Author Topic: one room left  (Read 85 times)

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Offline thaiga

one room left
« on: June 30, 2018, 12:38:18 PM »
Hotel booking sites could be forced to stop claiming 'one room left'

Competition watchdog finds several areas of concern after eight-month investigation

Hotel booking websites could be forced to stop claiming “one room is left at this price” and giving more promotion to hotels that pay the most commission, the UK’s competition regulator has said.

The Competition and Markets Authority has been investigating whether sites are misleading consumers since October and identified a number of areas of concern.

The CMA did not name the companies it was investigating, but leading sites include Expedia and Booking.com.

The regulator is examining the extent to which a hotel’s ranking on a website may be influenced by the size of its commission.
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The CMA said details on the sites about how many people are looking at a room, how many are left and how long a price is available can create a false impression of availability or rush customers into making a booking decision.

About 70% of people who shop around for accommodation use hotel booking sites, according to the regulator, but many have found the final price paid was inflated by unexpected extra charges such as taxes and booking fees added later.

“Booking sites can make it so much easier to choose your holiday, but only if people are able to trust them,” said Andrea Coscelli, the chief executive of the CMA.

“We are demanding that sites think again about how they are presenting information to their customers to make sure they are complying with the law. Our next step is to take any necessary action – including through the courts if needed – to ensure people get a fair deal.”

Guy Anker, the deputy editor of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “Hotel prices on booking and comparison sites can often be misleading.

“While the full extent of the CMA’s action is unclear, we hope it will clamp down hard on sites that outrageously fail to show the true cost upfront, and that claim false discounts or pressure-sell by wrongly suggesting the hotel is almost sold out.”

The regulator has ordered the sites to review their practices and respond within the next few months.

theguardian.com
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