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.

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