, I wasn’t expecting much.
The outside of the hotel is very dated and depressing. It looks like any run-of-the-mill entry-level hotel built in the late 1980s or early 1990s. It’s just a rectangular brick building with no character. I lowered my expectations as the shuttle pulled into the parking lot.
I was pleasantly surprised I entered the lobby. The lobby was clean and somewhat modern. It looked like every Hampton Inn lobby ever and I mean that in a good way. The front desk agent was super friendly and managed to get me in a room before 11 AM.
The room, however, was just downright gross. The lighting was dim and depressing, the furniture was dated, the room lacked any character or distinctive features, and the bathroom was reminiscent of a hospital bathroom. I was actually satisfied with the room for the most part except for one aspect. The room reeked. I don’t know how to explain the smell. The best I can do is a combination of mildew and sweat. Nonetheless, I managed to get past the smell.
Though it doesn’t sound like it, I was actually enjoying my stay. The hotel was as advertised. It’s a Four Points, not a Westin. The rate I booked reflected what I got during my stay. It wasn’t until later in my stay that things got a little weird.
McDonald’s Is Best Served In Your Hotel Room at 1 AM
When I got back to my room following the concert, I realized I hadn’t eaten since midday. Unfortunately, in Memphis, especially the area I was staying in, everything closes before 10 PM. This meant I could go to bed craving a late night snack or have McDonald’s delivered. I chose McDonald’s.
I ordered McDonald’s via the UberEATS app. UberEATS is super easy to use and my experience has been consistent thus far.
Within 25 minutes, my order arrived at the hotel. I had instructed the driver to come to the fourth floor and meet me at the elevators, which he did. However, in a rush to meet my driver, I walked out of my room barefoot without my room key!
When I heard the door close behind me, I let out an audible, “Oh, no way.” I instantly realized I had locked myself out of my room. Embarrassed and in a panic, I let my UberEATS driver know what I had just done. I turned to my UberEATS driver and said, “Yikes, I guess I just locked myself out of my room, but no worries, I’ll get this figure out, thanks and have a goodnight.” He didn’t really make a comment, he just acknowledged that I had said something.
I immediately picked up the courtesy phone located in front of the elevators and called down to the front desk. The agent picked up and I explained my situation, “Hi, I just had an UberEATS driver drop off some food and I stepped out into the hallway barefoot and without my key so I was hoping you could send a key up to the fourth floor to get me into my room. My name is Max Prosperi and I’m in room 416” The front desk agent replied, sounding annoyed, “Yeah, it’s going to be a few minutes.”
I stood in front of my door, McDonald’s in hand awaiting the front desk agent or another staff member to bring me my key. Less than two minutes passed and the elevator door opened. It was my UberEATS driver. I was surprised and actually a little worried. Why had he returned? I knew he had heard me read back my room number and I panicked considering the possibility that he might have malicious intent.
He raised his left arm and began to motion towards me. He had a key in his hand. He said, “Here’s that key you called down for. Have a nice night.”
I waited until I could make sure he was no longer on the fourth floor. For a good five minutes, I was in awe. The front desk gave a key to my room to a complete stranger. It was a complete breach of privacy. Without consulting me, the front desk agent handed a random man a key to my room at 1 in the morning. I was not happy. Tired and unsure if anything major had really happened, I ate and went to bed.
This Is Actually a Major Issue
The more I think about what had happened, the more I take issue with how the hotel staff handled the situation.
Usually, hotels are very strict when it comes to the privacy and safety of guests. At most major hotels, you even need a key just to operate the elevators. For some reason, the front desk staff at the Four Points Memphis East thought it was perfectly okay to give a key to my room to a complete stranger.
Sure, I had just allowed the UberEATS driver to visit my floor, however, I intentionally just gave him my floor number as I did not want the driver to know the room in which I was staying. Whenever I travel alone, I’m always more careful and take few risks when it comes to privacy and personal safety. Though I had allowed the UberEATS driver to come to my floor, does that somehow imply I’m okay with him having access to my room? I certainly don’t think so.
I’m sure I’m blowing this out of proportion to an extent. Nonetheless, I’ve come to expect a certain degree of privacy and safety when staying at major hotels. For me, giving a room key to a complete stranger is unacceptable.
What do you think of the front desk agent’s decision to give my delivery driver a key to my room?