Guests who want it all and the hotels that pander to them

By | December 25th, 2012

From time to time, I get an email from one of you that makes me want to say, “That’s ridiculous!”

The one I received from a guest at a budget motel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was one of them. Problem is, I can’t figure out who is being more ridiculous — the hotel or the guest.

As this column makes its curtain call, I’ve critiqued air travelers, car renters and cruise passengers. But this week it’s time to talk about hotel guests.

Specifically, the person booking the room at the bargain hotel in South Florida. In addition to expecting all the creature comforts of an American hotel, and getting the benefit of a super-low rate, they were upset when they found a $4.50 per night “hotel shuttle/parking service fee.”

“The hotel home page very prominently boasts — in red print — that it has a free shuttle service,” she says. “And in the list of hotel services, it offers free parking.”

Here’s the thing — when you pay $49 a night for a room, you should expect them to nickel and dime you, if not bend the truth. The fact that you can even get a room in South Florida for next to nothing is such a fantasy, it might as well be a scam. Why? Because you will pay much more, once everything’s added to your folio. (And just to be clear up front — that’s no excuse for making a bogus offer. None whatsoever.)

The griping guest didn’t see it that way. “The fee really makes me angry,” she told me. “It’s sneaky and dishonest at best and just because ‘every other hotel does it’ doesn’t make if fair.”

Related story:   Transportation Department wants airlines to reveal all fees and an airfare -- or two

So she called the hotel to complain. She was connected to a hotel manager named “Izzy,” who berated her for raising the issue.

“He called us cheapskates for even questioning the fee,” she says. “He became very defensive, and refused to answer our questions about the fee.”

OK, time out!

Both the hotel and the guest are wrong. The hotel is running a bait-and-switch, offering a low rate and “free” shuttle (which is “free” after you’ve paid a $4.50 a night fee for it) and the guest is wrong because she thought something that looked too good to be true wasn’t.

As a consumer advocate, I’m obliged to take the guest’s side in this dispute. But as a practical matter, I’m annoyed by this silly tango between cheap hotels and their miserly guests. The motels dangle a ridiculously low price, promising guests the world. The guests expect to be staying at the Marriott. They act shocked when they are not.

The problem isn’t limited to fees. Hotel guests give up the right to choose their hotel in exchange for saving a few bucks when they book through an “opaque” travel site, and then have the audacity to complain about the result. What did they expect, a room at the Four Seasons? After mediating enough conflicts between guests and hotels, I’m convinced that the answer sometimes is: yes, they do.

Here’s what you need to know: The average nightly room rate is somewhere around $100, according to Smith Travel Research, give or take a few bucks. If someone is offering you a room that’s well below that, they will almost certainly try to make up for it with a fee, surcharge, or substandard service. If you pay more, you can reasonably expect more.

Related story:   The truth about "hidden" airline fees

Sometimes, I really want to reach through the Internet and grab my readers by the lapels and say, “What did you expect for $39 a night? The Taj Mahal?”

To be clear, I think hotel guests have every right to live in their fantasy land; hotels, on the other hand, shouldn’t be able to represent their rooms as being cheaper than they really are. That’s why I support tough rules that ensure the hotel room rate you’re quoted is “all in.” Mandatory resort fees are a special kind of evil that must be stamped out.

But just because you can live in a bubble doesn’t mean you should. Get with the program, people. Stop expecting the world from a business and then feigning outrage when you don’t get it.

You know better. Or at least, you should know better.

Who has more unrealistic expectations?

View Results

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This is my next-to-last Tuesday column. I’m saying good-bye next week and on Jan. 8, a new feature will debut in its place. Thanks for the memories, and happy holidays! (Note: This blog will still be published every day by yours truly.)

  • Cybrsk8r

    I couldn’t vote. I think both are. When I book a $150/night room, I expect a $150 room. But when I book a $39/night room, I expect a $39 room. A hotel needs to be three things, regardless of the price. Clean, safe, and to a reasonable extent, comfortable and quiet. Anything else is negotiable.

