Travelers Charged a Smoking Fee When They Don’t Smoke?

Travelers Charged a Smoking Fee When They Don’t Smoke?
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Travelers who don’t even smoke are having to pay smoking fees in hotels and at the car rental counter. Here’s how to avoid having this happen to you!

Almost every hotel and virtually 100% of car rentals are now smoke-free. If you do smoke, you’ll get hit with a $250 (car) or up to $1,000 (hotel) fee for them to do smoke remediation.

But now The Washington Post  reports some innocent non-smokers are being charged after they rent a car or hotel room.  

How non-smokers are being charged smoking fees

Here’s how this plays out: Someone may smoke in a car, but it goes unnoticed upon return if the rental company is rushing to get that car back into the fleet for another customer. Then you as the next customer gets the car, you drive it around, and when you check back in, the agent smells smoke.

Bam! The next thing you know there’s a $250 charge on your credit card. It’s the same thing with hotel rooms, only their fees can be so much more.

If you’re wrongfully on the receiving end of one of these charges, you’re left in a weak position. It’s hard to prove you *didn’t* do it. You signed a contract that said you will be charged for smoking. And all the car rental agency or the hotel knows is it stinks of smoke.

So here’s what you need to know: When you check into a hotel, if the room smells of smoke when you open the door, go back down to the front desk and request another room.

ARTICLE: The #1 Mistake People Make at Hotel Checkout

I had it happen in Hartford that there were no other rooms available when I went back to the front desk. So I asked them to please make a note in the computer that the room already had a smoke smell in it before I got there.

Remember that for a car rental too. Because the way it works in travel is you’re guilty until proven innocent…and it’s very hard to ever prove your innocence.

Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
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