Denny's Daily Zinger: Fee Seas!
Travel today means perpetually sailing on rough seas:
- Roads are in gross disrepair—potholed, pitted, cracked—and bad for human backs and automobile undersides.
- A recent Federal National Bridge Inventory determined 65,605 bridges were classified as "structurally deficient" and 20,808 as "fracture critical." Of those, 7,795 were both—a combination of red flags that experts say indicate significant disrepair and similar risk of collapse.
- It is impossible to do a crossword puzzle while riding on a train, because rails, roadbeds and rolling stock are in such rickety shape.
- Airport check-in and screening are ghastly. And about to get worse as the TSA bureaucracy gears up to protect us from projected new Middle East terror attacks.
- Cruise ships have become giant incubators of contagious diseases.
Compounding the Travel High Seas: Fee Seas
I made reservations at the Washington, D.C. Hampton Inn. The advertised price was $249 per night.
The actual price after additional fees—not mentioned in the promo—was $285.10.
I expect to pay fees for services and products rendered.
Hidden fees which show up on a final bill piss me off.
"Always turn a marketing disaster into a marketing opportunity," said the great Lester Wunderman.
Supposing Hampton Inn's ad ran as follows:
$285 per night. (Includes all fees and taxes)
The underlying messages:
- You can trust the honest folks at Hampton Inns.
- Book with any of these other weasels, and when the bill comes, you're gonna be (1) surprised and (2) screwed.
Takeaway to Consider
- Test everything.
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