Tamara Myers booked and paid for a room for her mother at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. But when her mother arrived, she had to pay an additional mandatory “resort” fee. Can we get her a refund?
Question: I recently paid for my mother’s hotel reservation through Trivago for a hotel in Las Vegas, which she needed while her 88-year-old brother was in the hospital. Trivago’s site directed me to Otel.com, where after doing my due diligence, I reserved and paid for her hotel room at the Westgate Las Vegas.
The total for nine nights was $415. When my mother arrived at the Westgate, she was informed that she was required to pay a resort fee of $34 a day. This was listed nowhere on Trivago or Otel’s sites. The other sites I researched showed the resort fee. Otel did not!
My mother is 79 years old and, by the grace of God, had her credit card to cover this additional unexpected expense, which I ultimately ended up paying. There has been no assistance from Otel in resolving this matter, and Trivago does not have a phone number to reach them.
If there is to be an additional fee added to the hotel cost, this should be listed on the page where you research and pay for the hotel. This is deceptive and unscrupulous. Can you help? — Tamara Myers, Indianapolis
Answer: I’m sorry for the distress this caused your mother while visiting her brother in the hospital, and I couldn’t agree more that resort fees are one of the most annoying ploys in the hotel industry today.
These fees purport to cover “amenities” like Wi-Fi and use of the hotel pool, but their real purpose is to allow hotels to advertise artificially low rates. This problem is particularly egregious in Las Vegas, which is why websites like this one have popped up, that list resort fees for all of the hotels there.
But in this case, the fact that several other hotel booking sites mentioned the resort fee, should have been your clue to contact the hotel directly for confirmation.
And in fact, when we checked the Otel website, there was an asterisk and reference to a resort fee under hotel information on the booking page, although no mention of the amount of the fee.
You could have appealed this sleight-of-hand directly to Westgate. We list the names, number and addresses of all the timeshare companies on our site.
We contacted the companies on your behalf, but also got the silent treatment. That’s disturbing. A consumer-centric business should be willing to engage its customers in a dialogue.
My advice? Dispute the resort fee on your credit card. That’s a proven tactic for removing these nuisance fees.