Giving Out Replacement Hotel Keys

It's a tough security trade-off. Guests lose their hotel room keys, and the hotel staff needs to be accommodating. But at the same time, they can't be giving out hotel room keys to anyone claiming to have lost one. Generally, hotels ask to see some ID before giving out a replacement key and, if the guest doesn't have his wallet with him, have someone walk to the room with the key and check their ID.

This normally works pretty well, but there's a court case in Brisbane right now about a hotel giving a room key to someone who ended up sexually attacking the woman who had rented the room.

In civil action launched yesterday, the woman alleges the man was given the spare access key to her room by a hotel staffer.

The article doesn't say what kind of authentication the hotel requested or received.

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 12:12 PM • 52 Comments

Comments

t3knomanserNovember 13, 2008 12:47 PM

Um, we apparently don't stay at the same hotels. Mind you, I've never LOST a key, but I've walked up to the counter with a dead magstrip and gotten a new key simply by stating a room number. They never have actually checked to see if I was a guest, or if that was my room.

This is part of the reason I travel very light- the only real valuable thing is my personal laptop.

fsatelerNovember 13, 2008 12:51 PM

That's not my experience with lost keys. What has happened to me is that they generate new keys, so that old ones don't work. Thus either the attacker or the real customer get inside the room, but both can't. There are no spare keys.
Of course, this doesn't prevent stealing stuff.

waldorfNovember 13, 2008 12:56 PM

i was a porter at a hotel in london in the early 90's. there was a very drunk woman who had caused a ruckus in the hotel bar. she somehow stumbled her way through the hotel and to a room door. she was banging on the door, screaming to be let in. guests in the rooms nearby complained, and i was sent up to investigate. i asked her her name, and if the room in question was hers. she told me her name, and said yes this was her room. i called down to the front desk to verify. everything checked out so i let her in with my pass key. everyone was happy to have the drunk lady put away. everyone except for the people who really were guests in that room who returned a few hours later.

Frequent GuestNovember 13, 2008 1:06 PM

I don't lose keys a lot but it does happen every now and again.

The process that Bruce describes (check an id or walk you back to the room if you left it there...) is, in fact, what the hotels that I stay at follow (Marriott, Hilton etc.). The only exceptions that I can recall have been at hotels were I was on a first name basis with the staff. They may skip the id check in that case but they still (seem to) look up the room data and make sure that it is mine...

And when they replace a key the old key does get invalidated. (I've tested it after finding the old key...)

partdavidNovember 13, 2008 1:08 PM

I stayed in a charmingly mom-and-pop establishment that accidentally gave me the room keys to a room that was already occupied. It was embarrassing for both me and the young woman dancing around the room in her iPod and underwear.

I have rarely, if ever, even been asked for ID in order to get a replacement room key (which I do a lot, actually, since I'm very absent-minded).

Tony H.November 13, 2008 1:09 PM

I've found (well, my wife has found, since I never lose my key...) that it varies tremendously, based on nothing I can figure out. Certainly it's not related to how upscale the hotel is, other then at the very top and bottom ends. Sometimes it's a sort of challenge-response scheme, where they'll ask when did we check in, how many keys were issued, etc. Other times it's "we need to see your driver's licence plus one other photo-ID". And like crossing a border, sometimes it's just " here you go, have a nice day"...

A related curiosity I encountered a couple of years ago was when I checked in, dropped off my stuff, and promptly forgot my room number! I approached the front desk, suitably embarassed (genuine) and tapping my (unlabeled for security reasons, of course) room keycard on the counter. There was no validation at all, just a name lookup and I was given the room number.

Only after did I realize I had done some social engineering; hotels won't normally give out someone else's room number, or even confirm that they've checked in. Doubtless the fact that I had physical possession of a keycard (but not necessarily the one for the room I was asking about), along with the "I can't believe I've forgotten my room number" embarassed attitude, helped.

GrahameNovember 13, 2008 1:13 PM

Often stay in hotels around Australia, and occasionally lose keys (usually leave them in the room). Procedures vary wildly

Guess things are going to tighten up for a few years.

Henning MakholmNovember 13, 2008 1:26 PM

And that's not to mention hotels whose standard operating practice is that guests should leave their room key at the reception when they go out for the day and ask for it by room number coming back. Some hotels try to enforce/encourage this by having large and unwieldy key fobs. That system now seems to be getting rarer as many hotels get recodeable electronic locks, but I have never encountered any attempt at verification at the places that do use it.