    In the case cited in the story, the hotel was wrong to advertise a “free” shuttle and then charge $4.50/night. IMO that borders on false advertising and/or fraud. Especially if they’re blaring on a web-site that they have “free shuttle service”. The proper (and ethical) thing for the hotel to do is to roll the cost of the shuttle service into the room rate. This is a classic case of the perils of “unbundling”.

  • $16635417

    Why not name the hotel?

    In this specific case, the guest is right. The hotel advertised something free and then charged her. Is there some detail we’re missing?

  • Kairho

    And then there are the high end hotels which persist in charging Wifi fees when most $50 joints supply it for free.

    I was going to write that few low-end hotel owners have Masters in Marketing degrees. But now I realize neither do the Marriots, Hyatts and Four Seasons of the world.

  • carillon246

    I think all businesses should be upfront about surcharges. That way the consumer can make an informed decision about whether they are being scammed or not. For example, some restaurants charge 18% service. Some have special “Tourist Area” fees. I want to know up front – before I order – that that is their policy. If a hotel has mandatory surcharges, it should be stated when the room is booked, not when I show up. I want the option of going elsewhere after knowing all the facts.

  • Doug

    Agree. As noted ““The hotel home page very prominently boasts — in red print — that it has a free shuttle service,” It does not matter that the rates are not expensive. This is a false bill of goods.

  • Alan Gore

    The shuttle and parking fee isn’t much, but the hotel has no business lying about it on the website. If there is a fee for this service, it shouldn’t be advertised as “free.”

  • TheBride

    If the unadvertised, additional cost was over $10.00, I would ask for it to be removed. I might mention it at less than $5.00 if I were in the mood, but only if I hadn’t had my coffee!

  • C Wynn Medinger

    In this one, I think the price is a red herring. The issue is a blatant lie: “Free parking and Shuttle” when neither is true. So this is OK in a $40 hotel, but not a $100 hotel.

  • William_Leeper

    My question is did the guest actually visit “the” hotel homepage, or did they visit one of the other 20 websites with info on this hotel. It is very easy to get on a 3rd party website, and not even realize that you have done so. And yes I realize we don’t know what hotel it was, so the 20 is a good guess.

  • NakinaAce

    I know you are contemplating a change of some kind in your career and I can see your side of most issues most of the time. However, if you are going to be a consumer advocate you have to understand that the ‘public’ is always the lowest common denominator type, i.e. the ones with the least experience, least intelligence, and often the least money. It does no good to rant about consumers like this when they are preyed upon by an industry that seems to operate on what I call the ‘greater fool’ theory. Don’t worry how badly you treat your current customer as a greater fool is just around corner. There is simply no excuse for stating that something is free and then charging for it. It doesn’t how matter much you rationalize it based on economics it is still wrong and whatever low price they paid doesn’t give the hotel the right to abuse them. If they don’t want people like this then don’t offer the ridiculously low rates, right? But no they believe even bigger fools are just around the corner and they can continue to operate unethically (and probably illegally).
    So, good luck with your new endeavors because you too often have tried to explain the rational behind the unethical actions of the hotels, airlines, cruise lines, etc.

  • Nikki

    Walhon has it right. If you go into a search engine and type in the name of the hotel you want, and you go with the first link you’re given, some of the time it’s not the main site of the hotel you’re looking for.

    How do I know this? I get guests making reservations that say “I saw your rate much lower than that!” after I give them the price over the phone. I ask them where they saw it – they tell me they went to Google, typed in the name of the hotel and the city, and clicked on the first link that came up, which should have been for our hotel, right? – – – nope.. did that and it came up with some website offering a rate lower than ours, but transferring to an opaque site in the middle of Timbuktu that tacks on a crapload of fees – – and then gives you a reservation for anywhere other than the hotel you booked.

    It’s a regular thing at work… *shrugs*

  • disqus_A6K3VBf8Zn

    Happened to me too. However, the argument presented here makes sense. The price of a hotel/motel room in Miami area is more than $39. Even $75. Parking is almost never free.

  • Nikki

    Well… being on the other side of the front desk, I probably shouldn’t have voted, but I wish we had an option for “both”. I’ve seen way too many owners of the stripe that NakinaAce describes, and way too many guests of the type Chris describes.

    lol – “Izzy” the manager clearly doesn’t want guests to come back to his place. Or he runs the type of place one finds on the OBT in Orlando. (Sorry, Chris. lol) I worked for a guy (in a cheapie like this one) that had no trouble telling guests to “go to hell” when they questioned fees like that, so I’m familiar with this kind of manager.

    I think I would have adjusted the parking fee in the interest of guest satisfaction once I’d heard/verified all the facts. (checking websites, etc) That’s just me, and let’s not get this twisted – I’m no pushover. If you try to invoke a 100% guest satisfaction guarantee with me, I’m going to put you through the paces – “did you call the front desk so that we could have had a chance to handle this issue for you……….?”, etc. If the hotel website, in fact, DID have that claim – free parking, or any other claim like it – it’s obligated to honor it. If it’s a chain – chances are they’ll be required to honor it.

    On the other hand – if it’s one of those websites out there that just pull information from the original website and just plop it on theirs for hit counts – – the hotel really isn’t responsible for it. Either way, it should be handled as an opportunity to gain a return guest.

  • EdB

    My thoughts exactly. It doesn’t matter what the OP paid for the room. The fact the hotel advertised a FREE shuttle and parking, and then charged the guest for them is nothing short of criminal. It’s not bait and switch as Chris implied. It is blatant FALSE ADVERTISEMENT! How can anyone fault the guest in this case for being unreasonable? The hotel said the parking and shuttle was free. Is it being unreasonable to expect what was advertised? I find it appalling that at this time, 91 people, the majority, have voted the guest as unreasonable.

  • EdB

    This isn’t even a situation of a business not disclosing surcharges. It is about a business saying something is included at no charge and then charging for it.

  • EdB

    Borders on false advertising? More like has jumped over the line and sprinted away from it.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    I didn’t vote that *this* guest was being unreasonable. I find it unconscionable that not only was this guest lied to, but abused for pointing out what was to her an error in her bill. That shouldn’t happen at the Motel 6 or the Four Seasons.

    I voted “guests” for the same reason that I voted “passengers” on the airlines vs. passengers question last week: there are more guests than hotels. Strictly from a probability point of view, more guests will have unrealistic expectations than will hotels.

    I thought Chris came down rather hard on this particular person, but his post had many good points. You’re a regular reader: how many times have we seen someone who goes through an opaque site complain to Chris that he/she didn’t get the hotel or room or {fill in the blank} he/she clearly deserves? Or has a bad experience three years ago and expects the hotel to honor an expired voucher? Or that the room/view/service didn’t match the “once in a lifetime experience” expectations? So, “guests” it is.

  • Howard

    Are you saying its okay to lie to consumers as long as you charge less than your competition? I doubt this person truly cared about the $4.50 in fees, it’s the principle of the matter. You cannot commit false advertising and then call your customers cheapskates when they bring up the issue. There is something inherently wrong there.

  • SoBeSparky

    False advertising is…well, false. Lies. Dishonesty. Deceit.

    The guest’s expectation is that the hotel tells the truth. Otherwise, why read advertising at all? When the hotel lies, then everything else about that hotel is suspect. I was taught as a child that once someone’s honesty is clearly “compromised” then everything else is suspect.

    That would include cleanliness, billing, bedbugs, safety, and a myriad of other threats to the safety and well being of the guest. Are the fire exit doors chain-locked to save money? Are the sheets sanitized or just shaken if they “look” clean to save money? Is the night clerk awake or asleep in the back, allowing all people past the front desk? Once you decide the truth is “situational,” then all sorts of situations count.

