Omaha businesses talking advantage of Berkshire shareholders

May 16, 2008 Published by Tony Primerano

Two weeks ago I went to Omaha to attend the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. The meeting was great and Omaha was fun to explore, but 2 businesses left a mark on the entire trip.

1) As I checked out of my hotel at 4AM I noticed the charges were not consistent with my reservation. They were higher, I called the office when I arrived home and they fixed the charge.

2) Today as I looked at my credit card statement I noticed my rental car bill was about 70% higher than the estimated charge. I assumed they dropped a discount but when I called them, they said there was a $71 fuel surcharge (inc. tax). The needle was past full when I dropped the car off. If they tried hard they might have been able to squeeze a 1/2 gallon into the tank. They have now removed the charge.

Since these companies fixed the charges I'm not going to name them but I wonder if this is common on the shareholder's weekend. I suspect less than 50% of consumers would have noticed the discrepancy resulting in more profit for these companies. But as Warren Buffet would say "we never want to trade reputation for money".

Post a comment if you had a similar experience in Omaha.