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Page added on September 21, 2011

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TRAVELAERO TIPS – SEPTEMBER 2011

HOTEL SCAMS AND WHAT YOU SHOULD DO ABOUT IT

It has brought to my attention that there are still hotels pulling off tricks with clients. Here are few common scams to watch out for.

The “front desk scam” has been around since 2008, but it is still continuing and is especially popular during peak travel periods. ‘Someone’ calls the front desk and asked for (example) Room 620 (which happens to be your room). Your phone rings in your room. You answer and the person on the other end says the following:

‘This is the front desk. When checking in, we came across a problem with your charge card information. Please re-read me your credit card number and verify the last 3 digits numbers at the reverse side of your charge card.’

Not thinking anything you might give this person your information, since the call seems to come from the front desk. But actually, it is a scam of someone calling from outside the hotel/front desk.

What to do: Just tell him/her NO, you can’t give it through the phone then do go down to the front desk and ask if there is a problem and notify them that someone is calling the hotel with the intention of stealing guests’ credit card information.

Getting “walk.” You arrive at your hotel only to be told it is overbooked and the room you reserved is not available. As compensation, you are offered accommodation at another property that the hotel may or may not claim is comparable in quality. The only trouble is, it’s not — and you have been, in industry-speak, officially ‘walked-down’.

What to do: Refuse the room. Instead of immediately agreeing to the alternative accommodation, politely stand your ground and remind the hotel that you have a guaranteed reservation. Even if you still have to move, chances are that you’ll be sent to a better property.

Hotels Telephone-This one’s simple: hotels charge obscenely high telephone rates—we’re talking mark-ups anywhere from 150% to 400%—especially on long-distance calls. Even if you are using prepaid call cards they will still charge for the so –called “connection fee”.

What to do: Avoid using the hotels phone as much as possible just use your cellphone, pay phones or Skype.

Hotels Mini-Bar-sodas, water and snacks are overpriced. What to do: Make sure you scan your hotel bill for unexpected mini-bar charges. It’s a common error hotel’s make that can cost you a fortune.

Hotels Laundry Service-to wash a single load of travel laundry pair of pants, pair of shorts you used to swim in, two T-shirts, a long-sleeved shirt, a skirt, and three pairs each of socks and underwear can rip you off.

What to do: look for a local laundromat that charges by weight.
Hotel Parking- they usually charge from $15-60$ per day

What to do: Check for the closest parking lots to your hotel you might save 75% than when you park it in the hotel.

Hotel Taxes- cheaper hotels will often include taxes in their quoted rates, while ludicrously overpriced hotels will try to hide it in the fine print.

What to do: some listed Hotel’s prices include taxes while others do not. Be sure to check your Hotel bills for any hidden costs you might be surprise on unexpected charges.

Now you know the industry’s dirty little secret, I hope that next time you check- in a hotel you don’t let them pull a trick on you.









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