Ben HNovember 13, 2008 1:34 PM

I once lost my billfold while on vacation that had both my room key and my ID. The hotel staff had me describe some of my belongings in my room, and went into the room to verify while I stayed at the front desk. Only after they found the items I described did they give me a replacement key. This seems both pretty reasonable and more or less secure to me.

Seth BreidbartNovember 13, 2008 2:00 PM

With key cards, the hotel staff can either write a replacement card (other cards remain good) or a new card. If the card was lost, they prefer to write a new card, so the finder of the old card can't get in.

archangelNovember 13, 2008 2:02 PM

For the confused, digital means "by use of fingers". This is one case where digital and analog are the same.

thiefhunterNovember 13, 2008 2:18 PM

I'm often given replacement keys without ID. Hotel security is useless, even if it is pretended. I stay in hotels 200+ days a year (for the past 16 years). http://bobarno.com/thiefhunters/2008/07/my-travel-stats/

Here's one way sophisticated thieves get keys to a room they specifically target, for example those of "whales" (huge gamblers) in Vegas, jewelry salesmen, or whomever they target. (BRUCE: should we really publish this? You decide.) They find out the room number of their mark. They casually ask front desk staff for a preliminary bill, which is printed and given, and includes the mark's name and address. Then the thief goes out to his van and makes a fake ID with the mark's info and his own picture. That's all the ID required to get a room key.

Next step, in big cases: the thief wants safety box access in that room. His partner watches the mark while the thief calls security. The ID works there, too.

This has happened in Vegas.
Thiefhunters in Paradise
http://bobarno.com/thiefhunters/

Nick S.November 13, 2008 2:24 PM

I've stayed in 30-40 hotels in the past 10 years, and never lost a key, but have had them stop working, or expire when I extended my stay. I've _never_ been asked for ID, and I don't recall anybody even asking for my name either- just a room number. I'm 99% certain that with any key card used by a particular hotel in my possession, I could get it reprogrammed for any room.

Granted, I don't stay in incredibly high-class joints, but some of these places have had rates approaching $150/night...

HarryNovember 13, 2008 2:41 PM

In my experience procedures vary widely. Sometimes I'm asked for ID, sometimes not; this does not correlate to places where I'm recognized by face. (Even if I were, I could still be asking for a key to someone else's room). Sometimes the old room keys are invalidated, sometimes not.

And electronic keys do even less to stop the insider threat than did the physical keys.

Something_to_call_MeNovember 13, 2008 2:45 PM

Hi,

I remember i did want to make a prank to a friend... I needed access to the room to set up the prank...

I was trying to get a copy of the key from the staff... but wasn't able to get it... Then, talked about security... and divert the conversation... i then, asked if they have a "Bobby" ( It's not the real name ) in their computer. "Is a Bobby can access the room ?"
Bobby is not in our list for that room he told me... I turn around, i laugh and i tell my other friend: "I don't think bobby has a key... He'll have to wait until 2am haha"

I ask the guy if it's possible to add Bobby Xyz to the list for that room... and i ask him that for security reason, there should be any other people allowed to that room... He confirmed that only these two will have access.

So, i call the "bobby" and ask him to get a key at the hotel lobby in a few hours. "Bobby" gave it to me and i finally set up the prank...

Oh btw, Bobby Xyz has to show his id to get the key... :)

anonymous canuckNovember 13, 2008 3:02 PM

A friend of mine who was on the road a lot had a couple of instances of lost keys. He said everytime he was asked for ID and had it. Except for once.

As he told it, he had been on the road for about 5 weeks straight and rose around 2am to use the washroom. He wasn't fully awake until the bathroom door clicked shut behind him. He finally borrowed a potted plant so he could present his credentials at the front desk.

It would seem they followed him back up to double check after lending him a bath robe.

SkipNovember 13, 2008 3:09 PM

@fsateler: "That's not my experience with lost keys. What has happened to me is that they generate new keys, so that old ones don't work. Thus either the attacker or the real customer get inside the room, but both can't. There are no spare keys.
"Of course, this doesn't prevent stealing stuff."

It also wouldn't prevent assault if the victim was already in the room (deactivating her key wouldn't help).

TrooperNovember 13, 2008 3:23 PM

My one experience losing a room key was at a relatively high-end spa in Northern California. They used mechanical keys, and I locked mine in the room. I went to the front desk and was shocked when I was handed a room key after only being asked the room number (They did not even verify my name).

