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RPG Superstar 2015

Marriott Hotel WARNING!!!! Deposits at Sign-In!!!!!


PaizoCon

The Exchange

Paizo Superscriber

Hello all,

I am fairly certain I may be the first or one of the first people to come to the hotel to stay for PaizoCon.

Most of you I am sure would not come on a Tuesday to pay 250 dollars for one night.

So listen up!

The hotel is requiring a deposit FOR YOUR STAY. The deposit is an eye popping $75 per day. So if you are staying in the hotel for (3) days you will pay whatever the sum of what your reservation was PLUS $75 dollars for each day. That means a 3 day stay will have a $225 deposit required in addition to whatever you thought the price would be.

Deposits of course will be refunded. At check-out the hold will be released and will take 3-5 business days to clear. Cash will be paid back at time of check-out.

Of course, you know that a credit card will hold it for 3-5 and then drop off.

the only good news is that there is a cap on this HOLD that stops at $280 dollars to 300 dollars.

So, if you are staying at the Marriott this PaizoCon, bring an extra $300 dollars for the Deposit.

That is all...

We of course were rather shocked.

The Exchange Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

Erm...there's nothing about a deposit on their website. Is this something they've instituted for those that reserved rooms in the block, or for every customer in general? This doesn't sound like regular procedure for a hotel.

The Bellevue Coast, on check-in, mentioned that they would charge our credit card for any additional charges or damages accrued during the stay.

Hopefully this isn't standard for everyone renting a room. That sort of information should be mentioned during reservations, not at check-in when it's too late to get a full refund. That'll take a good chunk of money that we'd intended to have for use during our stay.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Holy crap! That's ridiculous. I have a good friend who is in Hotel Management, and that's certainly not standard procedure. If it were Spring Break on Padre Island or Ft Lauderdwle, maybe ... But, a bunch of geeks for a small Con? As Shadowborn mentioned, they usually tell you that they'll charge your card for any additional fees or damages if they find anything after checkout. But not requiring a massive deposit.

We might consider asking Paizo to contact the hotel, and see if we can get them to intervene. I hope my roomie didn't face this when checking in tonight. One saving grace is that he will have me there tomorrow to offer up cash to help him out, but, this just seems to be somewhat out of line, if you ask me.

The Exchange

Paizo Superscriber

It's true guys, I was qouted 758 and I have 1037 on hold in my account now.

It mentioned nothing about it in the confirmation so that's that.

I have a 280 dollar deposit taken out. If you stay four days you can expect the same.

I am just trying to make sure everyone knows about this in advance. If you have financial trouble, I would call in advance to confirm the $75 a day deposit and make plans accordingly.

You have been warned.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Keep a close eye on your account. The last time I had a hotel (not this one) place a hold on my account, their hold mysteriously turned into a permanent charge to my debit card.

Thankfully, my debit card was a prepaid card to which I added the exact amount I was quoted by the hotel, so their bogus charge was left floating in "insufficient funds" limbo. My credit card company later investigated and agreed that the charge was bogus, clearing it completely.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's ridiculous! I'll be there in 6 hours and they'll certainly get an ear full.

$382 quoted price plus a $300 deposit? Insanity.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Is it a decon charge for gamer funk and flu? ;) Sorry Paizo i can't buy cool stuff becuase this hotel is bogarting my money.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

While I'm not able to make Paizocon, I did a quick google search for Marriott room deposit. It seems that not only is it a standard policy, the 'not telling you til you check in' bit is also common.

Oh and keep your receipts. One complaint I found said they sent the local police to a guest's room TWICE about a restaraunt bill he'd already paid.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sent the police to his room? Wow. That's a bit strange unless they had good reason to believe he wouldn't pay up...and that's unlikely given the deposit, no? Maybe there's more to the story. Huge bill or something.

Anyway, in my experience (which includes some hundred business trips), it's pretty usual for a hotel to hold the cost of the stay plus some extra for room service, bar charges, and so forth open on your credit card. You don't usually notice it unless you are paying in cash, in which case they may ask for a cash deposit, or if your card is near the limit.