    The hotel expects the customer to pay. The customer expects the hotel to tell the truth. Those are honest expectations.

  • mbods

    Well Chris, this is a first for me, disagreeing with you, that is. The plain truth is, is that it is wrong to advertise something is “free”, then charge for it. Makes no difference how much or little a person paid. It’s sneaky business. If a person is booking a low fare room, the odds are they’re pinching their pennies. Is that wrong? If this had happened to me, I’d be livid. I really don’t understand your attitude about this…..

  • mytimetotravel

    The hotel lied. Why are you defending that?

  • Wow, quite a discussion we have going, and on Christmas Day no less. This story is about guest expectations. I’ve spent my entire career documenting the unethical behavior of some hotels, and I don’t condone any of it. But at the same time, I think guests who think they’re getting the Taj Mahal for $19 a night need to be addressed, and that’s what I was trying to do.

  • mytimetotravel

    And if the average price is $100, that means there a lot of hotels charging less. A LOT of hotels, given they have to offset all those $250+ places. It would be interesting to also know the median price. And we’re talking Fort Lauderdale here, not Miami Beach. Probably near the airport if it had a shuttle.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Well, it is a day on which some of us think about the actions of an innkeeper many, many years ago . . .


    I agree with this answer 100%.

  • EdB

    I’m sorry Chris but it sounds like you might have had too much eggnog before writing this one. This is not about a person thinking they are getting the Taj Mahal for $19/night. This is about the hotel advertising a free shuttle to the Taj Mahaul on a room rate of $19/night but then charging them.

  • EdB

    But as has been mentioned several times, what the room rate was is irrelevant, unless someone believes if your charge below market value you are allowed to lie about what services you offer for free.

  • Joseph Blasi

    Wifi fee are lumped into the resort fee at lot’s of places. Mainly las vegas ones.

  • EdB

    This has nothing to do with the room rate. It is about a hotel advertising something for free but then charging for it.

  • EdB

    I would like to know the name of the hotel too so I can check the webpage and see if it still says that. Since we don’t have the name to check it out our self we have to go by what the OP says. Chris, did they tell you the name and did you check it out?

  • EdB

    Unless we are given the name of the hotel, we have to go by what the OP says. I would hope that Chris was told the name and since he didn’t dispute the claim, there is some truth in it.

  • Guest

    I’m thinking a letter to the attorney general in Florida along with copies of the web page and the billing showing they were charged for what was advertised as free might be in order.

  • mytimetotravel

    Oh, I entirely agree. I just wondered why Chris was being snooty about hotel rooms under $100 when there must be so many of them out there.

  • JD

    I would be upset if the hotel didn’t disclose the fee in advance of the bookings. I would like to see all fees, in bold, hard-to-miss font. This goes for all parts of the travel industry, airlines, hotels, rental cars, etc.

    As a side note, when you say this column is making it’s curtain call are you stopping for good or just meaning for 2012? I am sure we all here appreciate your columns (some more than others). I know I sure do.

  • EdB

    If you would be upset if the hotel didn’t disclose a fee, imagine how you would feel if they told you there wasn’t a fee but then charged you!

  • EdB

    On the side note, I think that comment is for one of Chris’ syndicated outlets. He does go on to say this blog will continue. He’s talked about this a couple times the past few weeks.

  • Charmie.

    Agree! The room rate or the amount of the fee is irrelevant here.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    The point about unreasonable guest expectation is a valid one. However, it is not well borne out by this story which is NOT about unreasonable guests, but rather about a hotel lying. Two unrelated concerns.

    There is no circumstance in which a guest should be expected to tolerate an outright baldfaced lie. Discussions of room rate in this context are meaningless at best.

  • Thanks for all your comments today. I’ve read every one, and I appreciate them all, even the ones that strongly disagree with me. I haven’t been drinking any eggnog, but right about now, I’m tempted to. ;-) Hope everyone has a great holiday. Please, go spend time with your family.

