Last week I wrote about checking your credit card statement for unauthorized hotel charges. A pet peeve of mine is hotels charging you for things not on your final folio.
When a hotel decides to charge you for something that wasn’t on your folio when you checked out, by just billing your credit card, they should have to email to let you know they are doing it and identify the item(s).
Oddly enough then I actually had a hotel email me last week about failing to charge me for a stay five months earlier. And it still struck me as a bit wrong.
Back in November I stayed at the Hyatt Place Chicago Downtown The Loop for one night on a Gold Passport cash and points reservation. They did not charge me for the cash portion of the award.
Standard Hyatt Place Room
I received this email from the hotel’s General Manager.
Dear Mr. Leff,
Thank you for choosing Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown – The Loop. We appreciate your patronage!
We wanted to alert you of an upcoming charge from a past stay you had with us. As one of the newest Hyatt Place Hotels in Hyatt, it was brought to our attention that your stay in November for one night was never placed on your account / credit card from your Hyatt Gold Passport “Points-Plus Cash” reservation. We have worked diligently with many departments to rectify this issue and we wanted to inform you that these charges ($87.30 for 1-night) may take place within the next several business days. We do genuinely apologize for the lengthy delay and also feel it necessary you were informed.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.
Thank you for your understanding and patience,
I went back and verified and indeed they hadn’t charged me. It’s a lot easier for me to spot charges that have hit my card than notice when something hasn’t been charged. The GM was right.
I owed the money so I should pay the money.
However the amount of time represents a problem. Anyone submitting the expense to their employer for reimbursement might have been a problem — it wouldn’t be a timely submission. IRS accountable plan rules require submission within 60 days of incurring an expense. This was literally five months old.
The hotel sent me a new folio detailing the charge:
And they charged my card.
And it got me thinking: how long is too long? How many months is too long after a stay for a hotel to say they forgot to charge you for part of your bill?