A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a case about 5% “Discretionary Service Charge” that had been added to his bill without consent at SPG affiliated property in London.
You can access The Westbury’s, A Luxury Collection Hotel In Mayfair-London website here.
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Here’s the case from the reader (part of our Facebook chat):
In case you are interested in a story. Very dishonest practices in the Westbury Mayfair by SPG…. They reimbursed after this e-mail plus 20 pounds.
What is this “optional service charge”?
That’s the point – I have no clue. They just added to the bill as “Discretionary service charge” 5% of the room rate.
Did it show on the confirmation and why would anyone willingly pay it?
Confirmation showed nothing…I only noticed after I got the folio by e-mail the next day.
Perhaps they only hit those that do instant checking out?
Could be, not sure. I find appalling that they would do that. I got a standard apology e-mail from the Guest Services Manager, with a refund plus 20 pounds. But I wanted the GM to write me on how on earth he finds this acceptable…
The pitty is that this hotel is really nice in London.. Plus gave upgrade and plat benefits for the second room, which they don’t have to.
General rate rules:
There is nothing on the rate rules indicating that they would be collecting anything else than the 20% VAT.
Those that stay at this SPG property London should have a look at their folios and ask to have this “Discretionary service charge” removed if it is somehow made it there. It is NOT disclosed anywhere during the booking process
I am 100% against any charges that are added to folio for my convenience that can be removed simply by stopping at the front desk.
This reminds me hotels coming up with creative “taxes” trying to keep up the headline price as low as possible (to not buried down on rate searches). Hotels don’t have “service charges” on accommodation in London, sorry.