Whether you’re traveling for work or on a vacay, you trust the hotel to charge what’s stated—and not a penny more. So, when you see your credit card statements with higher charges than expected, it’s natural to want a prompt solution. You can get that, too, by simply moving through these four easy steps on how to sue a hotel for overcharging. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Ask to Talk to the Manager About the Charges
Talking to the manager about the charges is your first step in getting your money back from the hotel. If you’re still in the area, talk to them face-to-face to get the best results. Otherwise, you’ll need to give them a call.
When asking for a refund, clearly outline what the charges should be. You should be able to show them that you were charged for more than you received, like a room rate higher than the quoted price. If you were charged for extra days, show your check-in and check-out times to paint a clear picture of what happened.
2. Write a Demand Letter Asking for a Refund
If the manager does not refund the money, you’ll need to send a demand letter. This letter should let the company know that you understand your consumer rights and are prepared to sue them if need be.
To have the desired effect, your demand letter needs to say:
- How the hotel overcharged you
- The total amount owed to you
- Your steps to resolve the issue
- That you’re requesting a refund
- Best way to refund your money
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If you don’t know who the registered agent is, you’ll need to find them by checking with the Secretary of State’s office. Confirm that you have the correct legal name and contact info for the company during this step.
3. File Paperwork with Your Local Court
It’s up to you to decide how long to wait after sending the demand letter. After that set amount of time has passed without a response, you can move forward in filing the lawsuit paperwork with your local court.
Start this process by filling out the small claims paperwork in full. You will need to provide the contact info for the registered agent of the hotel along with your own. Then, you must pay the filing fee, which usually ranges from $20 to $50. Once you do that, the court clerk will write a court hearing date and time on the paperwork.
You will then need to serve the documents to the registered agent. This lets them know that they’re being sued and when to show up to defend themselves in court. You cannot deliver the paperwork yourself. You will either need to hire a process server or have someone 18 and over who’s not connected to the case serve the agent with the paperwork.
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4. Present Your Case in Court to Get the Verdict
On your hearing date, you must show up on time and ready to present your case to the court. Otherwise, the judge will rule in the other party’s favor and negate all your hard work in getting to this point.
When it’s your turn to talk to the judge, don’t worry about legal terms and processes. Just clearly describe how the hotel overcharged you. Bolster your case by providing evidence you have of the incorrect charges.
The registered agent for the hotel will have a chance to refute your claims. They may also present evidence showing that their charges were correct and in line with their normal operations.
Once the judge has all the evidence, they will review the case details to determine their final verdict. Then, they will let you and the hotel’s registered agent know about their ruling.
Ready to Sue the Hotel for Overcharging?
You can sue a hotel for overcharging you by moving through four easy steps. Simply talk to the manager about the charges. Then, send a demand letter if they don’t respond appropriately.
If that doesn’t pan out, file your small claims paperwork with the court. Once you do that, it’s time to attend the hearing and present your case.
Need any help along the way? Dispute is here to make it easy to send demand letters, generate court paperwork, and more.