Q – Just back from a stay at one of the better resorts in San Juan. As recommended, when checking out I asked that the built-in travel agent commission be taken off our bill since I had booked this personally on the phone with no travel agent involved. They refused and mumbled something about “they always charge the full price”. We had stayed for a week and at 10% I figure that we were overcharged by more than $1000. What is the next step? Do I contact our Attorney General’s office, contact the credit card company, etc?
A – if you want to get action on this you should contact Guest Services at the hotel. If they are not immediately responsive, you might also post this on Twitter and Facebook on the hotel’s guest services site. If you want some government help to recover the travel agent commission we would suggest that you reach out to the Office of Tourism in San Juan.
You should be aware that many hotels limit their commission payments to travel agents to 8%. But it is often higher.
We doubt that your credit card company will be of much help. This consumer revolt against travel companies charging guests the travel agent commission when no travel agent was involved is starting to garner attention – but not from the travel press. No one wants to upset this extremely profitable travel apple cart. We are guessing that the impetus for change will come from people like you who are fed up with being secretly charged for travel agent services they never received. In the meantime, if you have an attorney in the family, you might try to secure a bill for the refund you are owed on legal stationery.