Misunderstanding Or...?

While on business last October I passed through Füssen and decided to follow your recommendation and stay at the Pension Heim. I was greeted by a young lady, who told me a room with breakfast was 52 D-marks. I was given a nice room with double bed, but not requested to sign any registration. At breakfast the next morning, it turned out that the young lady had misunderstood my imperfect German and thought I was with my wife. On check-out, the owner told me there had been a mistake, that I had been put in the wrong room and the charge was 60 D-marks. I was at a disadvantage in the language and not about to argue over eight marks as the room and stay had been very pleasant. Actually, the hotel was only half full, so I don't think I was depriving a couple of a room. So I paid the 60 D-Marks and asked for a receipt. The owner told me if he had to give me a receipt, he would have to charge more due to taxes. I left without a receipt!

I felt I was being taken advantage of. If the young lady thought I was two people, and the charge was 52 D-marks, how come on becoming a single the charge increased to 60 D-marks? Secondly, in addition to taking advantage of me, he was also making cash money on the side.

I thought you might want to warn your readers about the potential for this kind of thing. The Pension Heim is a very nice place and good value, and I would certainly go again, but this did leave a bad taste following an otherwise pleasant visit.

Incidentally, I also followed your recommendation of the pub that is a short walk from the Heim in the same village. That too was a good recommendation and exactly as you described it even to the frenetic manager/waiter.

Austin Peppin
Chesterfield, MO

(Ed. Note: It seems obvious the Heim's owner keeps no written record of some guests in order to avoid taxes and possibly an assessment to the tourist office based on number of overnight stays. We have been told this is not an uncommon practice in Germany and numerous times have paid in cash for rooms and signed no register, which is what we recall doing at the Heim in 1992. The cost for our double room was 108 DM.

Why you were charged 60 DM when they discovered you were a single is quite mysterious except that it sounds like the extra eight marks was a "single supplement." Perhaps they thought you were traveling with a business associate and that person would pay separately for a total of 104 DM. The 1993 Michelin Red Guide for Deutschland shows the lowest single room price at the Heim is 70 DM and the highest double goes for 120 DM. It is really quite difficult to imagine those friendly people trying to cheat someone out of eight marks.)

(U.S. Dollar prices quoted in this issue of Gemütlichkeit may be inaccurate for these reasons:

* Prices in local currency have not been updated since the date of publication of this newsletter, and...
* The dollar prices shown were obtained by using exchange rates in effect at the time of publication.)

April 1993