Some GuyNovember 13, 2008 3:54 PM

At larger properties, it doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to simply snap a quick photo of you when you check in and use that to verify your identity later if the need arises. I suppose that could raise other attack vectors but those vectors probably exist.

At some large properties (the Venetian in Vegas comes to mind) it's gotten to where they now expect to see photo ID for everything, including charging a drink to your room. It's a huge pain for foreigners whose only photo ID is their passport, which they don't necessarily keep on their person at all times (particularly not at the pool.)

AlanNovember 13, 2008 3:56 PM

I've also been accidentally given the key to an occupied room. I retreated without waking the occupants (it was about 3am and I'd been delayed by fog).

Todd KnarrNovember 13, 2008 4:31 PM

I've worked hotel desk, and there's one reason they sometimes don't check ID: the clerk recognizes you as the person they checked into that room. Even checking in a hundred people in a shift, I'd still recognize about half of them well enough the next day to match faces to names and room numbers. If the supervisor was around I'd usually ask for ID, but that was a formality.

Scott CarlsonNovember 13, 2008 4:35 PM

Visit Italy and you're in for a treat. First, they photocopy your passport when you checkin. You must leave the room key at the desk when you leave. These are actual keys and not digicards.

When you return, you say your room number and they give you the key. Even if they've never seen you before. They never ask names either.

Had me very freaked out the whole time.

Clive RobinsonNovember 13, 2008 4:43 PM

Having designed electronic locks for the hotel industry the one thing that alwaysd surprised me was how the receptionists could remember guests and their room numbers, names etc.

I asked one (quite attractive) receptionist in a very large German hotel how she did it and she said that it was quite simple...

She explained that everybody had a manner as well as a look and the manner was usually the determaning thing. I gave her a questioning look and she proved her point. She wrote a bunch of room numbers down on a piece of paper, then said to her colleague "left handed shoots cuffs fiddles with ring on right finger". Her colleague said room 470 which was the first on the list. After a couple more she said pick a number which I did and her colleague got it spot on.

I was suitably surprised but didn't manage to get her to go to dinner 8(

Oh and some hotels issue their receptionists with wedding rings to wear when on duty to apparently stop "American business men propositioning them"...

Chris B.November 13, 2008 4:46 PM

Of course, for the "already in the room" scenarios, there are many good reasons you're supposed to always throw the deadbolt and whatever chain/latch they provide for opening the door partway, whenever you're in the room. This is one of those reasons. When I go in my hotel room, I automatically throw both locks as soon as the door closes, just by habit.

Brian CarnellNovember 13, 2008 7:06 PM

"I've worked hotel desk, and there's one reason they sometimes don't check ID: the clerk recognizes you as the person they checked into that room. Even checking in a hundred people in a shift, I'd still recognize about half of them well enough the next day to match faces to names and room numbers. If the supervisor was around I'd usually ask for ID, but that was a formality."

I find that extremely disturbing. The few times I have lost a keycard at a hotel I was asked to produce ID (which I fortunately had on me).

I would hope people who check in a hundred people in a shift aren't doing something as absurd as relying on memory as the sole basis of verification.

Nobby NutsNovember 14, 2008 3:48 AM

I stayed in a hotel in Dublin many years ago which had mechanical keys on the doors. My room on the fourth floor was left out of the lift and then the first room on the left.

Arrived back there one afternoon, turned left out of the lift, first room on the left, put my key in, opened the door, walked in and found someone else's stuff all over the room! WTF? Only after I'd got back into the lift to go to reception did I realise I'd got off on the third floor!

I can only assume that rooms in the same position on different floors had the same key!

bobNovember 14, 2008 6:52 AM

While the underlying issue of not verifying identity is a true problem that should be quickly addressed; every hotel I can remember staying in had a deadbolt or security latch of some sort inside that prohibited access from the outside (assuming a battering ram is not a key).

One time a drunk neighbor mistook my house for his quite similar one next door and tried to force his way in in the wee hours of the morning. Being a rental, this one did NOT have any lock other than the flimsy doorknob nightlatch and it was a very nervous situation which could have had permanent consequences.

DvärsättNovember 14, 2008 8:21 AM

Similarly, getting hotel breakfast at least in Europe usually only requires marching in and stating what room number to charge. Occasionally, you may have to give your name (but if you're good at reading upside down quickly, the names tend to be in plain view on the list they use for verification).

