Most keys contain only a room number, a departure date and a "folio," or guest account code—although other data may be stored on them as well. The door locks, which are stand-alone, battery-powered devices, each contain a sequence of lock
codes. The sequence advances when an expired card is swiped or a new card inserted. The lock also logs when a guest, maid or other hotel employee has
entered the room. Hotel door locks aren't wired back to the systems at the front desk. Therefore, if a card is lost and a new card is issued, the room remains unprotected until the new card is inserted into the lock and it resets. Hotels use card-key locks because they are relatively inexpensive, make rekeying easy, include a time limit and provide an audit trail of room access.
The initial inquiry:
I have an persistent problem with my keycards for hotel rooms deactivating. The hotel chain does not matter -Starwood, Hyatt, Hilton-all the cards deactivate. My husband claims it because I store them in my wallet which I then put in my purse which also holds my blackberry. I say that although his theory for deactivation is possible, it is ridiculous that this happens. Where else would I supposed to store my room key except my wallet? So, my question(s) to you: do other people have this problem? Is the problem largely limited to women (or men) who carry purses which contain both their wallet and cellphone/blackberry? Can hotels fix this issue? And most importantly, is there anything I can do to prevent this-aluminum foil around the card or some other crazy hack?
Cases and flip-phone closures aren’t the only part of mobile phones with magnets… the earpiece speaker has one, too. (and if there’s an external speaker for speakerphone features, it will have one as well). It’s a fairly strong magnet at that: many mobile phones are now using neodymium rare earth magnets which are extraordinarily strong for their size. The reason is that you need a good magnet to operate the speaker (and get quality audio), and neodymium magnets allow phone manufacturers to keep the size small. It’s easily possible that the magnet present in the Blackberry’s earpiece is the source of magnetic deactivation. Couple that earpiece with a mag stripe on the hotel card which is designed for continuous alteration (as opposed to the stripe on ATM/Credit Cards which is set only once), and you’ve got a good recipe for futzing up the card.
- But this is a very long way to go to get to my point, which is: It is conceivable that the guest of the hotel might have inadvertantly decoded their card or made some other error. However, it doesn't take much for an employee of any company, for any reason, to say, "I'm sorry." These are very magical words. I have for many years worked in customer service even before I started getting paid for it. Saying "I'm sorry" on behalf of a company just means, "I apologize that you were inconvenienced." It doesn't mean necessarily that the employee is saying, "It's my fault." It goes along way in smoothing ruffled feathers. Most people just want to know someone has a little sympathy for their situation.