Travelers United, a nonprofit organization (NGO) that represents travelers’ interests, has confirmed that it has filed a lawsuit against MGM Resorts International, accusing the casino giant of deceiving customers by hiding real resort fees.
In the lawsuit filed in the District of Columbia, Travelers United claims that MGM employs “drip pricing” at its various resorts. The so-called drip pricing means that the Las Vegas-based hospitality and gaming company doesn’t reveal the true price for a room either on its official website or third-party sites like Expedia or Priceline.
The NGO argues that “drip pricing” allowed the casino giant to reap hundreds of millions of dollars at the cost of customers over the last ten years. It also claims that the amenities that the resort fee supposedly covers are either superseded or they cover services available for free to other guests, such as unlimited local and toll-free calls. It is worth-mentioning here that the service of unlimited local and toll-free calls is obsolete or superseded as most of Americans (96 per cent) have cell phones. The NGO also argues that MGM charges resort fee even if a casino resort property owned by MGM closes some of its amenities, such as gym, for whatever reason.
The lawsuit filed in District of Columbia states, “There is no exchange of service with a resort fee. A customer of the defendant’s is not allowed to refuse the alleged services of the resort fee in an attempt to not pay the resort fee. Defendant forces a customer to pay the resort fee in order to receive the key to the customer’s room.”
The lawsuit was filed on 17th of February in District of Columbia’s Superior Court. However, the NGO didn’t make it public until it sent a tweet about it on Wednesday night this week. Lauren Wolfe, an attorney for the NGO, told reporters that the organization wanted to confirm that MGM Resorts International received the suit before making it public.
When contacted, a representative for MGM Resorts International declined to comment on the case.
MGM Resorts International charges the controversial resort fees in nearly one and half dozen of its resorts in the United States, with fees ranging from $15 to $45 per day.
As per Travelers United’s claims, the resort fee violates District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act, which has been specifically designed to prohibit businesses from employing unlawful tactics when it comes to sale of goods or services.