Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

Hotel booking sites have been misleading us

It's the time of year when thoughts turn to holidays, but it seems some well known hotel booking sites have been misleading customers.

Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, ebookers and trivago have all been investigated over pressure selling and misleading discount claims by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA was concerned the sites were making rooms seem more popular than they were, as reported by the BBC.

The competition watchdog said it has taken enforcement action to bring an end to misleading sales tactics, hidden charges and other questionable practices in the online hotel booking market. It said many of these firms' practices have been completely unacceptable.

The six companies have all now agreed to the following new rules:

  • To make it clearer how hotels are graded, including whether hotels paying the ranking sites more have received a position higher up the list
  • To not give a false impression of a hotel's popularity to rush customers into making a booking. Some sites were placing sold-out hotels in search results to put pressure on people to book more quickly.
  • To be clear about discounts and only promoting deals that are actually available at that time. The CMA found sites comparing a higher weekend room rate with a weekday rate or comparing the price of a luxury suite with a standard room
  • To show charges such as taxes, booking or resort fees in the price

Not all of the six companies had fallen foul of all four of these bad practices, the CMA said.

The companies have until 1 September to comply with the demands, otherwise they could be taken to court.

The CMA will now seek to make the rest of the sector follow the same rules as the six companies it has named, it said.

Subscribe to Punchline

Related Articles

£8billion revenue increase for Gloucestershire-based company Image

£8billion revenue increase for Gloucestershire-based company

BAE Systems have reported an increase in order intake of £8billion and a “record high” order backlog in their latest full year results.

Council agrees to cut business rates for retailers Image

Council agrees to cut business rates for retailers

The announcement made in the chancellor's Autumn statement has been agreed by a Gloucestershire district council

Council Tax increase agreed Image

Council Tax increase agreed

Council Tax will rise in the Forest of Dean, but there will be no cuts to frontline services in the coming year after the District Council approved its budget.

Care apprenticeships opportunity with county college  Image

Care apprenticeships opportunity with county college

Stroud and South Gloucestershire College, in partnership with Flexicare, is to recruit 10 new apprentices in care.

Copyright 2019 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.