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Hotel booking sites in vow to stop duping customers with hard-sell tactics and dodgy discounts 


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Hotel booking sites in vow to stop duping customers with hard-sell tactics and dodgy discounts

  • Hotel booking websites are forced to display the full cost of a room upfront
  • Pop-up box claims that there are only a few rooms left have also been banned
  • All the major travel booking websites have agreed to comply with the new rules 

Hotel booking websites have been forced to stop duping customers with suspect hard sell tactics and dodgy discount claims.

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) says all the major travel booking websites, plus Google, AirBnB, TripAdvisor and hotel chains, will change the way they present deals to ensure they comply with consumer protection law.

Specifically, they will not be allowed to make false claims about a room’s popularity with pop up box claims that a number of people are looking at the same room or there are only a few rooms left.

Hotel booking websites will not be allowed to make false claims about a room’s popularity with pop up box claims that a number of people are looking at the same room or there are only a few rooms left [File photo]

The websites will also have to display the full cost of a room up front, rather than tempting people with a cheap figure only to ramp it up with compulsory fees.

Earlier this year, the CMA took enforcement action against six companies – Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, ebookers and Trivago – for serious concerns around pressure selling, misleading discount claims and boosting listings for hotels based on how much commission they received.

The CMA was concerned that some of these practices could mislead people, stop them finding the best deal and potentially break consumer protection law.

All six firms denied any wrong-doing, but formally committed to clean up their sites and have now made the agreed changes.

Now a further 25 online hotel and other accommodation booking platforms, including Google, AirBnB, Accor, Hilton, IHG, Marriott, Kayak, Opodo, Premier Inn, Radisson, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor, Travelodge, TravelSupermarket and Travel Republic, will follow suit.

The CMA’s chief executive, Andrea Coscelli, said: ‘People booking hotels online can now do so with more confidence thanks to the CMA’s action.

‘Major websites and big hotel chains have agreed to clean up their act if they’ve been using misleading sales tactics, and have signed up to sector-wide consumer law principles on how to display important information to customers.

‘The CMA will now be watching to make sure that these major brands, used by millions of people in the UK every year, stay true to their word. We will take action if we find evidence that firms are breaking consumer law.’

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) says all the major travel booking websites, plus Google, AirBnB, TripAdvisor and hotel chains, will change the way they present deals to ensure they comply with consumer protection law [File photo]

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) says all the major travel booking websites, plus Google, AirBnB, TripAdvisor and hotel chains, will change the way they present deals to ensure they comply with consumer protection law [File photo]

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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