Staying at a hotel should have a relaxing effect, rather than making you worried how and where you will be ripped off. Hotel fraud is a big industry and if you don’t check your bill twice you may be charged for unwanted services with your permission. While these below rip-offs are not really dangerous to you and remain legal, they are certainly not ethical. Those participating in hotel fraud will try to squeeze every cent out of you. Once you are a guest you may make phone calls, have a snack at the minibar, take a shower and eventually you might even eat something. When you make one or all of this things you are their target. If you happen to notice such or similar practices, you might want to book a reservation at another one, because if you are as me than you would like to be treated as a valuable guest. It’s not the money they try to get from you in a very sneaky and unfriendly way, it is about your overall wellbeing and comfort while you are away from home.
The parking space can sometimes cost you half of your room price. Usually you don’t have an alternative route because a garage lot can be half an hour walk away and you don’t want your car to be that far in case you need it badly. You could park your car on the street. If you do end up parking on the street, which can be the only option, make sure you let the hotel know which car is yours. You might get some advice, a warning, or even a special permit.
You know this one for sure. Hotels charge absurd telephone rates from 150 up to 400 percent of the usual calling rates. This is especially valid for long distance, out of state or international call rates which are high enough anyway. Pretend the phone is not there and use your cell phone whenever you can.
We all know how expensive these items are. Usually the prices are up to three or four times higher than those in stores. Minibar is THE ATM machine for hotels, so the best option is to stay away from it unless you like paying higher amounts just to see if you can spend all the cash you have. Rather take a walk to the store and while you are on the way give those few bucks to someone who temporary lost his way and lives on the streets. You never know, in the future, he might return a favor.
Hotels should have great cooks who know how to prepare delicious food. Unfortunately, many don’t, so if you can decline a hotel’s breakfast for a reduction in your room charge take advantage of the option and spend that same amount in a nearby restaurant or store where you will eat the food you want and usually for less. If, however, your hotel insists that you must take your “free” breakfast, take as much as you can for a picnic later. After all, the hotel did insist, and you are paying with actually eating that what they call food.
If you thought the phone and minibar were total rip offs you are going to love this. Would anyone pay as much to clean their clothes as they cost brand new? I am rightly assuming no, but that is how much some hotels charge for this helpful service. Sometimes there is an indication of how much a laundry service is going to cost you per item. You should take a good look and think about it. You might be paying an euro or more to have your socks washed. Of course it takes money to dry them too! Find a local laundromat or carry detergent with you so you can wash one or two clothing items and line dry them in your room. If you prefer the convenience of having the hotel do it, be aware that it may wind up as a hefty fee on your final bill.
Before leaving the hotel, check the bill for any snacks you did not eat, calls you did not make or clothes you did not wash. You should always scrutinize yor hotel bill and ask about any incremental charge you see on there that is anything other than the amount you agreed to pay multiplied by the number of nights stayed. You will be surprised how many times you will be charged for things you did not do or order. However when you point it out and tell about that little “computer error”, it is the fault of the working class hero. Blame it on the maid.