One hundred dollar bills currency
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Another Way Mandatory Resort Fees are Deceptive

“From time to time i get no points on the resort fee and have to mail marriott a couple of times before they understand that we should get points on resort fee, is there any were i can find it written down so i dont need to discuss this back and forth several times?”

Another Way Mandatory Resort Fees are Deceptive

Although no specific language pertaining to mandatory resort fees is included in the terms and conditions of earning Marriott Rewards points, the response to the question you just read as posted by falcon71 — who is a member of the Marriott Rewards Insiders forum — from CommunityManagers was posted as the following:

“Hi all! We took a look into that and learned the resort fees are like a tax, and are not eligible for credit. Anything labeled ‘tax’ or ‘fee’ will not earn credit. Hope that helps clear things up!”

That response may have “cleared things up”; but it did not sit well with many of the members of the Marriott Rewards Insiders forum.

“Ok, so if the room rate is $0 and the resort fee is $300 – if I ask you what the room rate is, do you answer me that the room is for free ? will I get zero points ?” falcon71 asked. “how can you say that resort fee is like tax ? do you give the resort fee to the government ?”

PlatinumBoyForever jeered “Booooooo, especially since a resort fee or amenity fee is a de facto part of the room rate!!!”

An explanation of why this policy can be considered unfair — which is all too familiar to readers of The Gate — is offered by painedplatinum: “Resort fees are nothing more than a cash grab. Hotels don’t want to add it to the room rate or that will put them at a disadvantage to competitors for folks that are looking at multiple brand rates. So, they hide this added revenue in a category to gouge money out of the unsuspecting public. Infrequent stayers don’t have any idea of this unsavory behavior, but medium and heavy travelers see it for what it is. As mentioned above, not awarding points for this unethical cash grab is just throwing salt in the wound.”

In response to the backlash, CommunityManagers offered a more detailed explanation — and here it is, unedited:

“Hi Insiders,

“We’ve asked for some further clarification to share with you all. Resort fees are like a tax in that they do not qualify for Marriott Rewards credit; they are not actual taxes and we apologize if this caused any confusion. The Marriott Rewards Terms and Conditions state the following, as platinumboyforever has provided:

“Charges that do not qualify for Points include taxes applied to the room rate, purchase of Marriott gift certificates or gift cards, purchase of The Ritz-Carlton gift certificates or gift cards, charges for third party-provided goods and services at participating Marriott brand hotels or Ritz-Carlton hotels, and catering or banquet functions charged to the guest room account.

“This is not a comprehensive list of what does not qualify for points. In addition to resort fees, other non-tax items that would not qualify for points would be service charges and gratuities. We recognize that resort fees are not explicitly mentioned in our Terms and Conditions, however, it has been requested to have it added for clarity. We appreciate your feedback on our T&C’s, and hope that instances such as fistuk has mentioned with the Best Rate Guarantee show the value in booking Marriott properties directly.

“Thanks for your thoughts on this topic.

“Deanna”

So, let us review:

  • Mandatory resort fees are purposely charged to guests for the sole purpose of ensuring that the room rate is artificially low enough to deceive customers into booking
  • Members of frequent guest loyalty programs cannot earn points as a result of paying for mandatory resort fees —  especially as not only do they seem to be increasing in cost; but also that more hotel and resort properties seem to be implementing them

Summary

What’s next — that hotel and resort properties do not have to pay taxes on revenue derived from mandatory resort fees…?!?

That I vehemently oppose the implementation of mandatory resort fees is no secret to you if you have been a reader of The Gate for years — they should either be optional or eliminated altogether — and I will just let this extensive body of work over the years pertaining to mandatory resort fees speak for me…

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

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