Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
The world is full of good news and bad news.
It's just that the bad news can express a certain dominating tendency.
It's like when you try to book a hotel.
You feel you've encountered good news when you see a remarkably attractive nightly rate for a hotel.
It's only when you perform the online checkout that you see your chosen hotel charges a resort fee, which just might be more than the nightly rate.
Yes, per night.
This sends you into a spiral of despair. The hotel, however, hopes that the online booking process has been so tiresome that you won't want to start all over again, so you just click the Pay button and sigh very deeply.
Should you not notice and then kvetch when you check out of your room, the hotel will politely explain that this fee covers all sorts of wonderful things.
The very sorts of wonderful -- and very basic -- things that you used to think were standard parts of a room charge.
Recently, though, some state attorneys general have decided to test this practice in the courts.
The state of Washington DC, for example, is suing Marriott.
You might think, then, that hotels would start to have second thoughts about this snivelingly painful nickel-and-diming.
Well, I wanted to save this until you were back from your vacation. You see, you haven't heard the last of resort fees.
Last month, during the earnings call for Caesars Entertainment Corp. -- which has many hotels in its grasp -- its CEO Tony Rodio offered wonderful news about these fees:
Over time, at some point there's going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Finally, an acceptance that these resort fees are out of control.
You might think.
Sadly, Rodio plunged this hope into a cold bath of despair:
I don't think we're there yet, but I want us to be very judicious and cautious about taking those rates any further. It's certainly a revenue stream that's hard to walk away from and it's been accepted at this point, but we're getting pretty high.
It's been accepted because consumers don't have a choice, even when the hotel has no resort facilities at all.
In essence, then, hotels are going to continue gouging you until you scream so loud that they'll pretend to hear.
My guess is that they'll invent new charges.
How about a Use of Water charge, in order to combat the national water shortage?
Or perhaps a Double Occupancy charge, because it's so unfair if there are two people in the same room when the previous night there was only one?
And anyway, love should cost you, right?
The only time this will stop is when consumers find some way to say no.
After all, the hotels are in this together, so the only way consumers can fight back is to be together too.