Marriott Sued Over Hidden Fees
Marriott has been sued by the District of Columbia on Tuesday over allegedly deceptive pricing practices. The chain is accused of adding hidden fees to hotel bills.
The complaint says that Marriott has failed for a decade or more to disclose certain fees when it advertises prices for hotel rooms. These hidden fees sometimes add up to $95 per day, drastically increasing advertised prices. They allegedly applied to listings on Marriott’s own website and travel websites such as Expedia.
The fees were sometimes grouped as “taxes and fees” and not presented until after customers had already entered their credit card information. In other cases, the fees were advertised as covering amenities, such as parking, that were either complimentary or that guests had to pay for when they got to the hotel even after paying a resort fee.
The lawsuit comes after an investigation into the hotel industry by all 50 states, CNBC reports. The court order is seeking force Marriott to advertise the full price of a stay as well as pay financial penalties and restitution to affected guests.
Here’s what Attorney General Racine said about the lawsuit”
Marriott reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in profit by deceiving consumers about the true price of its hotel rooms. Bait-and-switch advertising and deceptive pricing practices are illegal. With this lawsuit, we are seeking monetary relief for tens of thousands of District consumers who paid hidden resort fees and to force Marriott to be fully transparent about their prices so consumers can make informed decisions when booking hotel rooms.