Why You Should Always Check What a Hotel Charges You–Even After Check-Out

hotel receptionThe other day, I was staying in a very nice, high-end property.  When I’m in a higher-end property, I’m tempted to fall into a complacency about them getting things right.

After all, they really know what they are doing.  But some of my biggest billing errors have come from high-end properties.  Including this one.

When I was checking out, the clerk ran my card before handing me my bill.  When I was reviewing it, something jumped out to me.  Namely, a four-figure price tag for a two-night stay.  On cash and points.

I realized they charged me for both the cash portion of the cash & points plus the going rack rate of my room per night (which was quite high!)

Since he already ran my card before I finished reviewing the bill, he had to credit a lot of money back to my card.

He reprinted my bill, complete with the credit back to my card completely visible.

All set, right?

I pulled up the website for my credit card later just to make sure it all got credited back.  I saw a credit, but there was a discrepancy of about $48.

I went to the hotel website and requested my bill.  Then I saw a charge for someone’s lunch that accidentally made its way onto my bill.

This was a great task to assign Babs Callahan, so I had her call up and dispute it.  She eventually got it all sorted out.

The important part was that I was able to compare the amount I was actually credited to the amount I should have been credited.  If I hadn’t kept track of all that information, I might have seen the credit and assumed everything was on the up-and-up.

So do make sure that compare your bills.  And on the cash and points issue–I’ve had multiple instances of getting charged rack rate at the same time as cash and points from different parent companies.  (In fact, I think I still have one that is outstanding, which doesn’t surprise me since the parent company ended up stripping its name from the property!)



About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. I’m not sure I actually understood all the terminology in this blog post but yes, it’s always important to check the bill. On a recent business trip, one night was paid for by the meeting organizers and the other I paid for myself. I was assured there would be no problems at check-in and although both nights were pre-paid, I still got charged at the end of the stay. So I wound up getting billed twice. I couldn’t get anyone at the hotel to actually respond to my voicemails. Luckily, I contacted the meeting organizers and through their connection, got my double bill resolved.

  2. I swear my husband and I are jinxed when it comes to hotel charges. My bill is almost never correct. I always check and have drilled this into my husband who is not always so vigilant. In fact he just got home a few hours ago on a weekend stay and he did catch an overcharge. He was proud to show me he was paying attention. Of course it will be up to me to make sure the promised credit shows up.

  3. Someone once charged a $1200 dinner to my room. Fortunately I caught the error immediately and was able to get the matter cleared up before I completed my hotel checkout (although it took a while, and put me in danger of missing my flight home). So I’ve definitely learned that it pays to double-check your hotel bills!

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