Hotel Fees That Are More Than You Bargained For

When you book a hotel room online, you expect that the rate you see is the rate you’ll pay, right?

To help make sure that’s the case, the FTC is sending warning letters to 22 online hotel reservation sites that may be violating the law by not including mandatory fees, which can add as much as $30 a night to your stay, in some of the prices they quote online.

These extra costs, often called “resort fees,” might be for fitness facilities or internet access. But what matters is that you must pay them whether you use the services or not. Many people who complained to the FTC said they didn’t learn about the additional fees until they arrived at the hotel, after they made an online reservation for what they thought was the full price.

Knowing about extra fees lets you compare rates for different hotels fairly. If you’re not sure whether a website is showing you the whole price, call the hotel and ask if they’ll add a resort fee or any other mandatory fee. Ask them to tell you the total price.

Listing the resort fee near the quoted price or in the fine print — or referring to other fees “that may apply” — doesn’t cut it. If you find out a hotel hasn’t told you the whole story about mandatory fees, in addition to complaining to the company, file a complaint with the FTC.

Tagged with: holiday, scam, shopping, travel
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Hotwire.com does this...they have a price listed then after you pay all of a sudden other fees are added and you can't get out of it cause they want give you a refund...there are hidden charges like parking and club fees that are mandatory I was pissed... Stay away from Hotwire

Rather than writing a warning on this website why doesn't the FTC actually do something about this deceptive practice. Isn't that their job?

Agreed with ovievocks above. It would seem that 99% of consumer grumble but then just roll over b/c they don't have time to deal with it. But the FTC is tasked with doing just this very kind of fighting, for the consumer who is busy living their own life. The hotels aren't going to suddenly "come to Jesus" the FTC has to protect consumers from this dishonest practice. FTC needs to come down hard on drip pricing, on all fronts!

Yes the FTC needs to put a stop to this, not just a warning. These businesses are not anonymous, fly-by night operations, but major players with public websites and large advertising campaigns. These issues are easy to find and identify. The consumer (I recently got scammed this way despite looking carefully at the page) is helpless to deal with this himself.

Yes hotwire is the main culprit of this scam

hotels when you request information about a hotel stay, you are required to give information about yourself in order to find a room for the amount of time you need to spend in the area you need to stay in. However, upon speaking with them, THEY WILL AUTOMATICALLY, CHARGE/WITHDRAW WHILE YOU ARE ON THE PHONE, just asking about the hotel charges, during your call with them, THEY ARE WITHDRAWING MONEY FROM YOUR ACCOUNT, then, smoothly they tell you "oh, your bank just refused payment, Oh, I was charging you for the entire month." Then, you tell them "that is incorrect, I didn't tell you to charge me anything yet!" Stop!" and continue to charge weeks onto your VISA/Mastercard etc., until they hit your account and the bank gives them money.
They hit my account 3 times until they CHARGED MY ACCOUNT FOR "2" ROOMS, AND WERE ABLE TO WITHDRAW $890 IN A MATTER OF 15 MINUTES.
Spending all day, before banking hours were closed, calling every phone number attached, hotels.com is affiliated with EXPEDIA and they are ATTACHED WITH TRAVEL RESERVATIONS USA. Now, if you will notice, in your PENDING WITHDRAWALS, it gives you a phone number to the COMPANY THAT MAKES THIS WITHDRAWAL, which is HOTELS.
However again, making all the phones calls, numbers listed on line for hotels, you will only get a reply of "I see the mistake, we will refund you your money. Your reservations have been cancelled (ones in which you never confirmed to buy) BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR 24 BUSINESS HOURS, UP TO 3 TO 7 BUSINESS DAYS", when all of these moneys have already been deducted out of your bank.
Your only alternative is, DO NOT USE HOTELS because of the following:
You will have to show/use your VISA/MASTERCARD upon check in, at the front desk.
You will then BE CHARGED AGAIN AT THE HOTEL.
YOU WILL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE IF THE HOTEL WILL CHARGE "AGAIN" FOR THE 0NE WEEK YOU ARE THERE.
You will not get a refund from hotels because you already paid for a reservation.
You will have to confirm THAT THE HOTEL HAS RELEASE YOUR MONEY TO BE REFUNDED BACK TO YOU FROM HOTELS when you CANCELLED ALL ACTIVITY FOR ANY TYPE OF RESERVATION in the first place.
This has been a morning/day from hell.
I will have to wait for CONFIRMATION OF CREDIT BACK TO MY BANK ACCOUNT of my $890 in which hotels GUARANTEE OF REFUND with REF NUMBERS TO CONFIRM YOU WILL GET YOUR MONEY REFUNDED, however, you will have to do without the money they stole from your bank, and hope like all get out, that you can survive on what is left in your bank, until you get your money back.
Even notification to your bank, will not be enough. Bank, one in which is very well known, cant do anything about it UNTIL 3 TO 5 BUSINESS DAYS GO BY, then tell you to contack the BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU due to someone taking out a charge BEFORE YOU TELL THEM, OR ACKNOWLEDGE that you are going to buy a stay at a hotel.
Fact: they just stole my monthly disability check. Now I have to wait, hope no automatic billing comes through, and bounce my account due to waiting for a refund from something I did not buy!
HOTELS, tell the truth, you say you would IMMEDIATELY CREDIT MY ACCOUNT, then do it.
VIEWING THE INFO FOR HOTELS RECOMMENDED.
Watch out.

You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. We appreciate your blog comment, but it’s not a formal complaint. Watch this video to learn more about how to complain to the FTC and why it matters.

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