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InsuranceLawyer, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 1033
Experience:  27 years litigation experience, 14,000+ lawsuits, author of 2 books and 100s of articles
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Upon check out I discovered My signature was forged

Resolved Question:

Upon check out I discovered My signature was forged on a document by a hotel employee, and I was charged the wrong rate, in addition to the forgery. I called the police and made a report to cover my tracks, for the inconvenience, I want to be charged 0 for my stay. If they do not accomodate me, what legal action can I take?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  InsuranceLawyer replied 9 years ago.

You don't say which hotel this was, but I would write directly to their home office. If it is a reputable chain, like Hilton, Ramada or Marriott, I'm sure they will do the right thing by you.

If push came to shove, the hotel could insist that you pay just the correct rate. They could say that a mistake in billing, even if intentional, should not entitle you to a free stay in the hotel. That kind of position of course would be bad customer service, but not illegal.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to InsuranceLawyer's Post: so it's okay for my signature to be forged on a document that holds me liable for a rate that I did not agree to anyway? Is foegery not illegal? and it is a Marriott Hotel.
Expert:  InsuranceLawyer replied 9 years ago.

No, of course forgery is illegal. But there are two issues here: the first issue is that your signature was forged and that you were billed a higher rate. The second issue is, do you owe Marriott for a stay at the correct rate?

Since you documented the incident with the police, I think that if you were to bring this entire incident to the attention of Marriott's home office, they would do the right thing by you.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I do owe them and was willing to pay the correct amount until I notice my signature was forged its the forgery that I am concerned with, is this something I can take legal action against if they do not address this?
Expert:  InsuranceLawyer replied 9 years ago.

It depends on what you want Marriott to do about it. Forgery is a crime. The appropriate action would be for the police to investigate, and arrest the desk clerk if they determine that there is probable cause to believe he committed a crime. If they choose not to arrest the desk clerk because they find no probable cause to make an arrest, then the forgery is simply a civil matter.

You could sue Marriott over the forgery, but you would have to show that you were damaged somehow. If no money was taken from you because of the forgery, then you have no damages. If, however, you were charged a higher amount because of the forgery, then you do have damages, and maybe even a claim for punitive damages, but only if you could show somehow that Marriott should have known that this employee had a criminal history or had done this before.

I would see, first, what Marriott Corp. is willing to do for you.

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