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DC Attorney General Karl Racine sues Marriott for charging deceptive resort fees and misleading tens of thousands of district consumers • DC OAG
<p>Marriott has charged "resort fees" to tens of thousands of District consumers over the years, totaling millions of dollars. OAG alleges that over the past decade, Marriott has violated the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act and harmed District consumers by:

• Hiding the true price of hotel rooms: Marriott conceals the true total price of hotel rooms by advertising one rate, then charging mandatory “resort fees,” “amenity fees,” or “destination fees” on top of the advertised price. At least 189 Marriott properties worldwide charge these hidden fees, which range from $9 to as much as $95 per room per day, and consumers only find out about these fees after they begin to book a room.
• Failing to clearly disclose all booking fees: The room prices Marriott lists on its own website and on third-party hotel-booking sites do not include mandatory resort fees and these fees are not disclosed up front. Consumers do not learn the total price of their hotel rooms until they begin the booking process, and resort fee disclosures are often hidden in obscure areas, confusingly worded, or presented in smaller print than the advertised rates. This leads consumers to believe they will be paying less for a hotel room than the true total cost. It also makes it extremely difficult for consumers to gather all the information they need to compare prices and make informed choices.
• Misrepresenting that resort fees are imposed by the government: In many instances, Marriott includes resort fees near the end of a hotel-booking transaction under the heading “Taxes and Fees.” By combining the amounts that consumers were asked to pay for resort fees with their tax payments under a generic heading, Marriott leads consumers to believe the resort fees were government-imposed charges, rather than additional daily charges paid to Marriott.
• Misleading consumers about what resort fees actually pay for: In some instances, Marriott makes confusing or contradictory representations about why they are charging resort fees and what services or amenities consumers are actually paying for.</p>

Let's hope they get a huge fine. Speaking of which…
marriott  hotel 
13 days ago by charlesarthur
Marriott to face £99m GDPR fine from ICO over November 2018 data breach • Computing
Graeme Burton:
<p>The breach revealed in November 2018 involved the leak of 500 million customer records from the guest reservation database of Marriott's Starwood Hotels and Resorts division. The attackers - who are unknown but believed to have links with China's Ministry of State Security - appear to have had access to the system since 2014.

The organisation only became aware of the compromise in September 2018 following an alert from an internal security tool over an attempt to gain access to the reservation system. The company claims that it "quickly engaged" a group of security experts to investigate the apparent attack and "learned during the investigation that there had been unauthorised access to the Starwood network since 2014".

Logs of encrypted communications were uncovered and, when decrypted on 19 November 2018, it was found to contain the contents of the Starwood guest reservation database - 500 million records in total. The compromised customer records included mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and passport numbers. Payment card details were also found, but these, the organisation claimed, had been encrypted with AES-128 encryption.</p>

Hotels are terrible hoarders of data, and they're so remiss with it, and they have security that doesn't expect they'll face aggressive hackers. Perhaps they will now: that size of fine is sure to concentrate minds, and it wouldn't cost £99m to install good security.

GDPR's a year old, and now its teeth are showing.
gdpr  marriott  starwood  hotel  hacking 
13 days ago by charlesarthur
Is the new Bonvoy card good for anyone?
Excellent summary of all the Bonvoy cards and eligibility
5 weeks ago by dspilkia
How to Redeem Points With the Marriott Bonvoy Program
How to use the new Bonvoy program and the benefits.
february 2019 by dspilkia

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