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Hotel Fraud – Hotel Scam

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.

Parking

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.

Phone

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.

Minibar

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.

Breakfast

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.

Laundry

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.

SUMMARY

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.

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9 Comments For This Post

  1. Bedi Says:

    I dont think its that bad :-)

    I have been a hotelier and would like to tell all your readers that the leading brands would never do such a thing.

    - Prabhjot Bedi
    http://www.hospemag.com

  2. JohnS0N Says:

    Of course its not! Most hotels are excellent, this only counts for those who still need to get to that level.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Its a real charges,person who wants luxary stay, money is not a issue,entertening in hotel is to look your budget,because you come for entertirment and lesuir,only incedent happen when you have guest from company account.or first stay in hotels.otherwise all all real charges what you had consume

  4. Diana Says:

    I recently stayed at a Sheraton hotel in Columbia, MD for two nights. The total charge I authorized at check in was $319.00. When I received my credit card statement I was charged $558.58. When I called to dispute the charge, I was told I had been charged a fee for smoking in a non-smoking room. I do not smoke and had not smoked in the room. The person in accounts relievable refused to refund me for the bogus charge claiming it was Sheraton policy. I will be disputing the charge with my credit card company and writing to everyone I can think of to expose this fraud.

  5. George Duncan Says:

    In the UK all charges are displayed quite clearly, if you don’t require B/Fast then book a room only basis, if you don’t use the services you don’t pay for them, if however you do require service and don’t want to waste time by having to look around for laundromats, retail shops and telephone boxes, then ask reception to assist. Hotels are in the business to make money just as the individual is. If you feel that you have been overcharged or something is on your bill that you didn’t have then call the security manager to investigate, they are always happy to help

  6. Raby Says:

    its 100% correct true, I work in a hotel, 3 stars in Rome as Receptionist, the writer forgot to tell us also about the Internet cost! which its also a rip off!and the client has to log out otherwise it keeps charging him over & over!the client can go 2 any bar get a drink and get access to the wi fi for free! but for the minibar, its true that it cost 3 times more than the usual price at the store, but remember its cold! especially in summer so the guest pays the bill of the elec bill of the fridge! a parking might cost half of the rate per night due to lack of parking lots in the old historical city,Such Rome and the Hotel has nothing to do with it, but we also tell the client where he can park for free! how to use the pubblic transportations….clients who want to save some money and enjoy their trip they should search online b4 they visit any hotel and they can always ask, which is the convinient way or the cheapest way to reach the hotel without being ripped off by a taxi driver ! or a pick-up service from the hotel!…..I tell my clients where or what to do, like flea markets near by, meuseums for free!cheap restaurants…etc helpful information…:)

  7. Alison Morel Says:

    I own a hotel and

    MARGARET BLAKE U.S citizen

    PASSPORT NUMBER : 453681800

    DATE OF BIRTH : 17.06.1975

    Stayed for four nights and also had an airport transfer

    She left without paying…..She owe me 106.66 U.S Dollars

    Just to warn anyone who might have the unfortunate pleasure of her company !!!! BEWARE

  8. John Says:

    A parking attendant took $20 cash I paid for parking and placed it in his own wallet and gave me $4 change back from his wallet; keeping the full balance for himself. I’m assuming he’ll be voiding the transaction and his level of comfort tells me that this has been going on for quite sometime. Happened on April 2nd, 2011 at around 2am at the Sheraton in Flushing, NY and his name is Raphael; works on the overnight.

  9. Richard Gill Says:

    Will you just stop all these talks about Cordeb Hotel.

    My friend from Egypt now is working there as waiter, so what are you talking about?

    I wish the management of the hotel can sue this speaker for damages and slanders

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