The Charleville Lodge Hotel and The White Moose Café's owner, Paul Stenson, is no stranger to a small bit of controversy but the story about a 'social media influencer' asking to stay for free in his hotel in exchange for 'exposure' is surely one of his most noteworthy.
The emailer says they "work as a social media influencer" and have "over 87,000 YouTube subscribers as well as 76,000 Instagram followers."
The eager influencer was looking for a free stay while they and their partner celebrate Valentine’s Day a little early in the capital.
"As I was searching for places to stay, I came across your stunning hotel and would love to feature you in my YouTube videos/dedicated Instagram stories/posts to bring traffic to your hotel and recommend others to book up in return for free accommodation.
"Last year I worked with Universal Orlando in Florida and it’s been amazing for them!"
If the Facebook post is not appearing for you in the article, you can also find it here.
Hotel manager Paul Stenson was not impressed one bit and took to Facebook to publicly reply to the person without naming them.
Stenson asked the influencer how they expected to reward staff - who would be responsible for their stay - if the room wasn't paid for.
He also said that he couldn't understand why they would feel entitled to get something for free while others have to pay.
"The above stats do not make me any better than anyone else or afford me the right to not pay for something everyone else has to pay for."
"In future, I’d advise you to offer to pay your way like everyone else, and if the hotel in question believes your coverage will help them, maybe they’ll give you a complimentary upgrade to a suite.
"This would show more self-respect on your part and, let’s face it, it would be less embarrassing for you."
The full reply reads as follows:
Dear Social Influencer (I know your name but apparently it’s not important to use names),
Thank you for your email looking for free accommodation in return for exposure. It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity.
If I let you stay here in return for a feature in your video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you? Who is going to pay the housekeepers who clean your room? The waiters who serve you breakfast? The receptionist who checks you in? Who is going to pay for the light and heat you use during your stay? The laundering of your bed sheets? The water rates? Maybe I should tell my staff they will be featured in your video in lieu of receiving payment for work carried out while you’re in residence?
Lucky for us, we too have a significant social media following. We have 186k followers on our two Facebook pages, an estimated 80k on our Snapchat, 32k on Instagram and a paltry 12k on our Twitter, but Jesus Christ, I would never in a million years ask anyone for anything for free. I also blog a bit (www.paulvstenson.com), which as far as I’m aware is another way of saying “write stuff on the internet”. The above stats do not make me any better than anyone else or afford me the right to not pay for something everyone else has to pay for.
In future, I’d advise you to offer to pay your way like everyone else, and if the hotel in question believes your coverage will help them, maybe they’ll give you a complimentary upgrade to a suite. This would show more self-respect on your part and, let’s face it, it would be less embarrassing for you.
P.S. The answer is no.
We doubt he'll ever get a proposal like this again...
Main image via Humans of Dublin/Peter Varga