Hotels in countries that have highly fluctuating currencies often choose to display their prices in dollars or euros and then convert them to local currency at the time of checking out.
I just hate when hotels are trying to scam their customers by not using live rates but rather their own “fake” ones that can be off by 10% in the case of Ritz-Carlton Jakarta (read more here).
You can access JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro’s website here.
Last last week when I was checking out at the JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro, I decided to check the rate that the hotel was using to convert the USD price to BRL. To my surprise, I found this to be off by 7.9%.
When I requested the front desk to use the correct rate, I got a reply that they are using “tourism exchange rate” or whatever. Wouldn’t surprise me if the rate used is the rate that the hotel converts US dollar bills to BRL. They should not, however, to use this rate to convert room rates.
It took 20 minutes over two managers to finally convince them that I wouldn’t pay this scam fee. Of course this was nothing personal and I am sure that the front desk employees are intelligent enough to realize why their finance department has decided to do this.
So, if your quoted rate is different than the payment one, make sure that you are not taken advantage of. I don’t mind (well I do but let it slide) when the rate is off by less than 3%, but when it starts to be off by 4% or more I just refuse to play along.
Do some of these hotels really think that they can getaway by scamming an extra 7.9% from most of their guests or are people just so indifferent that they don’t check their folios?