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You can't charge more then rack rate... right?

You can't charge more then rack rate... right?

Old Mar 9, 04, 12:24 pm
  #1  
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You can't charge more then rack rate... right?

Last night I noticed a card in the closet of the HGI - Dallas (Las Colinas), that said the maximum price for single occupancy of the room was $144. But I had a $149 rate!

I took the card out and showed it to the front desk manager, upon check-out this morning. She had never seen anything like the card. After consulting with the general manager for a few minutes, they lowered the rate to $144. Her comment, "you learn something new every day".

The woman was very nice, and was pleasantly amused about the rack rate card. However this got me thinking, how often have I been overcharged over the years, in various properties (Hilton et al)?

I know some rack rate cards I have seen mention "special event" pricing could be higher. But there certainly was nothing going on last night, although the hotel did seem fairly full.
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Old Mar 9, 04, 12:26 pm
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I took the card out and showed it to the front desk manager

well done!
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Old Mar 9, 04, 12:48 pm
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A while back a co-worker and myself booked rooms for a Saturday night at the Nottingham (UK - east midlands) Hilton, I booked the cheapist rate which was around 130 . At check in the tariff board very clearly stated 'weekend 90 a room' - no other detail.

After seeing my room was only a standard, I returned to the desk and asked for the duty manager who reduced the price by 30 - so yes I paid 10 over the rack rate.
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Old Mar 9, 04, 1:36 pm
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In most U.S. states (don't know about Texas specifically), hotels are required to post the maximum allowable rate for the room "in a conspicuous place", like the back of the door. The hotel very well could be breaking state law in selling you the room at $5 over-rack.

Fortunately, I don't think I've ever had to pay anywhere near rack--usually closer to about half of whatever's posted. The day I get charged above-rack will be an interesting one.

--Grog--
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Old Mar 9, 04, 1:39 pm
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Hi,

Personally , the day I am charged rack ( on my own account) I will faint with shock!!

Regards

TBS
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Old Mar 9, 04, 1:50 pm
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It's hard to find good information, but I did find it for New York state with a little Googling:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">No keeper may charge a rate higher than the one posted.... The customer is entitled to collect three times the amount charged ... if any requirements concerning the posting or charging of rates are violated.</font>
It seems to imply the total amount charged, not the overage. In this case (if it was in New York) that would mean $447!

I'll leave it up to someone else to see if they can find the TX law.

Here's my source for New York:
http://www.consumer.state.ny.us/clah...tels.htm#Rates

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Old Mar 9, 04, 1:59 pm
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I found it for TX. Unfortunately, they have to "knowingly" charge a higher rate, and then the worst that can happen is "a fine of not less than $25 or more than $100" and/or "confinement in jail for a term not o exceed 30 days".

Too bad. I really like the NY law. By making the penalty a reimbursement to the customer x 3 you both incentivize those most able to enforce the law and provide a reasonable penalty.

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statu....002155.00.htm

[This message has been edited by Rut Dog (edited Mar 09, 2004).]
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Old Mar 9, 04, 2:43 pm
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I always check the door just to get a laugh. Some hotels list what I call
"the end of the world" rates. Rates so high you'd only pay it to watch the end of the world from that room.
They post such ridiculous rates to make sure they don't make the error of overcharging.
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Old Mar 9, 04, 2:55 pm
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I believe if they charge you a rate more then what it says on the back of the door, then they did so knowingly.

Those numbers didn't get there on their own.

I have never seen a hotel where that rack rate was anywhere near what I was paying, always wondered who would pay $600 for a room I'm paying $150 for. Wonder if somebody took a card and that was an old one behind it or something from 20 years ago.
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Old Mar 9, 04, 3:17 pm
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Most hotels get around this by posting the most outrageous rate they can think of - the $450 Hampton Inn comes to mind. Some jurisdictions must actually check them, as some like the ones posted above, are not terribly out-of-line. OTOH I've stayed in very average hotels with rates posted over $1000 a night.
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Old Mar 9, 04, 4:10 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by yyzflyer:
Most hotels get around this by posting the most outrageous rate they can think of - the $450 Hampton Inn comes to mind. Some jurisdictions must actually check them, as some like the ones posted above, are not terribly out-of-line. OTOH I've stayed in very average hotels with rates posted over $1000 a night. </font>

I agree about the average hotels having really high nightly rates listed on the back of the door. I was in a rundown Hampton Inn that had a rate of $1250 listed. I joked about how you could probably buy the entire hotel for that much.

I am surprised about the $144 rack rate though. That seems really low to me. Too bad Hilton doesn't offer 50% off the rack rate like the SPG50 certificates.

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Old Mar 9, 04, 4:20 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Wonder if somebody took a card and that was an old one behind it or something from 20 years ago. </font>
One of the Dallas locals can annotate, but it sure seemed to me that the HGI in Las Colinas is pretty new.

_____________

BTW, the Four Seasons (Las Colinas) that I'm staying at tonight, posts a rack rate over double what I'm paying.
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Old Mar 10, 04, 10:57 am
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I was a revenue manager at two resort hotels several years ago. The rate card really did not have a lot of meaning to us. It was an arbitrary number that we assigned and we could change it at any time by typing up more cards. We usually used the highest rate we would charge for reservations for that room type on our biggest demand special event date, then add $50 or so because we would sometimes charge more for walk-ins on special events.

Good for you for taking the card to the desk. The staff is just being lazy if they are raising rates and not at least changing the cards...

[This message has been edited by buffy888 (edited Mar 12, 2004).]
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Old Mar 12, 04, 12:48 pm
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe one of the purposes of posting a rack rate is that if you wish to stay in your room without a reservation (e.g., you don't tell the front desk you're staying longer, or you do but all the rooms are already booked, etc.), the rack rate is the rate you will pay.
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Old Mar 13, 04, 4:02 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by JS:
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe one of the purposes of posting a rack rate is that if you wish to stay in your room without a reservation (e.g., you don't tell the front desk you're staying longer, or you do but all the rooms are already booked, etc.), the rack rate is the rate you will pay.</font>
My understanding is that in most jurisdictions the hotel cannot evict you from a room if you choose to extend your stay, as long as you are paying the rack rate. A $1,000/night rack rate allows for a de facto eviction.

But the story I was told by my seventh grade Civics teacher (generally a trustworthy source) was that the mandatory rack rate cards came around with civil rights legislation, to counter hotel owners who had been forced by legislation to take down the "No [insert minority group]" signs, and instead switched to quoting outrageous rates to "unwanted" customers. I'm not sure how well the rack rate cards worked to that end; maybe it was before hotel owners got "smart" and started calling those outrageous stay-away rates the rack rate.
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