I once asked a place directly over the phone and was told
Kingman, AZ (PRWEB) August 15, 2006
Hotel resort fees are perhaps one of the most annoying (and expensive) things in travel these days. Many large hotels, resorts and corporations insist on upsetting their own guests for profit.
Hotel resort fees were popular just before 9/11/2001 and then most of the fees disappeared when business went down. Now five years later, the hotels are busy again and fees are popping up all over. Putting aside the ridiculous parking fees, resort fees are those annoying little charges that they tack on to your rate upon checkout. And they are not always little. They are as much as $25 a night. They are for things that used to be included in your room rate. They are the perks that may have made you select the hotel in the first place: the pool, the "free" newspaper, maid service, tips, in room coffee, fitness facilities, the ability to make a toll free phone call or use your calling card and internet access. Although many places still charge an additional fee for internet access, more and more are wisely making this a free amenity. Some popular hotels add as much as $50 a day between parking and resort fees.
"Hotels like to charge extra whenever they can and the customer allows it," says Adam Longfellow of free informational travel website AllStays. "Instead of letting you optionally pay for something that you use, they just charge everyone for it. Imagine a restaurant charging everyone for drinks and desert whether you wanted it or not. Or one that charges for silverware to eat your food. In recent years, we've even seen hotels with surcharges for water and electricity. We want to bring this to light and start publishing the resort fees on our website. Customers have a right to know what their final room rate will be, instead of complaining to us later about fees that we didn't even know existed."
AllStays.com asks, "isn't that what the hotel rate is for? If someone owns a hotel and it's parking lot, can't a guest get one rate for the entire stay at the property? Can we get a room without towels, maid service, coffee, or a newspaper for less? No. The resort fees are usually required and they are not mentioned upfront."
One underlying issue is that taxes are different on the room rate than on the surcharges. The tax collector is taking a hit. You might say 'who cares about that' but we should care in the way it is presented to travelers. When you compare room rates, online or over the phone, the fees are not mentioned. Or they are in fine print buried on a web page you probably won't see. You may think you are getting a deal by $20 a night and wind up paying $50 more for your stay than the hotel next door that doesn't charge any fees. It's a way for hotels to act like they are competitive when they are really not. Some bargain travel websites are also dealing with the problem. You may enter your credit card, select a classy neighborhood and accept the risk to take the lowest rate. You may find out the name of the classy hotel and you are happy until checkout. Sometimes it's included in your end rate and sometimes guests are rudely surprised. It's also a way to insult a customer they paid to get in the door and to make sure they never come back.
Starwood Hotels has already settled a class action lawsuit on this matter. Starwood, along with Hilton and Marriott now have policies against resort fees. A hotel should just raise their room rate if they need more money. They can also proudly state that they include everything in their new rate.
"Consumers need to complain about these charges or hotels will someday be charging you $3 a night for using a pillow," says Adam at AllStays. "Make your voice loud and clear that you don't like it and they are losing a customer. Fees should be optional. If you didn't want the plasma television and entertainment center in your room at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel, you shouldn't have to pay $5 a night for it. But it's in every room and under the resort fee umbrella so you have no choice. In previous years, many places would remove these fees when you complained. Most people do not complain. They take it and then complain to us and to everyone they know. The hotel loses potential customers and gets a bad reputation in numerous small circles."
How can you tell if there is a resort fee? The truth is that it's not easy. Most do not tell you and it's not included in most quotes on the web or over the phone. Adam adds that on a personal trip, "I once asked a place directly over the phone and was told "there is no resort fee." In the end, it was a $15 "facility fee" and I didn't use the right wording." AllStays.com is going to try to out these resort fee ridden hotels. They will be adding a note by the hotel whenever they find out about fees. AllStays also recommends you try to inspect the hotel website, which unlike all other travel websites, they link to directly and provide the direct phone number to ask questions about it. "If they do not disclose this information at all, you have a good chance to complain or get your money back from your credit card company," adds Adam. "They may or may not bury the fees on their website. Keep this in mind when comparing rates between hotels as well."
AllStays at http://www.allstays.com, online since 2000 and based in Arizona (US), lists all kinds of lodging, from bed & breakfasts to yoga retreats and luxury hotels, from primitive campgrounds to motels, haunted hotels and spa resorts. AllStays also links directly to official websites to make sure you have the real scoop on the latest and most accurate information from around the world.
Research, Browse, and book online to stay anywhere on Earth. http://www.allstays.com
8824 Ironwood Drive
Kingman, AZ 86401
Phone (928) 727-1312
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