How Hotels Stroke You for Your Money

Fabiola Castillo

Visitors: 121

One can run up his hotel bill very quickly if he takes advantage of the hotel’s convenient services.

The room rate at the end of your hotel stay is most likely not the only charge you see on your final bill. There are additional hidden charges you might find if you are you careful. Using any one of the following hotel services can jack up the cost of your next hotel stay.

  • The Minibar

    After the bar and other amenities are closed for the night, it can be tempting for some customers to raid the minibar. Do you really want to spend $6.00 for a can of soda? How about $11 for a shot of cheap rum? Then there is that tray of snack chips and mints that the hotel has been generous to provide you. A small bag of chips could cost you $4 or more. Do you really want it that bad? The decision is yours. Let it be known that you will pay through the roof each and every time you decide to have that late night snack. Make sure you check your hotel bill for any unexpected minibar charges. It is a common error that hotels make that can empty your pocketbook.

  • Parking

    The hotel can charge you an arm and a leg for parking since there is a huge demand for parking. It can cost you as much as $20 to $60 per day. Ouch! Your car will be safe in their garages and you will not have to walk a long distance between your car and the hotel. If you are vacationing, you really want to spend your money elsewhere other than parking. If you must park your car on the street, be sure to tell the hotel’s front desk which car is yours. They might be nice enough to give you some advice, a warning, or even a special dispensation.

  • The Phone

    If you think the minibar and parking is a rip off, consider what hotels charge you every time you pick up their phone. A onetime phone call can cost you 3 times what it normally costs. This may even apply to local calls. Using a calling card? Forget it! You will be charged every time you lift the handset unless it is an internal call. Bring your cell phone instead. Do what you must to avoid using the hotel’s phone.

  • Breakfast

    If the hotel gives you a choice to have breakfast during your stay, decline the invitation. Usually their continental breakfast includes bagels, cereal, bread, muffins, and coffee. This meal could cost you as much as $12. For that price, you could get a more edible meal at McDonald’s for less than half that price. If they give you a FREE breakfast, then take a few extra bagels to your room for meals later in the day.

  • Laundry

    Hotel laundry services are a big scam. Why would anybody pay to have their clothes cleaned for the same price it would cost to buy them brand new? Hotels provide this service and will charge you up the wazoo.

  • Taxes

    Be cautious that some hotels advertise their prices with the taxes included, and some do not. Lots of European hotel rates include what is known as a national value added tax (VAT). This is their national sales tax. Hotels in other countries do not include tax in their prices. They want their prices as low as possible to generate business. The VAT could be as high as 22% in some European countries.

A hotel in most cases will disclose up front what they charge you for using the services that we have uncovered as rip offs. Travelers should be aware of them. Most of the time, these are optional services that can be declined.

There are lots of consumer fraud schemes out there such as a hotel’s extra services scam. It is up to you, the consumer, to educate yourself to recognize what is and is not legitimate. By doing so, you can minimize becoming a victim to this form deception.

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