Hotel Horror: Investigation Reveals How Easy It Can Be to Get Key Card to Another Room Without SHOWING Any ID
In separate statements the corporate owners of the Doubletree and the Courtyard by Marriott say they take the safety and security of their guests very seriously.
Hotel key cards have made it easier than ever for guests to get into their room.
Most people view these new electronic cards as safer as well since they are much harder to copy that a standard key.
But what if a person walks up to the front desk and requests the card to a room they are not staying in? An Inside Edition investigation reveals, at some hotels, it is much easier than people might expect.
"They're supposed to check your name, your ID, against what's in the computer. They didn't do any of that," Cheri Marchionda tells Lisa Guerrero.
She says that she experienced her worst nightmare when a man got a key card to her room at an Embassy Suites in Iowa.
"Well, simplest way to put it is: I was raped for approximately two and a half hours," Cheri says. "The only thing he said to me was, 'you're not going to scream rape.' And I remember him being excited because I had a nightgown on."
And another traveling business woman named Mandy, who asked us not to use her last name, says she was staying in her room at a hotel in Austin, TX when the front desk clerk gave a man a key to her room without verifying his ID.
"I heard something at the door," Mandy says. "When I realized that somebody was trying to get into my room, I ran as quickly as I could and slammed the door."
Mandy says she slammed that door so hard that she severed the man's finger.
That guest later said that he had been given the wrong key card at check-in and no charges have been filed against him.
"It was very scary," Mandy tells Inside Edition. "And it's been very overwhelming for me since then to go back on the road because of that."
Inside Edition decided to see just how easy it might be to get a key card for another guest's hotel room.
Two days after Mandy checked into a Courtyard by Marriott in Ohio, an Inside Edition investigative producer walked into the lobby and told the front desk clerk he locked himself out of Mandy's room.
The front desk clerk handed over a key card to Mandy's room without ever asking for a picture ID. A minute later, the Inside Edition producer used the card to let himself into Mandy's room. Mandy was in disbelief.
"You're kidding me?" Mandy says the second Josh opens the door. "And this is the reason why I don't ever feel safe."
A hotel manager later apologized for the incident, and said they will look into the matter.
The Inside Edition producer also managed to get a hotel key card once again just a few days later at a Doubletree in New Jersey.
And once again, the front desk staff gave the producer the key without asking for ID.
This time, it is Guerrero who is in disbelief when the producer is able to walk into her room with his card.
And once again, the front desk staff give Josh this key without asking for an ID.
Cheri says she now triple locks her door with a special device called a key latch while staying at hotels.
Mandy uses a door wedge, which sets off a loud alarm if somebody tries to enter her room.
The Embassy Suites where Cheri says she was attacked says they are now under new management and have a strict policy to only provide keys to registered guests.
Hilton said in a statement to Inside Edition: “The wellbeing, safety and security of our guests and Team Members are of paramount importance and we take any security-related incident very seriously. Hotels are required to maintain stringent security protocols to prevent unauthorized access to a guest room and we continuously review our standards and training protocols to support hotel compliance. Upon learning of the report at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Jersey City, the hotel’s management team immediately conducted retraining of front-desk staff and maintains an ongoing commitment to reinforce Hilton’s strict safety and security standards.”
Marriott also provided Inside Edition with a statement, saying: "“We take safety and security seriously. When guest concerns are reported to us, we promptly take appropriate steps. In this case, we investigated and determined that guestroom key control protocols were not followed. We apologize for this error, and we have taken action to address this matter thoroughly.”
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