  • LonelyTraveler

    The last time I was in Vegas, the $9.95 per night Resort fee only gave me the “ability to purchase Wireless Internet for $14.95 per night” – not actual Internet connectivity.

  • Nikki

    You addressed it just fine. I’m glad you did… if I’d started that kinda rant, I’d never be finished!

  • Charlie Funk

    Rather than one or the other, a multiple choice, with option C “All of the above” might have been more informative. Too many of these “opaque” hotel offerings read like a great work of fiction, filled with fantasy and contrivance.

  • $16635417

    Was this opaque?

  • EdB

    In this case, I don’t think being opaque would have anything to do with it. (Yes, I know it was Charlie that mentioned it and this is just as much a reply to him.) As presented to us, the OP was able to check the hotel’s web page before departing and saw the parking/shuttle was free. Even with an opaque you are given the name before you leave so you still have the opportunity to check it out.

  • Ann Lamoy

    I’ve been to Vegas twice and both times wireless internet was included in the resort fee ($20 in one case, $15 in the other). I do think the resort fee is a rip off but as long as the hotel discloses it right up front and what is included in that fee, then the consumer can make an informed choice.

  • y_p_w

    There are a great many Indy hotel owners in the US who came from Soutth Asia to attend grad school.

  • Ann Lamoy

    Chris it isn’t clear by your column what creature comforts of an American hotel she was expecting but got in a bargain motel. I mean if she was expecting room service to be available then yes, her expectations were totally out of line. I wish you could have further enlightened us on this point.

    But her outrage over the fees is totally warranted. Listing them as free on the website and then turning around and charging her when she got there? Bait and switch. Very illegal possibly and shoddy business practice. The management reaction was bad service as well.

    At any rate, Merry Christmas to you and all your readers. I’d raise a cup of eggnog to y’all but personally I can’t stand the stuff. :D

  • EdB

    Even disclosed I personally feel they are shoddy business practice. If they are required, put them in the base price. If resorts fees are allowed to continue the way they have, we are going to end up with hotels that change $1 a night but requires a $50 a night room key fee.

  • $16635417

    That is one problem with opaque bookings, “mandatory” fees are not included in the bid. I personally have used opaque bookings 100’s of times, but always keep the possibility of a resort fee in mind when bidding in those areas where they are common (or rampant).

    I ask, because if the website indicates free shuttle, and they only charge opaque bookings the fee…this “may” be a violation of the hotel’s T&C’s with the opaque booking service.

    In any case, if I paid $49 would I expect complimentary spa service? No, but I would expect the amenities described on the website to be honored, rather than having to pay a fee for free shuttle service.

  • I think the Option C suggestion is a fair one, although I think the hotel is wrong here. A better example for Chris’ column might have been if the customer was demanding a full refund, instead of just the fee that was lied about, or something like a free stay. The OP just wants back a fee that was wrongly charged in the first place.

  • LonelyTraveler

    Oh, the fee was clearly disclosed before booking (booked on – my point was that for some hotels, the resort fee may not cover in room wifi. Since I was in Vegas for a holiday and particularly wanted to be disconnected, it wasn’t a particular problem for me.

    Here is what my reservation showed (admitted, I got the amounts wrong in my previous post):

    This property told us they will charge you for the following:
    Resort fee: USD 7.50 per accommodation, per night

    Hotel resort fee inclusions (may be listed elsewhere in this description as complimentary or available for a surcharge):
    Use of pool
    Use of fitness center
    Valet parking

    We have included all charges provided to us by the property. However, charges can vary, for example, based on length of stay or the room you book.

    The following fees and deposits are charged by the property at time of service, check-in, or check-out.
    Fee for in-room wireless Internet: USD 11.99 (for 24 hours, rates may vary)

  • JenniferFinger

    Chris, too bad you don’t have a “both are equally unrealistic” option in your poll today.

