Marriot Now Screwing Over Press Who Will be Covering Amazon’s Launch Event

Amazon sent out invitations yesterday for their next press conference. It's happening 2 weeks from yesterday in Santa Monica, Calif.

I will of course be going, and thanks to the long flight I'll be coming in the night before and staying at a local hotel. For the sake of convenience I decided to stay at one of Amazon's picked hotels and use their shuttle bus.

While none of that is newsworthy, I wanted to take a moment today and point that I'm getting screwed on the hotel charges.

I bought my plane ticket yesterday, but I held off on the hotel room so I could get the better rate that Amazon had negotiated with the hotels.

Stupid me; I should have registered immediately. I just got off the phone with Marriott, and the base rate for a hotel room at the Marina del Rey Marriott is now $270. Amazon knocked that down to $250, a minor discount. The thing is, yesterday the price was $200 for the same room. (And if I want to stay Friday night, the cost is suddenly down to $200 again.)

Yes, Marriott jacked the price up by $70 overnight. I'm getting screwed on the price, and I'm calling out Marriott for price-gouging.

Now, I'm still going to pay it, but I'm also sharing this as a learning experience. If you can, register before the hotel knows about an event. That way they won't have a chance to jack up the price.

Update: My Amazon contact gave me a direct link with the correct discount code. Now I'm only being gouged out of an extra $30.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

5 Comments

  1. Mike Cane24 August, 2012

    Ha! I just saw a report about something like this on TV about two weeks ago. It involved hotels jacking up their prices for people who were displaced by a big fire. If they can, they will bleed you.

    Reply
  2. Legal Minimum24 August, 2012

    Nate: Book it, but watch back to see if the pricing changes. This is more a rule for flights than hotels but it works: book mid-week for the best rates. You’re booking on a Friday which is when most leisure travelers are booking and leisure travelers are less price-sensitive than business travelers (surprisingly except maybe not: leisure travelers don’t have corporate policies). So unless you prepay the room you might be able to cancel and rebook at a lower rate.

    Also think about investing the $50 in TripIt if you fly a lot: it monitors the prices of things for you and tells you if there’s a price break. I’ve made about $700 with it this year.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2011/02/when_buy_airline_tickets

    Reply
  3. Peter24 August, 2012

    Could you get a different hotel and just taxi it over? I’m thinking that would be less than the $70 price difference.

    But there may be other advantages to staying in an approved hotel.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder24 August, 2012

      Yes I could.

      But I chose the approved hotels because it would be easier to get to the event. This is one of those times where one less headache is worth the cost. Also, I was thinking it would make it easier to meet colleagues and gossip.

      Reply
  4. Eric Welch24 August, 2012

    This is normal. If you look on Orbitz, or one of the other hotel booking sites, you’ll see that rates often vary by day of the week, whether a conference is in town, etc., and booking during the week or ahead of time makes little difference. Demand drives the price up, simple.

    Reply

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