Marriott needs to crack down on renegade properties which defy corporate policy by passing on credit card surcharges to guests. The nickel-and-diming undermines confidence in the brand and aggravates customers.
Westin In Florida Continues To Flout Marriott Policy, Levy Credit Card Surcharge
At the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, guests have been traditionally hit with a 2% credit card surcharge. View From The Wing pointed this out about a month ago and Marriott said it would promptly put a stop to it.
Only it did not. Now the Westin charges a 1% surcharge instead of a 2% surcharge. That’s like cleaning half the plate and then serving it again…
Under Florida Law, the Westin can get away with this. Although Florida banned merchants from adding a “surcharge” to credit card payments, it left open the possibility for merchants to offer a “discount” for paying in cash. The law was litigated and in 2015 the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found the law a First Amendment violation in a case called Dana’s Railroad Supply v. Attorney General.
But it’s not just about the law. It is about corporate agreements a Westin makes in order to operate under the Marriott banner. The Marriott/Bonvoy brand brings a pivotal customer base to an otherwise mediocre hotel in a city full of hotels. Marriott richly benefits from a credit card partnership with American Express.
In other words, eating the credit card fees are just a part of doing business. You want to be in the Marriott family? You don’t pass on credit card surcharges to guests.
It amazes me that this is an issue in 2021. Marriott must do a better job of controlling its properties starting with the Westin Fort Lauderdale. Other properties who go rogue on resort fees on award stays or credit card surcharges must be reigned in.
Credit card surcharges for major corporations like Marriott, even if franchise owned, are penny wise, pound foolish. Alienating customers does not just turn them away from one particular property, but the Marriott brand itself. The Westin Fort Lauderdale should not and cannot be permitted to levy surcharges for credit card payments.
Have you faced an unexpected Marriott credit card surcharges?
image: Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort