Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) sent a letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Friday calling on it to move to end ‘deceptive, mandatory hotel fees.’ McCaskill called on the FTC to revive a probe that began two years ago into mandatory fees, and resulted in the agency sending letters to 22 hotels in 2012 warning that not including mandatory fees in nightly advertised rates is misleading, and may violate Section 5 of the FTC Act. She is the former Chair of the Senate’s panel on Consumer Protection.
“Too many Missouri families work hard to save for a well-deserved vacation, only to be victims of sticker-shock when they see previously-undisclosed fees on their hotel bill,” said McCaskill, a former Missouri State Auditor and member of the Senate Commerce Committee. “It’s frustrating and disingenuous for hotels to mask the true cost of a room, and I’m looking forward to hearing from Missourians about their experiences with these hidden fees—which they currently have no choice but to pay—as we work to eliminate them.”
Travelers United commends Sen. McCaskill for speaking out on behalf of Missouri families and businesses. “If the fees are mandatory, it must be included in the overall nightly room rate. Anything less is deceptive and misleading,” says Charlie Leocha, president and co-founder of Travelers United. Leocha asked FTC lawyers several weeks ago to issue clear guidance that mandatory resort fees are deceptive and illegal. He was participating in a meeting of the Consumer Advisory Committee of the U.S. Transportation Department.
If you care about truth in advertising, and believe families and businesses should be able to rely on the first advertised price they see to comparison shop, write the FTC, your state attorney general, or member of Congress and express your opinion. And if you have a personal story to share of experiencing what Sen. McCaskill describes as ‘sticker shock,’ contact us through Hotelfees.