The Banning Of Resort Fees & Other Hidden Charges: The Good News & The Bad News

For a long time, resort fees, those hidden charges hotels usually don’t tell you about until you arrive at your hotel, were limited to the United States. We’ve written a few posts about what they are and how you may be able to get out of paying them, as well as made our readers aware of the Kill Resort Fees, a grassroots effort to, well, kill resort fees, website.

Of course, it was only a matter of time that hidden resort fees would make it to another country.

And they did.

But they won’t be there for much longer…

Resort fees “landed” in Great Britain when the Trump Turnberry, a hotel in Ayrshire, Scotland, began adding a mandatory nightly charge. Guests were told the £20 per room per night resort fee covered amenities such as WiFi, the swimming pool and in-room coffee machines.

Pricing rules in Scotland and, in fact, the rest of the U.K., require the quoted rates to include all taxes and charges, but online booking sites such as booking.com, Hotels.com, Trivago, etc. weren’t necessarily doing that.

And those weren’t the other problems with the online booking companies – they were also participating in pressure selling, misleading discount claims, changing the ranking of hotels based on commissions, and other hidden charges (i.e. taxes, parking, or booking fees), which was all very, shall we say, “unBritish.” And very much against the law.

UKhotel

Fortunately, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (a U.K. Government entity) quickly became aware of these breaches and began an investigation. And now, finally, all companies that had been hiding these various fees are cooperating with the CMA regarding the following:

  • Search results: Hotel booking companies will make it clear how hotels are ranked when a customer has entered their search requirements (i.e. they’ll tell people when search results have been affected by the amount of commission a hotel pays the site).
  • Pressure selling: They won’t give a false impression of the availability or popularity of a hotel, or rush customers into making a booking decision based on incomplete information (i.e. when highlighting that other customers are looking at the same hotel as you, they’ll making it clear they may be searching for different dates).
  • Discount claims: They’ll be more clear regarding discounts and will only promote deals that are actually available at that time (i.e. they won’t include comparisons with a higher priced hotel or a more expensive weekend rate that wasn’t relevant to the customer’s search criteria).
  • Hidden charges: They’ll display all compulsory charges such as taxes, booking or resort fees in the headline price. So the total amount the customer has to pay should always be shown upfront.

So the good news is that misleading sales tactics and hidden charges such as resort fees will no longer be hidden – if a hotel charges them, they will be included in the upfront price. The bad news, at least for us in the U.S., is that it’s only in the U.K.

Mean while, HELLO FRIENDS at KillResortFees.com – keep on doing your stuff so hopefully OUR resort fees, if they’re still there, won’t be so deceptive anymore, either! 😉

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

 

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