Premier Chuckle

There’s something funny about this story.

A managing director who complained to Premier Inn over his room stinking of smoke has been accused of smoking in his room by the budget chain.

Mark Mallender, 40, noticed the smokey smell as soon as he stepped into his double room at the Premier Inn in Dover on May 8 while he was travelling for work.

He initially believed the musty smell  – which was strongest in the bathroom – to be coming from someone puffing away under the open window outside.

The training course managing director thought it would pass, but when he returned after grabbing dinner to his £49-room at the Premier Inn Dover A20, it still stunk.

He then reported the smell of smoke to reception and was given a customer complaint card which he filled out.

Back in his room, he claims he struggled to sleep due to the smell and was later sent a letter, dated May 9, blaming him for the smell and hitting him with a £100 bill.

However Mark claims he has never even smoked a cigarette in his life and says he would not even know how to take a puff.

I’ve never smoked in my life, but I’m pretty sure I know how to puff. What is amusing is that he made a song and dance about nothing much and then got hit for the clean-up bill for ridding the room of the smoky smell.

I’ve stayed in these places and they have notices telling you that they will bill you £100 for cleaning up the smoky smell if you dare to smoke. Now here’s the thing, to leave a lasting smell, you’d have to be smoking with every breath pretty much throughout your stay to leave any lingering odours. The smell disperses fairly quickly normally. So I don’t know what was going on here. Maybe the previous occupant was a chain smoker who lit one after another for several days. Maybe. Maybe Mr Mallender has a sensitive nose? Maybe.

Either way, the complaint backfired rather spectacularly and I find myself bereft of sympathy.


  1. You are quite correct about there being something funny, ie peculiar, about this.
    Given the extent of his over the horizon forehead, the Daily Mail caption writer just had to state that he had been “slapped” with a fine.
    Any resemblance to Carl Pilkington is purely coincidental.
    Doesn’t he know that nobody is a Managing Director these days? CEO dear boy.
    And the fact that he manages “Ringway Training” is just the cherry on top of this well iced cake.

  2. the Daily Mail caption writer just had to state that he had been “slapped” with a fine.

    And is too stupid to realise that private businesses cannot issue fines.

  3. Not so much a fine, more of a charge on your credit/debit card. Have used them and the toilets always smell faintly of smoke, I believe the only place smoke detectors don’t work. Any way easy enough to dispute, and regain your money!

  4. A Managing Director admits he stayed in a budget hotel. Even illegals refuse. Has he no pride?

    Weak chap, if I’m allocated a room with problems I demand a new room. Always works

    • Nothing wrong with budget hotels. I used them regularly to keep client costs down. When you are asleep, it makes no difference how many stars it has.

    • I use them too, have done sinse 90s, but if work offers 5* I accept. Work or leisure, it’s somewhere to watch some TV then sleep

      Dig was at his “I’m a Managing Director, look at me” attitude after the event. Should have requested new room straight away if he had a problem

  5. I’m on the customer’s side here. His room smelled of smoke when he got to it and he reported the matter, not as promptly as he should have, but he did. Presumably he should have demanded a photocopy of the complaint form. On what grounds do the hotel then impose a surcharge on him for the problem? I would have dealt with it a little differently, I would have reported the matter immediately and asked for a different room. As a non smoker I would have been pretty indignant to have been blamed for the smell of smoke after having already pointed it out.

    • I would be getting onto my credit card demanding a refund from them as the charge wasn’t authorised.

      Yes, he should have asked for a different room. Not sure I would have as it wouldn’t have bothered me enough to complain.

  6. I have sympathy for the geezer. Having suffered Premier Inn’s appalling service, I too, a never smoker, who vomited the only time I tried to inhale when a teenager trying to impress my peers, understand the way that an unpleasant odour can ruin a night’s sleep.

    • As others have said, he should have demanded an alternative room. As for the excess charge, that’s unauthorised, so he needs to get his card company to do a charge back.

Comments are closed.