  • Bill___A

    The thing I don’t understand is how you can expect the guest to be nickel and dimed if they got a cheap room.
    I expect a hotel to come up with the price for their hotel and if I accept it, that’s it. NO more fees. Although I agree that $49 is unrealistic for a hotel room, that’s not the issue at all here as I see it. It is a hotel charging extra fees they should not.
    I can absolutely guarantee you that although I am one of the most fair minded people out there, there is absolutely no way I would have paid extra “parking/shuttle” fees, especially “per day”.
    I would expect the hotel rate to be higher. But what if it were $300 and the hotel still had a “parking/shuttle” fee?
    This sort of garbage about tacking on extra fees has got to stop and I encourage each and every guest to challenge unfair fees as much as possible. Otherwise, these bottom feeder hotels just continue to take fees that add up to a few dollars per guest and thousands of dollars for them.
    it is immoral and wrong and I certainly won’t ever stand for it.
    One of the reasons I don’t use any of those obscure sites is that I read about these fees. If a hotel lists on priceline, it should include Everything including resort fees.

  • Uniall

    I don’t understand your position on this issue at all. I don’t care whether its $5000 or 5 cents, adversting a service as free and then charging for it is more than lying, it’s a legal “fraud”. It has been illegal even in the ancient days of yore (before a movement to consumer protection) when the law was “caveat emptor” (let the buyer beware). To paraphrase Shakespeare, “would a fraud by any other name smell as rotten?”

  • Lindabator

    Same reason I voted the guests – many more complaints they didn’t get MORE than they paid for. But this case is disturbing (if true) – would love to see that website, and if they have a service fee for MANY items, these 2 included.

  • EdB

    Bill, in this case, it’s not about them tacking on extra fees, it’s that they charged a fee for something they said was included in the price.

  • Bill___A

    I stand corrected, thank you…but I oppose both things.

  • EdB

    I’m with you and oppose both too.

  • Dutchess

    Chris, I don’t see where the guest is being so unreasonable here. If it’s advertised as free, it should be, well, free.

  • Daddydo

    This information should be directed immediately to the state’s Attorney General. False advertising is a crime.

    Now to the ridiculous. “are you kidding me?” Cheapskates arise.

  • bodega3

    As an agent and as a consumer, if I book a hotel that states that something is part of the rate, I expect that amenity. If the hotel is stating free parking and a complimentary shuttle, then that is what is expected with no additional cost, except a tip to the driver(s) if the guest so desires. I certainly would fight this through my credit card company out of principal regardless if the room costs $49 or $490!

  • KaraJones

    Chris, I think you got a lump of coal in your stocking yesterday. Your crabby response about the OP was uncalled for and wrong (and not typical of your attitude).

    The OP never said they were expecting a limo ride or a free in-room massage. They simply paid the advertised price for their hotel room, didn’t complain about the room quality, and were charged a fee for something advertised as free. It doesn’t matter if their hotel room was $49, $29, or $1000 per night. The hotel lied to them and that’s the entire story.

    Are you saying that you’ve changed your policy now and the only travelers you advocate for are those spending a lot of money? So a traveler who can only afford a $49 room deserves whatever they get? The OP didn’t try to get away with something. Why did you attack them for being unhappy about being lied to?
    If you were trying to show that some travelers are ridiculous and expect too much, this was the wrong story to use for that point.

    Also, I didn’t vote on this one because your choices of “unrealistic expectations” aren’t relevant to this story. If you had asked “Who was wrong, the hotel or the guest?” That would be relevant. And I would have voted: The hotel was wrong. And you SHOULD advocate for this guest.

  • JoeM

    “Too good to be true” isn’t an excuse for a hotel (or any other company) to nickel-and-dime a customer. if the hotel isn’t prepared to honor an astonishingly low pice, then it shouldn’t advertise it in the first place. Period.

  • y_p_w

    It’s not necessarily a crime. It may be illegal, but the word “crime” implies that there could be jail time. The penalties for false advertising are typically civil fines and/or the possibility of civil lawsuits.

