Posted by William Charles on May 21, 2019
Recaps

Published on May 21st, 2019 | by William Charles

24

Recap: Booking.com To Crack Down On Resort Fees, Kroger Fraud & More

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Ann
Ann
doc
doc

Good article on booking dot com.

There just needs to be a hard and fast rule on advertised hotel rates. If the fees are mandatory, then the advertised rate needs to be raised… so, that consumers can make apples to apples decisions.

I’m glad someone is standing up to these bogus backdoor rates. But, it will only work if the rest of the major travel agencies follow suit.

Hotels need to be just like airlines. Consumers need to see the bottom line rate, with all the fees included.

weiskel
weiskel

I’m not sure airlines are the best examples of an industry where consumers can see “the bottom line rate, with all the fees included.” But your point is valid, of course.

86
86

Gee, without a resort fee, how can we make our advertised rates look lower than other hotels that don’t have resort fees?

BaconSF
BaconSF

IIRC booking is owned by Priceline, so I hope the other OTAs follow suit

Frank

Is GC fraud really that small compared to the market size? Like unless the money is being recovered (doubtful) you would think someone eating the cost of a $500 GC would do something.

gary
gary

I don’t think it will change much unfortunately. Some hotels are forced to charge resort fees to make their property competitive with others that do. What they are doing is lowering the hotel rate and then adding the fees at the end to make their rates look better. A hotel tested the theory by sending 2 distinct offering for the same room to control groups. One with a higher rate an no resort fee, the other with a lower rate and a resort fee. The grand total was identical. In several tests, In every single instance the one with the lower rate with the resort fee was sold more. The resort fee was prominent in the booking.

This particular hotel was one of the last to charge resort fees because they considered it nickle and dimeing. However, the other hotels were doing this so they eventually had to do the same thing to even the playing field. There definitely needs to be more transparency were these rates need to prominently have to display the rate and any mandatory fees in the total. That is the only way to stop these shady practices, MGM resorts in Vegas started this trend and the other hotels in vegas had to follow to keep up. this is the same as parking where they rolled out the charges and the other hotels had to follow or lose business. MGM has several hotels.in vegas as is the largest overall hotel owner. Every hotel mentioned in the article is an MGM owned property.

Philip
Philip

The fee is ridiculous. From Resort, facility fees to naming it Service fees or sort! I could only imagine how many people in housekeeping is getting screwed by this. I goes up as high as $49.99!
I am a very aware buyer. I see the publish rate and then calculate then fees. I rather pay real publisher rate. The ones that have the fees almost all goes to my shit list.

Ann
Ann

It reminds me of hospital-owned urgent care clinics and doctor offices charging ‘facility fee’s (which were intended for maintaining the much larger amount of staffing/equipment present in actual hospitals). Those you don’t find out about till the bill shows up 6+ months later.

Justin
Justin

I don’t think this test proves anything other than most consumers are rational. All things being equal, the cheaper price plus resort fee booking is superior because it’s better to pay later rather than now because the money paid later continues to earn interest until paid. I still think it’s ultimately better to have complete price transparency though.

86
86

Gary hit the nail on the head.

James Bond

Airlines used to do the same thing with hidden added fees until the FTC stepped in and mandated transparent pricing.

Debit
Debit

Don’t worry the market will fix itself. That is the awesomenessof capitalism.We don’t need no regulators.

In fact we don’t need no trade war either. The market should correct itself. Or you would think so the from the kool aid we are told to drink.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

You obviously don’t understand, or willfully misrepresent, capitalism.

A law stating that all hotels must offer the total cash rate up front is well within the structure of capitalism as it ensures everyone plays by the same rules. Capitalism is not a free-for-all, that’s anarchy.

Debit
Debit

Now that we agree capitalism needs strong laws and regulations we are just negotiating how much is needed. We have agreed that the self correcting mechanism of the market is not practical in many cases. You are in our camp. You just want to rebel and stand apart.

Here is a joke that solidifies that understanding:

Churchill: “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?” Socialite: “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course… ”
Churchill: “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?”
Socialite: “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!” Churchill: “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

You are wrong. We do not agree. Capitalism requires a framework that everyone play by the same rules. That does not imply strong (i.e. choking the life out of commerce) laws and (excessive) regulations.

Government regulation ought to be the bare minimum possible to allow business and innovation to thrive. You seem to favor rules and strict regulations that would dictate that companies can only operate in a manner approved by government, sell only what’s approved by government and through taxes, operate mainly for the benefit of government. I do not.

I wouldn’t care if companies sold snake oil, as long as it said on the bottle “This is snake oil, it does nothing but make you sleepy because it’s full of opium.” I favor full disclosure and let the consumer decide.

akjohnny
akjohnny

I have bought a TON of VGC from Krogers and am very happy that I haven’t had any issues at all… and hopefully never will.

Newbie
Newbie

Before booking any chain hotel thru their website, I verify the hidden fees from Hotels.com’s Small prints at the bottom, like parking fee, resort fee,etc. I love this website and use it for non-chain hotels in countries like Iceland, Belize with capital 1 link for 10x points.

The Masked Poster
The Masked Poster

Why is it, when comparing hotel rates across multiple OTAs, there is absolutely no difference in price? Booking.com, Expedia, and all the rest, all showing the same price. Shouldn’t this be subject to the laws of price fixing?

Philip
Philip

Same price? I am not sure that is always true. Remember there is then also the hotels own app, and then ebates or portals links to etc.

Mikey
Mikey

If you buy a “drained” gift card with a credit card you eventually get a bill for the purchase. I would like to hear the results of anyone who filed a credit card dispute in this situation. Even with a nonrefundable purchase the buyer is entitled to the value of the item. Seems to me a gift card that in reality has a zero balance should be a liability issue for the vendor and/or the bank, not the consumer.

Mark Ostermann

The reader did file a charge back with Chase so I will hopefully have an update for you on how that goes if he keeps me in the loop.

Mark Ostermann

Thanks for the share Will. That scam is the trickiest I have seen yet.

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