Guests can 'pay what they think room was worth' in Paris hotels
Five hotels in Paris have started allowing customers to pay however much they think their stay was worth.
The experimental "pay-what-you-want" scheme began this week and will last until August 10.
For a city with a reputation for surly waiters and bad service, it is a risky venture. "What we're trying to do is see what our guests think of us, and how much they're prepared to pay," said Aldric Duval, the manager of the four-star Tour d'Auvergne hotel.
"They'll fill out a questionnaire at the end of their stay giving the reasons for the value they've placed on our service. Of course, the risk for us is that someone may not be happy, in which case they'll offer a low price, but we're confident in the quality of our hotel and our staff."
Mr Duval said his hotel would be prepared to review its rates if the feedback from customers indicated that they felt it was overpriced.
Si Yad Si Hocine, the manager of another hotel in the scheme, the Grand Hotel Francais, said: "I'm not worried in the slightest. I trust people.
"They'll know what it's worth and they'll recognise good service when they get it."
However, he is not planning to make the system permanent.
That may be just as well for the hotel. Marios and Koula, a Cypriot couple who checked out on Sunday, told 'Le Parisien' they thought it was slightly overpriced. The couple paid €180 a night, but judged that it was worth only €150. Marketing studies show that the sales figures of businesses that introduce such schemes generally go up, not down.