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Resort Fees and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission)

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Ben Jammin, Oct 28, 2014.

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  1. Ben Jammin

    Ben Jammin VIP Whale

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    In May of 2012 the FTC held a conference with respect to Resort Fees AKA "Drip Pricing" whereas the advertised price did not contain the actual final price with the additional "Resort" fees added.

    The final ruling did not find a violation of law but rather issued a warning to hotel operators not to "hide" their additional fees in the fine print or not to disclose them in a deceptive way.

    This basically opened the door to the phenomenon we now see, resort fees on everything under the sun, as long as they are disclosed.

    This is a gray area as who is to determine what is deceptive? Some FTC Attorney that has already ruled their validity?

    So for now we're stuck.
    Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2014
  2. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    Good info.
     
  3. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I think that you are misinterpreting what happened. Resort fees were running rampant anyway when they made their statement. What they have an issue with is mandatory fees not being included in price quotes. If you have to pay it, you shouldn't get a price that doesn't include it. The way the statement was made was that it was an issue that they reserved the right to revisit.

    Yes, some hotels added fees after but I did notice a few that made a point to include fees in their price quotes. Until everyone is forced to include fees in their quotes, you can't be competitve without adding a fee. This also has nothing to do with optional fees. It may take awhile but I wouldn't be shocked if they come back and take action on hotels and the third party travel companies if they don't start rolling fees into their price quotes. If there is some law you feel the FTC isn't not enforcing, go ahead and blame them but I don't see anything they can do to stop the fees out right.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2014
  4. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Cars, cell plans, hotel rooms, whatever, it's best to expect there is fine print and simply be a savvy shopper. It would be nice if the market were to police and correct itself, but caveat emptor is a very old concept because these types of practices are very old.
     
  5. lotso-bear

    lotso-bear VIP Whale

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    +1. Resort fees have become a norm nowadays. Unfortunate but something we have to deal with.
     
  6. REELmoneySlotFan

    REELmoneySlotFan High-Roller

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    I didn't really mind resort fees in the past. Generally room rates in Vegas aren't that bad and the resort fee just added a couple of $ per night. But now it's a whole other story. Since we're European we don't come to Vegas for 3 nights, we stay 8 nights at least. So the resort fees can amount to over $200 and that's malarkey. The only thing we use (that's part of the resort fee) is the pool. And we pay a good price for that since we spend enough money on drinks to feed a small country :). It's not like buying a coke at the pool is cheap compared to 1000's of other places and we spend about $16 on every cocktail. So in my book I'm paying $20 a day because the hotel has to wash two extra towels every day which I used at the pool....
     
  7. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Hate to burst your bubble but the resort fees at none of the hotels cover the pool. It's always been part of the room rate. I suggest you check into the amenities covered by the fees like wi-fi and gym access to make sure you are getting more value.
     
  8. REELmoneySlotFan

    REELmoneySlotFan High-Roller

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    Hate to contradict you here but I think you're wrong. Just picked one Strip resort (Tropicana) and looked into their resort fee. This is what their website says about it:

    What does the resort fee include?
    • In-room high-speed wireless Internet ($12.99 value)
    • Daily fitness center access ($25 value)
    • 50% off well cocktails, beer and wine in the Tropicana Lounge from 5-8pm daily
    • 2-for-1 tickets to Laugh Factory
    • Free valet and self-parking
    Use of the pools and whirlpool spas (seasonal)
    • Free local calls
    • Free 800 toll-free calls
    • Free incoming faxes (ten per day)
    • Free outgoing faxes (ten per day)
    • Free photocopies (ten per day)
    • Free printing of boarding pass

    If your staying 8 nights for example paying the resort fee actually means that the 2-for-1 deal for the Laugh Factory is worthless. I'd rather buy a second ticket and pay full price if I want to go there instead of paying a resort fee. I'm on vacation so I don't need faxes and photocopies. I have a cell phone so I never use free "whatever" phone calls. I don't use the gym. So what's left is the WiFi and the pool.....
     
  9. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I guess if you regularly stay at the Trop or the Riv on the the strip, you are paying for pool access. But you can review the sticky. The vast majority of Vegas hotels do not cover pool access in the resort fees. I'm not suggesting that you aren't ripped off. It's just that the idea that the resort fee covers actual resort amenities is a myth to make people feel better about them when they should be pissed off.
     
  10. REELmoneySlotFan

    REELmoneySlotFan High-Roller

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    Haha you're absolutely right about that myth. But to be honest there's nothing about those resort fees that make me feel good. I didn't pay much attention to them when they were below $10 a day but since those days are long gone (at least at most Strip locations) you have to keep them in mind when comparing hotel rates.
     
  11. Ben Jammin

    Ben Jammin VIP Whale

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    Some may be missing the point. The FTC actually held a conference with representatives of the hotel and airline industry, as well as numerous other entities regarding the legality of "Drip Pricing" complaints by consumers. It was a big deal.

    The FTC normally doesn't get involved unless they have had thousands of complaints. They do not review complaints on an individual basis, but rather as a whole, similar to a class action law suit.

    At the end of the proceedings the ruling was not in favor of the consumer but rather in favor of the resort and airline industries to name just two, but the fact that there was no violation of consumer trust long as the fees were disclosed somewhere during the booking process. It doesn't necessarily have to be on the Lead Line. I was in the advertising business for over 10 years before I started my career in Real Estate, and I can tell you there is and old adage. If you told them the real price they'd never call.(or respond)

    This ruling was accompanied by a WARNING to those industries that they had better watch their step. Intended to curtail the practice, tha law of unintended consequences came into force. They "Let the dog off the leash" so to speak, and now we have frickin resort fees on everything we book, right down to rental cars.

    It sucks man to put it bluntly, because consumers are like hatching ducklings. They fixate on the first price they see.

    W.C. Fields said it best. "Never give a sucker and even break!"

    .
     
  12. heatherlovesvegas

    heatherlovesvegas VIP Whale

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    I feel like they pretty clearly state that you have to pay them now. A few years ago it was a bit of hiding..

    I don't see it as any sort of rip off.. It's just a clever way of advertising lower rates. It's annoying, and I have to do math.. but I mean now that everyone has it, it just comes with the territory now. Vegas is still one of the best deals out there even with the resort fees! Gosh, I'm starting to plan a trip to another major city, an average hotel is $200 a night.. and they have resort fees! I went on a trip a few weeks ago and I paid $30 a day for parking.. it's all kind of the same thing.

    I feel like they have become more clear about resort fees since then though. It states really clearly now on any website you are booking that you have to pay it. That helps.
     
  13. Terry Benedict

    Terry Benedict VIP Whale

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    I would like to see an easy to read total for hotels. As on the Dollar Rental Car site, there is the rental price, I click on "Estimated Grand Total" and all the fees drop in to make the total. I think the FTC could require this as the FDA has requirements for nutritional tables.

    And screw the "Resort Fee includes..."! Put those inclusions in the hotel amenities rather than the resort fee details. Because those inclusions are usable even if the resort fee is waived or comped. Those inclusions were usable before the resort fee was "required".
     
  14. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    They aren't illegal! And it's the FTC doesn't have the power to make them illegal. Call your local congressman on that. The best they can do is make them change the way they disclose them and it's there is a chance that this could happen. The hotels and other entities have been sued enough over these things in the past to know what they can get away with. If they are doing something wrong, there are too many law firms that do nothing but pursue class action suits that would have hopped on it by now. From where I sit, unless this becomes a political issue, there's not much else to it.
     
  15. Terry Benedict

    Terry Benedict VIP Whale

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    OP never said they were. He even said " but the fact that there was no violation of consumer trust..."
    You and OP agree.
     
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