According to Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine’s office, Marriott International Inc. and its affiliates Marriott hotel have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars in resort taxes that guests have been forced to pay over the past decade.
Marriott has severely denied deceiving customers in collecting these taxes, which are sometimes also known as destination service fees. However, it’s easy to find tons of customer complaints on social media in this regard. Many of these claim that the company was not upfront on these fees prior to the booking process. Additionally, as part of a lawsuit filed by the Washington Attorney General against Marriott for allegedly misleading practices in this regard, the newly uncovered documents in that case reveal that Marriott has raised more than $ 220 million in dating taxes. to 2012.
Marriott hotel south over resort rates
These fees can range from a few dollars to nearly 100 dollars. More than 180 Marriott properties charge them. And DC prosecutors claim they are in conflict with consumer protection laws by not clearly stipulating how much customers will pay upfront. Instead of making it known as customers delve into the booking process.
To be clear: the problem here is not taxes. Other hotel chains also collect them. The dispute is over how they are communicated, in this case to Marriott customers. “If you’re from a hotel company, you’re saying, ‘We’re bringing all of these things together, (and) you’re getting great value,” said Truist Securities Inc. accommodation analyst C. Patrick Scholes. The Wall Street newspaper. “Perhaps in the mind of the consumer and the regulations, it has become this back-end way to raise room rates without actually raising room rates. The question is: is it deceptive? “
– Xolotech (@Xolotech) October 13, 2021
The property I am in now tried to insert a tourist tax. No disclosure anywhere in the booking process or website. Only paid nights show it after the confirmation email. None with points. When I called them the lady said “every Marriott property in the world charges that tax”.
– Michele (@freetravelguys) June 8, 2021
“Destination services rates”
Another Twitter user complained as in May they had “booked via app Marriott New York Downtown in September No City tax. I logged into the app last night to see that they have since added a “destination tax” of $ 125 per stay. For Wifi I already get as Platinum (member). Oh!”
Racine’s office filed a lawsuit against Marriott International in the summer of 2019. The focus was on resort rates, which the lawsuit claims Marriott only to customers at the time of booking. When the customer is actually involved in that process, in other words. Rather than telling customers on the front end when it could conceivably affect their purchase.
During one of the proceedings associated with this case, a Marriott executive reportedly admitted that the company did not add the resort fee to the room rate customers see for the first time. Why? Because “it would put us at a competitive disadvantage”.
The next important date as part of this case will come in March. For the WSJ, the court could decide to deliver a summary judgment at that point, or rule that it should continue until a full trial.