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California attorney suing over resort fee

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by ClownHo, Mar 23, 2015.

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  1. ClownHo

    ClownHo High-Roller

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    Apologies if this has been noted already:

    A California attorney is suing the Venetian/Palazoo/Sands because he claimed they didn't properly disclose the resort fee being charged for his room. He's seeking punitive damages.

    He claims that the total on his online booking, directly thru the Venetian website, didn't include the resort fee.

    I hope he wins and forces the industry to change. I saw the story on 8 News Now.
     
  2. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    This will probably bring attention back to resort fees, but it has little chance to win anything.

    The Hilton was sued years ago over hiding resort fees as part of their booking process and lost and since then all the Las Vegas hotels made sure that resort fees were mentioned, usually repeatedly, in their booking process. In the case of Venetian and Palazzo they mention resort fees two or three times during the booking process.

    On top of that as part of his claim he says that the rate he was quoted was "$209, excluding taxes and fees" so he himself is saying that there was reference to possible additional charges.
     
  3. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Wow, made it through law school and the bar exam and he can't read. That's impressive.
     
  4. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    He has a fool for a client ;)
     
  5. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
    36th Wedding Anniversary
  6. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    Q: How can you tell a lawyer is lying?

    A: Their lips move.
     
  7. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Here is an article on the story:

    http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-83113244/

    Hope you can access it. This is a class action suit. I think this will come down to whether the fee should have been quoted since it's mandatory. Since it's orginating out of CA, I wouldn't count it as a slam dunk for the hotel. I am trying to think of an industry where it's common to get a seemingly final price quote without taxes and fees and I am hard pressed to think of one.
     
  8. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    The resort fee of $29 is clearly stated on the Venetian/Palazzo website before you book. I would imagine he knew this all along. A lawyer has to do what comes naturally -- sue.
     
    36th Wedding Anniversary
  9. BCMike

    BCMike VIP Whale

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    If you don't read the hotels t+c's, it's not the hotels fault. No sympathy from me.
     
  10. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    As someone who recently took a bar exam this makes me feel better as I await results that a guy like this could pass one of the tougher bar exams in the country. He blatantly acknowledges that his rate excluded taxes and fees meaning he was on notice, I haven't visitors V/P website but as another poster mentioned it clearly gives you notice of the resort fee and really a law suit over a $29 a night fee seeking punitive damages? Good luck to this guy but it's guys like him that let me know my future is bright. I have more common sense than this guy while I'm drunk throwing money on red or black.
     
  11. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Tourist

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    It's knuckleheads like this that make legitimate lawsuits harder to settle.
     
  12. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    If you go buy a bottle of Pepsi from your local corner store or gas station you have to pay a deposit on the bottle. You probably know there is a deposit and how much it is, but thats just from being used to it being there for so many years... but technically there is no mention of the deposit other than written in fine print on the bottle or mention of how much that deposit will be.

    Maybe not in the USA but here in Canada when I go grocery shopping I also sometimes see at the end of my bill something like "environmental levy" or "enviro fee" which isn't mentioned on the prices of anything I put in my cart and at some places you don't even know what items are triggering these fees.

    Using an ATM that isn't your own bank's might result in a fee. That is usually listed as being an extra fee, but on some ATMs its not listed how much it will be.

    There is going to be lots of them out there, usually with things like banking or where you might have to pay for extras like when renting a car.
     
  13. BCMike

    BCMike VIP Whale

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    I bought a small tv yesterday here (bc) for $180. Had an add on fee of $23 on top added at the register for the environment fee. That offends me more than a resort fee.
     
  14. ClownHo

    ClownHo High-Roller

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    Too bad it's not that simple.

    I hope the guy wins, more or less. Part of me saw this in the wee hours of last night on the 8 News Now Roku channel and had the same feeling some of you did, lawyer looking to make money.

    And yes, it noted at points along the booking process that there's a bullshit fee. His point was that at the end of the process, when it tallies up the total, it conveniently neglects to quote the bullshit fee in the price. And that's what I want to see, the bullshit fee included in the price at the end of the day.

    On the other hand, the price quote may neglect to include the rape the tourist bonus tax that is popular with hotels and airport car rentals. When I go to the sex toy shop, locally or in Vegas, they don't include the sales tax on the price of the "enhancers" I buy, so should I expect all the taxes and other fees to be included in my price quote? Maybe not.

    Yes, they note the fee along the way when you navigate the website, but why not include it in the final price quote, since it's mandatory?

    I know we all want these bullshit fees charged at hotels worldwide when we travel, but I'd like to see better accountability for them when you total up the reservation at the end of the booking process. (I like that Expedia notes the resort fee to be paid at the hotel when you price out a package. Perhaps other travel sites do that, too.)

    So I hope he wins, no matter how many people want to pretend he can't read.
     
  15. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Hmmm, don't think anyone here really took that literally. Well, actually, did you?

    Anyone here either bitching about the fee or saying it's much ado about nothing obviously knows about the fee, so where is the surprise?
     
  16. ClownHo

    ClownHo High-Roller

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    I don't think there's a surprise. By that logic I guess it's silly to want fees disclosed with the price when a reservation is booked. As usual I'm a minority in a minority.
     
  17. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I'm totally cool with a total-tally disclosure at first glance. It's just not that big of a necessity.
     
  18. ziggyzambo

    ziggyzambo Tourist

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    I'm frankly surprised how harsh people are being on this guy. A few points.

    1.) Obviously he's not really suing over the small amount of money - as a practicing attorney his time is worth more than that - he's suing over the principle of the thing. Are we really at the point where we're going to mock someone for standing on principle in the absence of monetary gain?

    2.) Resort fees are an obviously deceptive practice, and I don't see any reasonable way to dispute this. Of course, this needn't be true in theory. If the hotels want to divide up the cost of the room into rates and fees for internal accounting purposes, fine, but their advertised nightly rate should include all non-optional fees. As the linked article points out, this sort of thing has already been hashed out (legally speaking) with the airlines. It's really only cost of implementation that makes it harder to apply to hotels.

    3.) Saying "plus taxes and fees" doesn't get them off the (ethical) hook, even if it's ruled to legally cover their asses. A reasonable person can conclude that the fees alluded to are for optional services, since that was the industry norm until relatively recently.

    4.) Resort fees are materially different than fees added on at a retail register (setting aside the question of the legitimacy of those fees) because with hotels payment is made after services have already been rendered. They are akin to a restaurant adding a "table fee" of $10 to each bill, but noting that fact somewhere in the menu in tiny print. By the time the fee is seen it is too late to opt out.
     
  19. ClownHo

    ClownHo High-Roller

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    Well said, welcome to the minority.
     
  20. Corinne

    Corinne Low-Roller

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    Things work differently in the UK. All mandatory charges have to be included in the price at the beginning. Even flights have to include the taxes and are not added on after. Only anything optional can be a separate charge. There's no point in charging resort fees here because hotels would pay commission on that too when it's included in the first place. So they just advertise the room price as what you actually end up paying. I'm sure that's the basic reason for not adding the charge in the US, also the price appears cheap on comparison sites which I'm sure is why CET eventually had to charge resort fees, MGMs prices were all coming up cheaper on comparison sites. Even on Virgin and BA here if you book the hotel on its own they include the resort fee in the price. Not that it stops the hotels trying to charge it again sometimes I'm sure. Lol.
     
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