These days check out is super simple right?. Hotels simply slip your hotel bill under your door in the middle of the night or email it to you or both. In your haste to pack you'll probably throw the bill in your bag forgetting to check it out later if ever. If the bill goes to your email it'll likely end up in your spam folder never to see the light of day ever again. Either way there is a pretty good chance your final bill will go unreviewed and that's not good-in fact it could cost you big bucks. Here's an example of why you definitely want to hunt down that bill and make sure everything looks right as soon as possible.
My kids and I recently took a trip to Edmonton in Alberta, Canada to explore the city and watch a hockey game (I live with 3 hockey fanatics). We stayed at the Westin and had a blast. Lucky for us the Westin had a deal that we booked through their reservation department giving us our 2nd night for the price of my birth year-'66. What a deal. I received an email confirming our rate.
Upon checking in I once again asked (it never hurts to keep confirming-my kids find it annoying but you'd be surprised how much stuff needs to be corrected) about our rate. The front desk clerk said our reservation didn't show the discount for the second night but that she would make the adjustment. Awesome! Sure enough the morning of check out our bill arrived under the door. I didn't even think to check it. When we arrived home I checked my emails and when clearing out my spam I saw my bills had been emailed upon check out. I don't know what possessed me but I decided to take a look and boy am I glad I did.
Neither room I had booked showed the discount that had been confirmed by the main reservation agent and the hotel front desk clerk. My bill showed two nights booked at full price with all the accompanying taxes. Yikes! I called the hotel immediately and spoke to the hotel front desk manager who graciously not only reduced the second night but removed it entirely for both our rooms. Wow! Had I not checked that would have cost me and extra $500!
I'm not saying Westin charged me incorrectly on purpose, but it's an open secret that companies today are trying to suck as much money out of their customers as they possibly can. I can't stress enough how important it is to check your bill to make sure you aren't being taken advantage of. The upside is that if you do find an error, more than likely the hotel will try to make it up to you-depending who you talk to. So here's a piece of advice-always talk to the highest person, the hotel manager- and if they aren't available, work your way down the food chain. In this case, since the hotel manager wasn't available and I was passed to the manager on duty-the front desk manager who rectified the mistake immediately. Always remember, the higher the person the more likely they are to care about your problem and make sure you are taken care of.-and as always, be courteous but firm.