Tag Archives: Hotel Law

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Are You Breaking the Law by Recording Calls?”

“Regardless of the content of the call, hoteliers should be ensuring that they are using automatic disclosures—in order to obtain consumer consenthotel-phone—if using an automatic recording system. If an operator becomes the target of one of these consumer privacy class actions, taking an aggressive approach and attacking these claims as incongruent with the legislative purpose and intent behind the respective statute is a recommended.”

In the past few years, class action plaintiffs have recovered billions of dollars in punitive damages by exploiting strict liability laws that punish businesses for failing to properly notify customers when a phone call is being recorded.

Under the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and similar state statutes, businesses including hotels are prohibited from using certain tactics when telemarketing or making calls to solicit potential guests or customers. Hotels and other businesses are precluded from making calls or using any kind of prerecorded message, unless the caller has obtained a recipient’s prior express consent in writing or electronically.

Additionally, hoteliers are prohibited from making calls to residences before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m., and a future hotel guest calling to confirm a reservation also must be notified if the call is recorded. Hence, under these laws, if a hotel receptionist in Montana receives a call from a California resident to confirm a reservation but never notifies the recipient that the call is being recorded, it could result in damages ranging from $500 to $5,000 per call under federal and state laws.

This seemingly innocuous business practice of recording customer service calls without providing some variation of the oft-heard disclosure, “This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes” has the potential to financially cripple a business.

For more: http://bit.ly/1CBRlu6

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Filed under Crime, Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Liability, Management And Ownership, Technology, Training

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Former Hotel Broker Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Conducting Fraud Schemes”

“In one scheme, Koger had been hired by Host, the country’s largest hotel owner, to sell two properties. Instead of selling to the highest bidders,Court Ruling Koger allegedly sold the properties to straw buyers, who then immediately resold them to the interested buyers for a profit. Koger allegedly orchestrated a similar deal in which a straw buyer purchased promissory notes backing European hotels that Host was interested in and then resold them to Host at a higher price, pocketing the difference.”

Former hotel broker Robert T. Koger was sentenced Tuesday to 11 years in prison for orchestrating a series of fraudulent schemes resulting in more than $55 million in losses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Virginia.

Koger, 48, served as president and sole owner of Molinaro Koger, a hotel real estate brokerage firm in Vienna. According to court records, charges against the 48-year-old were tied to various schemes, including a pair that cost Host Hotels & Resorts more than $22 million.

For more: http://wapo.st/1pNSO7V

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Filed under Crime, Hotel Industry, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Smoke Alarm Laws Taking Effect”

“…The biggest change, which took effect July 1, 20140225165058_87769requires all new battery-operated smoke alarms sold in California to be built with a nonremovable 10-year battery. Existing smoke detectors don’t have to be replaced until they reach the end of their 10-year lifespan or start malfunctioning…”

New smoke detector laws, including a change that took effect July 1, are intended to keep working alarms in rental properties and homes in Tracy and throughout California.

State Senate Bills 1394 and 745 are phasing in rules for installation and types of smoke alarms during the next two years.

For more: http://bit.ly/1qYv68S

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Filed under Fire, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology