Hotel? TrivagNO: How popular price comparison site doesn’t actually show you the best deals
- Price comparison site Trivago has been found guilty of misleading consumers
- The federal court found that the company did not show the cheapest hotel deals
- Instead, they promoted the advertisers who paid them the biggest commissions
- The company was also found guilty of using false and misleading comparisons
- The matter will return to the Federal Court for case management at a later date
Popular travel website Trivago misled consumers about cheap hotel deals on its website and in advertising, a Federal Court judge has ruled.
The Netherlands-incorporated company did not actually show customers the cheapest deals for hotel rooms but promoted advertisers who paid them the biggest fees.
‘Contrary to the impression created by the relevant conduct, the Trivago website did not provide an impartial, objective and transparent price comparison service,’ Federal Court Justice Mark Moshinsky said on Monday.
The federal court has ruled that Trivago (the company’s New York office pictured) misled consumers with false price comparisons and did not show the cheapest deals
‘The fact that Trivago was being paid by the online booking sites was not made clear,’ he wrote in his judgment.
The company was also found guilty of false and misleading price comparisons because they compared a standard room rate with a luxury room at the same hotel.
This created a false impression of savings to those shopping around for a good hotel deal.
Justice Moshinsky also found that the online giant displayed red strikes through text that led consumers to falsely believe it referred to the cheapest available option, The Sydney Morning herald reports.
Australia’s consumer watchdog took the company to court in August last year over misleading information on the website and television advertising.
The claims were aired more than 400,000 times from late 2013 to mid-2018.
The matter will return to the Federal Court for case management at a date yet to be set.
Trivago made the false claims in advertisements (one pictured) from late 2013 to mid-2018