AG sues Henrico hotel for alleged "bait and switch" scheme

Published: Feb. 8, 2014 at 5:04 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 18, 2014 at 5:04 AM EST
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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - An Henrico hotel is now being sued by the Attorney General's office. The suit claims the Richmond Magnuson Grand Hotel ran a "bait and switch" scheme. Attorney General Herring is demanding restitution for the alleged victims.

"We don't condone any type of bait and switch," said hotel general manager Robert Peters. "I don't condone it."

Peters says he has only been on the job a few months.

"This completely blind sided me," said Peters. "I was unaware of this lawsuit until two hours ago."

Customers like Frank Guliuzza in town for a college tournament were just as surprised.

"It's frustrating because I travel quite a bit," said Frank. "You want to be able to count on the commitments that the vendor makes to the customer."

AG Herring is demanding restitution.

"And as attorney general I will not tolerate businesses that misrepresent themselves or mislead consumers," said Herring.

The AG says the hotel offered and confirmed rooms for one price, but at check-in informed customers they would have to pay more or lose the room.

"It's wrong and it's an unethical and illegal business practice," said Herring. "And as attorney general it is my responsibility to protect the average consumer."

Peters says he wants to make things right.

"If the accusations are there and they are true," said Peters. "I'll correct it. I do apologize for whatever happened before my tenure."

If a consumer encounters a "bait and switch" style situation like this, they are encouraged to keep any relevant documentation and report the incident to the state's consumer protection hotline at (800) 552-9963.

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