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Surprise Charges for your HOT List

Posted on June 28, 2007

By Arlene Sheff, CMP

If you’ve ever been surprised by a hotel charge, then welcome to the club. Perhaps you forgot to ask about resort fees or porterage fees. Or did you receive an unexpected charge for electricity? Reading your hotel contract carefully can eliminate many surprises. Making a HOT list of charges NOT to be surprised by might help to eliminate the balance.

Here’s a list of items you may want to add to your HOT list.

1. Electrical usage (AMPS) charge to run audiovisual equipment
2. Cost to change meeting room door locks, if you need to secure rooms. Some meeting space cannot be totally secured, so security may be required
3. Resort fees
4. Porterage fees (bellman service charge per guest).
5. Housekeeping fees
6. Extension cord or power strip usage – can be $25.00 per cord/per day
7. Service charge added to meeting room rental charge
8. Service charge added to audiovisual charges
9. Fee charged for NOT using the in-house audiovisual company
10. Surcharge to serve a buffet for less than a specific number (sometimes 25)
11. High speed internet connection lines charged per IP (email) address. Fee may be a few hundred dollars for the first line, plus an additional amount for each IP address that hits the line.
12. Additional charge to have hors d’oeuvres passed by a waiter.
13. Use of heath club
14. Early departure fees
15. Fee to charge bill to a credit card
16. Surcharge on phone calls made from hotel phones
17. Acceptance/storage of boxes shipped to the hotel. Some hotels charge per box or envelope. (Note: Try negotiating comp acceptance of boxes addressed to the meeting planner)
18. If you forget to add the word ‘cumulative’ to your comp room clause, you may not receive your 1:50 comp rooms if, for example, only 49 rooms are booked per night. If the word ‘cumulative’ is added, you can add up all the night stays, then divide by 50.
19. Charge to store flowers so they can be reused the following day.
20. Charge to rent additional transportation if complimentary airport transportation cannot accommodate the size of your group.


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Joan Eisenstodt

YEA! Arlene for pointing these out. Those of us who've been around a long time have learned enough over the years to ASK about these and cover this in the contract. Those reading this should keep a copy handy and ask ask ask.

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