“That’ll be $7.50.”
As you reach into your wallet for a ten-spot you think to ask, “How did we get to $7.50. I thought the price was $3.95?”
“That’s the cream and sugar and plastic spoon charge,” the barista explains.
“But I’m not going to use any cream or sugar or plastic spoon. And even if I did, isn’t that, well, sort of included?”
No, the barista further clarifies. Those are added amenities not covered by our rates.
And so it is with hotels that advertise a room rate which you know they’ll add state and local taxes to, already jacking the price up another 15%. But you expect that. Now, some resorts are having the gaul to charge so-called resort fees, which if you ask them about they’ll tell you are for the fitness center, wifi, bottled water, and pool towels. And if you explain that you won’t be using those things the desk clerk will simply shrug and reach for your credit card.
How we got here is a very good question, but an even better one is: why would we possibly stand for this?
On previous occasions I’ve told the desk clerk that I was denying the charge and they just rolled their eyes quietly and took the fee off my bill. But recently, at Las Vegas’s Vdara Hotel– a property that I loved pretty much everything else about– the clerk told me that she couldn’t remove the charge. So I told here I would be informing the general manager, which did not interest her in the least.
Which is what I’m doing here.