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What the is this? 5% Discretionary Service Charge - hidden fee!!

What the is this? 5% Discretionary Service Charge - hidden fee!!

Old Feb 22, 22, 1:54 pm
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
the relevant fact is whether your declination means reduced compensation for hotel staff or reduced profits for hotel owners
Either entity can make a stay pretty miserable if they want.
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Old Feb 22, 22, 1:59 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
I'd like the option to add my $8 daily $5 housekeeping / $3 turndown tips onto my folio and be 100% certain the full amount goes to the cleaner. getting sick of carrying so many small bills on trips.
These fees do not go to the cleaner. The hotel owner pockets it all.
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Old Feb 22, 22, 2:05 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
the relevant fact is whether your declination means reduced compensation for hotel staff or reduced profits for hotel owners
That's for the hotel owner/operator to decide. I've neither the time nor the interest in getting myself embroiled in diving into the compensation arrangements (and disagreements) that are between the hotel owner/operator and the hotel owner/operator's employees.
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Old Feb 22, 22, 2:07 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
That's for the hotel owner/operator to decide. I've neither the time nor the interest in getting myself embroiled in diving into the compensation arrangements (and disagreements) that are between the hotel owner/operator and the hotel owner/operator's employees.
it's relevant to whether I have an awkward chat at check-out or just move along
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Old Feb 22, 22, 2:13 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
it's relevant to whether I have an awkward chat at check-out or just move along
Awkward chat? That's the chat to be had between the employer and employee after I extricate myself from nonsense charges on the folio by getting straight to the point without any drama. It's not different than all those times when I used to be hit up with "charity" related charges at some hotels in London where the discretionary charges also were not to my liking. Nothing awkward about me saying I don't want to have my discretionary contributions channeled via their company.
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Old Feb 22, 22, 2:31 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Awkward chat? That's the chat to be had between the employer and employee after I extricate myself from nonsense charges on the folio by getting straight to the point without any drama. It's not different than all those times when I used to be hit up with "charity" related charges at some hotels in London where the discretionary charges also were not to my liking. Nothing awkward about me saying I don't want to have my discretionary contributions channeled via their company.
obviously others feel differently than you, or this thread would be just a silly FYI matter to remind people to effortlessly swing by the front desk to remove the charge.
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Old Feb 22, 22, 7:30 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by Gertjaars View Post
this thread got picked up by Ben https://onemileatatime.com/insights/...rvice-charges/

OP you can decline to pay for these at checkout.
I take issue with this from Ben’s post “but at the same time, I also don’t want to be cheap and punish employees for this practice”.

I don’t see refusing to pay something they underhandedly add as punishing employees. Happy to pay the rate they post that is required to pay their staff appropriately and to cover the services they provide, or find somewhere else to stay, but this is a d$/k move and I’d be willing to bet a paycheck that it goes straight to the hotel profit line. On the other hand, since so many are doing things like this, I guess that it realistically just adds a few seconds to the search process to find.

I offer that when you find a hotel that isn’t adding these BS charges you should let them know up front if that contributed to your decision to stay with them. And frankly, if more of us called or wrote and said “I was going to stay with you, but saw your - insert fee here- charge and I decided to go to your competitor instead.”

Maybe if enough of us did so we could move the needle. Probably not, but it would have more potential impact than travelers complaining about it on FT and on blogs.

And that comment’s not pointed at you, OP, or anyone else commenting on this thread, just a general observation.
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Old Feb 22, 22, 8:42 pm
  #38  
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i have enough trouble coordinating award J flights (or a good deal premium fare) plus finding a decent hotel rate plus ensuring standard suite availability for TSU and doing all so that we vacation in desirable destination in extreme comfort. this isn’t a hill i’ll die on. move along.
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Old Feb 23, 22, 3:51 am
  #39  
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Refusing to pad the hotel's bottom line via paying for questionable charges isn't a hill that's going to kill me.

If customer refusal to pay such a questionable charge knocks a London hotel owner/operator off a high horse and marks the end for the hotel owner/operator, the hotel owner/operator has bigger trouble than guests refusing to pad the hotel owner's bottom line with direct distributions of money to the hotel for the hotel's use of suspect sales tactics.

Unfair trade practices are a problem, and those who count on unfair trade practices should meet their due.
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Old Feb 23, 22, 4:43 pm
  #40  
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An awkward chat would be to request evidence that the hotel has gone through a legally acceptable process in consultation with their employees to determine what happens with the discretionary fee.
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Old Feb 23, 22, 9:33 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
An awkward chat would be to request evidence that the hotel has gone through a legally acceptable process in consultation with their employees to determine what happens with the discretionary fee.
Why bother? If it's discretionary, just tell them (don't request or ask) to remove it from the bill. The hotel should be embarrassed about this, not me, especially if it wasn't disclosed during booking and on the confirmation.
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Old Feb 23, 22, 9:57 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Why bother? If it's discretionary, just tell them (don't request or ask) to remove it from the bill. The hotel should be embarrassed about this, not me, especially if it wasn't disclosed during booking and on the confirmation.
I’m not saying that anyone should bother, but that I wonder if certain hotel management might find themselves a bit hot under the collar if pushed on how they’ve set this fee up.
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Old Feb 24, 22, 8:58 am
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Refusing to pad the hotel's bottom line via paying for questionable charges isn't a hill that's going to kill me.

If customer refusal to pay such a questionable charge knocks a London hotel owner/operator off a high horse and marks the end for the hotel owner/operator, the hotel owner/operator has bigger trouble than guests refusing to pad the hotel owner's bottom line with direct distributions of money to the hotel for the hotel's use of suspect sales tactics.

Unfair trade practices are a problem, and those who count on unfair trade practices should meet their due.
Hasn't this been going on for years so I do wonder what impact it has, if any, to the owner/operator? I also wonder how many patrons of these hotels realize the charge is discretionary and politely tell them to remove it.
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Old Feb 24, 22, 9:54 am
  #44  
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Unscrupulous operators hoodwinking customers and getting away it for quite some time and then some? It wouldn't be the first time that happens.

Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
I’m not saying that anyone should bother, but that I wonder if certain hotel management might find themselves a bit hot under the collar if pushed on how they’ve set this fee up.
Perhaps it can even become an issue when the employer is dealing with a "former, disgruntled employee looking for an a payout".

To defraud consumers by the use of unfair trade practices is bad, but it’s even worse in ways when an employer puts employees in a questionable position to further an unfair trade practice scheme. Not only is this a situation that may speak to problematic employer-employee relations, it also may speak to a possible conspiracy or attempted conspiracy to defraud consumers by the use of unfair trade practices. A reputable employer really should avoid such questionable schemes and should not push their employees into furthering such questionable schemes.

Fraud scheme operators often have their copycats, and if the fraud is seen to "succeed" in one place, often it will be copied more and elsewhere too, thus becoming increasingly prevalent. Whatever the name, the hotel resort fee type scams spreading across US cities under some name or another is an example of just that. These "discretionary service charge" fees are cut out of the same kind of cloth.
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Old Feb 24, 22, 10:22 am
  #45  
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with high inflation and high demand for labor, i'd expect hotel owners would need to be offering more take-home compensation to attract & retain workers. if this new service charge really is the method by which the hotel is funding higher worker compensation, then i'm not too bothered that the added expense is listed as a discretionary surcharge vs. a straight increase in the nightly rate. the missing piece of data is key - are employees total comp now higher because the discretionary surcharge is being distributed to the staff?
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