How many times have you checked out of a hotel and been slammed with resort fees? When you made your reservation were you advised you were being charged these fees? According to a survey by Consumer Reports, the majority of people are not made aware of these fees until they are checking out.
Resort, amenities, and facilities fees have become common additions to your hotel bill when you arrive at the hotel or upon check out. The Federal Trade Commission and the laws of many states say that is too late and illegal
Hotels are inflating the cost of rooms by 11% with these added charges, making it next to impossible for consumers to discover the full cost of a room or to comparison shop with other hotels. The practice is known as “drip pricing” because the costs are revealed piecemeal, or one drip at a time.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent warning letters to 34 hotels and 11 online travel agencies in 2012 and 2013 in an effort to crack down on hidden resort fees. Currently 31 out of the 34 hotels warned by the FTC are continuing to charge resort fees that are not initially shown to customers during booking. The hotels will only show the base cost and mention the hidden fees in small print or via hyperlinks.
Hidden fees have caused anger among many customers and have led to investigations into deceptive and misleading hotel pricing practices by Attorney Generals in 50 states.
The Attorney General for Washington, D.C. has filed a lawsuit for price deception via resort fees against Marriott International while the Nevada Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against 79 Hilton properties. The lawsuits accuse the hotel chains of using the hidden fees to increase revenue without appearing to raise the room rates.
Last year, the hotel industry gained $2.9 in revenue from resort fees or surcharges and these numbers are expected to expected increase this year.
If you have been a victim of hidden resort or hotel fees, please contact Baron & Herskowitz discuss your options. For a free consultation, please call (305) 670-0101 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.