Customers experience sticker shock at hotels following power outages from Isaias

Some people without power are looking at staying in hotels to beat the heat, but prices are skyrocketing at some properties.

News 12 Staff

Aug 6, 2020, 9:08 PM

Updated 1,409 days ago

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Some people without power are looking at staying in hotels to beat the heat, but prices are skyrocketing at some properties.
Some hotels are charging up to $60 more than usual following Tropical Storm Isaias.
The Norwalk Inn is offering what it calls a "day rate." You get a "premium room" from 5 a.m. until 8 p.m. for $210. The hotel says "day rate" rooms go to utility workers overnight.
According to the hotel's website, those rooms normally start at $229, although the owner says they can go for more than $500.
Norwalk Inn co-owner Maria DeVito told News 12, "Unfortunately, we were unable to fulfill all personal requests for standard discounted rooms. Although our premium, luxury rooms are offered at higher rates, those rooms accommodate more guests and are enhanced with larger areas, designer furnishings, and dining efficiencies."
Hotels can -- and do -- change their rates based on availability. But when does that become price gouging?
After Tuesday's storm, Gov. Ned Lamont declared an emergency and in an emergency, state law limits price hikes. But the law also allows for normal market fluctuations.
Consumer authorities say they look at what a hotel was charging before the storm and what costs they've incurred since.
"Businesses should not see this as an opportunity to profiteer off this crisis," said Elizabeth Benton, a spokesperson for the Connecticut attorney general's office. "We cannot make a determination on any one particular case without asking some basic questions of the business, including previous prices and any justifications they may provide for increased costs."
If you feel you're the victim of price gouging, you can report it to the AG's office. So far, the office has not received any complaints about hotel prices.

CT Price Gouging Guide: More Information
File a complaint: More Information
Call: 860-808-5318


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