A Guide to Hotel Refund Laws

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Learn About Hotel Refund Laws

Have you changed your travel plans and need to cancel your hotel reservation? Are you not satisfied with the service in the hotel you’ve stayed in? You might be entitled to a refund! Even when the hotelier doesn’t want to give you your money back, you can rely on the law to ensure your consumer rights are respected. If you want to find out how to get a hotel refund, read on!

Do Hotels Give Refunds?

Hotels do offer refunds, but hotel refund policies are not the same everywhere. Before you decide to make a reservation, read the cancellation and refund policies of the hotel you want to stay at. If you decide to cancel your reservation for any reason, you might get a refund, but many hotels charge cancellation fees.

The U.S. doesn’t have federal laws on returns and refunds, but all businesses should have their cancellation and refund policies to ensure consumer rights. If you are traveling to another country, you should abide by local refund laws and hotel refund policies.

Most Common Hotel Issues

The issues people experience in hotels can ruin their whole trip. Take a look at some common problems that people can encounter at a hotel and the solutions for it:



The room you booked is not available

  • Ask the hotel to give you a room in the same or better category

The hotel is fully booked, and you can’t get any room there

  • Demand a room in another hotel of the same or better grade
  • Demand the hotel to pay for the drive to another hotel
  • Send Demand Letters To the hotel

The room is not the same as it was advertised

  • Ask the hotel manager to fix the problem or change the room
  • Demand the adjustment of the amount you pay for the room
  • Ask for other accommodation
  • Don’t stay more than one night if they don’t solve your problem

You see extra charges for minibar or movies

  • Explain the issue and ask for your money back

A room reservation can be considered as a contract between you and the hotel. If they fail to respect your right to a room, you can try to solve the issue with them or start a dispute and request a refund.

FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule

Even though there are no specific federal laws about hotel refunds, you still have other provisions to rely on when requesting a hotel refund. The Federal Trade Commission created the Cooling-Off Rule, which offers you three days to cancel your purchases.

Whenever you make any purchases, the merchant is obliged by the law to tell you about your right to cancel. If you decide to cancel your hotel reservation within three days of making it, you can rely on the Cooling-Off Rule to make sure your consumer rights are respected.

This rule doesn’t apply to every purchase you make. Here are the situations when this rule can’t be applied:

  1. If you buy something for less than $25
  2. In case you make a purchase of up to $130 at a store’s temporary location
  3. If you buy goods or services that you don’t intend to use for personal, family, or household purposes
  4. In case you make the entire purchase online, via email, or phone
  5. If the sales are made in emergency situations

You also can’t rely on the Cooling-Off Rule for the sales of:

  1. Vehicles that are sold at temporary locations when the merchant has at least one permanent location of the business
  2. Insurance, securities, or real estates
  3. Arts and crafts at places such as fairs, schools, civic centers, or shopping centers

Fair Credit Billing Act

The Fair Credit Billing Act, passed in 1974, was created to protect consumers from credit card billing errors and malpractices. The Act gives you the opportunity to raise disputes about your credit card charges and get credit or refunds for goods you’ve never received or for unauthorized and other charges.

If you want to dispute a billing error, you should know that there are limitations to the Fair Credit Act. You can dispute only certain errors:

  • Calculation errors
  • Unauthorized charges
  • Charges with a mistake in the amount listed
  • Charges listed with a wrong date
  • Purchases of goods or services that were not delivered to you or you got them damaged

Before starting a dispute, you should know that:

  • You can’t dispute charges that are less than $50
  • You should initiate a dispute with your credit card issuer no more than 60 days after receiving your bill
  • Your credit card issuer has to resolve your dispute in the course of two billing cycles
  • You have 10 days to dispute the decision if you are not satisfied with the results of your dispute
  • You have to try to solve the issue with the merchant before starting a dispute on unreceived goods
  • Your dispute letter needs to be mailed

Make a Hotel Refund Request via DoNotPay

DoNotPay is the easiest way to request a hotel refund! To request a refund via DoNotPay, do the following:

  1. Use any to access DoNotPay
  2. Choose the File a Chargeback option
  3. Provide your transaction and bank details
  4. Follow the instructions and enter the name of the hotel you want to get a refund from
  5. Verify your information and submit your request

DoNotPay relies on the Fair Credit Billing Act to protect your consumer rights and demand a refund from any company. When you complete your refund request in our app, our AI Consumer Champion will compose a dispute letter and gather all the necessary Visa and Mastercard codes to make your claim stronger. Another benefit of using DoNotPay for requesting refunds is that you don’t need to contact the hotel you want a refund from—we can do that for you!

A Hotel Denied Your Customer Rights? Send Demand Letters To Them With the Help of DoNotPay

If you think the hotel you had a reservation with mistreated you and you want to escalate your dispute, use DoNotPay to take the hotel to small claims court! We’ve led many people through the process of suing, and we received the Louis M. Brown Award for Access from the American Bar Association. Our AI Consumer Champion can assist you with:

  • Collecting all the necessary documents
  • Filling out the forms
  • Creating a dispute letter
  • Preparing for any outcome
  • Sounding more confident when presenting your case

Use DoNotPay and increase your chances of winning the case!

What Else Does DoNotPay Offer?

DoNotPay is the world’s first AI Consumer Champion that can help you deal with a bunch of administrative tasks! We can help you find out more about the Hotels.com refund policy or learn how to request a flight delay refund!

If you had to cancel your flight tickets, use DoNotPay to get a United Airlines or American Airlines refund.

Access DoNotPay in any , and check out what we can assist you with:

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