December 03, 2012

FTC warns hotels on hidden fees

The Federal Trade Commission warned 22 hotels that they may be violating the law if they do not include mandatory fees and surcharges in their price quotes. A common complaint concerns the mandatory “resort fee” charged by many hotels.

The FTC considers so-called “drip pricing” – a pricing technique in which firms advertise only part of a product’s price and reveal other charges as the customer goes through the buying process – a deceptive and unfair business practice.

A common complaint, the FTC said, concerns the mandatory “resort fee” charged by many hotels that cover the use of swimming pools, exercise rooms and other services regardless of whether they are used.

Those charges can add as much as $30 a night to a room’s cost, a sum that could affect a customer’s purchasing decision, the FTC said.

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