Always check your bill carefully before signing off on it at the end of your stay. Getting a hotel to refund mistaken charges after you've signed off on them is nearly impossible unless you're a frequent customer/rewards member with them or on a corporate account. Trust me on this... :)
M

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

This is standard for the hotels I've worked at. It's usually a fixed amount per day, ie $35 per day at my property. Prepaid cards can act a bit odd on the card company side since we authorize one amount but then final settle for a lower amount.
Also if it's a debit card, the pending authorization can sometimes appear to be a finalized charge instead of just pending. It can take several business days the final amount to appear correctly and despite it being mainly computerized, settlements or credits posted over the weekend usually don't start being processed until monday or monday night.
If you notice a pending charge is still hanging on much past 5 business days, I'd suggest calling the accounting department of the hotel, verifying the final amount they show versus what your online account shows, and if need be asking if they could call your card services number (usually the toll free number on the back of your card). Usually the they can confirm the correct total with your card company and then your card company can release the extra pending or issue a temporary credit until the release goes through on its own. However, some banks or card companies won't even confirm the hotel's own transaction information unless the cardholder is on the line.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

While we're discussing this...bank cards are often very funky with this stuff when you use them as credit rather than debit.

If you've ever been to a bar in Vegas you'll know they want to close out your tab every time a host/hostess goes off shift (or even on break). Each time they open a new one they'll reserve an amount on your card. On a credit card they just check that it's open (or at least it goes away when the final charge is applied) but on a bank card used as credit they actually reserve the amount and it takes several days to get sorted. Once I had it happen three times in the course of an hour and a half and ended up with what looked like three $75 charges on my bank account. My wife happened to check the account for another reason and called and asked me what the *$#@ I was doing over there...

Using bank cards at gas pumps these days does much the same thing unless you do it as debit. The station I go to used to hold $70 or so but they bumped that to like $150 just recently when gas went over $4/gallon. These days I go inside and purchase a specific amount. Guess they're reserving enough to pay for a full tank on a big SUV or something.

I point these things out so that nobody will be surprised like I was when I first learned of them. :)
M

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

mearrin69 wrote:

Sent the police to his room? Wow. That's a bit strange unless they had good reason to believe he wouldn't pay up...and that's unlikely given the deposit, no? Maybe there's more to the story. Huge bill or something.

Anyway, in my experience (which includes some hundred business trips), it's pretty usual for a hotel to hold the cost of the stay plus some extra for room service, bar charges, and so forth open on your credit card. You don't usually notice it unless you are paying in cash, in which case they may ask for a cash deposit, or if your card is near the limit.

Always check your bill carefully before signing off on it at the end of your stay. Getting a hotel to refund mistaken charges after you've signed off on them is nearly impossible unless you're a frequent customer/rewards member with them or on a corporate account. Trust me on this... :)
M

Here's the link. Marriott complaint

Looks like he made a mistake he corrected immediately, then the hotel failed to note the correction for the other shifts.

The Exchange Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

Now I'm thinking I should go with my other choice and stay at the Redmond Inn down the road and just walk the mile to and from the con. Cheaper room rates, free parking and wireless internet, and all my my vacation money still accessible for use with a little extra added on.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

That stuff always made me mad, I worked front desk before I was in accounting. They should put a note on reservation in the computer, as well as any logbook they keep at the desk. If they have a manager on duty log it should go there too. Wow, I actually just finished reading the guest's posting. If it's all true, that hotel messed up majorly several times. The fact the police officer called down to the desk and then less than an hour later the desk called the cops again is horrible.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Shadowborn wrote:
Now I'm thinking I should go with my other choice and stay at the Redmond Inn down the road and just walk the mile to and from the con. Cheaper room rates, free parking and wireless internet, and all my my vacation money still accessible for use with a little extra added on.

I'd suggest double checking the Redmond Inn concerning their incidentals policy. I think a lot of this comes up from the increased use in debit cards instead of just credit cards.


Id feel more sorry for the guy making that complaint if he didn't pack his complaint full of his family ailments (esp his wife) as if that had anything to do with it.

The modicum of sympathy I have for hotels is how often people trash rooms or steal everything that isn't bolted down. But its a very small modicum (Spot DC 35).

Scarab Sages

And the Moral of the Story is:

Use a Credit Card, not a Debit Card.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deidre Tiriel wrote:

And the Moral of the Story is:

Use a Credit Card, not a Debit Card.

Unless of course you've never in 35+ years owned a credit card and have no interest in doing so.

The Exchange Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

MisterSlanky wrote:
Deidre Tiriel wrote:

And the Moral of the Story is:

Use a Credit Card, not a Debit Card.

Unless of course you've never in 35+ years owned a credit card and have no interest in doing so.

