Calgary, AB., April 11, 2013 – As Southern Albertans begin to plan their summer vacations, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises vacation-bound consumers to ask questions about extra fees that could turn a bargain trip into a budget buster.
“Airlines have been adding fees for everything from luggage to early boarding for several years," said Sandra Crozier-McKee, President and CEO of the BBB serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenays. “But you may not know about ‘resort fees’ for hotel services ranging from Internet access, use of gym facilities, newspapers to a safe in your room. The fees may be charged whether you use the services or not.”
Extra fees ranging from $10 to $30 a day are seldom disclosed and often aren’t included in the checkout price on online travel booking sites. In many cases, consumers don’t learn about the fees until they check into or out of a resort.
Resort fees are part of a business model known as “drip pricing,” in which firms advertise only part of a product’s price and reveal other charges later as the customer goes through the buying process. The fees can be mandatory charges, such as hotel resort fees, or fees for optional upgrades and add-ons. Drip pricing is used by many types of firms, including Internet sellers, automobile dealers, financial institutions, and rental car companies.
Consumers have said that extra fees were never mentioned at all or appeared separate from the quoted reservation price on an online booking site. Other consumers “complained they did not know that they would be required to pay resort fees in addition to the quoted hotel room rate,” and only found out when they checked out of the hotel.
The BBB offers the following advice to avoid undisclosed hotel resort fees:
Consumers can learn how to protect themselves or find BBB Business Reviews by calling 403-531-8784.
Contacts (News Media Only):
Camie Leard, Director of Marketing and Communications
BBB serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenays