Originally Posted 6/8/04 – Palace Station petty ripoff

The Bear Growls:  Palace Station petty ripoff

June 8, 2004

Stanford Wong reported the following on Green Chip:

As I was checking into Palace Station yesterday, the clerk gave me an agreement to initial and sign. He wanted initials by my check-in date, by my check-out date, and by a notice of a $4.95 for “hotel service fees.” I quickly signed and got my room keys.As I was walking to my room, I was thinking about the $4.95 fee. It was to cover local and 800 calls of 30 minutes or less, covered parking, use of the fitness facility, a line pass to all restaurants, incoming faxes, notary service, 20% off selected merchandise in the gift shop, scheduled shuttle service, and a “coupon book valued at $200.00.” Those sound like things that should either come with the room or should be charged to only people who use them. The coupon book turned out to be a single sheet of paper with worthless offers. I used none of the service-fee items.

I complained when checking out, and the $4.95 was removed from my bill.

I think a hotel should be upfront about its prices. Luring me in by disclosing part of the price, and then surprising me with the rest of the price as I am checking in is wrong.

There is nothing I can add to this report.  Whoever thought up this petty scheme, and whoever at Station Casinos has allowed it to continue, should be embarrassed about it.

Palace Station sent the following response to my request for comments:

Dear LV Bear, When a guest calls and makes a reservation, they are informed of the hotel service fee. Many hotels charge for services included in our fee.  The majority of our guests do not a problem with the fee so that they can make as many calls as they would like while visiting Las Vegas including hooking up their computers at no charge.  The shuttle bus service is a great offer so that they do not need to drive and fight the traffic of the Las Vegas Strip.  At many Las Vegas Hotels, you pay $15.00 per day to use their exercise equipment. 

I’m sorry you do not feel these are benefits.  I believe it’s a great offer with many benefits for our guests.  I was glad to hear that the front desk took it off (the) bill before departure.

Sincerely,

Trish Kraintz
Director of Hotel Operations

Interestingly, the Palace Station website now mentions the fee, but still quotes room rates without including the fee.  I guess they didn’t understand that the issue was not the fee itself, but rather the sneaky way of adding it to the room rate.

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