Oh well, at least breakfast usually costs less than the items I leave in my room. And I suppose hotel staff may be really good remembering faces... or not!

jlNovember 14, 2008 9:55 AM

Another social engineering trick that was shown on TV (Dateline or some such show): You watch someone checking in and note what kind of luggage they have. You find a hotel staff person, and say you left your keys in the room. You don't have your ID on you, but you can describe items that are in the room. So the staff person checks, lo and behold, you were right, so you are let into the room!

Clive RobinsonNovember 14, 2008 10:19 AM

@ Nobby Nuts,

"I can only assume that rooms in the same position on different floors had the same key!"

Probably not.

The old mechanical locks in hotels often have split pins so that more than one key will open a given door. The locks are usually aranged in groups so that,

1, A "guests key" should only open the door to their room.
2, A floor "maids key" should only open doors on the floor they work.
3, maintanence and similar staff get "managers key" that open all doors.

In the lock industry keys that open more than one door are often known as "masters" so 2 above is a "floor master" and 3 a "hotel master".

The trouble with "master keys" is it is usually not possible by inexperianced eye to tell what type of key is which so it is possible for a hotel master to be put on a room key fob...

The numbers of master key and guest keys is quite large in a standard five or seven pin type Yale lock. You can make upto eight seperate pin hights per pin giving you a maximum of 32K / 2M combinations of unique key. However in reality due to key profile and lock wear a large number of the combinations either cannot or don't get used.

If you now assume only four hights due to split pin usage, you get 1K and 4K combinations. But if one pin has a single split it works at two heights which means two keys will open the same lock. Five split pins with one split each means thirty two keys to a lock, and five pins with two splits 243 keys. Obviously their are similar wear and profile issues reducing the number but you can see the potential.

As you can see you can have a quite a large number of "master keys" in a given hotel.

Unfortunatly the lock industry tends to sell such locks as being a "more secure" option than other methods, and charge considerably higher prices for each lock than normal. But as you can see they are using a different definition of secure to the rest of us...

Todd KnarrNovember 14, 2008 12:18 PM

@Brian: actually the clerk's memory is probably better than ID. It's fairly easy to get a fake driver's license in any name you want. It's a lot harder to make your face and voice match someone else. I think you're just boggled at the idea that a clerk can accurately and reliably remember that many people based on just having seen them once. But remember, those clerks do this for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. They get a *lot* of practice at it, and they can get very very good at it.

SkipNovember 14, 2008 12:34 PM

@Chris B."Of course, for the "already in the room" scenarios, there are many good reasons you're supposed to always throw the deadbolt and whatever chain/latch they provide for opening the door partway, whenever you're in the room."

True. Except in the instance a person you are sharing a room with is out of the room and you don't bolt or chain it so they can get in.

I do admit that it would be quite rare that this situation would happen to someone. Of course, it may be a good scam for people, now that this is known, to arrange the scenario so they can win a big lawsuit.

just sayingNovember 14, 2008 12:47 PM

I spent a lot of time with various groups in Germany. On one of these trips we had a "chaperone" who was maybe 19. Total jackass. Would throw down the most ridiculous restrictions on us (I was 18 at the time) and then go out and party all night.

So after about a week of finding ourselves "forbidden" from enjoying night life while on the road, we took action. I went downstairs to the frontdesk and simply asked for the key to the room. I didn't say I lost it, or make up a reason, I just asked for a spare key and I got it.

Needless to say when he got back to his room that night, he found an empty bottle of orange Fanta seeming to indicate a "spill" on his bed. He didn't care as he was smashed and slept in a sheets and on a pillow that about 5 of us had relieved ourselves on after enjoying a large quantity of local brew.

When it was all said in done, a very uneasy truce was called, and we got no more nonsense about not being able to go out at night.

The scary thing was when it dawned on me someone could have just as easily asked for the key to the room my sister was staying in (traveling with us at 14) and done a lot worse than piss on her bed while she was out...

paulNovember 14, 2008 2:48 PM

From the news account, it's not at all clear whether the claim is that the attacker was given the key under a misapprehension or by collusion. There would be a cause of action either way.

PoldarkNovember 14, 2008 3:44 PM

@Clive:

The halls of residence at a university I studied at used split-pin Yale locks when I first went there.

Students being students, we rather rapidly worked out that 6 split pins across approximately 1300 rooms in 160 floors/flats plus master keys. sub-master keys and communal rooms in both flats and other parts of the halls made for an awful number of 'false positives'.

Worse, the flats to which one could gain illicit access to the communal areas were easy to determine, usually by counting up or down a certain number of floors.

Typically, Freshers would start their first term with no padlocks on, e.g. food lockers, until they got home one evening to find the cupboard bare and realised exactly why University staff were giving a lot of somewhat elliptic warnings about padlocks, vigilance etc.