  • y_p_w

    I booked a room for $40 using PL’s opaque bidding system. Got a great room. Everything was clean and comfortable. All the amenities (complimentary breakfast, in-room coffee/tea, complimentary internet) were there.

    Now I can’t say the same about some higher-priced rooms we’ve booked. We once caught a $25 resort fee, although I’m guessing it was disclosed. It wasn’t mandatory. It paid for parking, local phone calls, a couple of drinks, bottled water, pool towel cards, etc. Otherwise parking would have been $20. We were informed that the amenities covered by the resort fee were included if we’d booked directly through the corporate website. It would have cost about double what we paid, so making a fuss wasn’t terribly conducive.

  • EdB

    Bait and switch falls under the category of fraud, a criminal offense and can be subject to jail time. While the consumer is only allowed to seek civil judgements against the defendant, state and federal authorities can seek criminal charges for fraud.

  • RB

    Not everyone can afford a $100 per night room and have to pick something less expensive. Still seems to me they should get everything promised by that business. If the concerns website says something is included or free then it should be.

    Again Christopher has it wrong.

  • Mike Nash

    Chris you have a great view on many things, but here you are wrong. The hotel is at fault. A $49 could be possible – Ive seen before, so not unheard of. If they said it was free, then it should be free. Plain and simple.

  • Ome WIllem

    that is same as the airlines advertising ‘cheap’ tickets and then charge for everything else, baggage fees, peanut/pretzel and drink fees, get-a-better seat fees, check in first fees,… should I go on? ALL IN prices MUST be advertized in order to properly have the consumer compare apples to apples between companies offering similar products. And don’t forget that Florida residents live cheap because they tax the hell out of the tourists.

  • EdB

    I’m not sure if you are responding to another comment or the story. If you are talking about the story, it is nothing like the airlines unbundling practice. To compare it to the airlines, it would be more like the airfare indicated there was not fee for checking your luggage but when you went to check in, they tell you that you still have to pay to check your luggage because you got a very low fare price.

  • Craig Wagner

    When I travel I generally stay in less expensive motels, usually Motel 6. When I check in I do not expect a continental breakfast, pillowtop beds, or nightly turndown service. In my opinion, that is where the hotel is saving their money. A place to park my car, or possibly even wi-fi, are almost necessities these days and lodging establishments should treat them as such and stop playing bait-and-switch tactics.

  • y_p_w

    I’ve stayed at expensive resort and business hotels where the customer is nickeled and dimed for everything including parking, internet access, and basic business services. About the only thing provided was an in-room coffeemaker. I’ve stayed at mid-priced hotels where all of that was free. I’ve also stayed at cheap motels where there was coffee in the room, a continental breakfast in a room, and free parking. However, they typically weren’t fancy and were in lower cost locations.

    I’ve learned that nothing is really guaranteed by how much money you’ve paid. However, I have noticed a correlation between the cost of lodging and the niceness of the room and facilities. It’s all the amenities that seem to be hit or miss.

  • I absolutely agree with the guest – they advertised it as free, it should actually be free, and if it is not then it is fradulent, false advertising. I have no problem with a hotel charging any fee it wishes, so long as it discloses them up-front and is honest about it. I can’t complain about being billed for a service when I know about it up-front. Honesty never cost a hotel a dime, deception will cost you more than just your fee.

  • EdB

    Nice way to spam. Why don’t you go somewhere else to do it.

  • Grant Ritchie

    Thanks again, Ed. You oughta sign up to be a moderator. You’re great at catching these spammy bastards. :-)

  • EdB

    Yeah. Me as a moderator would really make several people around here happy. ;)

  • TonyA_says

    That will be the day I stop reading this blog.

  • Grant Ritchie

    I’d like it. Tell the truth and shame the devil. :-)

  • EdB

    TonyA_says: That will be the day I stop reading this blog.

    Well hell. There’s reason enough to do it. Sign me up.

  • Grant Ritchie

    Contact the boss… Hope to see you in the trenches.

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