Marriott Will Pay $225K for Still Failing to Disclose ‘Hidden’ Resort Fees
Marriott will have to pay Pennsylvania a fine of $225,000 for failing to comply with a settlement by informing consumers of “hidden” resort fees. The fine was announced the state attorney general on Wednesday.
Attorney General Michelle Henry said a court order requires Marriott to comply by May 15 with the settlement from 2021 after multiple extensions and the failure to meet a deadline in February.
The original settlement agreement required Marriott to clearly list any mandatory fees at all steps during the booking process. The attorney general’s office accused Marriott of practicing “drip pricing” where fees aren’t listed in the total price until a consumer is in the final steps or checking in.
Marriott is required to be fully transparent about mandatory fees, including resort fees, for consumers booking hotels, the attorney general’s office said. It will also pay $225,000 for failing to bring its disclosures into compliance.
Marriott hotels collected more than $220 million in resort fees dating since 2012. Its self-managed resorts made $66 million in 2012, $82 million in 2013 and $58 million through half of 2014, just from resort fees. This information was revealed in lawsuit filings, and is rarely available. These fees aren’t normally listed as a separate item in companies’ filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“What we asked of Marriott, and what the settlement demands, is simple: be up front with consumers and do not hide fees for hotel stays,” said Attorney General Henry in the press release. “I am thankful that Marriott has agreed to comply with the terms of settlement agreement without the need for litigation.”