Billed a month after stay

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Old Apr 11, 19, 10:06 am
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Billed a month after stay

Completed a 3-day points redemption stay in a "chain" autograph in the South late Feb/early Mar. Checked out to a zero balance receipt. Even after a couple phone calls the week of check out that receipt was never emailed, and I forgot about it. Received a phone call from assistant mgr last weekend saying that I still owe them about 50USD. I asked for a receipt which was sent. I stated that I checked out to a zero balance receipt and asked for the explanation of where the difference stemmed from. Just received a reply from the front desk mgr, no explanation given just low key threatened that I should call the assistant mgr to sort it out. Needless to say I truly am done with Marriott will say Bonvoy to them after I eradicate my points balance. My question is what would you guys do... Ignore and see what they do, continue emailing back/forth to see if there's a resolution, give them a card number to charge and initiate a chargeback? I also tried to find an email for a GM but it seems that they're actively looking for one on indeed.com and other job boards and there currently is no GM.
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Old Apr 11, 19, 1:00 pm
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Can you find the discrepancy on the receipt they just sent (which I presume supports their assertion that you owe an additional $50) and the original one? Or is it not itemized?
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Old Apr 11, 19, 1:26 pm
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It would help to know details. Depending on location, $50 could be a resort fee or a charge for parking (although in many places tax would be added for parking, just like it would be for minibar charges, so it wouldn't be a round number for the total). Did you eat in the restaurant and perhaps tip to a round total? It might be a legitimate charge that was forgotten when you checked out, but usually that's just billed to your credit card. If you have a receipt, the receipt should tell you something about why they're charging you. Have you checked the rate for your reservation versus the rate you were charged?

Could it be an early or late check out fee? Can we assume that you didn't cause minor damage or take something worth about $25? [$50 is too little for a bathrobe and too much for a towel. Alarm clock?]

Try to call on a weekday and ask for their accounting department or the assistant manager on duty. Start by asking them what the charge is. I wouldn't just ignore it.


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Old Apr 11, 19, 1:57 pm
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You've experienced the new bonvOY "Surprise -or- Delight" program for Plats.

Surprise.
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Old Apr 12, 19, 4:30 am
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Yes. Quit the program instead of making a call and finding out what the problem is. Much easier that way
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Old Apr 12, 19, 6:08 am
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sounds like a mini bar charge
or water
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Old Apr 13, 19, 5:59 pm
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Still no explanation given. All the charges seem correct, parking, hotel bar etc. So I cannot figure out the discrepancy either especially after a month's timeframe. It's not about quitting the program, I've wasted about 2 hours on the phone just trying to get an explanation. The answer given is you owe this so you have to pay, and low key threatening emails from the front desk manager. Basically there's about 4-5 bar charges and hotel valet. No resort fee etc. So I'm assuming either the valet was not billed or the bar charges were altered after the fact, but the problematic part is that no explanation for the discrepancy is given.
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Old Apr 13, 19, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by mdbe View Post
Still no explanation given. All the charges seem correct, parking, hotel bar etc. So I cannot figure out the discrepancy either especially after a month's timeframe. It's not about quitting the program, I've wasted about 2 hours on the phone just trying to get an explanation. The answer given is you owe this so you have to pay, and low key threatening emails from the front desk manager. Basically there's about 4-5 bar charges and hotel valet. No resort fee etc. So I'm assuming either the valet was not billed or the bar charges were altered after the fact, but the problematic part is that no explanation for the discrepancy is given.
Fifty bucks? Your final response should be "I'll pay it when you prove it. Goodbye."
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Old Apr 13, 19, 6:54 pm
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Originally Posted by mdbe View Post
Still no explanation given. All the charges seem correct, parking, hotel bar etc. So I cannot figure out the discrepancy either especially after a month's timeframe. It's not about quitting the program, I've wasted about 2 hours on the phone just trying to get an explanation. The answer given is you owe this so you have to pay, and low key threatening emails from the front desk manager. Basically there's about 4-5 bar charges and hotel valet. No resort fee etc. So I'm assuming either the valet was not billed or the bar charges were altered after the fact, but the problematic part is that no explanation for the discrepancy is given.
Are they asking you to do something to pay the bill or do they plan to post it to the credit card you gave upon arrival? Since it's a USD charge, the location would either be the USA or a somewhat wierd foreign country that denominated prices in dollars. If it's charged to your credit card, you can file a dispute, although it would be good to have some email exchange with the hotel to show as "evidence."

