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Paxton’s work for hotel accountability continues | Texas

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www.thecentersquare.com – By Lauren Scott | – 2023-06-15 15:11:00

(The Center Square) – Prior to his impeachment, Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Hyatt Hotels for violating Texas consumer protection laws and secured an agreement with Marriott to end hidden hotel fees. The office of attorney general is still overseeing the terms. 

Hyatt Hotels Corporation, one of the largest hotel operators in the country, marketed hotel rooms at prices that were not available to the public as advertised.   

“Hyatt implemented this practice by charging consumers mandatory and unavoidable fees – such as resort fees, destination fees, or amenity fees – in addition to daily room rates,” according to a May 16 news release

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Many of the fees did not relate to the customer experience. 

“For years Hyatt has used mandatory fees to dupe unsuspecting Texans by not including mandatory fees in the advertised room rate,” according to the lawsuit. “This lack of transparency is designed to thwart comparison shopping; consequently, it places hotels that do not charge mandatory fees at a competitive disadvantage.”

Paxton agreed to a settlement with Marriott International, Inc. to ensure it properly discloses “resort fees” and other hidden costs to consumers in its advertisements and during the room booking process.  

“This settlement will prohibit Marriott from engaging in unlawful, unfair, and deceptive trade practices in violation of Texas law with respect to the advertising of hotel room prices,” according to a May 16 news release

Read the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance here.

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Some iPhone users eligible for $349 in lawsuit settlement payout over audio issues

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abc13.com – CNNWire – 2024-05-24 22:33:58

SUMMARY: Owners of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models may be eligible for compensation up to $349 as part of a $35 million settlement for issues related to the audio chip. To qualify, users must have owned the devices between September 16, 2016, and January 3, 2023, and reported problems or paid for repairs. Apple, which denied any wrongdoing, removed the headphone jack in 2016 to improve sound quality and design. Eligible users will be notified about the settlement, with a claim deadline of June 3 and a final approval hearing on July 18. Previous settlements also addressed issues with older iPhone models.

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Houston woman describes fearful moments during storm that moved car and blew out windows

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abc13.com – Luke Jones – 2024-05-24 22:24:09

SUMMARY: Darlene Brown recounts a harrowing experience captured on dash camera footage as strong winds damaged her car and blew out its back window while she waited outside Wells Fargo Plaza in Houston. As debris flew into her car, Brown stayed on the phone with her sister, fearing she might be swept away. Attorney Michael Lombardino’s camera recorded the incident, showing Brown’s car being pushed into a curb. Although she emerged unscathed from the storm, she returned home to find a fallen tree had damaged her house. Fortunately, Brown managed to remove the tree without significant harm, though her car remains in repair.

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Deputy arrested: Christopher Wohlschlegel accused of DWI, injuring 2 on Sorters McClellan Road in Kingwood, court docs show

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abc13.com – Jiovanni Lieggi – 2024-05-24 22:18:45

SUMMARY: A former Precinct 4 deputy, 41-year-old Christopher Wohlschlegel, was arrested in Kingwood, Texas, for driving while intoxicated after crashing into two other vehicles, according to court documents. The incident occurred on Sorters McClellan Road, injuring at least three people who required hospitalization. Despite the Precinct 4 Constables Office’s usual routine of posting drunk driver arrests on social media, they have remained silent about Wohlschlegel’s case. Wohlschlegel left the office shortly after the incident, though it is unclear if he resigned or was terminated. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is investigating potential additional charges.

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