Thankfully, by my graduating year, the powers that be had bitten the bullet and purchased a more sophisticated keying system that didn't have this vulnerability.

Replacing a lost key now cost rather a lot of money, though...

MrprocNovember 14, 2008 5:44 PM

I've had a troubling experience in 2005 in a three-star hotel in Europe. I had locked the deadbolt (the kind that feels springy when you turn it and requires about three or four turns to lock) and taken a nap, feeling relatively safe. I had just awakened from my nap when I heard some fiddling on my door. I then heard a short, muffled conversation between a man and a woman near the door, and then some more, louder, fiddling which sounded like someone was unlocking the deadbolt. At that point, I got up in disbelief to check the peephole. Seconds later, when I was about 10 feet from the door, it was opened by a maid, and a man entered, dragging a suitcase on wheels. Seeing me in my undies, looking embarrassed, he apologized profusely and left the room.

Assuming the man was an actual guest, I speculate that the muffled conversation I had heard went something like "Excuse me... look, my keycard is good, the green light is on, but I can't open the door!", and that the maid just unlocked the deadbolt without any sort of check with the reception. So much for the added "security" of the deadbolt.

StephenNovember 14, 2008 6:27 PM

I stay in 2-4 hotels per week and frequently lose hotel keys -- around one per month. I have _never_ had the folks at the desk fail to ask me for ID before giving me another key, even in a few embarrassing cases where it was less than ten minutes since the same person had checked me in and recognized me.

OTOH, several times I've been given keys to rooms that were still occupied, when the prior occupant hadn't checked out as scheduled. It always seems to happen late at night when the hotel is packed and the staff are sleepy, and has happened to me at some very high-end hotels -- with the inevitable result of some naked woman sitting up in bed and screaming as I walk into the room. Not what a guy needs at 3am after a delayed flight and with a meeting at 8am...

reality checkNovember 15, 2008 8:12 AM

An under-the-door tool will reach up and pull down the handle. The plastic card does not record every time the door is opened, only the times it is done with the keycard.

You could leave a string hanging from the handle with one end laying on the floor.

Returning you can fish this out with a coat hanger or other wire.

leaving no audit trail for going and coming back.


++++

reality checkNovember 15, 2008 8:13 AM

An under-the-door tool will reach up and pull down the handle. The plastic card does not record every time the door is opened, only the times it is done with the keycard.

You could leave a string hanging from the handle with one end laying on the floor.

Returning you can fish this out with a coat hanger or other wire.

Leaving no audit trail for going and coming back.


++++

Brian CarnellNovember 15, 2008 1:40 PM

Todd Knarr wrote:

"@Brian: actually the clerk's memory is probably better than ID. It's fairly easy to get a fake driver's license in any name you want. It's a lot harder to make your face and voice match someone else. I think you're just boggled at the idea that a clerk can accurately and reliably remember that many people based on just having seen them once. But remember, those clerks do this for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. They get a *lot* of practice at it, and they can get very very good at it."

I think the odds that I check in to a hotel and someone goes to the trouble of getting a fake ID in my name, etc. are orders of magnitude smaller than some con artist targets a hotel clerk with simple social engineering strategies based on information gleaned from observing the check in.

There are numerous studies and experiments that demonstrate our memory is both extremely fallible and malleable -- ripe for manipulation by a good con. Relying on it for granting access to a secure environment (which I expect my hotel room to be for anyone who doesn't have a key) is insane.

Bob MeadeNovember 15, 2008 10:50 PM

I have worked in hotels for more than 20 years. On the security side of the business, and the operational side too, including managing the housekeeping and front desk departments. And I live in Australia.

I'll give some suggestions on gauging the security awareness of the hotel staff and security vulnerability of your hotel.

I'll try not to give hotel thieves too much to work with. They use Google too.

- In years past, there have been professional hotel thieves working in Australia, mostly of South American origin, some home grown. thishappens in other parts of the world too.

- It is unclear from the news item whether or not the subject hotel used metal/mechanical keys and locks or electronic locks with keycards.

- If the hotel uses metal keys (with the exception of Marlok which is a high security electronic system) and you want to be secure then check out and go somewhere else that uses an electronic system. Too many lost and unaccounted for keys in circulation.

