In Other Magical Lands Hotels Charge You The Price They Quote

Christopher Elliott, travel guru, has got to be a liar. In his latest blog entry he posts a story from an American who stayed in a hotel in Vienna... and was charged the room rate times the number of days he stayed. Can this magical hotel really exist?


Not only did our central Vienna hotel have no fee for “services” we did not use or want, there was also no fee for in-room Wi-Fi or even – and I really had trouble absorbing this – the items we used from the minibar.

When we got our bill at the end of our stay, it contained one item – our previously agreed room rate times four, for the four nights were were there. No extras, no separate taxes, no nothing. Just the room rate.

What? How can this be true? But apparently, it is. Sadly, there seems to be no hope for this type of nirvana here in the states— at least without government intervention.

The only way to fix this problem is for a government or regulatory agency to step in and say: From now on, the price you give your customer is the price you must charge (minus optional extras like food and beverages). If that were to happen in the United States, I predict customer satisfaction scores would jump dramatically.

And post-honeymoon annulments might decrease, we imagine.

Why can’t things be like that here? [Elliott]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.