What he said.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I never ever use a debit card at a point of sale. After having my account hacked, I only ever us my atm card at my bank's atm. not for gas, not for groceries. and certainly not for hotels. and if the hotel pulled this crap on me I'd be looking for a different place to stay. call the cops on me? Twice? without checking their own records? the second set of cops would be taking the clerk in for harassment.


Tessius wrote:

This is standard for the hotels I've worked at. It's usually a fixed amount per day, ie $35 per day at my property. Prepaid cards can act a bit odd on the card company side since we authorize one amount but then final settle for a lower amount.

Also if it's a debit card, the pending authorization can sometimes appear to be a finalized charge instead of just pending. It can take several business days the final amount to appear correctly and despite it being mainly computerized, settlements or credits posted over the weekend usually don't start being processed until monday or monday night.
If you notice a pending charge is still hanging on much past 5 business days, I'd suggest calling the accounting department of the hotel, verifying the final amount they show versus what your online account shows, and if need be asking if they could call your card services number (usually the toll free number on the back of your card). Usually the they can confirm the correct total with your card company and then your card company can release the extra pending or issue a temporary credit until the release goes through on its own. However, some banks or card companies won't even confirm the hotel's own transaction information unless the cardholder is on the line.

+1

This is standard practice for hotels. It is not a hidden charge or anything subversive. It is a verification that you can cover any additional charges above and beyond your room & tax amount. This allows you to have an active telephone in the room to make calls. It allows you to go to the bar and charge your drinks back to your room without any trouble, etc. Without this practice in place you would either have to put a cash deposit down or choose to be on what is commonly called a "cash only" basis. This means that you must pay for anything up front or at the time of service. Hotels have found that the majority of their guests find this too much of an inconvenience and use the authorization of a pre-determined amount per night of stay instead.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I travel all over the country for my job. EVERY hotel I've stayed at for the past five years have a sign at the front desk notifying customers that debit cards will have a hold against the account for the total stay plus a certain amount (I've seen everything from an extra day to so many dollars per day). So, if you don't have a credit card and must pay using a debit card, I'd conservatively budget 150% of availability in your account just to make sure you don't over draw.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

HangarFlying wrote:
EVERY hotel I've stayed at for the past five years have a sign at the front desk notifying customers that debit cards will have a hold against the account...

Of course, a sign at the front desk doesn't do much good for the person who made a reservation online.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

HangarFlying wrote:
I travel all over the country for my job. EVERY hotel I've stayed at for the past five years have a sign at the front desk notifying customers that debit cards will have a hold against the account for the total stay plus a certain amount (I've seen everything from an extra day to so many dollars per day). So, if you don't have a credit card and must pay using a debit card, I'd conservatively budget 150% of availability in your account just to make sure you don't over draw.

Where do you stay? We use the Choice group for our vacation travel and book either on-line or by phone. We've never seen such signs or ran into such a requirement.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

When I worked at a Hampton Inn (2001-2007), we would hold the entire amount after taxes + 20%. This is for all incidentals including chargable late checkouts and people who extend their stays(much more common than telephone charges nowadays). This was for a hotel who had no store or restaurant in it. The only charges were failure to leave on time and notify the desk beforehand, phone charges, laundry detergent, charges for smoking in a non-smoking room, and broken/stolen items. So for a $99 (108.70 after taxes) room, they would authorize for $130 or so... and like I said, this was for a hotel without restaurant or bar on the premises.

This is built into the software that the hotels use, they can only authorize for less if the authorization fails the first time. As I understand it, this has been happening with credit cards for hotel rooms since the mid 80s


This is very normal. You either leave a credit card to cover extra expenses incurred while you stay or you leave a cash deposit.

The only way you couldn't know this is if you don't stay at hotels ever. They claim its for your convenience so you can order room service, etc, but manly its to cover their butt if you try and skip out on the bill.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscriber

I do a fair amount of traveling on and off. I have noticed the proliferation of signs about Debit cards at most every hotel around the country I've stayed in for the past few years. Thankfully I use a credit card to help me get all those yummy frequent flyer miles (which is how I'm coming to this con to begin with!)


Normal or not, its really- really crappy that you have no heads-up until you arrive. This should be something they communicate to you up front whether you call on the phone, on the internet, or in person.

"hey I know we said it'd be 300 bucks but its really 450- what you didn't see the sign in the lobby when you made reservations two weeks ago on the internet from 3000 miles away? sorry." doesn't really cut it.

The fee needs to be communicated up front so that folks can calculate for it when making their plans. Its that simple.

-S

Sovereign Court

FTC - Blocking It's up to you to ask up front if they block, not the other way around.

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