LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson filed a lawsuit against Hilton, a multinational hotel company, for hiding the true price of hotel rooms from consumers and charging hidden resort fees to increase profits. The Attorney General’s lawsuit seeks to force Hilton to advertise the true prices of its hotel rooms up front, provide monetary relief to harmed Nebraska consumers, and pay civil penalties. He claims that Hilton's deceptive and misleading pricing practices and failure to disclose fees violates Nebraska's consumer protection laws.
The Attorney General alleges that since at least 2012 Hilton has violated Nebraska’s Consumer Protection Act and Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act by:
- Hiding the true price of hotel rooms: Hilton advertises one rate, then charges mandatory “resort fees,” “daily mandatory charges,” or “urban destination fees” on top of the advertised price, concealing the true total price of hotel rooms. At least 78 Hilton properties in the United States currently charge these hidden fees, which range anywhere from $15 to $45 per room per night, 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 Hilton lists on its own website do not include mandatory resort fees and these fees are not disclosed up front. Resort fee disclosures are often hidden in obscure areas, confusingly worded, or presented in smaller print than the advertised rates, which leads consumers to believe they will be paying less for a room than the true cost.
- Misleading consumers about what resort fees actually pay for: In some cases, Hilton makes confusing or contradictory representations about why they are charging resort fees and what services or amenities consumers are actually paying for.