16 SEPTEMBER 2019
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People booking hotels online can now do so with more confidence following a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) probe of the sector, the government announced on Friday.
The authority said it had secured changes from most hotel booking sites operating in the UK, with 25 agreeing to amend information displays and signing up to CMA principles for complying with consumer protection law.
The firms included big brands like TripAdvisor, Airbnb and Google, plus major chains. The principles include not giving a false impression of a room’s popularity and always displaying the full cost of a room.
The announcement comes after the CMA took enforcement action against six companies – Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, ebookers and trivago – for “serious concerns” over issues including pressure selling and misleading discount claims.
The authority noted all six firms formally committed to clean up their sites and had now made the agreed changes.
CMA CEO Andrea Coscelli said: “Major websites and 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 information to customers.
“If we find any sites fail to make the appropriate changes or if we become concerned people are being misled, we will not hesitate to take further action.”
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Michael Preston, Weybridge/Cape Town
A much needed step, but there is a far greater need for transparency in car rental where some companies, mostly those which appear the cheapest on consolidator sites, use thuggish bullying techniques and dishonest ripoffs to gouge extra charges from customers. Recent articles about Easirent and Goldcar will bear this out. There are far more variables in car rental than in booking a hotel room.