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Old 02-20-2013, 07:23 AM   #1
klangford
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How do I get free chargers? I don't STEAL them! :)

First, thanks to Fergo_the_mule for being kind enough to ask me how I pull this off. I'm sure I'll get a bunch of hate for this but that's ok - I never claimed to be perfect, just clever.

If you didn't already know, I will tell you that I travel a great deal - even though I'm now in the mobile app biz; selling is still done in person so I am now into my 20th year of plane, trains & automobiles as a sales guy. Over those years I've left my fair share of laptop chargers, phone chargers, electric razors, ipod chargers, etc in hotel rooms across America.

As luck would have it I had to go back to a hotel a few weeks after having lost a phone charger. I was sure I left it at this hotel. After checking in I went back down to the desk and began to tell my story to the clerk. "Hello - I was here a few weeks ago and I think I left my phone charger....". Before I could finish my story, the manager disappeared briefly behind the counter and reappeared with a giant box/tote of chargers of all types. She explained that this is the "box of unclaimed chargers" I could have "anything I needed'. She went on to explain that after the box is overflowing they throw it all away and start over. Thus, she encouraged to take anything I wanted from the box as they throw them out regularly. I only took an Android charger at the time (I was an Android guy back then) and left the rest of the things - but I did notice all the varied laptop chargers (Dell, Apple, Lenovo, etc). That fact didn't go unnoticed.

Some time after that I was on the road again and stupidly left my laptop charger at the office - I was really screwed because I used the laptop on the plane and damn near killed the battery. When I got to the hotel I decided to test what I had learned weeks earlier and went down to the hotel and simply told them "I left my laptop adapter at my office - any chance you guys have a box of unclaimed..." again, before I finished the story the clerk pulls out a giant box of chargers & adapters and said "help yourself". This time it was a bit more difficult because I had a Dell Latitude at the time and they do not all take the same plug but I did find one. I offered to return it after charging and she also said, "why? We will just throw it away later, its yours".

In recent years as Macbooks became more popular I've repeated the process from hotel to hotel. Not all keep the unclaimed units handy; some claim to throw them away immediately. But MANY do have a giant box that they will offer up to anyone who takes time to rummage through it.

Is it honest? Of course not. Is it being opportunistic and saving myself headache and a few bucks, you bet. I tell myself that I'm doing a good thing and saving the environment by recycling those chargers instead of letting them wind up in a landfill somewhere.

So that's the story about how I get free chargers. I don't STEAL them. I'm up front with the clerks. They always say "keep it, we will just throw them away". I will also note that it helps to look like a business traveller and not a teen trying to scam a free charger. I also befriend the clerk, get them into conversation, etc. and I only approach them when the counter is dead so that it isn't inconvenient for them to help me.

If I had time I could probably drive around to every hotel in my market and just ask them for the box of unclaimed chargers, sell them on eBay and make bank but "ain't nobody got time for that!"
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:32 AM   #2
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Lol! Next time I leave my charger I know what to do.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:54 AM   #3
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I don't see anything wrong with that. It's maybe a bit objectionable morally but it's not a bad thing
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:27 AM   #4
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Lol, I've done this too. A friend told me about it.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:37 AM   #5
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Smart, and a good way to reduce waste. I'll keep this in mind!
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:39 AM   #6
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Claim you stayed in their hotel last week and left 7 macbook chargers in your room... ebay.. profit
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:40 AM   #7
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Funny, I just did this at Atlantic city, forgot my iphone charger and front desk brought out a bin full of chargers. She gave me 3 lol.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:18 AM   #8
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Claim you stayed in their hotel last week and left 7 macbook chargers in your room... ebay.. profit
now THAT is unscrupulous
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:30 AM   #9
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not the answer I was expecting. Clever

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Old 02-20-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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I thought everyone did this? I always ask the front desk if I forgot to bring something on a trip. Next time you go to Hawaii, ask the front desk if they have extra floaties or noodles, etc. No one ever bring those things back home.

Wb klangford. Your posts seem to be more refined nowadays. I noticed you moved on up from the silver E46 sedan.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:08 AM   #11
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Wb klangford. Your posts seem to be more refined nowadays. I noticed you moved on up from the silver E46 sedan.
Thanks - I try to be civil but I still slip back into pure a-hole mode now and again. Yes I've moved on from that first 99-e46 but I'm still all about silver - just a personal thing - shows less dirt IMHO
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:14 AM   #12
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It sounds to me like you're contributing to the global hotel charger inventory as much as you're taking from it. So it's kinda charger-libraryish. Lol

However, I don't understand constantly losing/leaving them behind in hotels or office or home. Isn't there a spot for it in your laptop case thats glaringly obvious if its empty? Can you tell yourself never to zip/snap shut the case/bag until all the goodies are inside? Make a checklist of electronic goodies, laminate it and keep it in your wallet to review before you head out the door? Keep everything together in one spot so its visually obvious if anything is being left behind because that spot should be empty when youre done packing up?

I can be a total retard when it comes to remembering things, esp if I'm in a rush to get out the door, so I've tried to build habits or have a process that insulates me from my own distractions.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:22 AM   #13
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Saw this idea on Reddit a couple years ago, never used it though.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:57 AM   #14
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"I took a Macbook charger once from the hotel. Headed back to the room. Saw a mermaid. Nailed her. Turned out it was a seabass, whatever. They all look the same on a bed of ice."

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Old 02-20-2013, 01:06 PM   #15
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I would get all the chargers and put them up for sale cheap. Honestly, who cares if you make some money doing so (if you were to go that route.) Fvck every company trying to make $40-$100 on a goddamn wire. In a pinch i had to buy a car charger for the iPhone 5... a shitty little 2 USB plug for the cigarette lighter, and the lightning cable, $40.

F that, if you have the energy to hook people up with 50% face value for free money, essentially... i support you rofl
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:23 PM   #16
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Brilliant
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:36 PM   #17
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Okay, it's not exactly stealing.

The part where you say that "you tell yourself x, y and z" pretty much sums up the moral issue.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:09 PM   #18
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It sounds to me like you're contributing to the global hotel charger inventory as much as you're taking from it. So it's kinda charger-libraryish. Lol

However, I don't understand constantly losing/leaving them behind in hotels or office or home. Isn't there a spot for it in your laptop case thats glaringly obvious if its empty? Can you tell yourself never to zip/snap shut the case/bag until all the goodies are inside? Make a checklist of electronic goodies, laminate it and keep it in your wallet to review before you head out the door? Keep everything together in one spot so its visually obvious if anything is being left behind because that spot should be empty when youre done packing up?

I can be a total retard when it comes to remembering things, esp if I'm in a rush to get out the door, so I've tried to build habits or have a process that insulates me from my own distractions.
I'm super anal and careful not to leave anything when I check out of a hotel, but for some reason my phone charger disappears almost every time I travel. They need to make those things neon green . . black chargers turn invisible when you start packing.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:28 PM   #19
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i still don't understand why you feel the need to steel macbook chargers from starving african children. you're sick man.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:24 PM   #20
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I tried the same thing at a Dodge dealer. It did not end well.
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