- Now that you are in a room with a modern electronic hotel guest room lock it should have a deadlock on the back (usually looks like a small lever you flick, but can also look like a button you depress in the back of the lock handle), it should also have an old fashioned keychain so you have some defence against staff members who ignore your Do Not Disturb sign or the theif who has circumvented your use of the deadlock. The door should have a fire rated eye peephole in it. For people who are of short stature, this peephole needs to be low enough for you to see out. If it is not, you will need to ask for a stool to stand upon.

If your guest room door lock does not have all three - a deadlock on the back, an old fashioned security chain, and a peephole - then go somewhere else that does.

I do bear in mind the comment above about the neccessity of not deadlocking the door if you are awaiting your roommate's late return while you may be asleep - but be aware that you assume some risk if you do not deadlock your door and use the key chain provided. If your employer has put you in a shared room under such circumstances such as conference attendance for example (very common) then the employer is exposing the employee to some increased risk.

- Many hotel front desk staff adn housekeeping staff CAN remember your face and name even though they have dealt with hundreds of people that day - one of the skills of the business. Many cannot. However it is very good practice for the staff member issuing a key upon request of a purported guest to check a few details on the computer such as matching name to room number. It is coommon for guests to misquote a room number, particularly frequent travellers whose room number at a previous lodging property pops into their mind when they are asking for a keycard. Another very good reason is that you may have changed rooms either voluntarily or involuntarily since the staff member last dealt with you.

- If you have an item of valuable property then keep it on your person, or in your hand, or in the hotel's safe deposit facility. If it is not on your person, or in your hand, or in the safe deposit then it may be stolen. I can't elaborate further on this. Sometimes, just as in the street, even on your person or in your hand is not safe. If it is not in the safe deposit facility, then you are assuming some risk. I know the use of laptop computers and all the other electronic devices associated with modern life make this difficult - but well, there it is.

- It's a very good idea to say hello to the housekeeping staff on your floor, and look them in the eye when you see them. Same with the front desk staff every time you walk past. The more familiar they are with you, the more they can associate your face and name with a particular room, the less likely they will be to succumb to an attempt to illegally gain entry to your room using some of the ploys mentioned above.

Ok, so here's the summary:

- no electronic lock - no stay.

- no deadlock facility, no security chain, no peephole - no stay.

- Not happy with the security awareness of front desk staff and housekeeping - no stay.

- Lock up your valuables in the safety deposit, or keep them on you, or in your hand. That means not on the counter, not on the floor beside you, not on the seat beside you.

I know nothing about the facts of the case in Cairns, and hence will offer no opinion.

MichaelNovember 16, 2008 3:09 AM

This is one reason why I prefer to stay at small bed and breakfast establishments.
Others:
- no large concentration of travellers to attract thieves
- generally cheaper
- generally better service
Downsides:
- no restaurant / room service
- no pool / gym

AnonymousNovember 17, 2008 1:48 AM

I work in a hotel, and always ask for ID before giving someone a key card, or reprogramming a key card. You might be astounded by the number of people that find it a hassle to produce ID to get a key card to the room that may contain all their valuables. I find it astounding.

The would be thief or assaulter should just buy their own key machine, or lock programmer. They can be expensive, but this way you wouldn't have to present yourself to the front desk to get the key where their may be cameras or a clerk who may remember you. Feel free to delete this comment if you think it gives out too much information about ways around security.

Andy BarrattNovember 17, 2008 10:51 AM

I see this all the time, unfortunately my work involves regularly staying away from home.
All I have to do is present my dead magstripe card to a person at reception, state my room number and they re-issue.

Occasionally they will ask for my name, and occasionally they will ask me to provie it.

So if you want to gain access to someones room, simply sit in reception reading a paper and wait for someone to come and get their key re-issued. half an hour later go to the desk and give another receptionist the same credentials and roberts your fathers brother....

paraguayanMay 19, 2010 7:02 AM

The weakest point of safes are at the desk of the hotel.

A man, handing a working room key to the desk of the hotel, asked for help to open the safe of the corresponding room, then stole 110000 euros.

Anonymous NameAugust 16, 2010 1:31 AM

A similiar situation happened to me like the one you posted at the beginning of this thread. The only exception was the hotel clerk knowing gave the key to a person that used to work at the hotel and knew that person was not a registered guest.

I was raped by more than one person.

This also happened in 2008...In a very large hotel chain in the United States. I find the posting by Clive Robinson extremely interesting because Key "3" was the key the desk clerk gave to one the individuals that entered my room that night.

kimJanuary 4, 2012 12:57 AM

what recourse do i have if the hotel admitted in giving my room key and items were taken from my room but hotel states they are not at fault

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