Watchdog cracks down on hotel “resort fees”

Federal Trade Commission sends warning to hotel operators

Increasing numbers of hotels are presenting guests with an unexpected “resort fee” when they show the bill at the end of their stay. At up to $30 a night, the fee is for amenities such as the gym or the pool, the front desk explains, even if the guest didn’t use them.
The United States’ Federal Trade Commission has noticed the trend. It has sent a letter to 22 hotel operators warning that their online rates may be deceptive and in violation of regulations. Some operators list only room rate and taxes in online quotes, with fees stated separately; others do not list additional fees at all, stating only that “other fees may apply”.
“These practices may violate the law by misrepresenting the price consumers can expect to pay for their hotel rooms,” the commission’s letter to hoteliers reads. “We believe that online hotel reservation sites should include in the quoted total price any unavoidable or mandatory fees, such as resort fees, that consumers will be charged to stay at the hotel.”


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