Nickel and dime charges

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Old Jan 20, 09, 5:31 pm
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Nickel and dime charges

I stayed at the new HI in Baton Rouge last night, Super Hotel, brand new, new bedding etc. Surprise at checkout. Not only was there the regular Sales and Occupancy tax charge, but a $ 4.95 "surcharge", not specified what for. When I asked, I was told this was for all the aminities and services the hotel provides. I asked: "like the spacious Lobby, the nice sitting area in front of the fireplace?" Yes, and other things as well. Feels to me like the nickel and diming the airlines do. It's great when a hotel provides a nice public area, but don't surcharge for it.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 9:44 pm
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Pretty ridiculous!

I do see it disclosed at least on the IHG website booking engine:
$129.00 (USD) PER ROOM, PER NIGHT
TAX: 13% PER NIGHT NOT INCLUDED IN RATE EFFECTIVE 21 JANUARY, 2009 THRU 22 JANUARY, 2009
SERVICE CHARGE: 4.95 USD PER NIGHT NOT INCLUDED IN RATE EFFECTIVE 21 JANUARY, 2009 THRU 22 JANUARY, 2009
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Old Jan 20, 09, 10:04 pm
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You are absolutely right, it is disclosed. And, although I should have, I did not look at it prior to booking. It would be nice if they would include all charges and the total amount automatically prior to booking and made it visible. At least the airlines do it, prior to making the actual reservation. Anyway, still I wonder what's all that "service charge" about? They are supposedly to providing service and charge for it, or? But provide for it and then charge an additional service charge for service? Come on.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 10:14 pm
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Oh, I totally agree. A disclosed nonsense fee is still a nonsense fee.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 10:24 pm
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I feel that is not a proper "disclosure" as the charge is not clearly stated in all that verbiage. I would have refused to pay it, and I know they would have wound up reversing it "as a one-time courtesy" after my continual objections to it.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 10:34 pm
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Originally Posted by srk123 View Post
I feel that is not a proper "disclosure" as the charge is not clearly stated in all that verbiage.
What's unclear?
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Old Jan 20, 09, 10:38 pm
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You are absolutely right. The "service charge" is definitely not "defined"and without any justification, especially after learning what the reception desk explained to me. Do we now pay 1. for using a room and 2. for how the hotel is designed? As for me, I don't care about the lobby or if there is a sitting area with a fireplace. I want a comfortable room with a comfortable bed and an acceptable bathroom. The in-room coffee machine is nice and appreciated as well.
More important, the room charge is displayed openly, while taxes and service charges are only displayed, once one explicitially click on the "estimated total " button.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 10:40 pm
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Originally Posted by soitgoes View Post
What's unclear?
What's your definition of a service charge?
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Old Jan 20, 09, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by EXLEFTSEAT View Post
What's your definition of a service charge?
The term service charge is awful, I agree.
However, the way it's listed underneath the room rate after taxes means (to me) that it is an add-on to the room rate (like taxes, resort fees, etc.).

I think it is underhanded and dishonest and I would likely avoid this property due to the presence of this fee. It does not appear in a rate search for the geographic area and makes the rates appear artificially low.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 11:10 pm
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Well, as I said before this property was a great hotel. It goes really without saying for anything that is open for 5 weeks only. I also stayed at the HI Busch Gardens in Tampa, also only a couple of months old. Yet, this property was without a service charge. Admittably there was no fireplace in the lobby, nor was there a sitting area. The rooms were comparable, the bedding at the HI including the "down alternative" comforter was superior, though. Maybe I have lived in the U.S. for too short of a time, so I don't understand the term "service charge" very well.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 11:13 pm
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Originally Posted by EXLEFTSEAT View Post
Maybe I have lived in the U.S. for too short of a time, so I don't understand the term "service charge" very well.
Service charge = Annoying fee we make you pay
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Old Jan 21, 09, 1:10 am
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I feel a little peeved with the CP I'm staying in at the moment. It's by an airport and I'm havng to fly to another destnation for a meeting today. I have my iPhone so don't need internet access, I'm only a Gold member (until this stay posts and then I'll be Plat) and I needed to log on and print a boarding pass.

Despite me staying there for four nights and giving them over £500 in revenue they still wanted to charge me £3 for 15 minutes Internet access.

I don't need 15 minutes, more like 15 seconds. In my mind it's not a big ask and would have gone some way to building a stronger rapport with me as a 'valued' customer. As it is I think I'll be moving stays in this area to another hotel within the brand, or maybe a different chain.

The little things can leave the worst taste IMO
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Old Jan 21, 09, 1:23 am
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A service charge is an item of cost which can only be made if the person charged has requested a 'service' and has been made aware that it will be charged for, or has entered into an agreement where a 'service charge' will be levied and, again, has been advised in advance. Easy
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Old Jan 21, 09, 1:49 am
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Originally Posted by Flight405 View Post
A service charge is an item of cost which can only be made if the person charged has requested a 'service' and has been made aware that it will be charged for, or has entered into an agreement where a 'service charge' will be levied and, again, has been advised in advance. Easy
Point well taken. My fault, did not click on "total charges". Still questioning why a hotel would charge me for "looks". Makes no difference if a "service charge" has been advertised or not. I did not ask for any services, was not provided any services, as a matter of fact: was not offered any services or
don't even know of any services offered. I ws told it's in the Lobby and the Fireplace.
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Old Jan 21, 09, 2:40 am
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Originally Posted by Jonobigblind View Post
I feel a little peeved with the CP I'm staying in at the moment. It's by an airport and I'm havng to fly to another destnation for a meeting today. I have my iPhone so don't need internet access, I'm only a Gold member (until this stay posts and then I'll be Plat) and I needed to log on and print a boarding pass.
Annoying isn't it? Even worse when they add another charge for printingthe bc.

On a recent stay they explained that (at that property) they subcontract everything to an ISP, so connections are only available via prepaid cards. Convenient for them, it removes scope for argument. The hotel, of course, gets a hefty commission from the ISP.

However, my oodles of natural charm worked , and the business-centre receptionist checked me in on the hotel's system. Which was nice. And I wonder if they can't somehow extend that service.
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