11 JUL 2019: The attorney general for the District of Columbia is suing Marriott, saying it's misleading customers by advertising room rates without including mandatory resort fees. The lawsuit says at least 189 Marriott hotels worldwide charge the fees, which range from $9 to $95 per day. It's seeking a court order to require Marriott to advertise the fees up front.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court after an investigation conducted by all 50 state attorneys general.

"Hiding the true price of hotel rooms is what this case is all about," he said, noting that consumers
comparison-shop based upon an initial price, which doesn't include the resort fee.

“So, when you go to Expedia and Priceline, Marriott is making its rooms appear more price competitive than they truly are." Said AG Karl Racine, whose office filed a complaint accusing Marriott of unfair 'drip pricing.'

Marriott doesn't include mandatory resort fees in the room rates it displays online. Consumers only discover the fees after they begin to book a room, then the resort fee which may also be called “amenity fees” or “destination fees” only becomes apparent under the 'Taxes and Fees' section.

Racine said such a set up gives the impression they are government-imposed fees.

While The D.C. attorney general's office has targeted Marriott, other states will likely bring actions against other hotel chains.

The D.C. action alleges that Marriott has violated the Consumer Protection rules and is seeking restitution for local consumers and a change to a more transparent pricing policy.

Marriott says it doesn't comment on pending litigation but is continuing its discussions with other state attorneys general.

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