TAKE ACTION. SAVE AMERICAN TRAVELERS!
Make sure that Americans & all the great people around the world who visit Las Vegas leave with nothing more than a hang over. By allowing hotels to trick tourists to America's most popular tourist destinations, we are all allowing travelers to be cheated.
So what can you do?
1) Contact Congress
2) File an FTC Complaint
3) Write a Horrible TripAdvisor, Yelp + Google Review of Your Hotel
4) Contact the Attorneys General
5) Take it to Social Media
6) Let State Legislators Know
7) Let Your City Council Know
8) Contact Your Local Newspaper + TV News Stations
For sweeping legislation freeing all Americans from trick resort fees, you need to contact those amazing people you elected to represent you in Washington, DC. Let's unite together to end deceptive hotel pricing. Here how to contact your representative. Here are your Senators. Don't forget to blast them on Twitter as well. Here is a list of Members of Congress on the Twitter. Senator McCaskill introduced a bill to kill resort fees, the Truth in Hotel Advertising Act, on February 25, 2016. I’ll be working to reintroduce this bill soon + you can help by calling your congresspeople and demanding they support the bill. Stand by for updates!
FILE AN FTC COMPLAINT
The FTC regulates unfair, misleading and deceptive hotel prices. Everyone other than the hotel lobby seems to think that advertising one rate online, paying that rate up front online and then being forced to pay more money when you arrive at the hotel to get your key is misleading and deceptive. If you think so too, file a complaint about your hotel with the FTC. They have this nifty video. Just go to ftc.gov/complaint. For resort fees you'd file under Category -> Other. Then on the other page click for MORE OPTIONS to get to Page 2 of the Other page. There you will see Travel, Vacations and Timeshares. If you booked online you can say you initiated contact, then travel or vacation related service package, then fill out the claim. Easy, breezy, FTC complaint.
WRITE A TRIP ADVISOR, YELP + GOOGLE REVIEW OF YOUR HOTEL
Gain an incredible sense of personal validation by getting your thoughts out there. Let your fellow citizens of the internet age know just how shitty it is to go to Miami in 55 degree weather with 30mph winds and be forced to pay a resort fee. Resort fees do not ever actually pay for any services, it is just a way for the hotel to lie about the room rate. Let others know about the scams out there. The power is at your fingertips. Here is a link to Yelp and here's one to Trip Advisor.
CONTACT THE ATTORNEYS GENERAL
State attorney generals offices have the ability to cut this shit out as well. The attorney general is the chief legal officer of the state. One would hope that the chief legal officer of the state would be able to put an end to deceptive hotel pricing shenanigans but a lot of dreams have died before. Fifty State Attorney Generals and the AG from DC have joined to start investigating scam hotel resort fees. This could take a while though so feel free to reach out to them in the meantime! If you file a consumer complaint against your hotel with your Attorney General, there is a good chance the AG will work with you to help you get your deceptive resort fee back. These forms take 60 seconds to fill out. Just Google/Bing/Duckduckgo “attorney general consumer complaint + (your state).” Here are some links for some states: California, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Texas, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Washington DC.
CRITICIZE YOUR HOTEL ON SOCIAL MEDIA
You will get a response quicker on Twitter to your complaints than probably anywhere else. Certainly quicker than waiting for legislation from Congress. Public internet shaming is a very effective tool. So blast any and all offending hotels. Just @ a member of Congress too while you are at it. Did you stay at a Doubletree by Hilton in Key West? Tweet at them (@GrandKeyResort), Doubletree by Hilton (@doubletree) and Hilton (@HiltonHotels). Make sure to also @MarcoRubio @SenRickScott @RonDeSantisFL @AshleyMoodyFL @RepJoeGarcia and preach it out down the whole chain. Tell the world. #KillResortFees
LET LOCAL STATE LEGISLATORS KNOW
Just like Congress in lovely Washington, DC, state legislators have the power to enact laws protecting tourists as well. If you think not disclosing the full price of a night's stay is a horrible move, let those state legislators know. You do not need to live in the district to let the representatives know that you got a shit deal traveling to their district. Anyone can call. Here are a few state legislators you may want to reach out to: Hawaii - Florida - Nevada - California - North Carolina - Arizona
CONTACT YOUR CITY COUNCIL + MAYORS OFFICE
New York City is loosing over 8 million dollars every year because of tax issues caused by hotel resort fees. Resort fees are not just a way for the hotel to lie about the price to lure in customers, they allow the hotel to cheat taxes as well! If you live in a city where resort fees are charged, we urge you to contact your local city council and mayor's office to let them know it'd be great if the hotels were all held to some reasonable advertising and tax collecting standards. It's always nice when the roads are nicely paved, the trash is picked up, there is housing for the homeless, etc. Make sure that hotels are not allowed to cheat taxes + make your city a better place!
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER + TV NEWS STATIONS
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper explaining your disappointment about hidden resort fees. Contact your local TV news station's investigative reporting division and ask them to go after hotels that charge these fees to publicize the issue further. The only people that want the resort fee scam to continue are the hotels themselves. The hotel lobby is powerful and they will throw all the money they can around to ensure they can keep up the resort fee scam. Through the power of the press average people like us can get the word out and influence lawmakers about this pressing consumer issue.
Do not stay in a hotel with a resort fee. Do not stay in an affiliate hotel with a resort fee. Hell, don't stay in a hotel at all. Mandatory double fees / resort fees / facility charges in hotels are so out of control you could pay hundreds of extra dollars on top of your actual room rate. Here are some great Airbnbs in Vegas. Here are some awesome condos for rent in Hawaii on VRBO. HomeAway has some great homes you can rent in Orlando. FlipKey has some cool places on Key West. Never forget that a hotel in Miami that charges a resort fee because they know you will likely never come back. When you have to travel for business or fun somewhere else maybe think twice before helping out another hotel in that chain that screwed you over. Hilton Hotels, Hyatt, Marriott, etc could shut down resort fees at all of their hotels if they wanted to. If one hotel chain can order all franchises to have cookies at 4pm, they can order all franchises to end hotel resort fees. The Corporate Chain Hotel Overlords are not ending the scam, they are encouraging it.