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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 18, 22, 12:23 pm
  #1  
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What the is this? 5% Discretionary Service Charge - hidden fee!!

I just noticed this on two reservations I made today with Hyatt properties in London.

PLEASE NOTE THAT A DISCRETIONARY SERVICE CHARGE OF 5% WILL BE ADDED TO YOUR ACCOMODATION BILL.

Nowhere did this 5% fee show up during the reservation process on the Hyatt website. Only after I booked the room did I see this statement show up in the confirmation email in the Reservation Details section of the email as a "Note from the hotel"


How can these properties get away with tacking on a fee after reservation has been confirmed at a previously confirmed price? What gives?
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Old Feb 18, 22, 12:35 pm
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Is it a non-refundable reservation? I think if you reach out to Hyatt CS they would allow you to cancel without penalty if it is.

But yes that's frustrating and borderline ridiculous.
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Old Feb 18, 22, 12:45 pm
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Its a refundable rate? How is this even legal?
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Old Feb 18, 22, 1:08 pm
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It says "discretionary"?

Doesn't that indicate its optional/available to you as a choice to pay or not?

This charge exists for the Andaz Liverpool and other Hyatt properties in the UK if you google this.
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Old Feb 18, 22, 1:12 pm
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Call the hotel to ask them to remove this discretionary charge.
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Old Feb 18, 22, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Gertjaars View Post
It says "discretionary"?

Doesn't that indicate its optional/available to you as a choice to pay or not?

This charge exists for the Andaz Liverpool and other Hyatt properties in the UK if you google this.
Yeah they get around the legality by making it "optional"

https://www.headforpoints.com/2021/0...omment-page-7/
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Old Feb 18, 22, 1:18 pm
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So wait, if I understand this correctly, the hotel adds the 5% discretionary fee to your bill and then upon check-out you can decide whether you want to pay the added 5% fee or have them remove it?
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Old Feb 18, 22, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by PortlySpartacus View Post
So wait, if I understand this correctly, the hotel adds the 5% discretionary fee to your bill and then upon check-out you can decide whether you want to pay the added 5% fee or have them remove it?
Yes. Like restaurants that add a discretionary service charge, you can have it taken off.
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Old Feb 18, 22, 1:40 pm
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Maybe they should install touch screen tablets at checkout and let the guest decide how much they would like to add to their bill. Maybe a slider scale, of course there wouldn't be a 0%, the slider scale would start at 5% and slide upwards to 25%. That way they make it as awkward and uncomfortable for the guest when they have to 'verbally' ask to have all discretionary fees removed from the bill. What a great parting encounter for the guest.
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Old Feb 18, 22, 1:45 pm
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I agree it's awkward, and sneaky. I always give a hotel invoice a cursory review, and in this case I would ask what the charge is for. I expect to be told 'blah blah' and would respond with 'please take the charge off, thank you.'
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Old Feb 18, 22, 6:18 pm
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There are countries where I think a pre-announced service charge is acceptable. The UK is not one of them and this is added at the end. Unacceptable and something Hyatt should jump on immediately.
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Old Feb 18, 22, 7:10 pm
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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.
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Old Feb 18, 22, 9:44 pm
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5% is actually not bad. At Hyatts in Tokyo it's more like 15-18%, and it's not optional.

The service is great, and I don't mind paying for it, but I don't understand tipping a percentage of the room rate. The service is just as good on cheap nights as it is on expensive nights.
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Old Feb 18, 22, 10:01 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
5% is actually not bad. At Hyatts in Tokyo it's more like 15-18%, and it's not optional.

The service is great, and I don't mind paying for it, but I don't understand tipping a percentage of the room rate. The service is just as good on cheap nights as it is on expensive nights.

This is absolutely NOT a tip, tipping basically does not exist in Japan, its actually considered insulting. It is a service charge and I am amazed to see this at Hotel, normally included, naturally.

In 20 years I have never seen a service charge added,
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Old Feb 18, 22, 11:39 pm
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Originally Posted by BRITINJAPAN4 View Post
This is absolutely NOT a tip, tipping basically does not exist in Japan, its actually considered insulting. It is a service charge and I am amazed to see this at Hotel, normally included, naturally.

In 20 years I have never seen a service charge added,
You are in Japan (I'm assuming, based on your username) and you've never seen a service charge added? I have to assume you are not in Tokyo. It's commonplace at nicer hotels and restaurants.

IIRC it's 15% at the HR and 18% at the GH in Tokyo (from memory; I'm too lazy to check). I've also seen it added at numerous restaurants.
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