If you take positive action to pay the bill now, that could be considered as acceptance of the charge, so a chargeback might be very difficult. You might want to proactively call your credit card company and ask for advice about how to handle this.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 10:02 am
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The credit card in question was cancelled due to fraud. So I assume they tried to charge it and could not thus reaching out for a new credit card number. Any ideas if they can mess up with the Bonvoy account or points if not paid?
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Old Apr 14, 19, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by mdbe View Post
Still no explanation given. All the charges seem correct, parking, hotel bar etc. So I cannot figure out the discrepancy either especially after a month's timeframe. It's not about quitting the program, I've wasted about 2 hours on the phone just trying to get an explanation. The answer given is you owe this so you have to pay, and low key threatening emails from the front desk manager. Basically there's about 4-5 bar charges and hotel valet. No resort fee etc. So I'm assuming either the valet was not billed or the bar charges were altered after the fact, but the problematic part is that no explanation for the discrepancy is given.
Do you have an original receipt compared to this one? They should have emailed you a folio upon checkout that you can compare to this one.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 11:42 am
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They did not. I called twice that week to get it emailed then forgot. Honestly, from now on will always ask for the printout.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 12:43 pm
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This seems so odd that no one is able or willing to tell you why you should pay an additional fifty dollars. Are you sure you're dealing with the hotel (and not perhaps some rogue employee) rather than some scammer? As I said earlier, the round number seems to eliminate some possibilities due to tax.In what form do they want you to communicate a new credit card number? Email? Phone?

BTW, if your credit card number was compromised, how did the timing of that event compare to your stay at this hotel? Could someone have used your credit card directly (not a room charge to you) to make a charge at the hotel during or shortly after your stay? In such a case, if the charge later was denied, the hotel could decide to contact you......or even if something like this happened with a Simth and your name is Smith, someone at the hotel could have decided to try charging the thing to you.

Even if there's no GM, the property surely has an acting GM, although that person might not know anything about the sort of issue you're experiencing.

I'd make sure to have an email trail that you asked for a copy of the original bill and you asked for an explanation of the additional $50 charge.

If you have a new credit card number that's essentially your old account (same bank, same affiliate card, etc.), at some point you probably should bring the credit card issuer into the mess. They might react negatively to a merchant pressuring you to pay a late charge that they cannot explain or document. IANAL, but at some point threats become extortion. I'd also watch the deadline for disputing the original amount on the ground that the merchant has consistently failed to provide an itemized bill for charges that they posted to your account upon checkout.

If everything is legitimate, the hotel simply sends you a copy of your original itemized bill (which should exactly match what was previously charged to your credit card) and a new itemized bill identifying the new charge. This should be easy, there shouldn't be a language issue, and again IANAL, but I'm not sure whether one would be obligated to pay some additional mystery $50 fee without any itemized bill or explanation. If so, any hotel could arbitrarily charge anything to any guest long after checkout. [It happens that hotels post charges to credit cards after posting the originally billed amount at checkout, but you should be able to get a detailed bill showing the new charges and/or dispute them with the credit card, although I suspect that often people just don't notice those erroneous minibar etc. charges and unfortunately hotels don't proactively send a copy of the new bill, which IMO should be illegal.]

Last edited by MSPeconomist; Apr 14, 19 at 12:56 pm
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Old Apr 14, 19, 1:13 pm
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I agree with @MSPeconomist. I'd also note that this reminds me of an issue with a car rental company in Europe (Sixt, I think?) where a random damage charge was thrown at the traveler something like three months after their rental (I think the consensus on here was that an employee damaged the car and didn't want to get stuck with the bill so they tried to pass it off to the renter).
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Old Jun 7, 19, 5:04 pm
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Just an update. A couple weeks after this when I tried to login to my bonvoy account, I got an error message saying that the account was under audit. Bonvoy was of no help even though I explained my case. All they said was that the hotel requested an account block and that it had to be resolved with the hotel. After a couple strongly worded emails, an explanation for the difference in charges were still not given, so I had no choice but to pay because the points in the account were worth more. The moral of the story is:

-A hotel can block your account with out specifying a reason to Bonvoy
-Marriott will not mediate any issues with the hotel, especially in cases when hotel blocks your account.

For people wondering, the hotel in question is the Grand Bohemian in Birmingham, AL.
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