Resort fees = FRAUD

 
Old Nov 18, 00, 12:32 pm
  #1  
das
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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Resort fees = FRAUD

I am staying at the Westin Bayshore Vancouver next week for 2 nights. Since I booked my reservation, they have imposed a $10 per day resort fee for health club access, bottled water, newspaper, and in room coffee.

Since I have prepaid my reservation in full through Priceline prior to when this fee was implemented, I will refuse to pay it, but I am sure an argument will ensue and a manager will need to get involved. And the end result is I will be assigned a lousy room.

I don't understand why hotels feel they have the right to charge a mandatory fee above the room rate, especially when it is not communicated at the time of reservation.

This is especially troubling for those of us who use Priceline who don't get to choose the hotel. We can get socked with a resort fee and have no way to opt out.

I'm willing to pay a fair price for my room. And if I bid on Priceline, the hotel gets to choose what price to accept my business. If I book direct, the hotel gets to choose what price to charge me. So why add a resort fee on top? Why not just include it in the rate?

I feel terrible for the staff who have to explain a fraudulent fee to their customers, who are not happy about paying it. If I worked in a hotel charging a mandatory resort fee, I would quit, because I am unwilling to cheat people.

Having an optional resort fee is fine, but forcing guests to pay for amenities they won't use is fraud.

And even on the Starwood website, the resort fee is buried under taxes. Excuse me? It is NOT a tax, but a rate surcharge. It should be listed directly next to the rate.
"$169 + $5 resort fee"

The whole hotel business is about pleasing customers, not about cheating them. Next thing we'll know is that we'll see resort fees in NYC midtown hotels. Geez...the Westin Bayshore is in a great Vancouver location, but it's no resort, at least IMHO.
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Old Nov 18, 00, 1:20 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
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I agree. Resort fees can seem outragious, especially when not staying at a "Resort." Yes, the bashore is considered a resort. The fee is not taxed (which is why it cannot be included in the rate), and it covers things like the excersize facility, local phone calls, parking, things like that.

If you booked your reservation at a time that the hotel did hot have a resort fee in place, you do not have to pay it. You may have to argue about it. If the fee was not in effect when priceline charged your card, you do not pay it. With Priceline, you prepay room/tax, which the resort fee is a part. So, any attemps by the hotel to charge you the fee you can argue and win.

Whenever you make the reservation over the 800 number, the agent is REQUIRED to tell you about any fees and "Special conditions" (i.e. construction, special events, etc)

The other option the hotel has is to charge for the extra ammenities. The parking fee alone is more than the resort fee. Use of the excersize facility, bottled watter, and other ammenities are worth far more than the resort fee. if you were charged for each of these, you would complain that the hotel nickel and dimes you.

It is considered part of the taxes. The Tax section includes fees above the price.

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Old Nov 18, 00, 1:22 pm
  #3  
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A month or 2 ago there was quite a long message string about this... but it bears repeating again and again, until these things end. These are completely unknown to the traveller until arrival, or sometimes, departure of these hotels. They are fraud. They are unpublished. They don't appear if you book reservations online, through the #800, or through a travel agent. If I tried to charge clients this way, the State Bar would yank my license.
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Old Nov 18, 00, 2:01 pm
  #4  
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I have stayed at many nice resorts and I have never paid a "resort fee" unless it was disclosed to me at the time of booking and I then agreed to it. The greedy gouge-masters have tried to impose this (and other charges) at various times, but I always refused to pay unless I previously agreed to.

A hint: only make one call re it prior to check-out, and once on the day of check-out. If not removed tell the check-out clerk you will refuse it and will dispute the charge with your cc company. For me it was then removed "for this time only".

ps: and welcome to the wonderful world of priceline
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Old Nov 18, 00, 2:12 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
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This whole resort fee is ridiculous. What's to stop them from arbitrarily increasing this fee to $50 or even $100? There has to be some law against this.
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Old Nov 18, 00, 2:13 pm
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MisterNice - I love when they say they are removing it for this time only. Why don't they just say "we're tired of your complaining, so we're taking it off, but please don't come back". That's sure what I hear - and I am always happy to oblige!
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Old Nov 18, 00, 3:13 pm
  #7  
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I agree that these undisclosed fees are consumer fraud. I think they are a class action lawsuit just waiting to happen. Similar in some ways to other consumer fraud lawsuits I have handled.

Djlawman
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Old Nov 18, 00, 3:14 pm
  #8  
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You are absolutely correct BeantownFlyer re hints and memories. Once I was on a interdepartmental team checking out the Hyatt Cerromer and Caribe Hilton in PR for a 150 room 7 day conference. Dealing with both sales departments went smoothly over each 2 day period, but upon ckecking out of the Cerromer all three of us had "extra fees", jacked-up tips, bar bills/tips for drinks never ordered, etc. It took us over an hour to get it straightened out, ie removed. About nil problems with the Hilton.

Guess where we booked that conference and subsequent events.
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Old Nov 18, 00, 3:50 pm
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Hotels don't seem to realise, or care about alienating clients.

Perhaps if there was a bit more competition in the hotel business we would see better service, better rates, and greater amenities at hotels.

The sad fact is, these days hotels have a take it or leave it attitude, that I don't think any other industry comes close too.
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